Surprise Senate vote would overturn Biden environmental rule
In a surprise victory for Republicans, the Senate on Thursday voted to overturn a Biden administration rule requiring rigorous environmental review of major infrastructure projects such as highways, pipelines and oil wells — a victory enabled in part by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
A stunning fall for ex-Honduran president wanted in US
The arrest of former Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández and the images of a leader shackled and paraded before cameras like a common criminal are a stunning reversal for a man who for years seemed impervious to growing allegations of corruption.
Senate confirms big slate of Biden ambassadors to end 2021
The Senate has confirmed more than 30 ambassadors and other Biden administration nominees after Majority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed to schedule a vote on sanctions on the company behind the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany.
Texas Supreme Court says House Democrats can be arrested and brought to the Capitol, siding with Republicans trying to secure a quorum
In a bid to block a voting restrictions bill, House Democrats for weeks have denied the lower chamber the number of present members needed to pass legislation. House Speaker Dade Phelan has already signed dozens of civil arrest warrants.
Climate activists hail Dem budget spending on clean energy
Environmental groups hailed a sweeping $3.5 trillion domestic spending plan announced by Democrats, saying it would make “transformational investments” in clean energy and put the nation on a path to cut greenhouse emissions by at least 50% by 2030.
Senators to Biden: Waive vaccine intellectual property rules
Ten liberal senators are urging President Joe Biden to back India and South Africa’s appeal to the World Trade Organization to temporarily relax intellectual property rules so coronavirus vaccines can be manufactured by nations that are struggling to inoculate their populations.
Honduras leader warns drug cooperation with US endangered
FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2019 file photo, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez speaks to the reporters as he leaves a meeting at the Organization of American States, in Washington. Newly proposed U.S. legislation introduced Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, targets Orlando Hernandez as allegations of ties to drug trafficking grow. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)TEGUCIGALPÁ – TEGUCIGALPÁHonduran President Juan Orlando Hernández says that antinarcotics cooperation with the United States could “collapse” if U.S. authorities believe “false testimony” accusing him of cooperating with traffickers. Earlier this month, U.S. prosecutors filed documents in an upcoming trial suggesting the president himself was under investigation. One of his numerous brothers, Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernández, was convicted in New York of a drug conspiracy in 2019.
Honduras leader warns drug cooperation with US endangered
FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2019 file photo, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez speaks to the reporters as he leaves a meeting at the Organization of American States, in Washington. Newly proposed U.S. legislation introduced Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, targets Orlando Hernandez as allegations of ties to drug trafficking grow. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)TEGUCIGALPÁ – TEGUCIGALPÁHonduran President Juan Orlando Hernández warned Wednesday that antinarcotics cooperation with the United States could “collapse” if U.S. authorities believe “false testimony” in U.S. courts accusing him of cooperating with traffickers. He suggested that traffickers were trying to manipulate U.S. authorities into helping them take vengeance on the Honduran officials pursuing them. One of his numerous brothers, Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernández, was convicted in New York of a drug conspiracy in 2019.
Proposed US legislation would target Honduras president
FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2019 file photo, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez speaks to the reporters as he leaves a meeting at the Organization of American States, in Washington. Newly proposed U.S. legislation introduced Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, targets Orlando Hernandez as allegations of ties to drug trafficking grow. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)MEXICO CITY – Newly proposed U.S. legislation targets Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández as allegations of ties to drug trafficking grow. As the administration of President Joe Biden seeks to return the issues of corruption and human rights to relations with Honduras and other Central American countries, a group of Democratic senators says the U.S. government’s relationship with Honduras must change. Under the administration of President Donald Trump, immigration overshadowed everything else in the relationship.
Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez seek 'climate emergency' declaration
“If there ever was an emergency, climate is one,'' the New York Democrat told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow last week, adding that an emergency declaration would give Biden “more flexibility.'' The sweeping plan is aimed at staving off the worst of global warming caused by burning fossil fuels. Sanders said the climate emergency has long been clear. But Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate energy panel, said declaring a climate emergency would effectively “muzzle Congress.'' AdBesides Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, the climate bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Democratic Sens.
The day my 'second home,' the Capitol, was overtaken by mob
This was a big day, especially for the House and Senate leadership lane, one of my specialties. Smith Goes to Washington” you've seen my work area since a press gallery scene from the movie was filmed there more than 70 years ago. (The Senate chamber, however, was a soundstage). The mob was out of the building by then and, strangely, it almost seemed boring, waiting for the Capitol to be declared safe. The Daily Press Gallery where I work had not been breached.
Biden win confirmed after pro-Trump mob storms US Capitol
Violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol Wednesday, disrupting the process. One Republican lawmaker publicly called for invoking the 25th Amendment to force Trump from office before Biden is inaugurated. The support Trump has received for his efforts to overturn the election results have badly strained the nation’s democratic guardrails. Some House lawmakers tweeted they were sheltering in place in their offices. The Pentagon said about 1,100 District of Columbia National Guard members were being mobilized to help support law enforcement at the Capitol.
US lawmakers unveil anti-slavery constitutional amendment
FILE - This Nov. 29, 2011, file photo shows the signature of president Abraham Lincoln on a rare, restored copy of the 13th Amendment that ended slavery, in Chicago. As ratified, the original amendment has permitted exploitation of labor by convicted felons for over 155 years since the abolition of slavery. Constitutional amendments are rare and require approval by two-thirds of the House and Senate, as well as ratification by three-quarters of state legislatures. In Merkley’s Oregon, voters in 2002 approved the elimination of constitutional language that prohibited Black Americans from living in the state unless they were enslaved. The prevalence of prison labor has been largely accepted as a means for promoting rehabilitation, teaching trade skills and reducing idleness among prisoners.
Portland police declare unlawful assembly during protest
(AP Photo/Noah Berger)The Portland Police Bureau declared an unlawful assembly Saturday night when people gathered outside a police precinct in Oregon's largest city and threw bottles toward officers, police said. Speakers included activists as well as Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. For the first time since the presence of federal agents in Portland diminished law enforcement and protesters noticeably clashed Saturday night. Just before 10 p.m., Portland police declared an unlawful assembly and told people to disperse or they may be subject to use of force or be arrested. In early July, President Donald Trump sent more federal agents to the city to protect the federal courthouse, but local officials said their presence made things worse.
Joe Biden has a long to-do list if he wins the White House
At a time of unprecedented gridlock, even some fellow Democrats warn Biden's lengthy to-do list faces long odds in Congress. If Democrats win the White House, they would need to pick up three seats in the Senate to retake the majority. As a 36-year veteran of the Senate, Biden has been reluctant to end its traditions. More fundamentally, Biden would face resistance from most Republicans and some Democrats because of the steep cost of his proposals. The one thing I know about Joe Biden, hes always been willing to sit down and negotiate, Manchin said.
2 standoffs in Oregon show differing views of US response
State leaders are imploring federal forces to leave the progressive city, saying they're escalating a volatile situation. Parker was charged with pointing a semi-automatic rifle at armed federal agents but ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Kate Brown has compared the presence of federal agents at the Portland protests to pouring gasoline on a fire. The idea that now federal agents are storm-troopers of death I find quite hypocritical." They surrendered as federal agents moved in Feb. 10.
Congress defies Trump veto threat on Confederate base names
WASHINGTON The Senate on Thursday joined the House in defying a veto threat from President Donald Trump to approve defense legislation that would remove the names of Confederate officers from American military bases such as Fort Bragg and Fort Benning. The Senate approved the annual policy measure, 86-14, a margin that suggests more than enough support to override a potential Trump veto. The White House said in a statement this week that it supports the overall spending figure but expressed serious concerns about the House bill, including the mandate on base renaming. President Trump is deploying dangerous authoritarian tactics on our streets as a twisted campaign strategy,'' Merkley said in a statement explaining his vote against the defense bill. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., called Merkley's proposal nothing more than "political messaging ... designed to exploit violence in the streets for political gain and defeat President Trump.''
Protesters hit with gas as locals demand feds leave Portland
Federal officers deployed tear gas and fired less-lethal rounds into a crowd of protesters late Thursday. The actions came just hours after the head of the Department of Homeland Security called the protesters violent anarchists. Federal agents, some wearing camouflage and some wearing dark Homeland Security uniforms, used tear gas at least twice to break up crowds late Friday night, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said Friday night she was also suing Homeland Security and the Marshals Service. Federal officers deployed tear gas again just before midnight after a few protesters placed dismantled fencing in front of plywood doors covering the entrance of the federal courthouse.