Over at Neera Tanden’s confirmation hearing, Senate Republicans are citing some of the liberal think tank leader’s tweets to raise questions about her qualifications to helm the office of management and budget.
Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma noted Tanden has previously tweeted that Republicans are “criminally ignorant,” “corrupt” and “the worst”.
The recitation of Tanden’s tweets struck some reporters as hypocritical, given that Republican lawmakers frequently claimed not to have seen Donald Trump’s controversial tweet of the day during his presidency.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper also noted that Trump himself sent some rather insulting tweets about fellow Republicans:
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer is holding a press conference, about two hours before the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump is set to begin.
“The Senate has a solemn responsibility to try and hold Donald Trump accountable for the most serious charges ever levied against a president,” Schumer said. “When you have such a serious charge, sweeping it under the rug will not bring unity.”
The Democratic leader noted that the House impeachment managers would present new evidence in favor of Trump’s conviction for incitement of insurrection.
“The evidence will be powerful. The evidence, some of it, will be new,” Schumer said, urging senators to “approach the trial with the gravity it deserves”.
Schumer also emphasized that the trial would not prevent congressional Democrats from moving forward with Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief pacakge.
“To the pundits who said we can’t do both at once, we say you are wrong. We can and we are,” Schumer said.
The White House has announced that Joe Biden will travel to Wisconsin next Tuesday, marking one of his first official trips since becoming president last month.
The White House did not provide any additional details about the trip.
This will mark the president’s first visit to Wisconsin since late October, when Biden held a rally in the battleground state days before the November election.
The Wisconsin visit will also be Biden’s first domestic trip since taking office, with the exception of his weekend spent in his home state of Delaware.
Neera Tanden, Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the office of management and budget, is testifying at the first of two confirmation hearings this morning.
Tanden, who has served as president of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress since 2011, has been criticized by Republican lawmakers for her past tweets attacking them.
“I know there have been some concerns about some of my past language on social media,” Tanden told the Senate homeland security and governmental affairs committee. “I regret that language and take responsibility for it.”
But those comments did not seem to persuade Rob Portman, the top Republican on the panel. Portman opened his comments by criticizing “the tone, content and aggressive partisanship” of Tanden’s social media posts, arguing they could make it hard for serve as OMB director.
Tanden’s nomination is unlikely to attract much Republican support, but with Democrats in control of the Senate, she is still likely to win confirmation.
As Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial gets underway, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will hold a meeting on the coronavirus relief package at the White House.
The president and the vice-president will be joined by treasury secretary Janet Yellen and several business leaders.
Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, and Tom Donohue, the CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce, will be in attendance, as well as the CEOs of Walmart, Gap and Lowe’s.
The meeting comes as Democrats debate whether to attempt to include a $15 minimum wage hike in the coronavirus relief bill. Bernie Sanders, the new chairman of the Senate budget committee, has pushed for incorporating the minimum wage proposal into the relief legislation.
But some Democratic leaders, including Biden, have signaled that they don’t believe a minimum wage increase will meet the requirements of reconciliation to be included in the relief package. The Senate parliamentarian is expected to issue a ruling on the matter.
The prosecution is expected to brandish dramatic footage of the violence at the Capitol on 6 January. The trial is set to strike a sharp contrast of tone with Donald Trump’s first trial in early 2020, at which prosecutors used documents, emails and testimony to tell a complicated story about a Trump pressure campaign in Ukraine.
This time the alleged crime scene is much closer to home – in the very chamber where the trial will play out, which was invaded by Trump supporters moments after members of Congress and staff had been evacuated.
With a majority of Americans expressing horror and outrage at the attack on the Capitol, the allegations against Trump could land much more powerfully with the public than did the story of his seeking political favors from Ukraine in return for official acts.
The impeachment trial will begin with a vote on whether the proceedings are constitutional, given that Donald Trump has already left office.
The former president and his allies, including some Republican senators, have argued the Senate does not have jurisdiction to convict Trump because he is no longer president and thus cannot be removed from office.
Trump’s lawyers wrote in a legal brief filed yesterday, “[T]he Senate is being asked to do something patently ridiculous: try a private citizen in a process that is designed to remove him from an office that he no longer holds.”
But the House impeachment managers have pushed back against this argument, saying the Constitution does not provide any “January Exception” for lame-duck presidents who commit impeachable offenses.
It’s also worth noting that a conviction could prevent Trump from seeking federal office again, so this is not simply a mater of removing someone from office.
The vote on the constitutionality of the trial will be a repeat of an earlier vote in the Senate. When senators voted on the issue late last month, 45 Republican senators supported dismissing the trial.
This is Joan Greve in Washington, taking over for Martin Belam.
The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump begins today, as the Senate prepares to decide whether the former president should be convicted for incitement of insurrection.
The House approved the article of impeachment against Trump last month, just days after a violent mob stormed the Capitol, resulting in five deaths.
Seventeen Senate Republicans would have to vote with Democrats in order to convict Trump, and that seems unlikely to happen.
But it is possible that a handful of Senate Republicans will vote to convict the former president, which would represent a rather stark contrast from Trump’s first impeachment trial, when Mitt Romney was the only Republican senator to support conviction.
The trial is set to start in about four hours, so stay tuned for more updates and analysis as we prepare for the proceedings.
Tucked inside Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan is a seemingly radical notion that children should not grow up in poverty, says Josh Boak at the Associated Press.
Congressional Democrats are now sketching out that vision more fully by proposing to temporarily raise the child tax credit, now at a maximum of $2,000, to as much as $3,600 per child annually. Their plan would also make the credit fully available to the poorest families, instead of restricting it based on the parents’ tax liability.
“The Democratic plan would likely mark the most significant step in the fight against child poverty since LBJ’s Great Society,” said Daniel Hemel, a law professor at the University of Chicago, who noted that a family with two school-age children and no income would get $6,000 under the proposal.
Biden has pitched his rescue plan as an immediate response to the pandemic, but the child tax credit expansion might end up seeding the kind of lasting change that tends to bring a political fight. Some conservatives say the plan would discourage parents from working and would not reduce poverty as a result. But liberals view it as an investment in children that needs to stay in place to ultimately improve people’s lives and the economy.
In a Friday speech about his full Covid-19 relief proposal, Biden said the spending would ultimately lead to durable economic gains. His plan includes funding for school reopenings, child care and other programs to help the youngest Americans.
“The simple truth is, if we make these investments now, with interest rates at historic lows, we’ll generate more growth, higher incomes, a stronger economy and our nation’s finances will be in a stronger position as well,” Biden said.
“This is a really bold idea,” said C. Nicole Mason, CEO of the liberal Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “Things that we wouldn’t have been talking about as possible a year before the pandemic are suddenly on the table — and this is one of those things.”
Supporters of the package also see a return to grappling with big ideas about poverty that has not occurred for decades. The child tax credit is possibly the start of a larger transformation in how the government addresses child poverty.
“A one-year improvement is great, and it puts the architecture in place,” said Michelle Dallafior, senior vice president for the advocacy group First Focus on Children. “But we need to keep doing more and build something permanent. … No child should live in poverty.”
In her speech to the House last week while trying to avoid being thrown off her committee assignments, Marjorie Taylor Greene said that she “was allowed to believe things that weren’t true”. She appears to be at that same game again this morning, as Politico reporter Kyle Cheney has just pointed out about her latest tweetstorm.
Perhaps it would be helpful for Taylor Greene to read this piece put together this morning for Newsweek by Ewan Palmer, which claims to list every capitol rioter who has said that Donald Trump incited them. For example, Texas-based real estate agent Jennifer Ryan:
“I just want people to know I’m a normal person, that I listen to my president who told me to go to the Capitol,” Ryan told a Dallas news station KTVT.
On 6 January , Ryan posted a video on her Facebook stating, “We’re gonna go down and storm the capitol.” She later posted a photo of herself in front of a broken window at the Capitol building on Twitter with the caption: “Window at the capital [sic]. And if the news doesn’t stop lying about us we’re going to come after their studios next.”