Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State admitted that it would be ’very hard’ to meet the 62,000 refugee cap pledged by President Joe Biden. He blamed the earlier administration, and said that the refugee system that was in place when the administration came in lacked ’the means to effectively process as many people as we hoped.’ Mr. Biden said he would keep this fiscal year’s refugee cap of 15,000
President Joe Biden described the situation at the border as a ’crisis’ for the first time, but defended his administration’s walkback on refugee policy a day earlier, which was vehemently criticized by some from his own party. The Biden administration had earlier insisted on referring to the border crisis as a ’challenge’, and blamed it on the Trump administration’s dismantling of asylum paths.
State lawmakers from Delaware are reportedly considering a bill that aims to allow human composting as an alternative to burial or cremation after a person dies. The bill was introduced by the Democrats, who say it is an environmentally friendly alternative for cremation. Washington is the first state to legalize human composting, with Governor Jay Inslee legalizing the same in 2019.
GOP Reps. Greene and Boebert were the only two House members to vote against a bill that would reauthorize the National Marrow Donor Program. The bill passed the House in a 415-2 vote. It aims to reauthorize a program that matches bone marrow donors and cord blood units with patients who have leukemia. Greene claimed ’Nothing in this bill prevents the funding of aborted fetal tissue by taxpayers.’
On Thursday, Alabama Legislature approved a bill that would ban K-12 schools from allowing a ’biological male’ to participate on a female team. The Senate approved the House-passed bill by voting 25-5, while the House accepted some minor changes by 76-13. The bill now heads to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, and she did not yet say whether she would sign it.
Amid pressure, the White House said Friday that President Biden plans to lift his predecessor’s low cap on refugees by next month. An emergency determination signed by Biden earlier in the day stated the admission of up to 15,000 refugees set by former president Trump ’remains justified by humanitarian concerns and is otherwise in the national interest.’ The change is now expected by May 15.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) declared that he would no longer wear a face mask in the US Capitol or on the Senate floor. He said he decided this because ’everybody working in the Senate’ have received Covid-19 vaccinations. Talking to CNN, Cruz also referred to an earlier CDC guidance that said: ’Fully vaccinated people can visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks.’
President Biden on Friday called Iran’s enrichment of uranium to 60% purity unhelpful but said he is pleased the country is still in indirect talks with Washington. His comments came after Iran said earlier it had begun enriching uranium to 60%, its highest level ever. Biden said he looked forward to ’what is needed to allow us to move back into the (nuclear deal)...without us making concessions.’
Following the mass shooting in Indianapolis which left eight people dead, Vice President Kamala Harris has called for an end to gun violence. She also said that President Joe Biden is expected to address the shooting later, on Friday. Authorities said they are trying to determine the motive behind the attack in Indianapolis, which also left many people injured.
A Pew Research Poll has claimed that 50 percent of respondents said they approve of Democratic congressional leaders’ performance compared to only about a third who said the same of their GOP counterparts. 47 percent of the respondents, however, disapproved of their performance. 64 percent of respondents disapproved of Republican congressional leaders, and only 32 percent approved.
Former Republican President George W. Bush has urged bipartisan action on several immigration measures. The former president has also called for a restoration of ’the people’s confidence in an immigration system that serves both our values and our interests.’ He has also advocated for embracing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The administration of President Joe Biden is planning on investing $1.7 billion into tracking and combating COVID-19 variants. The move comes amid new strains making up about half of all infections across the nation. The plan will earmark funds for improving genomic sequencing of COVID-19 samples, which helps scientists identify variants and ’potentially deadly mutations.’
Merrick Garland, the Attorney General officially revoked a memo from the Trump era that limited the use of consent decrees by prosecutors in pushing for changes at police departments and other agencies in abuse and misconduct investigations. Consent decrees, court-approved legal agreements reached without litigation, have earlier been used following civil rights investigations.
President Joe Biden has been urged by dozens of House Democrats to make good on a campaign promise to lift the cap on refugee admissions into the United States. The White House said that it will raise the limit imposed by former President Donald Trump, but the President has not signed the necessary papers to make it official. Top Democrats are unsure about the reason for the delay.
Rep. Jordan and Dr. Fauci got into a heated exchange Thursday over the country’s Covid-19 mitigation measures. Jordan pressed Fauci on the idea of herd immunity, and when Americans can expect to go back to normal. Fauci defended his recommendations as being consistent and based on CDC guidance. Jordan persisted on questioning Fauci, when Rep. Waters interjected and told him ’shut your mouth.’
House Speaker Pelosi said Thursday she will not support the effort by her fellow Democratic congressional leaders to expand the Supreme Court from nine justices to 13. ’I have no plans to bring it to the floor,’ Pelosi said. She however, added, ’I support the president’s commission to study a such a proposal,’ calling Biden’s move itself ’a big step.’
Democrats are planning to introduce a bill to increase the number of US Supreme Court justices from the current nine to 13. This is an attempt by the party to swing the high court away from a conservative majority of 6:3 at this moment. However, if such a bill is tabled, it would face stiff opposition from the Republicans. Former President Donald Trump appointed three justices during his term.
House Speaker Pelosi claimed the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrectionists would have ’had a battle on their hands’ if they encountered her. ’Well, I’m pretty tough. I’m a street fighter,’ Pelosi declared when asked if she was frightened during the January 6 incident. ’I was never personally afraid because I had so much security for myself,’ she said, adding that she ’was afraid for everybody else.’
Former VP Pence underwent successful surgery on Wednesday to implant a pacemaker after experiencing symptoms associated with a slow heart rate. Pence was previously diagnosed with asymptomatic left bundle branch block. Pence had the surgery done at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Falls Church. ’He is expected to fully recover and return to normal activity in the coming days,’ Pence’s office said.
The Senate voted 92-6 to advance a bill Wednesday that would address the surge of hate crimes against Asian Americans. The bill would assign a DOJ official to expedite reviews of potential Covid-19 related hate crimes and establish an online database. It also would task the department with coordinating with local law enforcement groups to raise awareness about hate-crime reporting.
A House panel advanced approving legislation Wednesday that would create a commission to study the issue of paying reparations to the descendants of slaves. The vote to advance the measure to the full House passed 25-17. Prospects for final passage remain poor in a closely divided Congress. The bill, referred to as H.R. 40, was first introduced by Rep. John Conyers in 1989.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise trolled VP Kamala Harris over her failure to visit the US-Mexico border amid the ongoing migrant crisis. Scalise showcased a milk carton that had a picture of Harris plastered on it with block text saying, ’MISSING AT THE BORDER.’ ’Harris needs to go down to the border and see this for herself,’ Scalise said, highlighting overcrowded conditions at fed facilities.