“Instead, we must unite once again as Americans,” McCarthy said at the start of a floor debate that stretched all afternoon. “I understand, for some, this call for unity may ring hollow.”
McCarthy voted last week – just hours after the mob had finally been cleared from the Capitol – in favor of rejecting the will of more than 10 million voters in Arizona and Pennsylvania to play along with Trump’s baseless claims of widespread election fraud in those states.
Ultimately, with 10 Republicans in support, the House voted 232 to 197 to impeach the president for inciting a riot with false claims of a stolen election that led to the storming of their building and five deaths. Most of those 197 Republicans opted not to speak during the floor debate, quietly casting their votes while avoiding television cameras. One of them, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), shed some light on why in a statement: “I truly fear there may be more facts that come to light in the future that will put me on the wrong side of this debate.”
Among those who did rise to speak against impeachment, few offered a rousing defense of Trump. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) noted on Wednesday that, while campaigning for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) during the GOP presidential primaries in 2016, he had accused Trump of being erratic. “I don’t think that’s being debated here today: We all know that’s true,” Issa said. “What’s being debated is whether, with 167 hours left until he leaves office, he is a clear and present danger, and he clearly isn’t. The president has acted substantially the same for four years.”
It was a marked contrast to the floor debate 13 months earlier when many Republicans unabashedly defended the propriety of his efforts to pressure Ukraine’s president to announce an investigation of Joe Biden and to put a hold on military assistance to Kyiv while doing so.
A significant chunk of the GOP speakers largely ignored Trump’s behavior and focused instead on critiquing the timing of the vote, the language of the resolution and the lack of a traditional process for bringing it to the floor. Other members rationalized their opposition to impeachment by attacking their Democratic counterparts for not more forcefully condemning violent street protests last summer after the killing of George Floyd in police custody.
“The president of the United States deserves universal condemnation for what was clearly, in my opinion, impeachable conduct: Pressuring the vice president to violate his oath,” said Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.). “Unfortunately, my Democratic colleagues drafted articles that I believe are flawed and unsupportable, focusing on the legal terms of incitement and insurrection.”
In December 2019, not a single House Republican broke ranks. Only Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) supported removing Trump after the trial on the other side of the Capitol. The 10 Republicans who backed impeachment this time were Reps. Peter Meijer (Mich.), Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), Tom Rice (S.C.), David Valadao (Calif.) Liz Cheney (Wyo.), John Katko (N.Y.), Fred Upton (Mich.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse (Wash.).
“These articles of impeachment are flawed, but I will not use process as an excuse. There is no excuse for President Trump’s actions,” Newhouse said. “We are all responsible. My colleagues are responsible for not condemning rioters this past year. Others, including myself, are responsible for not speaking out sooner before the president misinformed and inflamed a violent mob who tore down the American flag and brutally beat Capitol Police officers.”
Quote of the day
“Fear is our enemy,” said Herrera Beutler. “My vote to impeach our sitting president is not a fear-based decision. I am not choosing a side. I’m choosing truth. It’s the only way to defeat fear.”
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) said he “didn’t like the president’s speech” on Jan. 6 but argued that it did not rise to the level of incitement and therefore was not impeachable. “If we impeached every politician who gave a fiery speech to a crowd of partisans, this Capitol would be deserted,” he said. “Now, he also threatened to oppose candidates in future elections. And by the way, that was directed at Republicans like me who’d resolved to uphold the constitutional process and protect the electoral college. Well, so what? That’s called politics!”
To be sure, a segment of stalwart allies rallied to Trump’s defense. “Instead of stopping the Trump train, his movement will grow stronger, for you will have made him a martyr,” said Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the head of the Freedom Caucus and a backer of the “Stop the Steal” effort that culminated in the Jan. 6 rally.
Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) even went so far as to say that the violence at the Capitol was just a pretext to conceal why Democrats really were trying to get rid of Trump on his way out the door. “You hate him because he is pro-life,” LaMalfa said. “You hate him for Israel. You hate him for defending our borders. … You hate him for putting America first.”
Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) faulted Democrats for not trying to understand what motivated so many Trump supporters to descend on Washington in the first place. “He did say he wanted people to ‘fight like hell or we’re not going to have a country anymore,’ but that’s obviously standard hyperbole,” said Grothman. “You don’t understand why they were here. They’re scared to death we’re going to go back to the days without Donald Trump, of hundreds of thousands of people crossing this border every month. … They’re scared to death that nobody else will fight the cancel culture as we head towards an era when some things can’t be said. They’re scared to death that the majority party got here by teaming up with Black Lives Matter.”
Democrats unanimously supported Trump’s second impeachment. Last time, two members voted no (Jeff Van Drew and Collin Peterson) while a third voted present (Tulsi Gabbard). Van Drew switched parties, Peterson lost and Gabbard retired.
Freshman Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) said failing “to remove a white supremacist president who incited a white supremacist insurrection” would send a terrible message to predominantly Black communities like the one she represents in St. Louis. “The 117th Congress must understand that we have a mandate to legislate in defense of Black lives,” she said. “The first step in that process is to root out white supremacy starting with impeaching the white supremacist in chief.”
Thirteen months ago, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) shushed a group of Democrats who started to cheer after the House passed the impeachment resolution. No one cheered Wednesday. In large part, this was because no one felt like celebrating. “Every one of us in this room right now could have died,” explained Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the author of the article of impeachment.
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Rules Committee, noted that the debate was unfolding “at an actual crime scene.” He added: “The cause of this violence resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”
In a reminder of the trauma, members of the National Guard had spent the night sleeping in the halls of the Capitol. The temple of democracy is being used as a barracks for the first time since the Civil War.
After the first impeachment, Pelosi was mocked for using several pens to sign the resolution during the engrossment ceremony and then handing them out to members of her conference. This time, the speaker used only one pen.
Before she signed the document, Pelosi spoke to reporters from behind a lectern that one of the rioters had carried out of the House chamber. Adam Johnson, a Florida man, has been charged with theft of government property in connection with taking the lectern. It was discovered this week on the Senate side of the complex, where it had been discarded, and returned on Wednesday.
“Today, in a bipartisan way, the House demonstrated that no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States,” Pelosi said, “that Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our country and that, once again, we honor that oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help us God.”
What’s next for impeachment
Mitch McConnell says he’ll consider voting to convict Trump but refuses to bring back the Senate.
“I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate,” the Republican leader said in a message to his colleagues. “McConnell also pressed pause on an impeachment trial that would occur before Trump leaves the White House on Jan. 20,” Seung Min Kim and Paul Kane report. “His office informed aides to Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) earlier Wednesday that he would not agree to immediately reconvene the Senate this week … McConnell is poised to remain majority leader until at least Jan. 22, when election results from the two Senate runoff races in Georgia will be certified … McConnell and Schumer could jointly work out the rules that would govern Trump’s second impeachment trial, although once Democrats formally take the majority, Schumer and his ranks could formalize a rules package on a party-line vote.”
Senior GOP officials say it’s too early to determine whether the required 17 of 50 Republicans in the new Senate would would vote to punish Trump. In addition to Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah), Ben Sasse (Neb.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Pat Toomey (Pa.), others have directly criticized Trump for his role in inciting the riot, including Richard Burr (N.C.) and Rob Portman (Ohio).
Whether an official can be impeached after leaving office has not been settled by the courts, and constitutional scholars do not agree. But there are historical precedents: The impeachments of Tennessee Sen. William Blount in 1797 and Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876 both occurred after they were no longer in office. (Gillian Brockell)
Another open legal question is whether the chief justice or the vice president will preside over a trial, Robert Barnes reports. A Supreme Court spokeswoman declined to comment about whether Chief Justice John Roberts has been in contact with Senate leaders about the second trial. The Constitution says “when the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside.” But Trump will no longer be “the president” after Jan. 20. That could mean that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, in her new role as president of the Senate, would preside. Michael Gerhardt, a University of North Carolina law professor who wrote a book on impeachment, thinks it will be up to the majority leader and parliamentarian.
Trump’s final days
The lame-duck president is increasingly isolated, sullen and vengeful.
“Trump’s inner circle is shrinking, offices in his White House are emptying, and the president is lashing out at some of those who remain. He is angry that his allies have not mounted a more forceful defense of his incitement of the mob,” Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey and Ashley Parker report. “Though Trump has been exceptionally furious with Vice President Pence, his relationship with lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, one of his most steadfast defenders, is also fracturing … Trump has instructed aides not to pay Giuliani’s legal fees, two officials said, and has demanded that he personally approve any reimbursements for the expenses Giuliani incurred while traveling on the president’s behalf to challenge election results in key states. They said Trump has privately expressed concern with some of Giuliani’s moves and did not appreciate a demand from Giuliani for $20,000 a day in fees for his work attempting to overturn the election. …
“Minutes after the House voted to impeach him for a second time, Trump held a private ceremony in the Oval Office to award the National Medal of Arts to country singer Toby Keith … The White House released a video Wednesday evening featuring Trump seated behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office pleading with supporters not to engage in further violence. … A senior administration official said [son-in-law Jared] Kushner, the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino and Pence persuaded Trump to film the video, telling him it could boost support among weak Republicans. They asked him not to mention impeachment, and he didn’t.
“Still, in a stark illustration of Trump’s isolation, the White House did not mount a vigorous defense Wednesday as House members debated his fitness for office … The president’s aides did not blast out talking points to allies. His press secretary did not hold a briefing with reporters. His advisers did not do television interviews from the White House’s North Lawn. His lawyers and legislative affairs staffers did not whip votes or seek to persuade lawmakers to vote against impeachment. This is both because there was no organized campaign to block impeachment and because many of his aides believe Trump’s incitement of the riot was too odious to defend. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, who was central to the president’s defense in his first impeachment a year ago, told other staffers to make sure word got out that he was not involved in defending Trump this time, according to one aide. …
“Other than family members, the president is mainly talking to [Chief of Staff Mark] Meadows, Scavino, senior policy adviser Stephen Miller and personnel director Johnny McEntee. Hope Hicks, counselor to the president and long one of his closest confidantes, has been checked out for some time, according to people familiar with her status. … Several aides laid blame for the situation not only on Trump but also on Meadows, because the chief of staff indulged Trump’s delusion that the election was rigged and fed him misinformation about alleged voter fraud. ‘He is the one who kept bringing kook after kook after kook in there to talk to him,’ one adviser said. In the days after Twitter banned Trump from its platform, McEntee pushed the president to migrate to other social media sites, such as Parler. But Kushner and Scavino pushed back and stopped the president from joining the fringe platform.”
- Trump’s most enduring legacy could be a historic rise in the national debt. The debt grew $7.8 trillion during his single term, approaching World War II levels as a share of GDP. (Allan Sloan and Cezary Podkul)
- The Census Bureau has apparently abandoned its effort to compile tallies of undocumented immigrants, ending Trump’s quest to exclude them from congressional appointment. (Tara Bahrampour)
- The Immigrations and Customs Enforcement head abruptly resigned, just two weeks into the job, after the agency’s previous director stepped down unexpectedly last month. Jonathan Fahey’s departure is the latest in a long line of puzzling intrigue at ICE during the Trump era. (BuzzFeed)
- In Afghanistan, peace talks are faltering and violence has surged as U.S. troops pull out. President Ashraf Ghani is now facing calls to step down as tensions reach a fever pitch. (Pamela Constable)
The security situation
D.C.’s police chief says more than 20,000 troops will be deployed in the city next week.
“National Guard forces from a growing list of states moved into positions around Washington on Wednesday as authorities scrambled to understand the extent of threats surrounding Biden’s inauguration and prevent a repeat of last week’s deadly insurrection,” Missy Ryan, Alex Horton, Matt Zapotosky and Dan Lamothe report. “Federal officials led tabletop exercises to rehearse inauguration security and strengthen coordination … Authorities have been operating in a heightened state of alert as the Secret Service orchestrates inauguration security and the FBI runs down possible threats in D.C. and state capitals. On Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray briefed local law enforcement across the country about the ‘state of play,’ and the agency moved to establish new command posts nationwide. Senior FBI and Secret Service officials also briefed Biden …
“Officials and analysts monitoring online posts and message threads said some far-right groups appeared to be backing down from plans to come to Washington in coming days, at least in part owing to the National Guard and law enforcement presence. … The consensus seemed to be that while the risk of violence may be lower in Washington in coming days, state capitals remain vulnerable. Fearing fresh rounds of violence this weekend, more governors on Wednesday announced that they were calling up National Guard troops to help maintain security. … The U.S. Marshals Service, part of the Justice Department, plans to deputize between 3,000 and 4,000 local law enforcement officers from across the country who — at the request of D.C. police, will help with security for the inauguration.”
- A joint intelligence bulletin issued by federal authorities said last week’s Capitol breach will be a “significant driver of violence” for armed militia groups by inspiring racist extremists (NYT)
- National Guardsmen were told to prepare for the possibility that improvised explosive devices will be used in D.C. The briefings indicate that authorities believe the IEDs places outside the RNC and DNC headquarters last week were not isolated events. (Politico)
- Biden reluctantly agreed to cancel his plans to arrive in Washington aboard an Amtrak train. The president-elect wanted to take the 90-minute ride from his namesake station in Wilmington, Del., a commute he often took during his decades in the Senate. (CNN)
- In keeping with tradition, Biden does plan to stay at Blair House the night before the inauguration, according to a spokesperson for the State Department, which manages the property. (Matt Viser)
- The D.C. Metro will close 13 stations near the Capitol and Mall because of the expanded security perimeter. (Justin George)
- Airbnb will cancel all D.C. reservations during inauguration week. The company said it discovered and has banned accounts for many people involved in hate groups and who participated in last week’s Capitol siege. (Emily Davies, Michael Brice-Saddler, Marissa Lang and Justin Jouvenal)
The sedition task force continues to round up suspects, including police officers, a firefighter and a transit worker.
“Federal authorities announced several new charges Wednesday against people allegedly involved in last week’s riot at the Capitol, including a man said to have worn a pro-Nazi sweatshirt, a five-time Olympic medalist and two police officers from southwest Virginia,” Spencer Hsu, Rachel Weiner and Hannah Knowles. “Many of the those charged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday face misdemeanors and were released without bond, with prosecutors asking only that they be temporarily barred from Washington. … Among those arrested and released Wednesday were Thomas Robertson, 47, and Jacob Fracker, 29, of Rocky Mount, Va., both officers with the Rocky Mount Police Department. They have been placed on administrative leave.
“Robert Keith Packer, 56, of Newport News, Va., was identified by an acquaintance and other news outlets; several photographs taken at the Capitol appear to show him wearing a sweatshirt that read ‘Camp Auschwitz’ … Klete Keller, a five-time Olympic medalist in swimming, was charged just days after he was spotted on video wearing a Team USA jacket in the Capitol Rotunda.”
“An indictment unsealed against Douglas A. Jensen, 41, accuses the Des Moines resident of leading a charge of protesters against Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman. In a viral video, Goodman is seen … trying to hold back dozens of rioters, twice retreating up a flight of stairs. Police experts say he wasn’t fleeing, but luring the mob away from the Senate chambers, where lawmakers were sheltering. ‘He wanted to have his T-shirt seen on video so that ‘Q’ could ‘get the credit,’’ FBI Special Agent Julie Williams wrote of Jensen in an arrest affidavit.”
- Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo relieved from duty an officer on his force whom he said “penetrated” the Capitol after attending Trump’s rally last week. (Click2Houston)
- Investigators are pursuing evidence the riot was pre-planned. An FBI team is examining indications some participants left Trump’s rally at the Ellipse early, perhaps to retrieve items to breach the Capitol. Investigators are also focusing on the command-and-control aspects of the attack, looking into communication and travel records to see if they can bring conspiracy and terrorism charges. (CNN)
- FAA chief Steve Dickson signed an order to create an “enforcement program” targeting passengers who “assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere” with crew members. A broader crackdown could include placing anyone who participated in the Capitol riot on the government’s no-fly list. (Lori Aratani)
- “FBI inspectors who evaluated the domestic terrorism program in the bureau’s Washington field office two years ago gave it a ‘failing grade,’ meaning it was considered both ineffective and inefficient, two former FBI officials familiar with the matter said,” per NBC News. “The inspection — akin to an internal audit — found that mechanisms to collect, analyze and share threat intelligence were lacking … The evaluation also criticized the Washington field office’s procedures for sharing intelligence with other police agencies, including the U.S. Capitol Police.”
- Neither acting attorney general Jeff Rosen nor Wray, the FBI, director has appeared at the type of high-profile news conference that typically marks a major criminal investigation. “In the weeks leading up to the riot, Mr. Trump pressured Mr. Rosen to find more evidence of election fraud,” the Times reports. “He fears that being fired now would destabilize the Justice Department.”
- “The U.S. military had its own intelligence that anticipated election-related unrest from individuals who viewed the presidential election as fraudulent — the same individuals who stormed the Capitol — according to an internal Defense Department intelligence assessment,” per the Intercept.
The Capitol siege played out as a QAnon fantasy made real.
“The ‘#Storm’ envisioned on far-right message boards had arrived. And two women who had died in the rampage — both QAnon devotees — had become what some were calling the first martyrs of the cause,” Drew Harwell, Isaac Stanley-Becker, Razzan Nakhlawi and Craig Timberg report. “The failed insurrection illustrated how the paranoid conspiracy theory QAnon has radicalized Americans, reshaped the Republican Party and gained a forceful grip on right-wing belief. … A man in a ‘Q’ T-shirt led the breach … while a shirtless, fur-clad believer known as the ‘Q Shaman’ posed for photographers in the Senate chamber. … The theory’s namesake — a top-secret government messenger of pro-Trump prophecies — has largely vanished, posting nothing in the past 35 days and only five times since Trump’s election loss. … [But] the fervent online organizing seen ahead of last week’s assault has begun building again. A QAnon group on Gab has grown by more than 40,000 members since the failed insurrection.”
- Parler, the Twitter alternative that went dark after being cut off by major service providers, may never get back online, said CEO John Matze. (Reuters)
- Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said he took no pride in banning Trump from the platform, saying it represents a “failure” to ultimately create a service that can sustain civil discourse and healthy conversations. (Elizabeth Dwoskin)
- Snapchat will permanently terminate Trump’s account on Jan. 20. Trump has already been suspended from the platform. (CNBC)
- Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg deflected blame for the riot, but new evidence shows that her platform played a role in promoting the march on the Capitol. More than 100,000 users posted hashtags affiliated with the movement, including #StopTheSteal and #FightForTrump. Two dozen GOP officials and organizations in at least 12 states posted on Facebook to coordinate bus trips to the rally. (Elizabeth Dwoskin)
- The walkie-talkie app Zello, which critics say has long ignored a growing far-right user base, hosted groups of rioters who communicated through its services. (Guardian)
- Women are calling the FBI tip line to help authorities identify pro-Trump rioters they discovered by scrolling through dating apps. Bumble and Tinder profiles have shown men in MAGA hats or with #StopTheSteal in their biographies. (The Lilly)
Democrats demand criminal investigations into whether House Republicans aided rioters.
“Their accomplices in this House will be held responsible,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), in a speech during the impeachment debate, without mentioning specific members or allegations. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) organized a letter that was signed by many of her colleagues asking that law enforcement examine logbooks, videos and facial recognition software. (Michael Kranish, Karoun Demirjian and Devlin Barrett)
- Pelosi announced that lawmakers will face costly fines if they refuse to go through the newly installed metal detectors to enter the House chamber. They will be fined $5,000 for their first offense and $10,000 for the second. The money will be deducted directly from their paychecks. (The Hill)
- Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) claimed he was armed while inside the House chamber on Jan. 6. (Citizen Times)
- Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.) filed a bill requiring Capitol Police to wear body cameras. (Tom Jackman)
- Major League Baseball suspended political contributions from its PAC, the first major sports league to announce such a response to the insurrection. (Des Bieler)
- The Trump appointee at USAID who minimized the riots in remarks to employees, Tim Meisburger, will no longer be at the agency “until further notice,” according to an internal memo. (Yeganeh Torbati)
- Chapman University announced that professor John Eastman, who spoke at the D.C. rally before the riot, will retire immediately. In exchange, the school and professor agreed not to sue each other. (Andrea Salcedo)
- Middlebury College revoked Giuliani’s 2005 honorary degree. (Newsweek)
- Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old charged with fatally shooting two men and wounding a third during an August protest following the police shooting of a Black man in Wisconsin, was caught flashing hate symbols and posing with Proud Boys at a bar. The Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office asked a judge to forbid Rittenhouse from drinking alcohol, using “white supremacist” signs and spending time with members of the white nationalist group. (Katie Shepherd)
The outbreak among lawmakers shows one vaccine dose may not be enough.
The U.S. reported 4,254 covid-19 deaths on Wednesday, and 225,277 new cases, per The Post’s tracker. Daily reported deaths rose 24.9 percent over the last week, with Tuesday marking a record high number of deaths at 4,200.
“Three members of Congress may have contracted the coronavirus while sheltering in a crowded room as a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, testing positive shortly after getting a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine,” Ben Guarino reports. “Those positive tests do not mean the vaccines were faulty, experts said, noting that immune protection takes more than a week to kick in. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that are available to Americans require two doses for full protection; a single dose is not as effective as both. ‘Early protection against covid-19 may occur from about 12 days after dose one,’ said Naor Bar-Zeev, an infectious diseases physician and epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. … Even though the vaccines may protect people from showing symptoms, those vaccinated could remain susceptible to infection, he said.”
- The husband of Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who was locked down in the Capitol with her, has tested positive. Some GOP lawmakers in the room refused to wear masks, and experts now believe the confined space became a hot spot. (Colby Itkowitz)
- The Johnson and Johnson one-shot vaccine generated a promising immune response in an early trial. The vaccine was safe and appears to generate a promising immune response in both young and elderly volunteers, according to trial data published in the New England Journal of Medicine. (CNBC)
- D.C. lawmakers advocated for changing coronavirus vaccine policies during a contentious meeting, saying White residents are edging out Black residents in vying for scarce appointments during the first week vaccines are being administered to seniors. (Julie Zauzmer, Rachel Chason, Lola Fadulu and Erin Cox)
- China barred two members of the WHO’s coronavirus mission from entering the country. The researchers, part of a larger group of scientists headed to Wuhan, were kept in Singapore after failing to clear health checks. But the two had tested positive for antibodies in their home countries before leaving. (Lily Kuo)
In a speech tonight, Biden will outline an economic stimulus proposal.
“Biden officials are likely to include the expansion of an existing tax credit for children as part of a relief package that will also include $2,000 stimulus payments, unemployment benefits and other assistance for the ailing economy — as well as money to fight the coronavirus pandemic and increase vaccine distribution,” Jeff Stein and Erica Werner report. “Biden transition officials have not disclosed the overall price tag of the package, but it is expected to be more than $1 trillion. While a final decision has not been made, Biden is expected to push for a proposal similar to his campaign pledge to provide $300 per month to American households for every child under 6, as well as $250 per month for every child between the ages of 6 and 17. That would amount to $3,600 per year for families with one young child and $3,000 per year for families with older children. Biden is also likely to seek to extend the existing child benefit to millions of poor families currently shut out of the program.”
The number of new unemployment claims filed last week jumped by 181,000 the week before to 965,000, the largest increase since the beginning of the pandemic. An additional 284,000 claims were filed for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the insurance for gig and self-employed workers. (Eli Rosenberg)
Harris is making history. What will she do with it?
“Harris, 56, has yet to offer any grand vision of what kind of vice president she hopes to be, although few vice presidents have by Inauguration Day,” Chelsea Janes reports. “People familiar with her role in the transition say that loyalty is Harris’s primary goal. … The most consistent through line of her political career has been a commitment to opening the doors of American leadership to more people like her. … She chose a chief of staff, communications director, press secretary, and head of policy who are all women of color.”
For her friends and allies, the Capitol attacks prompted fresh fears. “That Harris is not only Black, but also a woman and a daughter of immigrants, combine to make her a unique focus of racist and misogynistic animus — a symbol of a changing America that white supremacists loath to see,” Janes reports.
Unlike many federal lawmakers, who treat D.C. more like a business shop than a second home, Harris has traversed the lines that separate the many versions of the nation’s capital: Black and immigrant and White Washington; poor and rich Washington; official Washington and the “real” Washington. Once she calls the Naval Observatory home, her friends expect her to become even more engaged in the city’s life. (Sydney Trent)
Harris’s father, who has chosen to be in the background as his daughter’s political career advanced, lives in D.C., but it is unclear if he will attend the inauguration. At 82, the emeritus Stanford professor has shown no desire for the attention or celebrity that comes with his daughter’s ascent. (Robert Samuels)
Biden is working on a plan to avoid a midterm shellacking.
“In preparation for the 2022 midterms, the president-elect is fusing his political operation with the Democratic National Committee. He is also considering sending a top communications staffer — among those discussed are top campaign spokespeople Andrew Bates and T.J. Ducklo — to the DNC for the next several months as an embed before that person heads to the White House themselves. The idea is to help ensure the DNC is integral to the Biden operation,” Politico reports. “Biden is also empowering his former campaign manager, Jen O’Malley Dillon, with his political portfolio in and out of the White House. Dillon, herself a former top national party staffer, is steering DNC meetings in the run-up to the election of a new chair and officers later this month. … Biden is also committed to pumping resources into state Democratic parties that atrophied during the Obama years … Rather than build out his own infrastructure, like Obama did, his team is in conversations with battleground state directors about the upcoming midterms and preparing to bulk up outreach to rural voters.”
Social media speed read
Six days apart, there were two very different scenes in the Capitol:
National Guardsmen are being quartered in the Capitol for the first time since the Civil War:
For Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), irony is dead:
Videos of the day
Seth Meyers said Twitter’s ban on Trump is already improving his quality of life:
Samantha Bee said it shouldn’t have taken an insurrection for social media companies to do something about Trump:
Stephen Colbert said impeachment brought key glimmers of hope: