Congress

Senate passes anti-Asian American hate crime bill

Passing the bill sent a “solid message of solidarity that the Senate will not be a bystander as anti-Asian violence surges in our country,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), the bill’s lead Senate sponsor. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), one of two Asian Americans in the Senate along with Hirono, recounted how her elderly mother had […]

Defense

U.S. troops increasingly vulnerable to directed-energy attacks, Pentagon tells lawmakers

The Pentagon opened an investigation last year after suspected directed-energy attacks occurred on an unknown number of troops, POLITICO first reported earlier Thursday. Lawmakers were officially notified on April 15 that the House Armed Services briefing would take place on Wednesday. Committee members heard from Jennifer Walsh, the acting Pentagon policy chief, and Griffin Decker, […]

Congress

Black Democrats urge party to shift its voting rights push

Still, multiple Democrats acknowledged this week that the voting rights-only bill named for Lewis stands a better chance to make it to President Joe Biden’s desk. That bill has more Democratic support and an outside chance to win over a few Republicans, based on past votes to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act. And the stakes […]

Congress

Senate Republicans expected to keep earmark ban

The largely symbolic decision, keeping the party on track with tea party-era attitudes toward spending, would come after a majority of House Republicans voted in a secret ballot to back Democrats’ return to earmarking, with extra guardrails. If Senate Republicans vote on removing the ban, the choice would cleave presidential hopefuls from other Republicans who […]

Defense

U.S. considers more weapons shipments to Ukraine amid Russian buildup

A Monday night announcement that U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan would return to Washington for consultations, despite reports that Sullivan was initially resisting Russian suggestions that he leave Moscow, also hinted at the Biden administration’s concerns about the growing tensions. The administration is still in talks with the Kremlin to hold a summit sometime […]

Congress

Lawmakers push PPP revamp as funding lapse looms

It’s unclear how many potential borrowers the bill will help without any more money being pumped into the program. And the legislation doesn’t extend the May 31 deadline for loan applications either. “No new PPP funding is currently proposed,” said Paul Merski, executive vice president of the Independent Community Bankers of America, which represents lenders […]

Congress

GOP push to censure Waters, with nation on edge, reveals bigger problems

But Democrats — even those who have questioned Waters’ rhetoric behind closed doors — swiftly counter that several GOP lawmakers have more explicitly endorsed violence, including against fellow members of Congress. Democrats have zeroed in on the handful of Republicans, as well as former President Donald Trump, tied to charges of inciting violence leading up […]

Congress

Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at 93

Heading into the 1976 election season, Mondale was expected to join a wide-open Democratic field in seeking the presidency. He opted out but ended up being chosen by Jimmy Carter as his running mate, the so-called “Fritz and Grits ticket.” They eked out a narrow win over President Gerald Ford and Kansas Sen. Bob Dole […]

Congress

Senate nears breakthrough on hate crimes bill

Passing the hate crimes bill would go a long way toward defusing partisan tensions over the filibuster that have simmered since President Joe Biden took office. Many Democrats had assumed the GOP would block the narrow bias crime legislation, but instead the two parties appear to be successfully negotiating. The Senate last week voted overwhelmingly […]

Congress

Lawmakers scramble for ‘musical chairs’ to view Biden’s first Capitol speech

Presidential addresses to a joint session of Congress are a historic tradition, but Democrats are particularly excited this spring after four years of gritting their teeth while former President Donald Trump delivered speeches — and bombastic broadsides — beneath the dome. (Some boycotted Trump’s State of the Union addresses altogether.) When Biden finally makes his […]