Opposition from GOP senator threatens Biden judicial pick
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson's opposition to President Joe Biden's judicial nominee in Wisconsin has surprised Democrats and is providing the latest test to the Senate tradition of letting home state senators block district court judges from advancing.
Lawsuit: NRA illegally funded Trump, other GOP candidates
A federal lawsuit accuses the National Rifle Association of violating campaign finance laws by using shell companies to illegally funnel up to $35 million to Republican candidates, including former President Donald Trump, Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri and others.
Jan. 6 commission stalls, for now, amid partisan dissension
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pushed for the commission, which would be modeled after the panel that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. “The problem is the scope,” Pelosi said Wednesday. But Republicans swiftly decried the broad latitude that the commission would have to investigate the causes of the insurrection. Senate Republicans cast doubt that there was enough support for the commission. 2 Republican, said he doesn’t think the commission will happen if the legislation isn’t changed.
Critics call Sen. Ron Johnson's insurrection comments racist
The insurrection also caused widespread damage and led to National Guard troops being called in to restore order. Johnson's comments sparked outrage among Wisconsin Democrats, including state Sen. LaTonya Johnson, of Milwaukee. “For him to say something as racist as that — it’s ridiculous,” said the state senator, who is Black. Ad“Ron Johnson is a racist and is unfit to serve the people of Wisconsin. Tom Nelson, the Outagamie County executive who is also seeking the Democratic nomination, said Johnson has reached “a new despicable low” with his comments.
Congress OKs $1.9T virus relief bill in win for Biden, Dems
“Help is here,” Biden tweeted moments after the roll call, which ended with applause from Democratic lawmakers. AdThe measure addresses Democrats’ campaign promises and Biden’s top initial priority of easing a one-two punch that first hit the country a year ago. According to a CNN poll released Wednesday, the relief bill is backed by 61% of Americans, including nearly all Democrats, 58% of independents and 26% of Republicans. Democrats control the Senate, split 50-50, only because Vice President Kamala Harris gives them the winning vote in tied roll calls. On the relief bill, progressives had to swallow big concessions to solidify moderate support.
Wave of retirements signals battles ahead for Republicans
But officials in both parties agree that the surge of GOP departures will make the Republicans' challenge more difficult in the Senate. Several Missouri Republicans are expected to seek the nomination to replace Blunt, but none will be more divisive than former Gov. Ahead of Greitens' announcement, some Republicans worried that he could jeopardize the Senate seat if he emerges as the party's nominee. The former president won by the same margin in Iowa, where 87-year-old Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley is considering retirement. AdMeanwhile, Blunt predicted political success for Republicans in Missouri and beyond during a Monday news conference.
Fighting Biden virus aid, GOP rekindles Obama-era strategy
Americans are experiencing flickers of optimism at the one-year anniversary of the deadly outbreak as more people are vaccinated. But new strains of the virus and a still shaky economy could unleash another devastating cycle of infections, lockdowns and deaths. Biden and Democrats warn that now is not the time to let up on aid, and that it's better to risk doing too much than too little. McConnell expressed similar optimism last spring when he hit “pause” on new spending after approval of the initial round of aid. GOP Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana said by the time they're done they hope to turn public opinion around.
Biden, Dems prevail as Senate OKs $1.9T virus relief bill
In this image from video, the vote total of 50-49 on Senate passage of the COVID-19 relief bill, is displayed on screen in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, March 6, 2021. Ad“This nation has suffered too much for much too long,” Biden told reporters at the White House after the vote. He said Democrats' “top priority wasn't pandemic relief. The House relief bill, largely similar to the Senate's, provided $400 weekly benefits through August. That amount would be gradually reduced until, under the Senate bill, it reaches zero for people earning $80,000 and couples making $160,000.
Fighting Biden virus aid, GOP rekindles Obama-era strategy
AdIt’s a tested strategy but comes at an uncertain, volatile time for the nation. Americans are experiencing flickers of optimism at the one-year anniversary of the deadly outbreak as more people are vaccinated. But new strains of the virus and a still shaky economy could unleash another devastating cycle of infections, lockdowns and deaths. Biden and the Democrats backing him warn that now is not the time to let up on aid — better to risk doing too much, than too little. GOP Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana said by the time they're done they hope to turn public opinion around.
Senate Dems strike jobless aid deal, relief bill OK in sight
Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON – Senate leaders and moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin struck a deal late Friday over emergency jobless benefits, breaking a logjam that had stalled the party's showpiece $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. AdMore significantly, the jobless benefits agreement suggested it was just a matter of time until the Senate passes the bill. The House approved a relief bill last weekend that included $400 weekly jobless benefits — on top of regular state payments — through August. Republicans criticized the overall relief bill as a liberal spend-fest that ignores that growing numbers of vaccinations and signs of a stirring economy suggest that the twin crises are easing. AdIn another late bargain that satisfied moderates, Biden and Senate Democrats agreed Wednesday to make some higher earners ineligible for the direct checks to individuals.
Takeaways from Congress' first hearing on Capitol riot
Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund appears before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs & Senate Rules and Administration joint hearing on Capitol Hill, Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, to examine the January 6th attack on the Capitol. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)WASHINGTON – Security officials testifying at Congress' first hearing on the deadly siege of the Capitol cast blame and pointed fingers on Tuesday but also acknowledged they were woefully unprepared for the violence. The security officials lost their jobs, and Trump was impeached by the House on a charge of inciting the insurrection, the deadliest attack on Congress in 200 years. But then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund testified that he only learned about it the day before Tuesday's hearing. But in closing, Klobuchar restated the testimony: “There was clear agreement this was a planned insurrection.”ONE OFFICER'S PERSONAL STORYThe hearing opened with Capitol Police Capt.
GOP source: Priebus mulling run for Wisconsin governor
Priebus would only consider running for Senate if incumbent Republican Ron Johnson did not seek a third term, the strategist said. Some began reaching out to Priebus after conservative talk radio host Jay Weber floated Priebus' name, the strategist said. Priebus served as Trump's chief of staff for the first six months of Trump's term in 2017 before being fired. Priebus last voted in Wisconsin in the 2016 presidential election, when Trump narrowly won the state. AdPriebus, a native of Kenosha, was head of the Wisconsin Republican Party between 2007 and 2009 before spending the next six years as chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry announces Senate run
FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2020 file photo, Milwaukee Bucks senior vice president Alex Lasry, left, and then-Bucks guard George Hill walk through a Milwaukee neighborhood during a voter canvassing effort. Democrat Alex Lasry, a Bucks executive and son of a billionaire, announced Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, that he's running for the U.S. Senate in 2022 for the seat currently held by Republican Ron Johnson. (AP Photo/Steve Megargee File)MADISON, Wis. – Democrat Alex Lasry, a 33-year-old Milwaukee Bucks executive and son of a billionaire, announced Wednesday that he's running for the U.S. Senate in 2022 for the seat held by Republican Ron Johnson. Lasry launched his campaign with a YouTube video that included endorsements from several prominent Milwaukee politicians, including Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley and Milwaukee Common Council President Cavalier Johnson. ___This story has been corrected by removing a reference to Alex Lasry being a hedge fund manager.
Biden White House seeks to turn page on Trump
President Joe Biden pauses to speak with reporters as he walks to Marine One for departure from the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)WASHINGTON – The end of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial opens a new chapter for his successor in the White House. Whether the seven GOP votes against Trump offered Biden any new hope for bipartisan cooperation within Congress remained an open question. Democrats have a decision to make in how to deal with Trump going forward. “I don’t think Donald Trump is going to disappear from anyone’s lips any day soon, and that’s because Donald Trump will always seek to find ways to inject himself and serve himself,” she said.
Trial highlights: Acquittal, anger and a curve ball
“The failure to convict Donald Trump will live as a vote of infamy," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat. Months before the election, Trump repeated ad nauseam a false claim that he could only lose through widespread voter fraud. "Kevin, they’re not my people,” Trump told McCarthy, she said. ___IRATE ATTORNEYMichael van der Veen, Trump's primary defense attorney, was visibly agitated. “I don’t know why you are laughing,” van der Veer said with scorn.
Trial highlights: Harrowing footage, focus on Trump’s words
NEW SURVEILLANCE FOOTAGETo reconstruct the siege for senators, Democrats aired never-before-seen security footage from inside the Capitol that showed the attack unfolding. “Vice President Pence had the courage to stand against the president, tell the American public the truth and uphold our Constitution. Many Republicans had been appalled by Trump's treatment of his most loyal soldier during his final days in office. AdREPUBLICANS HOLD FIRMThere appears little chance enough Republicans will break with Democrats to convict Trump at the end of the trial. The video evidence was “nothing new here, for me, at the end of the day,” said Hawley, who maintains the trial is unconstitutional.
Trial highlights: Harrowing footage, focus on Trump's words
NEW SURVEILLANCE FOOTAGETo reconstruct the siege for senators, Democrats aired never-before-seen security footage from inside the Capitol that showed the attack unfolding. Ad“Vice President Pence had the courage to stand against the president, tell the American public the truth and uphold our Constitution. Many Republicans had been appalled by Trump's treatment of his most loyal soldier during his final days in office. REPUBLICANS HOLD FIRMThere appears little chance enough Republicans will break with Democrats to convict Trump at the end of the trial. AdThe video evidence was “nothing new here, for me, at the end of the day,” said Hawley, who maintains the trial is unconstitutional.
El Salvador kept paying DC lobbyist after claim he was fired
In this image take from UNTV video, Nayib Armando Bukele, President of El Salvador, speaks in a pre-recorded video message during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at U.N. headquarters in New York. The tweet was widely shared in El Salvador. More recently, Stryk teamed up with another DC firm, Rational 360, which is run by veteran Democratic operatives including Joe Lockhart. El Salvador in October hired Rational 360 for $65,000 per month. Bukele’s government has also awarded a $780,000 contract to a newly formed U.S.-based entity called Invest El Salvador.
As Wisconsin's Johnson weighs future, Trump ties take a toll
Not Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson. Bishop criticized fellow Republicans like Johnson who parroted claims of illegal election activity, even as he remains a Johnson backer. A number of Republicans are eyeing a run for either Senate or governor, depending on what Johnson does. Potential Republican Senate candidates include U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, former U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy and Kevin Nicholson, who lost a 2018 Republican Senate primary. Mandela Barnes, the state’s first Black lieutenant governor, state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and state Sen. Chris Larson of Milwaukee.
Growing number of GOP senators oppose impeachment trial
(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)WASHINGTON – A growing number of Republican senators say they oppose holding an impeachment trial, a sign of the dimming chances that former President Donald Trump will be convicted on the charge that he incited a siege of the U.S. Capitol. “I think the trial is stupid, I think it’s counterproductive,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.. Arguments in the Senate trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. A few GOP senators have agreed with Democrats, though not close to the number that will be needed to convict Trump. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said he believes there is a “preponderance of opinion” that an impeachment trial is appropriate after someone leaves office.
Schumer: Trump impeachment trial to begin week of Feb. 8
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)WASHINGTON – Opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial for Donald Trump over the Capitol riot will begin the week of Feb. 8, the first time a former president will face such charges after leaving office. Trump's impeachment trial would be the first of a U.S. president no longer in office, an undertaking that his Senate Republican allies argue is pointless, and potentially even unconstitutional. "That goal has been achieved.”Pelosi said Friday the nine House impeachment managers, or prosecutors, are "ready to begin to make their case” against Trump. A handful of Senate Republicans have indicated they are open — but not committed — to conviction. McConnell, who said this week that Trump “provoked” his supporters before the riot, has not said how he will vote.
Lawmakers who voted against Biden are denounced back home
Protesters, newspaper editorial boards and local-level Democrats have urged the lawmakers to step down or for their colleagues to kick them out. The House and Senate can remove members with a two-thirds vote or censure or reprimand with a majority. In St. Louis on Saturday, several hundred people protested against Sen. Josh Hawley, the first-term Missouri Republican who led efforts in the Senate to overturn Biden's election. Johnson initially supported Trump's baseless claims of election fraud, but after the riot, he voted in favor of Biden's win. Perry condemned the Capitol violence.
Somber Senate unites to reject election challenges
Tennessee's GOP senators abandoned the effort, as did Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., who lost her runoff election Tuesday, helping to deliver control of the Senate to Democrats. Wisconsin's GOP Sen. Ron Johnson dropped out, as did James Lankford, R-Okla., a promising younger Republican who raised eyebrows when initially supporting the effort. We will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation," said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “We are back at our posts. As senators debated, Trump took it on the chin from longtime critics like Mitt Romney, R-Utah. Enough is enough.”Romney, the party's 2012 nominee, reminded his colleagues that he knows how unpleasant it is to lose a presidential election, drawing hearty laughter.
Congress reconvenes, confirms Biden’s electoral win
Together, the protests and the GOP election objections amounted to an almost unthinkable challenge to American democracy and exposed the depths of the divisions that have coursed through the country during Trump’s four years in office. Congress reconvened in the evening, lawmakers decrying the protests that defaced the Capitol and vowing to finish confirming the Electoral College vote for Biden’s election, even if it took all night. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress would show the world “what America is made of" with the outcome. Tensions were already running high when lawmakers gathered early Wednesday afternoon for the constitutionally mandated counting of the Electoral College results, in which Biden defeated Trump, 306-232. Some House lawmakers tweeted they were sheltering in place in their offices.
GOP weighs jobless aid cuts to urge Americans back to work
Revamping jobless aid is fast becoming the focus of debate over the next virus aid package. The flurry of activity comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed a new $3 trillion aid package through the House last week. The Senate, under McConnell, says there is no urgency to act, and senators are expected to reconsider more aid only in June. At least one Republican, Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, was trying to prevent the Senate from recessing unless it considered more aid. "He has the zeroes bill.Unemployment insurance, though, was quickly becoming a new priority for Republicans staking out the next aid package.
Biden warns of 'abuse of power' in measured Trump critique
WASHINGTON Joe Biden is warning that those tasked with enforcing the law are abusing their powers, offering a measured critique of the Trump administration a day after he declined to respond to President Donald Trumps attacks directly. Speaking Wednesday to Columbia University Law School graduates via video, Biden urged them to protect the very foundations of democracy.Trust in self-governance. But they dont often become public, and in the Flynn case, Trump supporters point to it as evidence that Obama loyalists were out to undermine Trump from the start. Diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion," Biden said Tuesday. Also Tuesday, Biden was asked about Trump's firing of Steve Linick as the State Departments inspector general.
Senate panel approves subpoena in Hunter Biden probe
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday voted 8-6 to subpoena Blue Star Strategies, a lobbying firm that was a consultant to Burisma, a gas company in Ukraine that paid Hunter Biden to serve as a board member. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens, and Hunter Biden has denied using his influence with his father to aid Burisma. The chairman of the Republican-led panel, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, has repeatedly insisted that the investigation is not designed to hurt Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee in this years presidential election. These hearings will provide the Senate with the full picture.A Biden campaign spokesman said in a statement that Johnson was running a political errand for Trump. The presidents efforts to have Ukraine investigate Hunter Bidens role as a board member for Burisma were at the heart of House Democrats impeachment probe last year.
U.S. extends protected status for Salvadorans in U.S. by at least a year
SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - The U.S. government has extended temporary protection for Salvadorans living in the United States by an extra year, U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Ronald Johnson said on Monday, in a possible sign of easing tensions over migration. Today in Washington, we signed an agreement which extends the TPS (temporary protected status) for the Salvadorans in the United States for another year, Johnson said in a joint video statement with Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele. Additionally, the DHS and El Salvador agreed to enhance crime prevention through the expansion of biometric data collection and information sharing, it added. We will continue to work 24/7 for a permanent solution.As of October 2018, there were over 263,000 TPS beneficiaries from El Salvador, court documents show.feeds.reuters.com
Authorities: No charges in 2014 Chicago police shooting
There will be no criminal charges filed against a Chicago police officer in the fatal 2014 shooting of Ronald Johnson. Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said one of the reasons her office declined to prosecute the officer is because Johnson is seen on dash-cam video with a gun.cbsnews.com