Trump’s second impeachment trial begins Tuesday

By Jeremy Herb, Manu Raju and Lauren Fox, CNN The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump begins in the Senate on Tuesday, where senators will be confronted with the violent events of the January 6 riots and whether Trump is culpable for inciting the insurrectionists that attacked the Capitol and placed their lives in danger. The historic trial has a number of firsts: It’s the first time in US history a president will be tried in the Senate court of impeachment for a second time. And it’s the first time that a former President will face the prospect

Democrats to unveil $3,000 child benefit as part of Biden relief package

By Daniella Diaz and Tami Luhby, CNN House Democratic leaders will unveil legislation Monday that would give millions of families at least $3,000 per child, advancing a key provision in President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package. Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee Richard Neal, who is leading the crafting of the legislation for the stimulus package, will introduce the enhanced Child Tax Credit bill, according to a committee spokesperson. “The pandemic is driving families deeper and deeper into poverty, and it’s devastating. We are making the Child Tax Credit more generous, more accessible, and by paying it

Austin focuses inward in first days as Pentagon chief

By Oren Liebermann, CNN  Lloyd Austin pressed his extended forefinger into the table, a sign the new secretary of defense was serious. He had called a meeting Wednesday with his most senior military leaders to address what he believes are among the most pressing issues facing the country and the armed services: racism and domestic extremism. And as he told the leaders of the military branches in his deliberate, measured pace to “get after it,” he repeatedly thumped the table with his finger, according to a senior defense official familiar with the call. Shortly before Austin announced a staggered pause

Democrats to work on Covid relief throughout a critical week in Washington

By Lauren Fox, CNN  It’s a critical week of negotiations for Democrats about how to move ahead with President Joe Biden’s Covid relief package. It will play out behind the scenes and ultimately have far bigger impact on Biden’s legacy, test his ability to manage his party’s diverse coalitions and ultimately make the very first impression of whether Democrats will be able to govern with their narrow majorities in the House and Senate. Of course the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump will consume Congress and Washington this week. Bottom Line: Democrats are going to be united on impeachment.


By Ted Barrett, Paul LeBlanc and Clare Foran, CNN Both chambers of Congress have now passed a budget resolution, a key procedural step that sets up the ability for Democrats to pass President Joe Biden’s sweeping $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package without the threat of a filibuster from Republicans who oppose it. The Senate passed the budget resolution early Friday morning 51-50 on a party line vote after Vice President Kamala Harris showed up at the Capitol to break the tie. The House passed the resolution later in the day Friday. The House had already passed the budget measure earlier

A Black woman will be the world’s top trade official for the first time


By Hanna Ziady and Charles Riley, CNN Business The path has been cleared for Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become the first woman and the first African to lead the World Trade Organization after South Korea’s candidate pulled out of the race for the job. Yoo Myung-hee, the South Korean trade minister, announced her decision to withdraw in a televised briefing on Friday. Okonjo-Iweala, an economist and former finance minister of Nigeria, already enjoyed broad support from WTO members, including the European Union, China, Japan and Australia. However, the United States, under the Trump administration, had favored Yoo, complicating the decision-making

Biden says he doesn’t think $15 minimum wage will survive in his Covid-19 relief proposal

By Kate Sullivan, CNN President Joe Biden conceded that he does not believe he will be able to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour through his $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief proposal due to the Senate’s rules. “I put it in, but I don’t think it’s going to survive,” Biden told “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” in excerpts of an interview that aired Friday. The interview with CBS is his first for network television since taking office and the full interview will air on Sunday. The President, who campaigned on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour,

The move for another round of stimulus checks


By Katie Lobosco, CNN Congress is negotiating a fresh stimulus package that would include a third round of stimulus checks, but while there’s broad agreement on the need for more direct payments, it will take weeks before any go out. The upcoming second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump will push back any congressional action, and lawmakers are scheduled to be on recess over President’s Day — meaning there may not be progress on a deal until later in the month. It takes at least several days to get the first payments processed after any legislation is signed, and

Biden continues push to put racial equity at the forefront

By Nicole Chavez, CNN Nearly a week into his administration, President Joe Biden is focused on creating a path toward equity after inheriting a deeply divided nation. After picking the most racially diverse Cabinet in US history, Biden jump-started his efforts by proposing a sweeping immigration overhaul, disbanding the 1776 commission and reversing a Trump-era ban on most transgender Americans joining the military. “President Biden believes gender identity should not be a bar to military service and that America’s strength is found in its diversity,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday. “America is stronger around the world when

In the nearly 232-year history of the US Senate there have only been 11 Black senators


By Faith Karimi, CNN As we begin the 2021 Celebration of Black History Month, Congress set a new diversity record this year with its highest-ever number of women and racial minorities, including 60 Black lawmakers. But that’s mostly in the House. People of color have historically had a tougher time getting elected to the Senate. Newly elected Raphael Warnock is only the 11th Black US senator since the Senate convened for the first time in 1789. Only two of those have been women. And with the departure of Kamala Harris, the number of Black female US senators is now at

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