House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she wants fines of up to $10,000 for lawmakers who refuse to be screened for firearms at entrances to the House of Representatives. Metal detectors were erected at entrances to the House floor on Tuesday in the wake of last week’s riots. Members will vote on a rule change mandating fines when the House returns to session Jan. 21.
The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will have Lady Gaga singing the national anthem according to an announcement by the Presidential Inaugural Committee. The 59th inaugural swearing-in ceremony will also have singer Jennifer Lopez performing. The invocation will be led by Father Leo J. O’Donovan, former president of Georgetown University.
President Donald Trump released a statement in a new video, in which he condemned the violent riot at the US Capitol last week and called on his supporters to remain peaceful in the days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. He also hit out at Big Tech for censoring him. Trump said, ’The efforts to censor, cancel and blacklist our fellow citizens are wrong. And they are dangerous.’
The Senate impeachment trial of President Trump might hamper President-elect Biden’s congressional agenda in the first days of his presidency if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi transmits the article to the upper chamber before the inauguration. Biden also said ’I hope they’ll deal with their Constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of this nation’
Jaime Harrison has reportedly been selected by Joe Biden to lead the Democratic National Committee, which will meet next week to elect a new chairman. The 44 year old, who is a former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman, ran for the top job in 2017 and lost to Tom Perez, who is now leaving the chairman job. He broke fundraising records in a failed bid last year to unseat Sen. Lindsey Graham.
John Eastman, a conservative attorney who clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is being considered by President Donald Trump, as the President is reportedly keen on hiring him. Eastman was also a part of the legal team that represented Trump in cases contesting the election results in several states. Eastman also spoke at the ’Stop the Steal’ rally in Washington, D.C.
House Minority Leader McCarthy dismissed rumors that Antifa was involved in last week’s Capitol takeover. McCarthy, on a conference call Monday, insisted there was ’undisputedly’ no evidence that supports Antifa was involved despite certain news outlets saying otherwise. He also added that he did not think impeaching President Trump is the answer, instead it could further divide the nation.
Democratic Representative Jason Crow claimed that GOP lawmakers who he had spoken with had wept and told him they fear their personal safety as they weigh whether to vote in favor of impeachment of President Trump this week. ’Many of us have felt that way for a very long time because we have stood up for democracy,’ he said. ’And we expect them to do the same.’
President-elect Joe Biden named Samantha Power, who served as the US ambassador to the United Nations during the Obama administration, as his pick to head the US Agency for International Development. Power, if confirmed as administrator of the USAID, would sit on the National Security Council. Power, 50, who was born in Ireland, is a Pulitzer-winning former war correspondent.
According to a report by Fox quoting sources, Senate Majority Leader McConnell supports Democrats’ move to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Trump. One source said McConnell told associates that impeachment will help rid the GOP of Trump and his movement. A part of McConnell’s ire has been attributed to the Senate Majority lost to the Democrats in the Georgia Senate runoffs.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez opened up about the attack on the US Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump, and said she had a ’very close encounter’ during the riot. She also said that she felt ’she was going to die’ and that it was ’traumatizing’ as the insurrection brought the violent mob to her place of work. She also said many members of Congress ’narrowly escaped death’.
Rep. Mikie Sherrill from New Jersey has claimed that some lawmakers led groups around the Capitol for ’reconnaissance’ a day before the riot carried out by a pro-Trump mob. Claiming that she witnessed the alleged exploratory tours, she said she intends to see those lawmakers ’are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress.’
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham issued a warning and said that impeaching Trump over his comments before last week’s attack on the Capitol is a ’rushed process’ that ’will become a threat to future presidents.’ The message by the Senator, who is a close ally of President Trump, seems to be aimed at the growing number of congressional Republicans backing the impeachment push by Democrats.
VP Mike Pence rejected using the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office. In a letter to House Speaker Pelosi, Pence said the mechanism should not be used ’as a means of punishment or usurpation.’ ’I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution,’ he added.
The SCOTUS reinstated a requirement that women visit a hospital or clinic to obtain a drug used for medication-induced abortions. The ruling granted a request by the Trump administration to lift a lower court’s order that had suspended the FDA rule requiring in-person visits, allowing the drug to be posted or delivered.
Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives named nine managers who will lead President Trump’s second impeachment. The nine include Rep. Eric Swalwell, who faced recent controversy for his alleged relationship with a Chinese spy. Impeachment managers are given the task of presenting the charges, and they are particularly important during Senate trials.
Senator Marco Rubio has called on President-elect Joe Biden to send Americans $2,000 direct payments and deliver a message of unity by doing so. He said it would send a ’powerful message’ to the people of America if Biden urges the House and the Senate to forward him legislation ’to increase the direct economic impact payments to Americans struggling due to the pandemic.’
California’s Democrats hit out at efforts to recall Governor Gavin Newsom and referred to the petition to remove the governor as a ’coup’ while comparing the motivations to recall him to those of rioters who attacked the US Capitol last week. Journalists reacted sharply and criticized using ’coup.’ Los Angeles Times’ John Myers said: ’Newsom faces a political challenge, not an insurrection.’
Democratic lawmakers in the Illinois House of Representatives voted to anoint state Rep. Emanuel ’Chris’ Welch (D) as their next leader. With this, House Speaker Mike Madigan’s control over the House formally comes to an end. Madigan has served longer than any other state Speaker in U.S. history. Welch will be the first Black lawmaker to hold the Speaker’s gavel in Illinois history.
Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin predicted that as many as 12 Republican lawmakers might join Democrat led efforts to impeach President Trump for inciting the attack on the U.S. Capitol one week ago. Rep. Liz Cheney is also reportedly among the GOP lawmakers who might vote to impeach the President. Most Republicans think the move to impeach Trump a second time will only further divide the country.
The US House of Representatives passed a legislation calling upon Vice President Mike Pence to invoke his constitutional authority under 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office over Trump’s ’incitement’ of the deadly mob attack on the Capitol last week. The bill passed 223-205. One Republican lawmaker, Adam Kinzinger from Illinois, joined Democrats who voted to pass the bill.
Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) and Representative John Katko (R-New York) said they would vote to impeach President Donald Trump over inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol. Cheney dismissed fellow Republicans arguing against the need for it. Cheney is the No. 3 Republican in the House. Earlier, John Katko became the first House Republican to say he would vote to impeach Trump.
In the wake of the Capitol riots, lawmakers will now be required to walk through metal detectors before entering the House of Reps chamber. Magnetometers had been placed at selected entrances. Some Republican lawmakers complained they were not consulted by Democratic leadership about the decision to install the devices. GOP Rep. Rodney Davis said the decision was ’political correctness run amok.’