Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer — he'll be majority leader once the two new Georgia senators and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are all sworn into office — now has the opportunity to bring legislation to the floor and force votes. That could permit passage of $2,000 direct COVID-19 relief payments and other aid, for instance, and could mean debates on issues like police reform, immigration and climate change. But passage of such legislation would require support from Republicans, which gives the minority party enormous leverage. … [Read more...] about What Biden can and can’t get from an evenly divided Senate
Harris has been closely involved with all of Biden’s biggest decisions since winning the election in November, joining him for every one of his key meetings focused on Cabinet picks, the COVID-19 relief bill, security issues and more. The two talk over the phone nearly every day, and she travels to Delaware sometimes multiple times a week for transition events and meetings. … [Read more...] about Harris prepares for central role in Biden’s White House
And Biden is building on Obama’s agenda in almost exactly the same way he would if Obama were beginning a third term. He is reviving the economy (which is in much better shape than the 2009 version) with a huge stimulus. He is proposing to build on Obamacare by bulking up its subsidy levels, adding incentives to cover the people denied access to Medicaid, and attempting to add a public option (which Obama ran on but couldn’t get through Congress.) His climate plan uses the same combination of regulations, green-energy subsidies, and international diplomacy. Biden now has the chance to spend money deploying the green-energy technologies that he and Obama had to prod the market to invent in 2009. … [Read more...] about Trump Wanted to Erase Obama’s Legacy. He Failed.
AmeriCorps trends still indicate that people stepped up to volunteer in large numbers during the pandemic, but circumstances caused people to find innovative ways to serve. Food banks, which still require in-person volunteers, had to think through ways to spread people out during their work. Young people stepped up to take the place of older volunteers who are more at-risk from the virus. … [Read more...] about Biden calls Americans to volunteer on MLK Jr. Day
The inaugural address is as much a celebration of the peaceful handover of power as it is a set piece for a new or reelected president to lay out a vision for the nation. In recent memory, inaugural addresses have followed a predictable structure: The nation has challenges but there is hope to solve the problems if the president’s agenda is embraced. … [Read more...] about Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for US