In outcome of Whitmer case, some see freedom, others danger
That a jury didn't convict any of the four men charged with planning to kidnap Michigan Gov_ Gretchen Whitmer is further evidence of the political polarization in the U_S_ A defense lawyer for one of the men says it shows freedom still exists, and that the men's actions were nothing more than “rough talk.”.
COVID-19 law sparks dialogue on nursing home alternatives
Now, the COVID-19 relief bill is offering states a generous funding boost for home- and community-based care as an alternative to institutionalizing disabled people. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)WASHINGTON – With the memory of the pandemic's toll in nursing homes still raw, the COVID-19 relief law is offering states a generous funding boost for home- and community-based care as an alternative to institutionalizing disabled people. As it has grown to cover about 1 in 5 Americans, it's also become the nation's default long-term care program, although qualifying is often an arduous process. While the federal government requires state Medicaid programs to cover nursing home care for low-income people, that's not the case for home- and community-based support services. For now, states and advocates for the disabled are awaiting guidance from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on how the money in the COVID-19 law can be spent.
Cheney says she won't quit the House after Wyoming censure
FILE - In this March 6, 2019, file photo, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Wyoming Republican Party voted overwhelmingly Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021 to censure U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney for voting to impeach President Donald Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. On Saturday, the Wyoming Republican Party voted overwhelmingly to censure Cheney. Ad“We need to honor President Trump. About two-thirds of House Republicans voted to back Trump’s effort to overturn his November election loss — just hours after his supporters’ deadly siege of the Capitol.
Fury at the shaken Capitol over the attack, security, virus
Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON – This time the fury enveloping the U.S. Capitol comes not from an insurgent mob but from within. The anger on display is searing — Democrat against Republican; Republican against Republican; legislators of both parties against the catastrophic security failure that left top leaders of the government vulnerable to last week's violence as well as to the coronavirus in their ranks. Shaken members, long accustomed to protective bubbles, inquired whether they can expense their own bulletproof vests to taxpayers (yes they can). McCarthy had joined most House Republicans in December in supporting a lawsuit to block Biden’s election, and again last week in two votes against certifying Biden’s win. In their oath of office, lawmakers vow to defend the Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
Fury at the shaken Capitol over the attack, security, virus
Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON – This time the fury enveloping the Capitol comes not from an insurgent mob but from within. The anger on display is searing — Democrat against Republican; Republican against Republican; legislators of both parties against the catastrophic security failure that left top leaders of the government vulnerable to last week's violence as well as to the coronavirus in their ranks. Shaken members, long accustomed to protective bubbles, inquired whether they can expense their own bulletproof vests to taxpayers (yes they can). McCarthy had joined most House Republicans in December in supporting a lawsuit to block Biden’s election, and again last week in two votes against certifying Biden’s win. In their oath of office, lawmakers vow to defend the Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
Trump signs massive measure funding government, COVID relief
The bill was passed with what lawmakers had thought was Trump's blessing, and after months of negotiations with his administration. It was unclear what, if anything, Trump accomplished with his delay, beyond angering all sides and empowering Democrats to continue their push for higher relief checks, which his own party opposes. In his statement, Trump repeated his frustrations with the COVID-19 relief bill for providing only $600 checks to most Americans instead of the $2,000 that his fellow Republicans already rejected. Lawmakers now have breathing room to continue debating whether the relief checks should be as large as the president has demanded. Aside from unemployment benefits and relief payments to families, money for vaccine distribution, businesses and more was on the line.
Unemployment benefits for millions in limbo as Trump rages
Unemployment benefits for millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet were set to lapse at midnight Saturday night unless Trump signed an end-of-year COVID relief and spending bill that had been considered a done deal before his sudden objections. Lauren Bauer, a fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, has calculated that 11 million people would lose aid from the programs immediately without additional relief; millions more would exhaust other unemployment benefits within weeks. He said he will be left with no income by the second week of January if Trump fails to sign the bill. McCarthy said he already burned through much of his savings as he waited five months to begin receiving his unemployment benefits. She is receiving about $125 a week under the pandemic unemployment program and says she will be unable to pay her bills in about a month.
Senate GOP blocks Democratic push for Trump’s $2K checks
“We should not adjourn until the Senate holds a vote,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said as he made a motion to push it toward a vote. McConnell, who has said little publicly on Trump’s request, objected but gave almost no indication of his plans ahead. Congress had settled on smaller $600 payments in a compromise over the big year-end relief bill Trump reluctantly signed into law. Loeffler said in an interview on Fox that she, too, backs the boosted relief checks. Most House Republicans simply shrugged off Trump’s push, 130 of them voting to reject the higher checks that would add $467 billion in additional costs.
Automakers prep for stronger mileage standards under Biden
Biden likely will make the standards stricter than Trump but not as strict as Obama and automakers will have to sell more battery-powered vehicles to meet those standards. At present, there are about 20 fully electric vehicles on sale in the U.S. with dozens more on the way. This year, the consulting firm LMC Automotive expects U.S. consumers to buy around 218,000 fully electric vehicles — about 1.5% of new vehicles sold. It's likely that negotiations between automakers, environmental groups, California and the Biden administration will produce some sort of compromise between Trump's rolled-back standards and Obama's stricter requirements. A spokesman for the Biden administration didn't return messages left seeking comment.
14 hours later, Trump says he is 'saddened' by Lewis' death
Shortly after 2 p.m., as Trump was returning from his golf outing and more than 14 hours after Lewis' death was announced he offered his and the first ladys condolences in a two-sentence Twitter message. Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero John Lewis passing. In December of that year, Lewis refused to speak at the opening of Mississippi civil rights and history museums because Trump would be there. The White House also issued a proclamation from the president ordering the lowering of U.S. flags at federal buildings for Lewis' death. The administration lowered the American flag over the White House to half-staff, but then raised it again two days later.
Democrats warn against overconfidence in fight against Trump
Biden and his leading supporters are stepping up warnings to Democrats to avoid becoming complacent. If the election were held today, I think Biden would win Michigan, said Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell. Four years ago, Hillary Clinton was leading by wide margins nationally and in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania -- the very states that ultimately put Trump over the top. Still, in Biden, Trump faces an opponent with a stronger standing among some groups of voters, especially independents, than Clinton had. While Trump animates the left, Dingell warned that Democrats havent closed the deal with alienated moderates and can unwittingly help Trump expand his white base.