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Joseph R. Biden Jr. White House

On January 20, 2021, Joseph R. Biden Jr. became the 46 president of the United States of America this page is dedicated to tracking Joe Biden's time in the White House. Will republicans obstruct Biden the way they did Obama and then blame Biden for not getting anything done? One day into the Biden presidency and Republicans have already begun their obstruction tactics. Republicans obstruct democrats not to help the American people but to prevent democrats from helping Americans who need help so they can claim democrats are not doing anything for the Americans people.

Donald J. Trump failed to do his number one job protect Americans to protect Americans from the coronavirus over 400,000 Americans have died due to Trump's failures. How many of those dead Americans would still be alive if Trump had done the right thing and leveled with the American about how serious the coronavirus was? It is now up to Joe Biden to protect the American people from the damage Trump has done.

McKenzie Sadeghi | USA TODAY

The claim: An image shows President Joe Biden sleeping at G-7 summit

An image purportedly showing President Joe Biden sleeping during the annual Group of Seven summit in Cornwall, England, is making the rounds on social media. The claim follows Biden's first trip overseas, which included meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Queen Elizabeth II, as well as stops at G-7 and NATO summits. The international gatherings have sparked misinformation online. Some social media users are now using a manipulated photo of Biden resting his head on a desk with his eyes closed to claim he was asleep while meeting with world leaders. more...

It’s a showdown more than half a year – perhaps even decades - in the making.
By Rick Klein, Averi Harper, and Alisa Wiersema

It’s a showdown more than half a year – perhaps even decades - in the making. This week, Senate Democrats will try to pass a voting-rights overhaul that President Joe Biden has identified as critical to his agenda. The outcome is virtually preordained, with only 49 Democrats and not a single Republican expected to support the “For the People Act,” a version of which has already passed the House. But whether the expected failure of this bill marks the end of something or the beginning of something else depends on how things play out. Biden and Senate Democratic leaders are challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on terrain he’s familiar with, and with much of Biden’s domestic agenda in the balance. more...

Joseph Zeballos-Roig

The White House ruled out a gas-tax increase to finance a major infrastructure overhaul, arguing it would violate a central campaign pledge to shield average Americans from any tax hikes. "An idea that's been floating around that certainly the president would not support is a gas tax which would raise taxes on people making less than $400,000 a year," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told "CBS This Morning" on Monday. "We're just not going to stand for that and we're not going to accept it." Another key Democratic senator strongly indicated it was no longer in the package. Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, a Democratic negotiator, said its "clearly off the table" in an MSNBC interview on Monday. more...

Elizabeth Dias and Ruth Graham

Pope Francis and President Joe Biden, both liberals, are the two most high-profile Roman Catholics in the world. But in the United States, neither of these men is determining the direction of the Catholic Church. It is now a conservative movement that decides how the Catholic Church asserts its power in America. That reality was unmistakably declared last week, when the country’s bishops voted overwhelmingly to draft guidelines for the Eucharist, advancing a conservative push to deny Biden Communion over his support for abortion rights. more...

By Kate Sullivan and Maegan Vazquez, CNN

(CNN) President Joe Biden said that signing legislation into law on Thursday establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day -- a US federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States -- will go down as "one of the greatest honors" of his presidency.
"I have to say to you, I've only been president for several months, but I think this will go down, for me, as one of the greatest honors I will have as president," Biden said at the White House during a signing ceremony. "I regret that my grandchildren aren't here, because this is a really, really, really important moment in our history. By making Juneteenth a federal holiday, all Americans can feel the power of this day and learn from our history -- and celebrate progress and grapple with the distance we've come (and) the distance we have to travel," Biden said. more...

Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin lavished praise on his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden on Thursday, a day after the two leaders held a summit, saying Biden was incorrectly portrayed in the Russian and U.S. media as being unfocused and vague. Biden and Putin agreed to launch arms control and cyber-security talks at a Geneva summit on Wednesday, recording small gains and big differences at a meeting which they both described as pragmatic rather than friendly. The Kremlin said earlier on Thursday it had been pleased with what it called a positive summit and singled out a joint statement that reiterated the need to avoid nuclear war as significant. more...

Fadel Allassan

The Biden administration on Tuesday released the first-ever "National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism," following a 100-day comprehensive review ordered by President Biden on his first day in office.

Why it matters: It's the first national plan for countering what the White House is calling "the most urgent terrorism threat the United States faces today," echoing previous assessments by Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray and the intelligence community. more...

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

Brussels (CNN) President Joe Biden flew to Geneva on Tuesday ahead of lengthy and contentious talks with Vladimir Putin, the capstone on a European tour designed to show western solidarity ahead of the momentous summit. Biden has spent the past week consulting fellow leaders, national security aides and political advisers, reading through extensive preparation materials and thinking about what exactly he will say to the Russian President when they sit down in an 18th century lakeside Swiss villa Wednesday. At meetings of the Group of 7 and NATO, he discussed the upcoming summit with at least two dozen foreign leaders, from the Chancellor of Germany to the leaders of the tiny Baltic states to the right-wing President of Poland. He was even quizzed on the meeting by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II over tea at Windsor Castle. more...

CBS News

President Biden on Sunday declared that "America is back to the table" after leaving his first Group of Seven summit, where world leaders vowed to confront China, boost global infrastructure and donate 1 billion vaccine doses to the rest of the world. "I conveyed to each of my G-7 counterparts the U.S. is going to do our part. America is back to the table," the president said in a press conference at the conclusion of the meeting with U.S. allies. "The lack of participation in the past and full engagement was noticed significantly, not only by the leaders of those countries but by the people in the G-7 countries." more...

Azmi Haroun

At the 2021 G7 summit in Cornwall, England, leaders of the exclusive political club posed for a "family photo," on the British shore with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Joe Biden at the center. There is a noticeable difference in the photos of the world leaders: First, everyone is socially distanced likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also one man, in particular, did not steal the show. In 2017, the US was the lone country not to sign a climate declaration. And when leaders walked 700 yards for the family photo, Trump arranged for a golf cart to shuttle him there on his own. more...

Biden's election has seen "a dramatic shift in America's international image," Pew said, with public opinion rebounding in a dozen key countries since he became president.
By Alexander Smith

LONDON — The first foreign trip of Joe Biden's presidency will be far more than a few smiling photo ops and well-manicured communiqués. Many see his attendance at the Group of Seven summit and then the NATO summit over the next week as a one-shot chance: not just to help fix relations with Washington's bruised allies, but also to reassert the faltering influence of the U.S. and the West itself. The visit will also be shadowed by questions about whether Biden, for all his trans-Atlantic experience, is actually more focused on the rising competitor in Beijing than in old Cold War allies across the pond. "After four tumultuous years of Trump, the Europeans have now got the U.S. leadership they always dreamed of," said Fabrice Pothier, NATO's former head of policy planning. "Except now the story has moved on." more...

The agreement also commits to combatting cyberthreats and climate change and to bringing the coronavirus pandemic to an end.
By Rebecca Shabad and Alexander Smith

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will agree Thursday to a new Atlantic Charter, modeled after the 1941 agreement, that outlines eight key areas on which the U.S. and the United Kingdom plan to collaborate. The new charter will highlight that "while the world is a very different place to 1941, the values the U.K. and U.S. share remain the same,” according to a preview of the updated charter released by Johnson’s office at 10 Downing Street. more...

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) Joe Biden's first foreign trip as President comes at a unique moment. No US President has ever left the nation's shores with democratic values under attack as broadly and systemically at home as they are abroad. This extraordinary reality will complicate his mission to purge the trauma of the Donald Trump era and convince both foes and friends that the US is reclaiming its global leadership role for good. Biden meets British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday before the G7 summit, makes a hop to NATO in Brussels, then has a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva that will evoke the most tense days of the Cold War. more...

For more than 20 years, Joe Biden has questioned Vladimir Putin’s true intentions. Now, the two presidents prepare to meet in a critical summit.
By NAHAL TOOSI

When President George W. Bush first met Vladimir Putin, he seemed smitten, describing the still-new Russian leader as “very straightforward and trustworthy,” even claiming he got “a sense of his soul.” A certain Democratic senator from Delaware had a very different reaction. “I don’t trust Putin,” Joe Biden said in the days after the June 2001 Bush-Putin summit in Slovenia. “Hopefully, the president was being stylistic rather than substantive.” Twenty years later, Washington has come around firmly to Biden’s assessment. Now president, Biden is set to meet Putin for their first bilateral summit since taking office, amid a swirl of recriminations over Russia’s election meddling and alleged cyberattacks in the United States, along with its sway and aggression in countries like Belarus and Ukraine. more...

Biden travels to the United Kingdom, Brussels and Geneva during the trip.
By Sarah Kolinovsky andMolly Nagle

President Joe Biden headed out on his first overseas trip since taking office Wednesday, seeking to reaffirm the United States' standing on the world stage with familiar allies, and portraying himself as the leader of the free world, including in his first face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Before boarding Air Force One, Biden told reporters nearby that his goal for the trip will be "to make it clear to Putin and China that Europe and United States are tight, and the G-7 is going to move." more...

Christina Wilkie, Jacob Pramuk

WASHINGTON – Negotiations between the White House and a small group of Republican senators over a bipartisan infrastructure bill collapsed on Tuesday, weighed down by deep disagreements over what constitutes infrastructure and how much money should be allocated for it. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, W.Va., the lead Republican negotiator, said President Joe Biden had spoken to her by phone Tuesday and ended the negotiations. “I spoke with the president this afternoon, and he ended our infrastructure negotiations,” Moore Capito said in a statement. “Throughout our negotiations, we engaged respectfully, fully, and very candidly—delivering several serious counteroffers that each represented the largest infrastructure investment Republicans have put forth,” she said. more...

By Brett Samuels

President Biden on Tuesday cut off prolonged infrastructure negotiations with a GOP group led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and will instead move forward on discussions with a bipartisan group of senators. The White House announced Biden’s move after the president and Capito spoke Tuesday afternoon. The two remained far apart on a deal during that discussion despite weeks of talks. The White House as a result is shifting to talks with a bipartisan group that is crafting its own proposal, an administration official confirmed. more...

JOSH BOAK

President Joe Biden portrayed the May jobs report as a jumping off point for more spending on infrastructure and education to keep growth going — essentially an argument for his agenda. But the employment numbers issued Friday also hinted at the possible limits of how much government aid can be pumped into the world's largest economy. “We’re on the right track,” Biden said. “Our plan is working. And we’re not going to let up now. We’re going to continue to move on. I’m extremely optimistic.” The May jobs report showed the complexity of restarting the economy after a pandemic shutdown and the mixed signals that can result when an unprecedented surge of government spending flows through the economy. Biden can congratulate his administration on 559,000 jobs being added and a 5.8% unemployment rate, yet the hiring was lower than what many economists expected after his $1.9 trillion relief package. more...

Peter Weber

President Biden didn't just lower the proposed price tag for his American Jobs Plan to $1 trillion, from $1.7 trillion, in a Wednesday meeting with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), the GOP point person on infrastructure negotiations. He also said he's open to dropping his proposal to fund the bill by raising the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, from 21 percent, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post report, citing people familiar with the talks. Instead, the package would create a new 15 percent minimum corporate tax rate. Republicans insist any bipartisan infrastructure bill not touch their 2017 $1.5 trillion tax cut package, their crowning legislative achievement of the past decade. A 15 percent minimum tax wouldn't technically change that 2017 law, and according to a White House document from earlier this year, only about 180 of the largest U.S. corporations would qualify for the minimum tax and just 45 would have to pay, the Journal reports. more...

Peter Weber

After President Biden hosted Republican infrastructure negotiator Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) on Wednesday afternoon, the White House called the Oval Office meeting "constructive and frank" while Capito's office said she was "encouraged that negotiations have continued." But despite these "bland statements," Politico reports Thursday morning, Biden made a new offer and "the GOP is considering another counteroffer that could come as soon as Friday, when Capito will be talking to Biden again, this time likely by phone." Capito briefed her fellow GOP negotiators Wednesday night, and three people familiar with the talks told Politico that Biden's new offer is $1 trillion in new spending, down from $1.7 trillion and his initial $2.3 trillion plan. Biden also is reportedly insisting that the spending be partially paid for by raising the corporate tax rate. The Republicans, who raised their initial $568 billion counteroffer to $928 billion, with only $257 billion in new spending, "weren't happy, to say the least," Politico says, and Capito and her group haven't decided what their next move will be. more...

Ayesha Rascoe

President Biden will travel to Oklahoma on Tuesday to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, a visit that comes amid a renewed reckoning over a long-overlooked attack that left as many as 300 people dead in a community once known as Black Wall Street. On May 31 and June 1, 1921, an armed white mob attacked the all-Black district of Greenwood. The violent racist mob destroyed the area, leaving 40-square-blocks in ruins and nearly 10,000 people homeless. A century later, it remains one of the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history. For decades after the massacre, the violent attack was covered up and not well known nationally. But as the national conversation has increasingly focused on the issue of systemic racism and police violence over the last several years, the incident has received more attention both in the mainstream news media and popular culture. more...

Biden to announce new steps to close racial wealth gap while marking 100th anniversary of Tulsa Race Massacre
By Kate Sullivan, CNN

(CNN) President Joe Biden will visit Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Tuesday to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre and announce new actions his administration will take to reduce the racial wealth gap as he commemorates one of the worst acts of racial violence in US history. The President will deliver remarks to memorialize the hundreds of Black Americans who were killed by a White mob that had attacked their neighborhood and burned dozens of city blocks to the ground. He will meet with surviving members of the community, tour the Greenwood Cultural Center and outline his administration's efforts to combat racial inequality in the nation. more...

By Natalie Colarossi

A growing number of Democrats are calling for President Joe Biden to form a commission to investigate the attack at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, after Republican lawmakers blocked a bill that would have allowed Congress to do so. On Friday, 35 GOP Senators blocked a bill that was passed in the Democratic-led House that sought to form a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of Capitol riot. The House-approved bill was modeled after a 9/11 style commission, and sought to establish a 10-person committee, evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, tasked with investigating the facts and circumstances of the assault. Five people died as a result of the Capitol riot, when a mob of pro–Donald Trump supporters sought to disrupt the congressional certification of Joe Biden's electoral victory. more...

Yes, prices are higher under Biden, but recovery from the pandemic is key reason
By Tom Kertscher

An image widely shared on Facebook blames President Joe Biden for how much more five commodities cost in April 2021 versus a year earlier. But it ignores the fact that in April 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic all but shut down the economy and depressed prices across the board. more...

Maureen Groppe | USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – After weeks of touting the benefits of President Joe Biden’s proposed spending increases, the White House will lay out on Friday the effects on the federal debt of his first budget plan. The plan is already giving fodder for critics, after the New York Times reported Thursday that, by 2024, debt would be larger as a share of the economy than it was during World War II. The campaign arm for House Republicans called Biden’s reported $6 trillion budget plan for the fiscal year that begins in October “insane.” more...

President Joe Biden discussed the GOP lawmakers who voted against the American Rescue Plan, but are touting it in their districts while he spoke about the economy in Cleveland. video...

The president flew to Cleveland to try to sell his $4 trillion in new spending plans to the country.
By ANITA KUMAR

CLEVELAND — President Joe Biden continues to negotiate with Republicans on his big-ticket spending plans. But on Thursday, when he left Washington, he mocked them for voting against the coronavirus recovery package and then turning around and promoting the bill. “If you’re going to try to take credit for what you’ve done, don’t get in the way of what we still need to do,” he said during a visit to Northeast Ohio, holding up a list for 13 Republicans. “Not a single one of them voted for the rescue plan. I’m not going to embarrass anyone, but I have here a list of how back in their districts they’re bragging.” more...

Christina Wilkie, Rich Mendez

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he has ordered a closer intelligence review of what he said were two equally plausible scenarios of the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic. Biden revealed that earlier this year he tasked the intelligence community with preparing “a report on their most up-to-date analysis of the origins of Covid-19, including whether it emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident.” “As of today, the U.S. Intelligence Community has ‘coalesced around two likely scenarios’ but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question,” Biden said in a statement. more...

By Reuters Staff

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday said he would not allow his Justice Department to seize the phone or email records of reporters, saying that any such move would be “simply wrong.” more...

Emma Newburger

President Joe Biden will host George Floyd’s family at the White House on Tuesday, an administration official has confirmed to CNBC. The visit marks the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death, which triggered international protests against police brutality and racism in the criminal justice system. Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes. Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in April. His sentencing date is set for June. more...

Christina Wilkie

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Friday rejected his predecessor’s approach to North Korea and said his goal as president was to achieve a “total denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula. Speaking at a joint press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Biden used the example of former President Donald Trump’s high-profile meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to illustrate what he, Biden, would never do. “If there was a commitment on which we met, then I would meet with [Kim],” said Biden. “And the commitment has to be that there is discussion about his nuclear arsenal.” more...

The lies from the right never stop.

Add this to the list of misleading claims about the president's health.
Dan Evon

Biden did not “fake” drive this truck, and this all-electric vehicle was not equipped with two steering wheels. Mike Levine, Ford North America product communications manager, confirmed to the automative news website Jalopnik that “there was no other set of controls” in the vehicle Biden drove. more...

With lessons learned from earlier Israel-Hamas conflicts, the administration banked on quiet leverage and negotiation to bring a quicker end to hostilities.
By NAHAL TOOSI

As Biden administration officials sought to end the latest Israeli-Palestinian fighting, they kept two numbers in mind: 2012 and 2014. The last two major conflagrations between Israel and Hamas militants who control the Gaza Strip took place in those years. The 2012 fighting lasted eight days, killing at least 160 Palestinians and six Israelis. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton played a key role. The 2014 episode is often described as a war; it lasted some 50 days, killing more than 2,200 Palestinians and over 70 Israelis. John Kerry, Clinton’s successor, was deeply involved in trying to broker a resolution. more...

Amanda Macias

WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov emphasized areas where Washington and Moscow could work together, despite their stark differences, in a cautious first first face-to-face meeting since President Joe Biden took office. The meeting Wednesday evening, which came on the heels of the Arctic Council ministerial talks in Iceland, lasted approximately 90 minutes and was described by a senior State Department official as a “businesslike, productive discussion.” Blinken thanked Lavrov for taking the meeting and emphasized areas in which the two countries could cooperate. more...

Barbara Sprunt

Following overwhelming support from both chambers of Congress, President Biden signed legislation that addresses hate crimes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with particular emphasis on the increase in violence against Asian Americans. At an event in the East Room of the White House, Biden thanked lawmakers for coming together to pass the legislation. He said standing against hatred and racism, which he called "the ugly poison that has long haunted and plagued our nation," is what brings Americans together. "My message to all of those who are hurting is: We see you and the Congress has said, we see you. And we are committed to stop the hatred and the bias," he said. more...

President Biden has promised to address inequities in health care, criminal justice, housing, voting, pay and more.
Deborah Barfield Berry and Romina Ruiz-Goiriena, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON _ Joe Biden stood in the White House and told Americans racism is exhausting, wearing on people of color and leaving many living in fear. He described the trauma many of the nation’s Black and brown people experience. They worry, he said, that encounters with the police could turn deadly, that their children aren’t safe going to the grocery store, driving down the street, playing in the park or even sleeping at home. more...

By Tal Axelrod

The Taliban warned of future attacks on U.S. troops after a withdrawal deadline that was negotiated under the Trump administration passed Saturday. “As withdrawal of foreign forces from #Afghanistan by agreed upon May 1st deadline has passed, this violation in principle has opened the way for [Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan] Mujahidin to take every counteraction it deems appropriate against the occupying forces,” tweeted Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid. more...

Biden said that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks "cannot explain why we should remain there in 2021."
By Saphora Smith and Lauren Egan

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he plans to fully withdraw troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, ending 20 years of United States military involvement in the country. Speaking from the Treaty Room in the White House, Biden said that the U.S. "cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, and expecting a different result." "I am now the fourth United States president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats," Biden said. "I will not pass this responsibility onto a fifth." more...

Courtney Subramanian | USA TODAY

WASHINGTON –  President Joe Biden unveiled his first major steps to address gun violence on Thursday, directing his administration to tighten restrictions on so-called ghost guns, or untraceable weapons that can be constructed from parts purchased online. The president also announced his nomination of David Chipman as the director of the Justice Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Chipman is an ATF veteran who currently serves as an adviser for the gun control advocacy group named for former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who survived a 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, as a congresswoman. "Gun violence in this country is an epidemic," Biden said during remarks in the White House Rose Garden, calling it an "international embarrassment."  "The idea that we have so many people dying every single day from gun violence in America is a blemish on our character as a nation." more...

By Igor Derysh

Former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies sought to derail President Joe Biden's first 75 days in office by obstructing his transition and Cabinet selections. But their efforts appear to have backfired after the Senate confirmed all of Biden's picks for the 15 traditional Cabinet positions — and with more bipartisan support than Trump's nominees received. Senate Republicans, particularly Trump allies like Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas, as well as major recipients of corporate donations like Sens. John Cornyn of Texas and Steve Daines of Montana, delayed the confirmations of Biden's Cabinet selections for weeks, dragging out the final confirmation until March 22, two months after Biden's inauguration. But despite the delay tactics, Biden became the first president since Ronald Reagan in 1981 to have all of his first choices confirmed to their positions. more...

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden’s administration on Monday told the U.S. Supreme Court that it thinks low-level crack cocaine offenders should be among the beneficiaries of a federal law that reduced certain prison sentences, reversing the position taken under his predecessor Donald Trump. more...

JASON BRESLOW

President Biden has allowed a ban on H1-B and other kinds of foreign work visas to expire, bringing to a close a dramatic clampdown on legal immigration put in place by the Trump administration last year as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic. The ban, imposed last June, was designed to prevent temporary workers from a range of industries from entering the country. At the time, President Trump said the freeze was needed to both protect public health and safeguard a job market that at the time was in freefall. While groups that support less immigration cheered the move, it was widely opposed by business groups. more...

The plan includes everything from road repairs and electric vehicle stations, to public school upgrades and training for the clean-energy workforce.
Javier Zarracina, Joey Garrison and George Petras, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday introduced a sweeping $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs package that looks to reshape the American economy and make the most significant domestic U.S. investments in generations. His far-reaching American Jobs Plan includes spending to repair aging roads and bridges, jump-start transit projects and rebuild school buildings and hospitals. It would also expand electric vehicles, replace all lead pipes and overhaul the nation’s water systems. But the plan goes far beyond infrastructure. more...

By Kate Sullivan and Maegan Vazquez, CNN

(CNN) President Joe Biden on Friday called a sweeping elections bill signed into law in Georgia "Jim Crow in the 21st Century" and "an atrocity" and called on Congress to pass voting rights legislation that would counter restrictions Republicans are trying to push through at the state level across the country. "Recount after recount and court case after court case upheld the integrity and outcome of a clearly free, fair, and secure democratic process," Biden said in a statement released by the White House, referring to the 2020 election, when he became the first Democratic presidential candidate in nearly three decades to win the state. Georgia is the first presidential battleground to impose new voting restrictions following Biden's victory in the state, but the bill, which Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law Thursday evening, is part of a national Republican effort to restrict access to the ballot after the 2020 election saw record turnout. "This is Jim Crow in the 21st Century. It must end," Biden said in the statement, noting how the restrictions disproportionately target Black voters. more...

A brutal political incentive pushes GOP leaders to embrace policies that hurt their own constituents.
By Teri Kanefield, attorney and author

A simple formula, or what we might call a neat magic trick, allows Republican Party leaders to retain the support of their "base" even as they enact policies that hurt their own voters. Two competing storylines highlight exactly how this is playing out right now. The Republican Party claims to be the party of the working class. On Feb. 26, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told supporters at the Conservative Political Action Conference that the GOP was "the party of steelworkers and construction workers and pipeline workers and taxicab drivers and cops and firefighters and waiters and waitresses and the men and women with calluses on their hands who are working for this country." And yet just a few days later, 49 Republican senators — including Cruz — voted against President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill (one senator was absent). more...

By Arlette Saenz, Jake Tapper and Betsy Klein, CNN

(CNN) Several White House staffers were asked to resign, were suspended or are working remotely after revealing past marijuana use during their background checks, sources familiar with the situation tell CNN. Five people are no longer employed at the White House, while additional staffers are working remotely. In many of the cases involving staffers who are no longer employed, additional security factors were in play, including for some hard drug use, the official said. While marijuana use is legal in many states, it is still illegal on the federal level, which can present a hurdle in the federal security clearance process. The White House underscored on Friday that it has eased some restrictions in its security clearance policy to be more lenient about employing individuals with a history of drug use more...

“Revenge is a dish best served cold,” one Russian official said after Biden called Putin a “killer.”
Julia Davis

The Kremlin was unquestionably furious about President Joe Biden’s Wednesday interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. In contrast to former President Donald Trump’s outright refusal to condemn the Russian leader for any of his actions, when Biden was asked whether he thought Russian President Vladimir Putin was a “killer,” he succinctly replied, “Mmm-hmm, I do.” On Thursday, Putin appeared rattled and irritated as he personally addressed Biden’s remarks during a video call with residents of Crimea marking the anniversary of its annexation from Ukraine by Russia in 2014. Angrily glaring into the lens of the camera, Putin forced a smile and said of Biden, “I wish him good health.” The loaded response could be read as an implied threat, but it most likely refers to ongoing efforts by Kremlin-controlled state media to portray the American president as a hapless elder suffering from dementia. more...

The Senate confirms Xavier Becerra, President Biden's pick as Health and Human Services secretary. He will resign as California's attorney general. video...

By Anna Chernova, Zahra Ullah and Rob Picheta, CNN

Moscow (CNN) The Kremlin has reacted angrily to US President Joe Biden's remarks that Russian leader Vladimir Putin is "a killer," calling the comment unprecedented and describing the relationship between the two countries as "very bad." Putin on Thursday nevertheless invited Biden to hold open online talks in the wake of the remarks. In an interview with ABC that aired Wednesday, Biden said Putin "will pay a price" for his efforts to undermine the 2020 US election following a landmark American intelligence assessment that found the Russian government meddled in the 2020 election with the aim of "denigrating" Biden's candidacy. When interviewer George Stephanopoulos asked Biden if he thought Putin was "a killer," the President said, "Mhmm. I do." Responding to the comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday that "there hasn't been anything like this in history." more...

Amanda Macias

WASHINGTON – The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent an eerie message to the United States on Tuesday, as Biden administration officials arrive for high-level talks in Japan and South Korea. “We take this opportunity to warn the new U.S. administration trying hard to give off [gun] powder smell in our land,” Kim Yo Jong said in a statement referencing joint U.S. and South Korean military exercises in the region. “If it [the U.S.] wants to sleep in peace for the coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step,” she added, according to an English translation. more...

Brittany Bernstein

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) is asking Attorney General Merrick Garland to help facilitate “proper oversight” into the FBI’s 2018 background check of Brett Kavanaugh during the Supreme Court justice’s confirmation hearing, suggesting that the investigation may have been “fake.” Kavanaugh faced a tumultuous confirmation process in 2018 after Christine Blasey Ford claimed he had sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh denied the claims. The FBI investigated Ford’s allegations, as well as other allegations of misconduct that arose. However, some Democratic senators claimed the bureau had not performed a thorough background check. They criticized the FBI’s decision not to interview Ford or Kavanaugh as part of the probe. In a letter to Garland, Whitehouse expresses concern that some witnesses who wanted to share their accounts with the FBI allegedly could not find anyone at the bureau to accept their testimony and that no one had been assigned to accept or gather evidence. more...

The president kicked off a swing-state tour to tout his Covid-19 relief plan with remarks at the White House.
By Rebecca Shabad and Shannon Pettypiece

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Monday that the United States will reach his goal of administering 100 million coronavirus vaccination shots ahead of schedule, hitting the milestone as 100 million stimulus checks go out to Americans under his Covid-19 relief package. "It's here, sooner than many ever thought possible," Biden said in remarks at the White House. "Over the next 10 days, we will reach two giant goals: One hundred million shots in people's arms and 100 million checks in people's pockets." Biden pledged before taking office that his administration would dole out more than 100 million shots in his first 100 days, a goal that many said was ambitious given the sluggish start to the vaccine rollout. As of Monday, the U.S. has been averaging 2.4 million doses per week, according to NBC News. Meanwhile, stimulus checks began arriving in many Americans' bank accounts over the weekend. more...

By Camilo Montoya-Galvez

As of Sunday morning, U.S. Border Patrol was holding more than 4,200 unaccompanied migrant children in short-term holding facilities, including jail-like stations unfit to house minors, according to government records reviewed by CBS News. Nearly 3,000 of the unaccompanied children in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody had been held longer than 72 hours. CBP is legally obligated to transfer most unaccompanied minors to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the agency which oversees shelters licensed to house children, within three days of taking them into custody. more...

By Donald Judd and Devan Cole, CNN

(CNN) President Joe Biden signed an executive order Sunday expanding voting access in what the White House calls "an initial step" in its efforts to "protect the right to vote and ensure all eligible citizens can freely participate in the electoral process." The move comes as Republicans in statehouses around the country work to advance voter suppression legislation, including a bill in Georgia that voting rights groups say targets Black voters. Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, have pushed measures in recent days to increase voting rights, including HR1 -- a sweeping ethics and election package that contains provisions expanding early and mail-in voting, restoring voting rights to former felons, and easing voter registration for eligible Americans. Sunday's order directs the heads of all federal agencies to submit proposals for their respective agencies to promote voter registration and participation within 200 days, while assisting states in voter registration under the National Voter Registration Act. In addition, the order instructs the General Services Administration to modernize the federal government's Vote.gov portal. Ahead of the signing, Biden spoke about the order during virtual remarks at the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast, an annual event commemorating "Bloody Sunday," where African American demonstrators demanding the right to vote were brutally beaten by police while crossing Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. more...

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Sunday urged computer network operators to take further steps to gauge whether their systems were targeted amid a hack of Microsoft Corp’s Outlook email program, saying a recent software patch still left serious vulnerabilities. “This is an active threat still developing and we urge network operators to take it very seriously,” a White House official said, adding that top U.S. security officials were working to decide what next steps to take following the breach. CNN on Sunday separately reported the Biden administration was forming a task force to address the hack. The White House official, in a statement, said the administration was making “a whole of government response.” While Microsoft released a patch last week to shore up flaws in its email software, the remedy still leaves open a so-called back door that can allow access to compromised servers and perpetuating further attacks by others. more...

Sam Levine in New York

Joe Biden will sign an executive order expanding voting rights on Sunday, the 56th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, when police brutally attacked a voting rights march in Selma, Alabama. Republicans have advanced more than 250 measures in state legislatures which aim to restrict voting, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Biden referenced those measures in remarks delivered remotely to a unity breakfast in Selma on Sunday, saying: “We cannot let them succeed.” “If you have the best ideas, you have nothing to hide,” he said. “Let more people vote.” House Democrats last week passed HR1, a bill that contains some of the most sweeping measures to expand voting rights since the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Amid the increasing efforts to restrict voting rights, there are increasing calls for Democrats to get around the 60-vote filibuster in the US Senate in order to pass the measure. more...

Despite the latest gains, around 4 million people have still been out of work for 27 weeks or longer.
By Martha C. White

The U.S. economy added 379,000 jobs in February, roundly beating economists’ estimates of 210,000, and indicating that one year into the pandemic, the labor market is finally showing signs of recovery. In the first full monthly employment report under President Joe Biden, the unemployment rate fell to 6.2 percent,from 6.3 percent in January, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "The ship is pointed in the right direction, and the additional stimulus coming from Congress should be the wind in the sails to get the economy back on track," said Charlie Ripley, Senior Investment Strategist for Allianz Investment Management. The latest jobs report comes after a month of stumbles in Covid-19 vaccine deployment and frigid weather that plunged Texas and large parts of the South into a deep freeze that froze oil rigs, ruptured household plumbing and cost lives. more...

By Kathryn Watson

President Biden on Wednesday criticized leaders in Texas and Mississippi for ending their statewide mask mandates before all Americans have access to a vaccine. Mr. Biden said it was "Neanderthal thinking" to believe that "in the meantime, everything is fine, take off your masks." Republican governors in Texas and Mississippi announced the lifting of their mask mandates this week, before the states have finished vaccinating seniors and vulnerable populations. The Centers for Disease Control and federal health officials have said now is not the time to stop being vigilant, especially given the uptick in variants. more...

After a tough few weeks, Tanden announced she’s withdrawing her nomination as OMB director.
By Ella Nilsen

President Joe Biden has lost his first Cabinet-level pick. Neera Tanden, the embattled nominee for Biden’s Office of Management and Budget director, has officially withdrawn her nomination for the position after days of uncertainty over whether she had enough votes to be confirmed in the US Senate. “Unfortunately, it now seems clear that there is no path forward to gain confirmation, and I do not want continued consideration of my nomination to be a distraction from your other priorities,” Tanden, the president of the left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress, said in a statement released Tuesday.

With her withdrawal, Tanden becomes the first nominee to a White House Cabinet post to be sunk by her old tweets, which were sharply critical of a number of lawmakers. Biden’s administration had emphasized the historic nature of Tanden’s nomination; she served in President Bill Clinton’s White House and had experience running a major think tank, and if confirmed, she would have been the first woman of color and first Asian American woman to lead OMB. more...

By Jennifer Hansler, CNN

Washington (CNN)The Biden administration has imposed sanctions on seven Russian officials in response to the poisoning and imprisonment of opposition leader Alexey Navalny. It was among a series of steps the new administration announced Tuesday in its first significant move against Moscow since Joe Biden became President. Senior administration officials stressed that the action was being taken in coordination with allies like the European Union, which also unveiled sanctions on Tuesday. One senior administration official referred to the August 2020 poisoning of Navalny as an attempted assassination. Another revealed that the intelligence community had assessed with high confidence that Russia's security service, the FSB, had poisoned the opposition leader with the nerve agent Novichok. Navalny was detained upon his return to Russia in mid-January after five months in Germany, where he received treatment for the poisoning that nearly killed him. more...

Jaclyn Diaz

Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama voting to unionize won the backing of an important executive. Without naming the massive e-commerce company specifically, President Joe Biden said in a video posted late Sunday that he supports the organizing drive in Bessemer, Ala. "Today and over the next few days and weeks, workers in Alabama and all across America are voting on whether to organize a union in their workplace," Biden said in a video shared to his Twitter page. "This is vitally important — a vitally important choice, as America grapples with the deadly pandemic, the economic crisis and the reckoning on race — what it reveals is the deep disparities that still exist in our country." More than 5,800 warehouse workers at the facility are voting this month whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. more...

The US military struck a site in Syria used by two Iranian-backed militia groups in response to rocket attacks on American forces in the region in the past two weeks. "Up to a handful" of militants were killed in the strikes, a US official told CNN. The strikes, which mark the US military's first known action under President Joe Biden, swiftly drew criticism from a Democratic lawmaker. video...

By Zachary Cohen, Marshall Cohen and Whitney Wild

(CNN) Acting US Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman warned Thursday that militia groups involved in the January 6 insurrection want to "blow up the Capitol" and "kill as many members as possible" when President Joe Biden addresses Congress. Pressed by House lawmakers to provide a timeline for removing the razorwire fencing and other enhanced security measures installed after the US Capitol attack, Pittman said law enforcement remains concerned about threats by known militia groups "with a direct nexus to the State of the Union" address. "We know that members of the militia groups that were present on January 6 have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union, which we know that date has not been identified," she told House lawmakers during Thursday's hearing on security failures related to January 6. "We know that the insurrectionists that attacked the Capitol weren't only interested in attacking members of Congress and officers," she added. "They wanted to send a symbolic message to the nation as to who is in charge of that legislative process." more...

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