Lawmakers fear turning 144 cities into "micropolitan" areas
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and congressmen is urging the federal government not to approve recommendations to remove 144 cities from the designation of metropolitan statistical areas. Reclassifying them as “micropolitan” would put key federal funding at risk, they said. Doing so would reclassify more than a third of the current 392 metro areas as micropolitan statistical areas. In a separate letter to the Office of Management and Budget, Hoeven said the proposal also would hurt micropolitan areas that were on the cusp of becoming metro areas. “If a metropolitan statistical area is redefined as a micropolitan area, it may fall out of the conversation.
Biden, Yellen say GOP virus aid too small, Democrats push on
From left, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen joined the Democratic senators for a private virtual meeting, both declaring the Republicans' $618 billion offer was too small. “President Biden spoke about the need for Congress to respond boldly and quickly,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said after the lunch meeting. The president made it clear that he won’t delay aid in hopes of winning GOP support. Biden proposes $170 billion for schools, compared to $20 billion in the Republican plan.
Biden meets Republicans on virus aid, but no quick deal
President Joe Biden meets Republican lawmakers to discuss a coronavirus relief package, in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, in Washington. From left, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. AdRepublicans are tapping into bipartisan urgency to improve the nation's vaccine distribution and vastly expand virus testing with $160 billion in aid. Psaki said earlier Monday there is “obviously a big gap” between the $1.9 trillion package Biden has proposed and the $618 billion counteroffer. Biden himself has been on the phone to some of the Republicans, the official said.
Trump impeachment goes to Senate, testing his sway over GOP
Leahy will preside over former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial. Republican senators are balancing the demands of deep-pocketed donors who are distancing themselves from Trump and voters who demand loyalty to him. Instead, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D- Vt., who serves in the largely ceremonial role of Senate president pro tempore, is set to preside. A few GOP senators have agreed with Democrats, though not close to the number that will be needed to convict Trump. If not, what is?” Romney was the only Republican senator to vote for conviction when the Senate acquitted Trump in his first impeachment trial.
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.
Analysis: GOP lets doubts about Biden's legitimacy flourish
“Their intent is to delegitimize this election and thereby delegitimize President-elect Biden’s presidency,” said Valerie Jarrett, who was a White House senior adviser to President Barack Obama. He has cleared the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House. Still, Republicans have allowed Trump's misinformation to flourish, pushed along by conservative media and on the internet. The turmoil surrounding the transition, he added, said more about the person leaving the White House than the one who will soon enter. Those lies helped fuel some of the hard-line opposition to Obama within the party, making it difficult for more mainstream GOP leaders to work with the White House.
Trump Proud Boys remark echoes Charlottesville
Trump's exchange with Democrat Joe Biden left the extremist group Proud Boys celebrating what some of its members saw as tacit approval. “I don’t know who Proud Boys are. When pushed by Wallace, Trump asked for the name of a group to condemn — and Biden suggested Proud Boys. “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump said. Proud Boys members are ardent Trump supporters known for their violent confrontations with antifascists and other ideological opponents at protests, often drawing the largest crowds in the Pacific Northwest.