Tuberville under pressure from Republicans over military holds, says he is reviewing options
Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville said he’s open to negotiating an end to his blockade of almost 400 military nominees after meeting with fellow Republican senators, signaling a shift after he has dug in on his protest of a Pentagon abortion policy for more than nine months.
The eviction moratorium is expiring. What will Biden do?
President Joe Bidens administration is cutting things close on a nationwide eviction moratorium, which is set to expire in less than a week. Housing advocates are confident the ban, due to expire March 31, will be extended for several months and possibly even strengthened. Last week, Dunn said, a HUD official conducted a call with housing advocates to field opinions on a new, streamlined form that tenants can use in order to gain protection from eviction. “The question is: What is the extension going to look like?”Dunn and others would like to see the moratorium extended and improved. Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package included more than $25 billion in emergency rental assistance, plus more to help tenants who were behind on their utilities, but no extension of the eviction moratorium.
The eviction moratorium is expiring. What will Biden do?
Still, they argue the existing moratorium hasn’t been a blanket protection and say thousands of families have been evicted for other reasons beyond nonpayment of rent. Eric Dunn, director of litigation for the National Housing Law Project, noted signs that a decision has already quietly been made. “The question is: What is the extension going to look like?”Dunn and others would like to see the moratorium extended and improved. Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package included more than $25 billion in emergency rental assistance, plus more to help tenants who were behind on their utilities, but no extension of the eviction moratorium. One of the biggest changes being advocated is for Biden to make the ban's protection's automatic and universal.
GOP senators criticize Pentagon nominee's 'partisan' tweets
FILE - This April 19, 2019 file photo shows a sign for the Department of Defense at the Pentagon in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)WASHINGTON – The Biden administration's nominee for top Pentagon policy adviser was met with sharp criticism from Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, including accusations that he has been too partisan. And a number of GOP senators said they were troubled by partisan tweets Kohl put out during Donald Trump's presidency and they would oppose his nomination. And he told the panel, “This is not a political job, it’s a policy job ... Others, including the panel chairman, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., sought commitments on improving Pentagon policies and relations with other countries that soured during Trump's tenure.
In a first, Congress overrides Trump veto of defense bill
The 81-13 vote in the Senate on the widely popular defense bill followed an earlier 322-87 override vote in the House. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a close Trump ally, hailed the override vote. The bipartisan overrides on the defense bill showed the limits of Trump’s influence in the final weeks of his term. Only seven GOP senators voted with Trump to oppose the defense bill override. Sanders and five other liberals who opposed the defense bill also voted against the override.
Trump lashes out at GOP after override vote on defense bill
Trump on Tuesday slammed GOP lawmakers on Twitter, charging that “Weak and tired Republican ‘leadership’ will allow the bad Defense Bill to pass.″Trump called the override vote a “disgraceful act of cowardice and total submission by weak people to Big Tech. !″The 322-87 vote in the House sends the override effort to the Senate, where the exact timing of a vote is uncertain. The House veto override was supported by 212 Democrats, 109 Republicans and an independent. Reed called the Dec. 23 veto “Trump’s parting gift to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and a lump of coal for our troops. The defense bill guides Pentagon policy and cements decisions about troop levels, new weapons systems and military readiness, personnel policy and other military goals.
Trump lashes out at GOP after override vote on defense bill
Trump slammed GOP lawmakers on Twitter, charging that “Weak and tired Republican ‘leadership’ will allow the bad Defense Bill to pass.″Trump called the override vote a “disgraceful act of cowardice and total submission by weak people to Big Tech. !″The 322-87 vote in the House sends the override effort to the Senate, where the exact timing of a vote is uncertain. The House veto override was supported by 212 Democrats, 109 Republicans and an independent. Reed called the Dec. 23 veto “Trump’s parting gift to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and a lump of coal for our troops. The defense bill guides Pentagon policy and cements decisions about troop levels, new weapons systems and military readiness, personnel policy and other military goals.
House votes to override Trump's veto of defense bill
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)WASHINGTON – The Democratic-controlled House voted overwhelmingly Monday to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a defense policy bill, setting the stage for what would be the first veto override of his presidency. House members voted 322-87 to override the veto, well above the two-thirds needed to override. Trump rejected the defense bill last week, saying it failed to limit social media companies he claims were biased against him during his failed reelection campaign. The veto override was supported by 212 Democrats, 109 Republicans and an independent. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a rare break with Trump, had urged passage of the defense bill despite Trump’s veto threat.
Biden hails historic Pentagon pick, but some Dems in a bind
Retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the Biden administrations choice to be secretary of defense, speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. In the past, they’ve opposed naming recently retired military officers to a post typically occupied by civilians, yet they don't want to defy their party's incoming president nor be seen as blocking history. Before announcing that he'd settled on Austin, Biden was facing pressure from activists over a lack of diversity in some of the key posts of the Cabinet he was building. Now the Mattis period at the Pentagon is viewed by some as an argument against waiving the rule again. Thankfully, Biden is neither, so the circumstances don’t support a waiver.”___Weissert, Burns and Mascaro reported from Washington.
Voters strip ‘Plantations’ from Rhode Island’s formal name
(AP Photo/Susan E. Bouchard, File)Rhode Island will now be officially known as ... Rhode Island. Officially, Rhode Island was incorporated as The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations when it declared statehood in 1790. Although the word “Plantations” in Rhode Island’s name does not specifically refer to a place where slaves labored, the measure’s backers insisted it still offends, especially since Rhode Island’s ties to the slave trade are undeniably deep. The formal vote for House speaker, however, won’t happen until January, when the new legislature convenes. Mattiello rose to House speaker in 2014 after then-Speaker Gordon Fox resigned amid a public corruption investigation.
Senate Latest: Kelly win gives Arizona 2 Democratic senators
The former astronaut defeated Republican Sen. Martha McSally, who was appointed to the seat after McCain’s death in 2018. Daines’ first election in 2014 broke a Democratic lock on the Senate seat that had lasted more than 100 years. The six-term congressman from northern New Mexico defeated Republican Mark Ronchetti, a former television meteorologist, and Libertarian Bob Walsh. Reed cruised to victory over Waters, an investment consultant who mounted earlier unsuccessful campaigns for state Senate and U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. Warner defeated Republican challenger Daniel Gade in a low-key race in which the incumbent had a massive cash advantage.
Trump loyalist gets Defense post as Senate nomination stalls
Gen. Anthony Tata to a job performing the duties of the deputy undersecretary for defense policy, amid ongoing furor over offensive remarks Tata made, including about Islam. Last week the Senate canceled a hearing on Tata's nomination to become defense undersecretary for policy, the third-highest civilian post at the Pentagon. Tata, who also has been a Fox News commentator, withdrew his name from consideration for the undersecretary job over the weekend, and was then appointed by Trump to serve in the deputy's post. James Anderson, who had been serving as Rood's deputy, is currently the acting policy undersecretary the job Tata was initially nominated to fill. Officials who carry the acting title have more authority than those who are performing the duties of the job.
Trump, GOP ally vow Confederate base names won't change
Forty-nine GOP senators voted for the defense bill that includes the base-renaming, while just four Republicans voted against it. The aide steered a reporter to a statement McConnell made on the Senate floor praising the defense bill and its strong bipartisan support. There are 10 Army posts named for Confederate military leaders, including Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Benning in Georgia, Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Forts Robert E. Lee and A.P. The House bill would require the base names to be changed within a year, while the Senate would give the military three years to rename them. The Senates top Democrat, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, has dared Trump to veto the defense bill over Confederate base names.
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.''
Summer may decide fate of lead shots in virus vaccine race
Many scientists dont expect a coronavirus vaccine to be nearly as protective as the measles shot. If the best COVID-19 vaccine is only 50% effective, "thats still to me a great vaccine, said Dr. Drew Weissman of the University of Pennsylvania. About 15 experimental COVID-19 vaccines are in various stages of human studies worldwide. Nothing is going to be easy.The Oxford shot, with a 10,000-person study underway in England, already encountered that hurdle. EXPECT IMPERFECT PROTECTIONAnimal research suggests COVID-19 vaccines could prevent serious disease but may not completely block infection.
Virus-sapped bus lines see road to ruin without federal help
America's private buses are ground to a halt, and members of the industry say they need federal assistance to help the country get back to work and play. “They’ll never be seen from again.”Rail lines, public transit systems and the airline industry received billions in aid as part of the federal coronavirus relieft act. The private bus industry, however, has largely been left to fend for itself. The industry, the senators said, faces “a long road to recovery” and is missing out at a critical time. While other transportation sectors can get federal grants and loans, bus lines have only the Paycheck Protection Program, he said.
Pentagon approves military construction funds for Trump's border wall
The announcement fulfills a promise made by President Donald Trump in February to tap military construction funds to build his border wall. Sen. Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, also condemned the move. Defense Department officials say 127 military construction projects are being put on hold in order to use the $3.6 billion to fund building 175 miles of southern border wall. Though it's unclear which military construction would be put on hold, the move could put at risk projects such as command and control, drone, cyber and training facilities in the US and overseas. White House officials have held talks in the last weeks to begin planning for the move, two administration officials said, which would shift funds from the Department of Defense's military construction budget to fund the border wall.