Trouble at home may change Biden's hand in Iran nuke talks
She was speaking of U.S. foreign objectives overall, including the Iran deal. Biden's first priority for renewed talks is getting both Iran and the United States back in compliance with the nuclear deal, which offered Iran relief from sanctions in exchange for Iran accepting limits on its nuclear material and gear. “It would be a first step.”But Biden also faces pressure both from Democrats and Republican opponents of the Iran deal. The United States' European allies will be eager to help Biden wrack up a win on the new Iran talks if possible, Nasr said. Besides tapping Sherman for his administration, Biden has called back William Burns, who led secret early talks with Iran in Oman, as his CIA director.
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.
A day of historic impeachment, a Capitol as armed encampment
But only steps away, outside the chamber doors, there was the look of an armed encampment. The Capitol grounds were wrapped in fences, and scores of other law enforcement officers and troops kept a watchful eye. A replica of the dome that stands atop the Capitol, the Statue of Freedom, resides in the Capitol’s visitor center. The tensions were also apparent inside the House chamber. In the House chamber, there have been Capitol Police officers and civilian door monitors but no screening stations.
A day of historic impeachment, a Capitol as armed encampment
But only steps away, outside the chamber doors, there was the look of an armed encampment. A replica of the dome that stands atop the Capitol, the Statue of Freedom, resides in the Capitol’s visitor center. But along with the signs of fear, there were also signs of gratefulness for those protecting the Capitol. The tensions were also apparent inside the House chamber. In the House chamber, there have been Capitol Police officers and civilian door monitors but no screening stations.
House approves Trump's $2K checks, sending to GOP-led Senate
While Democrats favored bigger checks, Congress had settled on smaller $600 payments in a compromise over the big year-end relief bill Trump reluctantly signed into law. The vote was a stunning turn of events from just days ago, when House Republicans blocked Trump's demands during a Christmas Eve session. After the robust House vote, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer warned, “There is no good reason for Senate Republicans to stand in the way.”“There’s strong support for these $2,000 emergency checks from every corner of the country," Schumer said in a statement. The bipartisan bill negotiated by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had already passed the House and Senate by wide margins. Most House Republicans simply shrugged off Trump's push, 130 of them voting to reject the higher checks that would pile $467 billion in additional costs.
Dems clinch House control, but majority likely to shrink
By retaining the House, Democrats will control the chamber for four consecutive years for only the second time since 1995, when Republicans ended 40 years of Democratic dominance. As the bad news sunk in, Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., who led House Democrats' campaign committee, announced Monday she wouldn't seek another term leading that organization. Republicans have been heartened by the House results, which many believe position them for a strong run for the majority in the 2022 elections. Illustrating that, the Blue Dog Coalition of the most conservative House Democrats, whose membership has dwindled in recent years, lost at least six of its roughly two dozen members. On the Republican side, the conservative House Freedom Caucus was hoping to grow from its roughly 30 members.
IRS chief: agency reaching out on pandemic relief payments
A congressional watchdog found that millions could miss the payments of up to $1,200 per individual because of incomplete government records. A day after cutting off talks with Democratic leaders in Congress over a new COVID-19 relief package, President Donald Trump pressed Wednesday for passage of fresh $1,200 relief checks, among a few other items. Lawmakers on the panel decried the diminished funding for the IRS, now further strained by the pandemic. Delayed income tax refunds, hampered audit and enforcement efforts, and a revenue drain for the Treasury are the results, they said. Trump’s near-zero tax payments have underscored the ability of wealthy individuals with high-priced accountants to outmatch the IRS.
Postal chief DeJoy has long leveraged connections, dollars
Postal Service Board of Governors was presented with 53 candidates vetted by an outside firm. Postal Service Board of Governors was presented with 53 candidates screened by an outside company. Mnuchin has said he had no involvement, though his heightened interest in the Postal Service has raised questions given Trump's focus on mail-in voting. Though DeJoy was a Trump donor, it remains unclear exactly how he emerged as the top contender to lead the Postal Service. In a fact sheet issued in response to Williams's claims, the Treasury said it plays an important role overseeing federal loans to the Postal Service.
Trump admits he's blocking postal cash to stop mail-in votes
Postal Service of money in order to make it harder to process an expected surge of mail-in ballots, which he worries could cost him the election. He's pairing the tough Postal Service stance in congressional negotiations with an increasingly robust mail-in-voting legal fight in states that could decide the election. That followed legal maneuvers in battleground Pennsylvania, where the campaign hopes to force changes to how the state collects and counts mail-in ballots. That figure, which would include money to help with election mail, is down from a $25 billion plan in a House-passed coronavirus measure. Judy Beard, legislative and political director for the American Postal Workers Union, said postal workers are up to the task of delivering mail-in ballots this year.
Trump: Widespread mail-in voting hard without funding USPS
WASHINGTON President Donald Trump said Thursday that he opposes additional funding for the U.S. Trump also falsely stated that Democrats were pushing for universal mail-in voting and made the unfounded claim that mail-in voting would lead to massive voter fraud in the November election. Postal Service and election security ahead of the November election. They want $25 billion billion for the post office, he said, adding that, without it, the Postal Service won't be equipped to handle the influx of mail-in ballots. Democrats have pushed for $10 billion for the Postal Service in talks with Republicans on a huge COVID-19 response bill.
McConnell: No room for new FBI building in virus aid bill
FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2017, file photo, traffic along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington streaks past the Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters building. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he opposes inclusion of the FBI money and all other measures not related to the government's response to the virus. More than 150,000 Americans have died from coronavirus, millions are unemployed ... and Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump are more concerned about protecting Trump Hotel. "Some of the Virginia people want to build in Virginia and Maryland Democrats want the new FBI building built there,'' he said Tuesday before McConnell spoke, citing an earlier, failed proposal to move the FBI building from downtown Washington. Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said he did not know why money for the FBI building was included in the virus relief bill.
Watchdog who found hospital shortages unfazed by Trump barbs
We are operating as we did on May 1 when Trump nominated a new inspector general to replace Grimm. Grimm remains in charge of the office as principal deputy inspector general while Weida's nomination is pending. Trump called the report, based on a late March survey of 323 hospitals nationwide, "just wrong and suggested that its conclusions were skewed by politics. Give me the name of the inspector general, Trump told reporters. I do think independence is the cornerstone of what any office of inspector general does,'' Grimm said.
Democrats protest removal of Transportation watchdog
The Democratic chairs of three House panels on Tuesday demanded that Mitch Behm be reinstated immediately as acting inspector general. Behm's removal is the latest in a series of politically motivated firings of inspectors general by President Trump,'' the lawmakers wrote. a career employee who has served as acting inspector general since January. Trump has designated Howard Elliott, head of a Transportation Department agency that oversees pipeline safety, to replace Behm as acting inspector general. Still, the lawmakers asked for information regarding ongoing audits, inspections, investigations, evaluations, reviews and other communications regarding Behm's removal and Elliotts qualifications to be inspector general.
Post offices, beloved community hubs, fight virus-era threat
Colson Hudson, 54, had rarely visited her post office when she lived in suburban New Jersey. Postal Service from COVID-19 relief funding unless it quadruples the package rates it charges large customers like Amazon, owned by Jeff Bezos. But with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pushing Trumps priorities, the Postal Service has so far landed just a $10 billion loan. Dixon, who lives nearby, has been with the post office for nearly 30 years, the last nine on her current route. In places like those, he said, the post office serves as the town's living room a gathering spot for conversation, for human contact, for community.
State Department official told to lie low after Giuliani complaints
Drew Angerer/2017 Getty Images(CNN) - State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent told lawmakers on Tuesday that he had been told by a supervisor to lie low after he raised complaints about Rudy Giuliani's efforts in Ukraine undermining US foreign policy, according to Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly, a senior member of the House Oversight Committee. Connolly, a Virginia lawmaker, reported that Kent had said Giuliani's efforts in Ukraine going around the State Department "undermined 28 years of US efforts to try to promote the rule of law in Ukraine." Kent told lawmakers he was responsible for six countries, including Ukraine. After he was warned to lie low, he said, he took time off to attend his daughter's wedding and go hiking in Maine, according to Connolly. The White House's former top Russia adviser Fiona Hill had told the committees on Monday that former national security adviser John Bolton warned that Giuliani was like a "hand grenade."