McConnell opposes as Senate nears repeal of Iraq war powers
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says he opposes repeal of the 2002 and 1991 authorizations of force against Iraq, arguing that that authority “bears directly on the threats we face today in Iraq and Syria from Iran-backed terrorists.”.
Former Indiana first lady Susan Bayh dies at 61 from cancer
FILE - This Nov. 4, 2004 file photo shows Susan Bayh with husband Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, FILE)INDIANAPOLIS – Former Indiana first lady Susan Bayh, an attorney and wife of former Gov. Evan Bayh, has died at age 61 “after a long and courageous fight" against brain cancer, her family announced Saturday. Susan Bayh died Friday night in McLean, Virginia, a family spokesman said. Susan Bayh first underwent brain surgery in 2015 to remove a benign tumor.
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.
Oaths questioned as Trump's backers fight against loss
As some Republicans in Congress continued to back President Donald Trump's doomed effort to overturn the election, critics — including President-elect Joe Biden — alleged that they had violated their oaths and instead pledged allegiance to Trump. Both Republican and Democratic officials have deemed the election results legitimate and free of any widespread fraud. The oaths were mentioned often Wednesday during a joint session of Congress meant to confirm Biden’s victory. While authorities struggled to regain control, Biden called on Trump to abide by his oath and move to ease tensions. “I believe the Republican members of Congress who have incited this domestic terror attack through their attempts to overturn the election must face consequences,” she tweeted.
Carl Bernstein says 21 GOP senators contemptuous of Trump
NEW YORK – Former Watergate sleuth Carl Bernstein took to Twitter to list the names of 21 Republican senators who he says have “repeatedly expressed contempt” for Donald Trump and his fitness to be president. Many Washington reporters have talked about lawmakers who have privately expressed reservations about Trump but rarely attached names to their stories. Bernstein said he believed several of the Republicans on his list were privately happy about Democrat Joe Biden's victory. Michael Zona, a spokesperson for Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, who was on Bernstein's list, said the characterization was untrue. There was no article on CNN's website about Bernstein's list on Monday.
Too soon? Georgia draws next class of White House hopefuls
Georgia would like a few moments of presidential campaign time. The state has fast become a stage for the cast of possible Republican presidential candidates after President Donald Trump's defeat. Meanwhile, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley has sent a flurry of fundraising emails coaxing rank-and-file Republicans to bankroll the Georgia runoff campaigns. “Until there is a cure for Trumpism, the 2024 Republican presidential hopefuls will remain as frozen as a COVID vaccine,” Tyler quipped. For Democrats, there’s less future presidential intrigue to blend into the Georgia campaign.
Republican Dan Sullivan reelected in Alaska Senate race
Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, won re-election in Alaska, defeating independent Al Gross. (Al Drago/Pool via AP, File)JUNEAU, Alaska – Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan has won reelection in Alaska, defeating independent Al Gross in a race that attracted outside attention with control of the Senate at stake. The result in Alaska means control of the Senate won’t be decided until January Senate runoffs are held in Georgia. Sullivan campaign manager Matt Shuckerow was muted in his response Wednesday, noting ballots still were being counted in Alaska. The Gross campaign did not immediately indicate plans to concede after The Associated Press called the race for Sullivan on Wednesday.
Barrett swearing-in differs markedly from 'superspreader'
Barrett was confirmed to be a Supreme Court justice by the Senate earlier in the evening. It's been only a month since President Donald Trump's Rose Garden event to announce he was nominating Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the Supreme Court. Mike Lee and Thom Tillis — tested positive after attending the earlier White House celebration. Indiana Sen. Todd Young told reporters that he had told the White House he would attend, but was reconsidering. She said people need to be careful about gatherings as illnesses have been rising, but stopped short of calling the White House event a mistake.
Politics mixes with law as Trump closes in on court pick
Even before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death last week, the president had tried to use likelihood of more Supreme Court vacancies to his political advantage. Supreme Court nominations are never entirely devoid of political considerations, but Trump’s decision has been particularly wrapped up in a charged political moment. Even before Ginsburg’s death, Trump had done the same in 2020, releasing an additional 20 names he would consider for the court, and encouraging Democrat Joe Biden to do the same. “So they don’t want to show the judges because the only ones that he can put in are far-left radicals,” Trump said this week. “If Joe Biden and the Democrats take power, they will pack the Supreme Court with far-left radicals who will unilaterally transform American society far beyond recognition,” Trump said at a rally outside Toledo on Monday.
GOP senators see political, principle gain in court fight
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., arrives to meet with reporters following a Republican strategy session, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump marveled at a rally this week about how important Supreme Court nominations are to voters. But Senate Republicans are with the voters on that. No Supreme Court nominee in U.S. history has been confirmed by the Senate so close to balloting. At a rally late Tuesday in Pittsburgh, Trump told supporters how surprised he was in 2016 over voter reaction to the Supreme Court.
Senate GOP's virus relief bill expected to fall in vote
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)WASHINGTON A GOP coronavirus relief package faces dire prospects in a Senate test vote, and negotiators involved in recent efforts to strike a deal that could pass before the November election say they see little reason for hope. Democrats have indicated they will shelve the Republican measure as insufficient, leaving lawmakers at an impasse. Unless something really broke through, its not going to happen, said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Set aside $31 billion for a coronavirus vaccine, $16 billion for virus testing and $15 billion to help child care providers reopen. The GOP bill also lacks money for election security that lawmakers from both parties have supported.
As Bolton speaks, Congress shrugs and points to election
FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2019, file photo, former national security adviser John Bolton gestures while speakings at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)WASHINGTON Congress seems largely done with John Bolton. President Trump is clearly ethically unfit and intellectually unprepared to be the president of the United States. I dont have anything to say about it," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. Idaho Sen. James Risch, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters that Im not doing any interviews on John Bolton."