President Joe Biden hosted Democratic leaders within the Oval Workplace Friday as his administration presses Congress to cross his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid bundle.
Indicators of the continuing stress on the economic system from the pandemic had been evident within the newest employment report, which confirmed that employers added a meager 49,000 jobs in January.
Biden famous that the roles report indicated that simply 6,000 jobs had been created within the personal sector. “At that fee, it’s going to take 10 years earlier than we get to full unemployment,” he mentioned. “That’s not hyperbole. That’s a truth.”
“We’re going to be in a scenario the place it takes a protracted, very long time,” he instructed reporters.
The Oval Workplace assembly got here simply hours after the Senate set the stage for passage of the bundle, probably the tip of the month.
The Senate voted 51-50 alongside get together strains to approve a funds decision, paving the best way for Biden’s American Rescue Plan to change into regulation. Vice President Kamala Harris, in her position as president of the Senate, solid the tie-breaking vote.
After the assembly with Democrats, Biden will converse concerning the economic system and the necessity for the rescue bundle in an tackle from the White Home State Eating Room.
Biden isn’t budging from his demand for $1.9 trillion in COVID aid, arguing the bundle is required to assist People get well from the financial fallout of the pandemic. His proposal calls for one more spherical of direct $1,400 funds to hundreds of thousands of People, $130 billion to reopen the nation’s colleges, $350 billion in support to state and native governments, $160 billion for vaccine testing and gear, $50 billion for grants and loans to companies and elevating the federal minimal wage to $15 an hour.
Ten Senate Republicans are pushing a smaller $618 billion proposal that may scrap the help to state and native governments, cut back the stimulus checks from $1,400 to $1,000 and take away Biden’s proposal to spice up the minimal wage.
– Michael Collins and Ledyard King
The Senate early Friday morning set the stage for the passage – probably the tip of this month – of a $1.9 trillion COVID stimulus bundle that President Joe Biden is pushing.
The 51-50 vote to approve a funds decision, paving the best way for Biden’s American Rescue Plan to change into regulation, fell alongside get together strains with each Democrat in favor and each Republican opposed. Vice President Kamala Harris, in her position as president of the Senate, broke the tie at 5:23 a.m.
“Within the early hours of this morning, the Senate took a essential step in the direction of offering our well being care heroes, unemployed staff, small companies, colleges, state and native governments, and American households who’re making an attempt to make ends meet, the large and daring help they’ve been asking for,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ailing., mentioned in a press release following the vote.
The decision permits Democrats to make use of a course of referred to as “reconciliation,” which permits budget-related payments to pass a Senate filibuster. With out it, Democrats would wish no less than 60 votes – which might require no less than 10 Republicans – a tall order given the opposition from GOP lawmakers.
Republicans objected to the invoice on a number of grounds: It was too huge for a nation already coping with spiraling debt; it included a rise to the federal minimal wage that may kill jobs: and the help from earlier stimulus payments had but to be absolutely exhausted.
“We handed a $900 billion invoice in December and solely 20% of the cash that we appropriated is even out the door but,” Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn mentioned.
Committees within the Home and Senate will now begin engaged on a number of elements of Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which would supply $1,400 in direct funds to people, present $160 billion to distribute COVID checks and vaccines, and supply tons of of billions to cash-strapped state and native governments to remain afloat and open colleges.
– Ledyard King
Home removes Marjorie Taylor Greene from committees
The Democratic-led Home on Thursday voted largely alongside get together strains to take away Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her two committees following a charged ground debate rife with finger-pointing and threats of repercussions.
The vote was 230-199, with 11 Republicans becoming a member of each Democrat in stripping her from the Training & Labor Committee and the Finances Committee for a litany of incendiary, conspiratorial and menacing social media posts earlier than she was elected.
The ground debate in a chamber already riven division and distrust turned uncooked, as lawmakers took turns arguing not nearly Greene’s explicit conduct however what it mentioned about Home members who demanded – or objected to – her punishment.
Confronted with the lack of her committee assignments, Greene got here to the ground earlier Thursday to disavow a few of her earlier incendiary posts on social media in a last-ditch effort to keep away from punishment.
Although she expressed some remorse, Greene no means apologized throughout a speech on the Home ground.
— Ledyard King and Nicholas Wu
Trump says he will not testify at Senate impeachment trial
Former President Donald Trump mentioned Thursday he is not going to testify within the Senate impeachment trial, denying a request from Democratic prosecutors who need him to reply questions beneath oath.
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a former constitutional regulation professor main the Democrats’ case, wrote a letter to Trump saying his response to the article of impeachment earlier this week had “denied many factual allegations,” and subsequently Democrats requested he testify as early as subsequent Monday and no later than subsequent Thursday.
“If you happen to decline this invitation, we reserve any and all rights, together with the appropriate to ascertain at trial that your refusal to testify helps a robust opposed inference concerning your actions (and inaction) on January 6, 2021,” Raskin wrote, referring to the Capitol riots final month.
Impeachment trial:Trump says he will not testify, denying Democrats’ request
Trump’s attorneys responded to the request blasting it as a “public relations stunt.” In a letter to Raskin and Home prosecutors, Bruce Castor Jr. and David Schoen argued that needing testimony from the previous president exhibits Democrats “can not show your allegations towards the 45th President of the US, who’s now a non-public citizen.”
“The usage of our Structure to deliver a purported impeachment continuing is far too severe to attempt to play these video games,” the attorneys wrote.
Ali Pardo, a spokeswoman for Trump, clarified to USA TODAY the previous president had no intention of going beneath oath as a part of the trial.
— Nicholas Wu, Bart Jansen and Christal Hayes