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Duckworth says she won’t vote for any “ non-college candidate ” until Biden names more Asian Americans.

Senator Tammy Duckworth, Democrat of Illinois, said on Tuesday that she would refuse to vote for any of President Biden’s candidates “other than the candidates for diversity” until the White House remedies it. which she called an unacceptable shortage of Asia-Americans and Pacific Islands at the top. administrative positions.

His ultimatum came as Mr Biden faces mounting pressure on the issue amid a growing wave of racism against Asian Americans during the pandemic, culminating in last week’s deadly shootings in Atlanta.

Ms Duckworth and Hawaii Democrat Senator Mazie Hirono said they used a private video meeting Monday night with other Senate Democrats to tell Mr Biden’s top advisers, including Deputy Chief of Staff Jennifer O ‘Malley Dillon, that the scarcity of Asian-American cabinet officials was “unacceptable” and needed to be dealt with quickly. The couple are the only two Asian-American members of the Senate.

Ms Duckworth said she followed up on Tuesday morning to let the White House know she was ‘a no to anything other than diversity candidates’ who ran for the Senate until she believes Mr Biden’s team was taking the right steps, starting with the president’s candidate. for the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. With the Senate divided equally between the two parties, its opposition could create considerable pressure to reach an agreement.

“I’ve been talking to them for months,” Ms. Duckworth said in an interview. “They’re still not aggressive, so I won’t vote for any White House candidate other than diversity candidates. I’ll be a “no” to everyone until they figure it out. “

Open disputes between Mr. Biden and the Democrats on Capitol Hill were relatively rare in his first few months on the job. But prominent Asian-American lawmakers who have quietly fussed over nominations and nominations for months, have signaled they have finished giving the White House the benefit of the doubt.

During Monday night’s meeting, Ms Duckworth said Ms O’Malley Dillon had pointed out that Vice President Kamala Harris, whose mother was from India, and Katherine Tai, the main US trade envoy to Chinese origin, were of Asian and American descent. . The White House considers the two women to be in Cabinet, although they do not head executive departments.

Ms Duckworth, who is Thai American, called Ms Harris’ invocation to allay her concerns “insulting”.

“It’s not something you would say to the Black Caucus – ‘Well you have Kamala, we’re not going to put African Americans in Cabinet anymore because you have Kamala,” she told the journalists Tuesday.

“Why would you tell AAPI?” she added, referring to Asian Americans and the Pacific Islands.

Ms Duckworth added that for months she had given the White House the names of potential Asian-American nominees “who had never even received a phone call.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Axios first reported the details of the exchange on Monday.

Ms Hirono was less pointed in her criticism, but said on Tuesday she shared Ms Duckworth’s “frustration”. They are two of eight Asian Americans to have served in the Senate, including Ms. Harris.

“I realize we have Katherine Tai, but I don’t think the sales rep is what the community considers a cabinet member,” she said.

Ms Hirono, who is Japanese-American, said she had also urged the White House to more regularly interview Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders as a group when assessing support for policy proposals, as they black Americans, women and other groups would.

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A GOP senator tweets with approval on part of the stimulus bill, without mentioning one detail: his “no” vote.

Before the House finally approves a $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package on Wednesday without any Republican backing, Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned Republicans of their opposition to the measure, saying, “It’s typical that they vote no and take the dough. “

As if to make his point, Senator Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi, tweeted with approval Within hours of the bill’s passage, the $ 28.6 billion included for “targeted aid” for restaurants. His message did not mention that he had voted no.

“I will not vote for $ 1.9 trillion just because it contains some good provisions,” he later told reporters.

Mr Wicker’s post received an unwelcome reception on Twitter, sparking thousands of responses, many of them pointing out that he had voted against the measure, known as the US bailout.

Representative Debbie Dingell, Democrat of Michigan, wrote in his own tweet that she had “worked with restaurants in my neighborhood for almost a year to get the help they desperately needed,” adding, “Republican senators including @SenatorWicker have rejected this critical help.”

“Too many people have closed and many more are suffering,” she said of the restaurants. “I’m glad we helped them today despite his objections.

Another tweet, from an account given by Senate Democrats, recalled how a certain vote was cast: “The US bailout will benefit American families and small businesses – and Senator Wicker voted NO.”

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TimesVideoWatch Live: House to vote on stimulus bill Lawmakers are expected to give final approval to President Biden’s massive, nearly $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

TimesVideoWatch Live: House to vote on stimulus bill Lawmakers are expected to give final approval to President Biden’s massive, nearly $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

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The minimum wage hike looks set to fail as 7 Democrats vote against the measure.

The Senate was set to reject an offer by Democrats to raise the federal minimum wage as part of President Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package on Friday, with senators from both parties saying they were opposed to the move.

Late Friday afternoon, the vote on the proposal, which would raise wages to $ 15 an hour by 2025, stalled as Democrats wrangled over a separate sizing provision in the package. and the duration of federal unemployment benefits.

But all signs were that the provision to raise the minimum wage was doomed, with a 42-58 vote in limbo, well below the 60 votes that would need to be brought forward. Seven Democrats and an independent aligned with them had joined the 50 Republicans in opposing the increase.

Democrats voting against the proposal were Senators Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Tom Carper and Chris Coons of Delaware and Jon Tester of Montana. Senator Angus King, an independent from Maine who caucuses with Democrats, also voted no.

The vote remained open for more than six hours as Democrats scrambled to unite around an amendment that would keep a weekly federal unemployment benefit supplement at $ 300 – rather than raising it to $ 400 as the would make a bill passed by the House – but extend payments. for more than weeks. Since the vote is not yet closed, senators could still change their vote, although they are unlikely to choose to do so.

While Mr Biden included the minimum wage hike in his stimulus proposal and the House passed it as part of its version of the package, a senior Senate official Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that it would not could not be included in the bill under the strict rules governing the reconciliation process, which protects the legislation from systematic obstruction and allows it to pass by simple majority. Democrats are using reconciliation to speed up the bill’s passage through the Senate.

Liberal lawmakers and activists have argued that Democrats should rescind Ms MacDonough’s advice and push through the proposal against the Republican opposition anyway. But the margin of defeat showed they wouldn’t have had the votes to pass it unilaterally even if they had tried to do so.

Instead, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, chairman of the budget committee, proposed an amendment to add the provision during a rapid fire proposals marathon, known as the vote-a-rama, which started on Friday morning.

Moderate Democrats who rejected the increase have indicated they will be ready to negotiate once the stimulus package becomes law.

“Senators from both parties have shown their support for the federal minimum wage increase, and the Senate is expected to hold a public debate and amendment process on the minimum wage increase, regardless of the reconciliation bill focused on Covid, “Ms. Sinema said in a statement.

Ms Sinema became an immediate target of progressive anger after her vote, which she signified with a dramatic thumbs-down motion, citing a similar gesture made by Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona in 2017, when he voted to kill a proposal from his party to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act. Ms Sinema has previously described Mr McCain as one of her political idols.

Mr Sanders, a longtime champion of raising the federal minimum wage, which has not been changed since 2009, has vowed to continue pushing the legislation.

“If anyone thinks we are giving up on this issue, they are sorely mistaken,” Sanders told reporters. “If we have to vote repeatedly, we will – and we will be successful.”

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Video: House Democrats prepare to pass voting rights bill

new video loaded: House Democrats prepare to pass voting rights bill



House Democrats prepare to pass voting rights bill

House Democrats are expected to pass the biggest federal expansion of voting rights in decades as Republicans try to limit access to ballots in states across the country after the 2020 election.

“It’s called the People’s Bill, and in doing so, we are fighting the big, dark, and special interests in politics and amplifying the voice of the American people.” We fight foreign interference in our elections. We are expanding voting rights, we are fighting political gerrymandering and we are cracking down on corruption. “HR 1, the For the People Act, will end the voter suppression we see currently being debated in Georgia by targeting institutional barriers to voting. HR 1 would also create a national standard for voter registration, as your postal code should not determine your access to the polls. “After this huge turnout, we’ve seen Republican legislatures across the country trying to stop that vote, stop absentee voting, put up barriers, make it harder for Americans to vote. HR 1 would put an end to this. And this is absolutely essential because nothing else happens unless the voice of the people is heard.

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Video: CPAC crowd applauds Josh Hawley’s vote against election results

new video loaded: CPAC crowd applauds Josh Hawley’s vote against election results



CPAC crowd applauds Josh Hawley’s vote against election results

Senator Josh Hawley received a standing ovation at the Conservative Political Action Conference when he reminded the crowd that he had opposed the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

For the past two months, big tech companies have deformed conservatives left and right, silenced them, kicked them out, shut them down. Heck, they censored the President of the United States. If they can censor it, they can censor any American citizen. And I have my own experience with this, unfortunately. You know, on January 6, I objected during the certification of the electoral college – maybe you heard about it. [Applause] I did. I got up. [Applause continues]

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Manchin backs Haaland for the Home Secretary post, a key vote that indicates she could be confirmed along party lines.

Senator Joe Manchin III, the Democrat from West Virginia who heads the Senate Energy Committee, announced Wednesday that he would vote to confirm Representative Deb Haaland of New Mexico as head of the Department of the Interior.

Mr Manchin’s vote could be crucial for Ms Haaland’s confirmation, as Republicans stepped up attacks on the former environmental activist this week, signaling that the vote to confirm her could go back to party lines.

If confirmed, Ms Haaland would go down in history as the first Native American to head an agency within the firm. She would also play a central role in advancing President Biden’s climate change agenda, as the head of an agency that oversees more than 500 million acres of public land, including national parks, sites of oil and gas drilling and habitat for endangered species. And she would be accused of enacting one of Mr. Biden’s most controversial proposals: a ban on future leases to perform hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for oil and gas on public lands.

But his appointment has come under fire as Republicans have expressed concerns over his history of pushing the shutdown of fossil fuel drilling and pipelines – positions that go beyond those of Mr Biden.

The Republican National Committee sent an email on Tuesday urging senators to vote against Ms Haaland, writing: “In appointing Haaland, Biden is embracing far-left special interest groups who don’t care about the jobs they destroy, do not know the real impacts. their policies, and have no answer on when they can get Americans back to work. “

If Republicans unite against Ms Haaland, she will need the support of all Democrats in the equally divided Senate, which would allow Vice President Kamala Harris to vote in a split between parties. So far, the vote of Mr Manchin, who heads the Senate energy panel but has often voted with Republicans on energy policy issues, has remained uncertain. Mr Manchin, whose home state of West Virginia relies heavily on coal mining, has expressed concern over Mr Biden’s plans to limit exploration for fossil fuels.

Mr Manchin’s announcement of his intention to vote for Ms Haaland also underlines the crucial role he will play in the success or failure of the president’s legislative agenda. (He has previously said he would vote against another of Mr Biden’s candidates, Neera Tanden, who has been appointed to head the Bureau of Management and Budget, casting doubt on his prospects for confirmation.)

In a statement, Mr Manchin said: “Given the political divisions our country currently faces, I believe that every presidential candidate and every member of Congress must embark on a new era of bipartisanship. It is the standard that the overwhelming majority of Americans expect and deserve. “

Regarding Ms. Haaland, he added, “although we do not agree on all issues, she reaffirmed her strong commitment to bipartisanship, responding to the diverse needs of our country and maintaining the energy independence of our nation.

Appearing before the Senate Energy Committee on Wednesday for her second day of confirmation hearings, Ms Haaland faced stiff criticism from Republicans in the oil state, who made it clear they would not support her not.

Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, the Energy Panel’s ranking Republican, highlighted remarks Ms. Haaland made in 2018 as she campaigned to phase out oil and gas production in New Mexico, and a proposed to legalize and tax cannabis as a way to compensate for lost state revenue.

“Is the sale of marijuana part of what the Biden administration calls the ‘best choices’ the Biden administration has promised to give to displaced oil and gas workers?” Asked Mr. Barrasso. He added: “Your preference is to turn to drugs – this is what you recommended to voters – at a time when we know unemployment is high and energy workers are losing their jobs.”

Ms Haaland responded that the proposal was to signal that she wanted to “diversify the sources of income for education,” and added, “I don’t know what President Biden’s position is on marijuana.”

Ms. Haaland has repeatedly told senators that, in her role as head of a federal agency, she would carry out the president’s agenda, rather than asserting her personal views.

“If I am confirmed as secretary, it is a very different role than that of an MP representing a small district in my state,” she said. “So I understand that role: it’s to serve all Americans, not just my one district in New Mexico.

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North Carolina Republicans censor Richard Burr for impeachment vote

The North Carolina Republican Party voted unanimously on Monday to censor Senator Richard M. Burr for voting to convict former President Donald J. Trump in his second impeachment trial.

The reprimand was the latest fallout for the seven Republicans who sided with the Democrats in an unsuccessful effort to convict Mr. Trump of inciting an insurgency on January 6, when a crowd of Trump supporters went wild. in the Capitol.

The vote for Mr Burr, 65, who will retire after three Senate terms, came as a surprise after he voted earlier against continuing the impeachment trial over a Republican challenge that the Senate had failed no jurisdiction to judge a former president. .

The North Carolina Republican Party said in a statement Monday that the decision to censor Mr. Burr was made by its central committee.

The party “agrees with the strong majority of Republicans in the US House of Representatives and Senate that the Democrat-led attempt to impeach a former president is outside the US Constitution. », Indicates the press release.

Mr Burr issued a brief statement in response saying it was a “really sad day” for Republicans in his state.

“The leaders of my party chose loyalty to one man over the fundamentals of the Republican Party and the founders of our great nation,” he said.

Mr Trump was acquitted on Saturday by a vote of 57 guilty to 43 not guilty who did not meet the two-thirds threshold for conviction. The result was no surprise as only six Republicans had joined with Democrats in clearing the way for the case to be heard by narrowly dismissing a constitutional objection.

Of the seven Republican senators who voted to convict, Mr Burr is not the only one to be reprimanded. The Louisiana Republican Party, for example, said after the impeachment vote it was “deeply disappointed” by the guilty vote of its home Senator Bill Cassidy.

Of the seven, only Mr. Burr and Sen. Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, who is also retiring, will no longer face voters. Mr. Toomey has been berated by several county-level Republican officials in his state in recent days.

Neither senator particularly criticized Mr. Trump while in office.

In 2019, Mr. Burr, then chairman of the Intelligence Committee, subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr.’s testimony as part of his work leading the only bipartisan congressional investigation into Russian election interference. The former president’s son responded by launching a political war against Mr Burr, putting him and the Intelligence Commission on their heels.

On the day of the vote in the impeachment trial, Mr Burr set out the reasons for his guilty vote, saying that the president “bears responsibility” for the events of January 6.

“The evidence is compelling that President Trump is guilty of instigating an insurgency against a branch of the same government and that the charge rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors,” he said. “Therefore, I voted to condemn.”

North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley issued a statement the same day calling Mr Burr’s vote a condemnation “contradictory.”

“The Republicans of North Carolina sent Senator Burr to the United States Senate to uphold the Constitution and his vote today to convict in a lawsuit he said unconstitutional is shocking and disappointing,” Mr. Whatley.

Mr Burr’s impeachment vote has fueled speculation that Mr Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump will seek the seat of the North Carolina Senate that Mr Burr will leave after the 2022 election. Ms Trump, who is married to Eric Trump, grew up in the state, and launched out as a possible successor to Burr for months.

Ms Trump, 38, is a former personal trainer and television producer who grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina.A senior Republican official with knowledge of her plans said if the January 6 riot had soured Ms Trump’s desire to run for a position, she would. decide over the next few months to run as part of a coordinated Trump family return.

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Indictment briefing: a video and a vote

This is the impeachment bulletin, the Times newsletter on the impeachment inquiry. Sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox.

  • Three House impeachment officials – Reps Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Joe Neguse of Colorado and David Cicilline of Rhode Island – have made their case that the Senate has the power to conduct an impeachment trial against a former president .

  • They showed a long graphic video montage of the events of January 6. It included clips of President Donald Trump speaking to his supporters as well as footage of those supporters storming the Capitol, attacking police officers, breaking through doors with makeshift rams and rampaging through the building.

  • Mr Trump’s attorneys Bruce Castor and David Schoen argued that the Senate lacks the power to conduct an impeachment lawsuit against their client, focusing heavily on what they claimed was a lack of due process .

  • Senators voted 56 to 44 to proceed with the impeachment trial, rejecting the claim that it would be unconstitutional to prosecute a president who has already left office.

The strategy of House impeachment officials – an effort to force Senate Republicans to engage in the details of the actions of Mr. Trump and his supporters on January 6, rather than allowing them to dismiss the trial on procedural grounds – had been on full display since almost the time construction began at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

After a brief opening statement, the senior manager, Mr. Raskin, released a video. For over 13 minutes, it showed the Capitol riot in startling detail: a policeman crushed against a door, screaming in pain; lawmakers and journalists cover themselves in the chamber of the House; Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman leading the rioters away from the unsecured Senate floor. It also showed that Mr. Trump was saying to his supporters, “Go home. We love you. You are very special. “

Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri told reporters that it was “the longest time I have ever sat down and just watched direct footage of what was truly a horrible day.” (Mr. Blunt, a Republican, has always voted against continuing the trial.)

Before handing over to Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Mr. Raskin gave a deeply personal account of what happened to him and his family on January 6.

Mr Raskin said his daughter Tabitha and son-in-law, Hank, were at the Capitol that day – right after Mr Raskin buried his son, Tommy – because they wanted to be together in their grief. He also wanted to show his family “the peaceful transition of power in America”. Instead, Tabitha and Hank found themselves trapped in an office next to the house, hiding from the rioters.

When the family reunited, Mr Raskin said, fighting back tears, he apologized to Tabitha and promised her it wouldn’t be like that the next time she came to the Capitol.

“Daddy,” Tabitha replied, “I don’t want to come back.”

Impeachment officials have said it is both constitutional and common sense to argue that a president who commits an unjust offense should be protected because he is near the end of his term – an idea they called a “January exception” denigration. They cited the text of the Constitution, federalist documents, the political context in which the drafters set the impeachment process, and historical precedents such as the 1876 Senate trial of William Belknap, the United States Secretary of War. .

“What you experienced that day, what we experienced that day, what our country experienced that day, it is the framers’ worst nightmare that comes to life,” said Mr. Neguse. January 6. “Presidents cannot ignite the insurgency in their final weeks. then walk away as if nothing had happened, and yet this is the rule President Trump is asking you to adopt.

Mr. Trump’s defense began on an odd note, with one of his attorneys, Mr. Castor, giving a curvy defense of Mr. Trump in which he rarely referred to the former president or his behavior on the 6th. January. At times he seemed to advocate for Mr. Trump’s free speech rights and against a partisan cycle of impeachment.

The other defense attorney, Mr Schoen, gave a more forceful speech, accusing Democrats of trying to ‘disenfranchise’ supporters of Mr Trump and describing the trial as an unconstitutional human rights violation. a “simple citizen”.

“If these procedures continue, everyone will look bad,” he said. “Our great country, a model for everyone, will be much more divided and our position in the world will be severely shattered. Our sworn enemies who pray for our downfall every day will watch with joy.

Mr Schoen argued that the House violated Mr Trump’s due process by pursuing the impeachment so quickly, and that if the Senate continued with the trial, it would set a precedent under which any official could be indicted at any time after his departure. if congressional control changed hands – simultaneously suggesting that lawmakers impeached Mr. Trump too soon and too late.

After four hours of argument, senators voted on whether Mr. Trump was subject to the impeachment jurisdiction of the Senate. A simple majority was needed to move forward and it was easily assembled: 56 senators voted yes and 44 voted no.

Six Republicans – Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania – joined the 50 Democrats to authorize the trial.

Five of those Republicans voted in favor of the lawsuit last month. Mr. Cassidy’s vote came as a surprise, however. He later told reporters that he changed his vote from last month’s vote because he found the defense lawyers’ arguments surprisingly weak.

House impeachment officials “made a compelling case,” Mr. Cassidy said. “President Trump’s team was disorganized. They did all they could but to talk about the issue at hand.

“If I am an impartial juror and a “, He said,” as an impartial juror, I will vote for the team that did a good job. “

The impeachment briefing is also available as a newsletter. Sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox.

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Wyoming Republicans censor Liz Cheney for impeachment vote

The Wyoming Republican Party voted Saturday to censor Rep. Liz Cheney, the third Republican in the House, for her vote last month to impeach Donald J. Trump, making her the last lawmaker to be publicly berated for breaking with the former president.

“My vote to impeach was constrained by the oath I took to the Constitution,” Cheney said in a statement on Saturday. “The citizens of Wyoming know that this oath does not bend or yield to politics or partisanship.

The censorship, which is largely symbolic, came days after Ms. Cheney overcame an effort by Trump loyalists in the House to strip her of her leadership position after she voted to accuse Mr. Trump of “inciting to the insurrection ”for his role in exhorting a crowd that stormed the Capitol. The House Republican conference vote, 145 to 61, was a victory for Ms Cheney, who also retained the support of Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the chamber’s top Republican.

The bitter debate over Ms. Cheney underscored deep divisions within the Republican Party over Mr. Trump, and state-level Republicans across the country have censored prominent politicians who have criticized Mr. Trump. In Arizona, the party censored Governor Doug Ducey, former Senator Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, the widow of former Senator John McCain. In Nebraska, Senator Ben Sasse faces censorship from his state’s party, criticizing the party in a video Friday and denouncing what he called the “cult” of Mr. Trump’s organization.

Ms Cheney’s censure resolution also called on her to “quit immediately” and repay donations the party made to her 2020 campaign, according to a copy obtained by Forbes.