Travel News

Senate committees abruptly postpone votes on Neera Tanden, signaling pessimism about Biden’s candidate.

Two Senate committees abruptly postponed their planned votes Wednesday to advance the nomination of Neera Tanden, President Biden’s choice to lead the Office of Management and Budget, signaling pessimism that she might gain support sufficient to be confirmed by an equally divided Senate.

The Budget Committee and the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee have both postponed scheduled votes, according to three people familiar with the situation who insisted on anonymity to discuss the decisions.

Senator Gary Peters of Michigan, chairman of the Homeland Security committee, told reporters on Wednesday that “people need a little more time to assess it.”

He declined to give details, adding that “we are still having discussions with people.”

Ms Tanden’s nomination has been in jeopardy since Friday, when West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin III announced he would not support her, citing concerns over public criticism she leveled at lawmakers in both left in Twitter messages before his selection.

White House officials remained adamant that Mr Biden planned to back Ms Tanden, even as moderate Republican senators whom Democrats had hoped would provide the votes necessary to confirm that she had announced her intention to step down. oppose it. With Manchin in the “no” column, at least one Republican would be needed to join all of the supporting Democrats.

The voting delays came as a surprise Wednesday morning, after Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont who heads the budget committee, told reporters on Tuesday his committee was moving forward.

Bipartisan support is building for Shalanda Young, currently chosen by Mr Biden as deputy director of the agency, to take Ms Tanden’s place as the agency’s head candidate. She was the House Democrats’ personnel director on the appropriations committee, the first black woman to hold that position.

Ms Young, who enjoys strong support from House Democrats, helped resolve the compromise that ended the country’s longest government shutdown in 2019. She has also served as a senior negotiator for relief programs staff. coronaviruses approved by Congress in 2020, work that has earned him bipartisan respect. – and preemptive approval from Sen. Richard C. Shelby of Alabama on Wednesday.

“She’s smart, she knows the process inside and out, and she’s an honest broker who has demonstrated her ability to work with both sides and get things done,” said Mr. Shelby, the top Republican on the Credit Committee. of the Senate, in a press release. . “She would have my support.”

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, reiterated Mr Biden’s support for Ms Tanden on Wednesday, rejecting any discussion of an alternative candidate.

“It’s a numbers game,” Ms. Psaki said during a White House briefing. “It’s about convincing a Republican to support his nomination.”

When asked if Ms Tanden had offered to withdraw from the exam, Ms Psaki replied, “This is not the stage we are in.”

Travel News

David Perdue won’t challenge Raphael Warnock in the 2022 Georgia Senate race, after all.

Former Georgia Senator David Perdue has ruled he will not run against incumbent Democrat Senator Raphael Warnock in 2022, just a week after Mr Perdue announced he had tabled documents for a possible new campaign, and just days after a visit President Donald J. Trump.

Mr Perdue, 71, a Republican and former businessman who lost in the January runoff round to the state’s other newly elected senator Jon Ossoff, said in a statement he took the decision after “much prayer and reflection” with his wife. , Bonnie.

Mr Warnock defeated Kelly Loeffler, who was also a Republican incumbent, in January, winning a term that expires in January 2023. The two Republican losses transferred control of the Senate to the Democrats.

There were mixed signals from people close to Mr Perdue that a 2022 campaign was something he cared about compared to something some of his advisers insisted on. In one Publish Tuesday on Twitter, Mr. Perdue called it a “personal decision, not a political one.”

But the announcement came just days after Mr. Perdue made what is now becoming a ritual trip for Republicans – to former President Donald J. Trump’s private club in Florida, for dinner and a long round of golf last Friday. This raised questions among some Republicans about what Mr. Trump had told him during their time together.

The meeting did not go well, those briefed said. Mr Trump was focused on retaliation, especially against Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, and Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia, a Republican whom Mr Trump considers to have betrayed him.

Two Republicans, one in Atlanta and one in Washington, have separately said that Mr. Trump spent much of his conversation with Mr. Perdue to clearly show his determination to topple the governor of Georgia next year. Trying to navigate a feud between the former president and his state’s incumbent governor for the next two years was deeply unpleasant for Mr Perdue, according to a Republican from Georgia who knows the former senator.

One of those briefed on the meeting with Mr Trump said this appeared to be a factor in Mr Perdue’s decision not to show up. But the second person said the most important factor was how potentially exhausting another campaign and possibly six more years in the Senate would be.

Now the question in Georgia is whether the 2022 race will become a 2020 rerun, when Ms Loeffler and former Rep Doug Collins clashed to run against Mr Warnock.

Yet after Ms Loeffler sprinted to the right to fend off Mr Collins, another Trump favorite, it’s unclear whether she would want to lead the same kind of primary. While Mr. Trump has publicly encouraged Mr. Collins to challenge Mr. Kemp, most Republicans in Georgia believe Mr. Collins is more inclined to run for the Senate.

Mr Perdue said he was “confident” that any candidate nominated by the Republicans would beat Mr Warnock, adding: “I will do whatever I can to make it happen.”

A message to Mr Perdue’s spokesperson was not immediately returned.

In his statement on Tuesday, Mr. Perdue echoed Mr. Trump’s false allegations of widespread electoral fraud in the state and called on Republican officials in Georgia to change state laws and electoral rules “so that ‘in the future, every legal voter is treated. and illegal votes will not be included. “

State election officials have repeatedly said the illegal vote has no impact on the outcome of the general election in November or the January run-off.

Travel News

TimesVideoWatch Live: Senate Hearing on Capitol Riot The Homeland Security Committee and Rules Committee are holding a joint hearing to examine the security failures that led to a violation of the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

TimesVideoWatch Live: Senate Hearing on Capitol Riot The Homeland Security Committee and Rules Committee are holding a joint hearing to examine the security failures that led to a violation of the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

Travel News

In the stimulus debate, a Senate parliamentarian wields broad influence

During the impeachment process this month, Ms MacDonough spent hours on the Senate dais, advising Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, as he played the unprecedented role of presiding over the trial of a former president. She and her advisers provided advice to Democratic senators as they got used – some for the first time, others for the first time in years – to overseeing Senate affairs as a new majority party.

Ms MacDonough has been a Member of Parliament since 2012, when she was appointed to the post with a Democratic majority. A civil servant who had never worked directly for a politician, she worked as a legislative reference assistant at the Senate library and then as editor-in-chief of the Congressional Record before being hired in the parliamentary office in 1999.

“Arbitrator, arbiter, whatever word you want to use – they’re guided by the rules of the body set by the body,” said Bob Stevenson, a longtime retired Republican aide who worked for the Committee. Senate budget and former Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader. “Just like a good basketball umpire or a good baseball umpire would tell you the same thing: the best result is the one where you stay anonymous.”

In her early days in the parliamentarian’s office, Ms MacDonough honed her understanding of basic principles under the guidance of Mr Byrd himself, who frequently stopped to ask her procedural questions in what she would later describe in the 2018 talk as “a Socratic method on steroids” which offered “a humiliating and horrible way to start each day.

“I didn’t like you when you started; I didn’t think you would come back to much, ”recalls Ms. MacDonough, Mr. Byrd told her. “But oh my God, how you surprised me.”

As Democrats move forward with Mr Biden’s economic plan with the budget reconciliation process, it is now up to Ms MacDonough to enact Mr Byrd’s reign. This is high stakes work; in 2001, then-parliamentarian Robert B. Dove was unceremoniously ousted from office after Republican leaders challenged his rulings.

The name of the rule lends itself to a number of bird-related puns commonly used to describe the stages of the reconciliation process. There’s the “Byrd Bath,” where Senators can file objections to items they believe break the rule, and Ms. MacDonough scrubs and analyzes them for judgment. Anything that does not survive the exam is known as “Byrd drop” and is removed from the legislation before it can move forward.

Travel News

TimesVideoWatch Live: Jerome Powell testifies on economy Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies on the Monetary Policy Report, a biannual report, on Tuesday before a virtual Senate Banking Committee hearing.

TimesVideoWatch Live: Jerome Powell testifies on economy On Tuesday Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will testify on the Monetary Policy Report, a biannual report, before a virtual Senate Banking Committee hearing.

Travel News

Senate bipartisan inquiry into Capitol riot to begin with scrutiny of security failures

WASHINGTON – As parliamentary leaders argue over the formation of a 9/11 commission to investigate the Jan.6 attack on the Capitol, a bipartisan group of senators are continuing a series of investigative hearings to examine the security failures that failed to prevent the deadly pro-Trump rampage.

The investigation begins Tuesday with a joint hearing of two Senate committees to question officials tasked with securing the Capitol during the attack, when Capitol Hill police officers and District of Columbia police called in as reinforcements. the vice-president and members of the House and Senate were gathered inside.

The meeting of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and the Rules and Administration Committee will be the first time the public hears from the two senior security officials on Capitol Hill on the day of the assault, both of whom have resigned after the violation.

Paul D. Irving, the former House Sergeant-at-Arms, and Michael C. Stenger, the former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, have come under scrutiny amid reports that they do not did not act quickly enough to call the National Guard. The committees will also hear from Steven A. Sund, the former Capitol Police chief, who has also resigned, and Robert J. Contee, the chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.

“I support the commission,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota and chair of the administration committee, which oversees Capitol Hill security. “But it is important to disseminate the information under oath as soon as possible. While the 9/11 commission may be ongoing, decisions need to be made about the Capitol, as soon as possible. “

“They are all participating voluntarily,” Ms. Klobuchar said of the witnesses.

The attack left nearly 140 police officers injured and several dead. Mr Sund previously said in a letter to Congress that the sergeants-at-arms rejected his request for a National Guard before Jan.6 and did not respond quickly that day when he called troops urgently to help his officers.

The hearing will be the first in a series of surveillance hearings hosted by Ms Klobuchar and Senator Gary Peters, Democrat of Michigan and Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, as well as senior Republicans from both panels, Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri and Rob Portman of Ohio.

But already the decision to investigate the Capitol Riot – the deadliest attack on the building where Congress meets in 200 years – has become political. Republicans are resisting a proposal by California Democrat President Nancy Pelosi to form an independent bipartisan commission modeled on the one that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks, arguing that her plan would tip the commission towards Democrats.

Broadly speaking, Ms. Pelosi said, according to two Democrats who know her, each of the four top leaders in Congress would appoint two members and President Biden would appoint three, including the committee chair.

“It is our responsibility to understand the security and intelligence failures that led to the January 6 riots so that we can better protect this institution and the men and women who work there,” said California Representative Kevin McCarthy, the leader of the minority. in a statement invoking the chairs of the 9/11 Commission. “A commission must follow the advice of Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton to be both ‘independent and bipartisan’, and to maintain this integrity, it must be divided equally between the two parties.”

The 10-member National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States, as the 9/11 group was officially known, was the product of an intense round of negotiations on Capitol Hill and was evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.

In the Senate, the next investigative hearing, whose date is not yet scheduled, will focus on the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense and the threat of domestic extremism, according to the senators and their collaborators.

“Decisions need to be made on how we can improve the coordination of security information,” Ms. Klobuchar said. “Decisions have to be made about who will be new to these jobs. You have to see the whole landscape here to find out what went wrong and how we can do better. “

Mr Peters said he believed there would be multiple investigations into the Capitol attack. During Tuesday’s hearing, Mr Peters said he would question security officials about intelligence failures before Jan.6, communication failures and a slow response to calls for help.

“This will be the first time these officials have spoken publicly,” said Peters. “Obviously there was no adequate preparation. Obviously, there has been a failure of leadership.

Mr Peters said he also expected lawmakers to question why the police presence was weaker for the ‘Save America Rally’ on January 6 than for the Black Lives Matter protests during the ‘summer. Mr Peters led a bipartisan group of senators in sending a letter to 22 agencies requesting detailed explanations of their security preparedness and response that day.

In a statement, Mr. Portman said Republicans and Democrats wanted to get to the bottom of the security failures on Capitol Hill that day.

“I look forward to hearing first-hand from those responsible for securing the Capitol Complex who made the decisions regarding the preparations and response efforts that led to the security failures that endangered the life of Vice President Pence. , members of Congress, first responders and staff, ”said Mr. Portman. “This will provide information on the reforms to be undertaken so that nothing like January 6 happens again.”

Travel News

Biden strives to leverage Senate ties to fuel his agenda

Instead, Mr Biden went out of his way to woo Republicans, treating them at his first official Oval Office meeting – an honor he knew, as a former senator, would flatter them – from which they came out without agreements, but a palpable sense of good nature.

“The president has been very gracious,” said Senator Bill Cassidy, a Republican from Louisiana who discussed education funding with Mr. Biden, after their meeting. “If we are to move forward as a country, we have to do a better job than we did in determining where those who disagree with us are coming from.”

Senator Jerry Moran, a Republican from Kansas who told the president how nice it was to talk to other humans during the pandemic, confessed to his colleagues after their meeting that Mr. Biden “ knew more about his plan that we and Joe Biden knew about. more on the Republicans level than them, ”recalls Mr. Carper.

When time prevented Republican Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota from attending in person, he called a meeting with Mr. Biden, whom he later described as “cordial,” “interested” and ” engaged ”. Mr Rounds told the president he personally received a stimulus check – proof, the senator said, that the next round of relief payments should be more focused.

“He made it clear that he believed the relationship he had established in the United States Senate was still quite important,” Rounds said. “But he didn’t give up any aces he might have in his hand.”

Still, Biden uses the sessions to nurture relationships with important potential allies.

Senator Jon Tester, a centrist Democrat from Montana who could be a crucial decisive vote on the stimulus package, said after his hearing with Mr Biden that in his 14 years in the Senate, no president has ever had it invited to the Oval Office before.

“I’ll be honest with you: it was quite emotional for me,” Mr. Tester said. “I told the president.”

Travel News

David Perdue runs against Raphael Warnock for Georgia Senate seat

David Perdue, the U.S. senator for a Georgia term who lost a runoff last month to Sen. Jon Ossoff, filed documents Monday night indicating he was planning a comeback effort – this time against the other new senator from Georgia, Raphael Warnock.

Mr Perdue, a former businessman who first ran for office as a foreigner and then became one of former President Donald Trump’s closest allies in the Senate, has tabled documents to the Federal Election Commission to establish a “Perdue for Senate” campaign committee.

The move, first reported by Fox News, was seen as a first step in the Republican Party’s efforts to try to reclaim one of the Senate seats lost in the historic second-round election in Georgia on January 5.

Mr Warnock and Mr Ossoff prevailed in this second round – not only the first time a Democrat had won a Georgia Senate seat since 2000, but also a victory that gave Democrats control of the Senate. The two parties each have 50 seats in the chamber, with Vice President Kamala Harris voting for the tiebreaker.

Mr Perdue’s loss to Mr Ossoff followed a bitter campaign that ended with Mr Perdue being fired from the track following exposure to the coronavirus. An appearance by Mr. Trump on the eve of the state election failed to garner sufficient Republican turnout, leaving questions as to whether he was depressed by Mr. Trump’s repeated allegations of fraud during the elections. elections in this country.

Mr Ossoff received 50.6% of the vote against 49.4% for Mr Perdue, who waited two days to concede, prompting speculation he could challenge the outcome.

Mr Warnock prevailed over Senator Kelly Loeffler in their second round, from 51% to 49%. Both were running in a special election for a six-year term; the winner of the 2022 Senate race will serve a full term.

Georgia was already poised to be one of the main focal points in the 2022 election, with a hotly contested gubernatorial race that could feature a rematch between incumbent Republican Brian Kemp and his 2018 Democratic opponent , Stacey Abrams. Ms Abrams narrowly lost that race, but continued to lead a voting rights organization that was crucial to registering and mobilizing the Democrats who helped make Georgia blue for President Biden and Mr Warnock and Mr Ossoff. Ms Abrams has not announced whether she will run for governor again.

Mr Trump has already made it clear that he plans to get involved in the Georgia election in 2022: he has strongly criticized Mr Kemp, as well as the secretary of state and state lieutenant governor, for failing to not support his bogus allegations of electoral fraud in Georgia, and wants them to lose if they run for re-election.

Given Mr. Perdue’s ties to Mr. Trump, it’s possible the former president will be a campaigning presence for Mr. Perdue and against Mr. Kemp next year.

Still, it’s not entirely clear that a Republican Senate candidate should welcome future help from Mr. Trump.

Bill Crane, a Georgian political agent and commentator, said on Monday that the former president’s appearances on behalf of the two Republicans appeared to have worked against them in January – with depressed Republican participation in the two congressional districts where Mr. Trump served campaign.

Mr Crane, who has worked for Republican and Democratic candidates, said he would not be surprised if Mr Perdue ran against Mr Warnock given the tight results in his January race, adding that in order to win, Mr. Perdue should change his strategy.

“He would need to address occasionally to female, non-aligned, libertarian and more centrist voters, not just the grassroots of the Republican Party,” Crane said.

Working for Mr. Perdue is a significant war chest – about $ 5 million from his campaign remains available for a 2022 run, according to a federal election report.

Neither Mr. Warnock, who is completing a term left vacant by former Republican Senator Johnny Isakson, nor Mr. Ossoff’s offices immediately responded to messages seeking comment. Spokesmen for Mr. Perdue and the Georgia Republican Party were also not available.

Travel News

Lara Trump for the seat of the North Carolina Senate? Trump trial renews speech

Another Republican, former Rep. Mark Walker, a Trump ally, has already announced his candidacy, and Pat McCrory, a former Republican governor, is considering one. Mark Meadows, former North Carolina representative and former Trump chief of staff, would also be in the mix.

“We’re going to take a very long look at all of the candidates in relation to, you know, some sort of crowning achievement,” said Mark Brody, a member of the Union County Republican National Committee outside of Charlotte.

Doug Heye, a former Republican National Committee spokesperson who worked for Mr. Burr, wondered if Ms. Trump was ready to endure the brawl and boredom of running or serving. “A lot of people like speculation and attention, but being a senator takes a lot of work,” he said.

But first there is the question of his residence. Ms Trump currently lives with her husband, Eric, and their children in suburban New York City and is expected to move.

Then there is the less simple question of branding. The Trump last name is a wild card – it will be a plus for loyalists and nationwide fundraising, but it could be a handicap in a battlefield the former president won by just 1.3 percentage point in 2020. There is also a possibility Ms. Trump’s candidacy could help increase Democratic participation, especially among the state’s sizable black population.

Or it could be a wash.

“There is a myth that Trump voters will run for Trump’s candidates or their family members,” said John Anzalone, a Democratic pollster and campaigning veteran in the South. “The cult members only come out in force for the cult leader.”

Whether or not Ms. Trump’s candidacy might come up is creating a buzz is, in itself, a reflection of the party’s concern about her future.

Travel News

TimesVideoWatch Live: Day 5 of the Senate impeachment trial Former President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment trial continues after the Senate votes to consider witnesses.

TimesVideoWatch Live: Day 5 of the Senate Impeachment Trial Former President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment trial continues after Senate votes to consider witnesses.