Biden's realism approach runs head-on into liberal pressure
When it comes to the thorniest issues confronting his administration, the instinct from Biden and his White House is to often speak about what he can’t do, citing constraints imposed by the courts or insufficient support in a Congress that is controlled by his own party.
EXPLAINER: Why Georgia attack spurs fears in Asian Americans
Asian American lawmakers have expressed heartbreak on social media and emphasized the need to support Asian American communities during this moment. AdMany lawmakers acknowledged a heightened sense of fear among Asian Americans as a result of the increasing number of hate incidents. “Please stand up, condemn this violence, and help us #StopAsianHate.”HOW PREVALENT HAVE ASSAULTS AGAINST ASIAN AMERICANS BEEN? Recent attacks, including the killing of an 84-year-old San Francisco man in February, have raised concerns about worsening hostilities toward Asian Americans. This racist association between Asian Americans and illness and uncleanliness has also affected views of Asian food and contributes to the “perpetual foreigner” trope that suggests Asian people are fundamentally outsiders.
Interior nominee Haaland questioned on drilling, pipelines
If confirmed, Haaland, 60, would be the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency. The Interior Department has broad oversight over nearly 600 federally recognized tribes as well as energy development and other uses for the nation’s sprawling federal lands. AdIf confirmed as Interior secretary, "you will get to have it your way,'' Daines told Haaland. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said the GOP questions over oil drilling and pipelines revealed a partisan divide in the committee. Her mother is a Navy veteran and worked for a quarter-century at the Bureau of Indian Education, an Interior Department agency.
Interior nominee Haaland vows 'balance' on energy, climate
Native Americans have reason to believe the two-term U.S. congresswoman will push forward on long-simmering issues in Indian Country if she's confirmed as secretary of the Interior Department. Deb Haaland, a New Mexico congresswoman named to lead the Interior Department, said she is committed to “strike the right balance” as the agency manages energy development and seeks to restore and protect the nation's sprawling federal lands. Haaland's remarks are intended to rebut criticism from some Republicans who have complained that her opposition to drilling on federal lands will cost thousands of jobs and harm economies throughout the West. The Interior Department has broad oversight of tribal affairs and energy development. Her mother is a Navy veteran and worked for a quarter-century at the Bureau of Indian Education, an Interior Department agency.
Census numbers won't be released before change in power
Those numbers likely aren't going to be ready until early March as the Census Bureau works to fix data irregularities, Department of Justice attorneys said earlier this week. As part of the agreement, the Trump administration attorneys said the Census Bureau would not be releasing figures related to two directives from Trump before the change in administrations. The Trump administration would not be releasing the numbers used for apportioning congressional seats among the states before the change in administrations, as part of the agreement. Several Democratic lawmakers in Congress have followed suit in the past two days, saying Dillingham has allowed the Trump administration to politicize the 2020 census. The Census Bureau did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In historic pick, Biden taps Haaland as interior secretary
FILE - In this March 5, 2020, file photo Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., Native American Caucus co-chair, speaks to reporters about the 2020 Census on Capitol Hill in Washington. President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate Haaland as interior secretary. The historic pick would make her the first Native American to lead the powerful federal agency that has wielded influence over the nation's tribes for generations. Scott Applewhite, File)President-elect Joe Biden selected New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland as his nominee for interior secretary on Thursday, a historic pick that would make her the first Native American to lead the powerful federal agency that has wielded influence over the nation's tribes for generations. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made it clear Wednesday that Biden had her blessing to choose Haaland, saying she would make an “excellent choice” as interior secretary.
Biden's challenge: Building Cabinet that meets all his goals
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)WASHINGTON – Shortly after President-elect Joe Biden’s victory last month, Cabinet hopeful Marcia Fudge pointedly noted that Black people are often typecast into positions such as housing secretary. He’s pledged to nominate the most diverse Cabinet in history and restore experience at beleaguered federal agencies. The GOP has barely acknowledged Biden's victory so the cooperation of its senators in the confirmation process is far from certain. “That’s why we are worried.”One prominent feature of Biden’s picks so far: deep ties to the Obama administration. Brent Colburn, a former Obama administration official who served in several agencies, encouraged Democrats to consider the bigger picture as they judge Biden's Cabinet.
AP sources: Biden to pick Katherine Tai as top trade envoy
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden is set to nominate Katherine Tai to be the top U.S. trade envoy, according to two people familiar with his plans. Biden's selection of Tai, who is Asian American, reflects his promise to choose a diverse Cabinet that reflects the makeup of the country. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Tai earlier oversaw China trade enforcement for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, setting U.S. strategy in trade disputes with China. Biden’s trade representative will inherit a trade war with China, put on pause by an interim trade pact in January that left many of the hardest issues unresolved and U.S. taxes remaining on $360 billion in Chinese imports. As the top trade staffer at Ways and Means, Tai handled negotiations last year with the Trump administration over a revamped North American trade deal.
Biden calls for action on virus as he introduces health team
President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, to announce his health care team. – President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday called for urgent action on the coronavirus pandemic as he introduced a health care team that will be tested at every turn while striving to restore the nation to normalcy. But Becerra, 62, will face questions in his Senate confirmation about whether he possesses sufficient health care and management experience. Accepting his nomination via video link, Becerra called it a “breathtaking opportunity” to help shape the future of health care. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas argued that Becerra was unqualified because he lacked ties to the health care or pharmaceutical industries.
The Latest: Trump questions Pa. speaker on electoral votes
WASHINGTON – The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local):9:15 p.m.President Donald Trump is continuing his futile appeal to battleground state lawmakers to subvert the votes of their constituents. A person briefed on the matter said Trump pressed for the state’s legislature to replace the electors for President-elect Joe Biden with those loyal to Trump. Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., said Monday the group was specifically asking Biden’s team to elevate the nomination of Vivek Murthy for Surgeon General to a Cabinet-level position. He also tapped former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to serve in that post again. __9 a.m.President-elect Joe Biden is naming some of his most prominent allies to be the co-chairs for his upcoming inauguration.
'Something very historical': Push for diverse Biden Cabinet
African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans and other people of color played a crucial role in helping Biden defeat President Donald Trump. "It's nice to know that a Native American is under consideration," said Haaland, who says she is concentrating on her congressional work. A record six Native American or Native Hawaiian lawmakers were elected to Congress. Tribal officials concur there has never been a Native American as head of interior. The department's websites cite six Native American heads of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which was transferred to the Interior Department from the War Department in 1849.
Democrats prepare police reform bills after Floyd's death
Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California, both former presidential candidates, are expected to announce a package in coming days, with a House bill coming soon. Both the Senate and House efforts are expected to include changes to police accountability laws, such as revising immunity provisions, and creating a database of police use-of-force incidents. We have a moral moment in our country, Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., the chairwoman of the CBC, said on a conference call Wednesday. With Democrats in the majority, the bills will almost certainly pass the House. She acknowledged the opposition the bills will likely face, but called on fellow lawmakers to consider the option of doing nothing.