Biden Pitches Stimulus Plan at Wisconsin Town Hall – The New York Times

President Biden during a CNN town hall-style even in Milwaukee on Tuesday.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Biden said on Tuesday that every American who wanted a Covid-19 vaccination would be able to get one by the end of July, striking a more optimistic tone than he delivered last week when he warned that logistical and distribution hurdles would most likely mean that many people would still not have been vaccinated by the end of the summer.

Mr. Biden made the comment in Milwaukee during a town-hall-style meeting hosted by CNN. When the host, Anderson Cooper, asked him when every American who wanted a vaccine was “going to be able to get a vaccine?” Mr. Biden replied without hesitation: “By the end of July this year.”

He then qualified the remark slightly, telling Mr. Cooper that the doses would “be available” by then. But he also said he did not expect it to take months to get the shots into people’s arms.

At a time when Americans are yearning to get back to what life was like before the pandemic, Mr. Biden sought to offer reassurance tempered with reality.

While the president said he did not want to “overpromise,” he said at one point that “by next Christmas I think we’ll be in a very different circumstance, God willing, than we are today.” At another point he predicted that by the time the next school year starts in September, the nation would be “significantly better off than we are today.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued guidelines that urge school districts to reopen as soon as possible if they follow safety precautions.

Last week, the Biden administration said it had secured 200 million more doses of coronavirus vaccines, enough to inoculate every American adult. The additional doses amount to a 50 percent increase in supply, and will give the administration enough in total to cover 300 million people by the end of the summer.

But Mr. Biden warned at the time that it would still be difficult to get those shots into people’s arms. “It’s one thing to have the vaccine,” Mr. Biden said then. “It’s another thing to have vaccinators.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Biden used his bully pulpit to urge Americans to get vaccinated, addressing questions about the efficacy of the vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, which has not yet been granted emergency authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. That vaccine has been shown to be slightly less efficacious against some of the more contagious variants of the coronavirus than the two vaccines already in use, one by Moderna and other by Pfizer BioNTech. Mr. Biden said Americans needed to take it if it was offered.

“The clear notion is if you’re eligible, if it’s available, get the vaccine,” he said. “Get the vaccine.”

President Biden during a CNN town hall event with Anderson Cooper in Milwaukee on Tuesday.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Biden on Tuesday night pitched his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan at a CNN town hall event in Wisconsin, appearing in a state he won by less than one percentage point to sell the first major legislative initiative of his presidency.

At the event in Milwaukee, Mr. Biden made clear he had little desire to discuss his predecessor, former President Donald J. Trump, whose second impeachment trial ended in acquittal this past weekend.

“For four years, all that’s been in the news is Trump,” Mr. Biden said. “The next four years, I want to make sure all the news is the American people. I’m tired of talking about Trump.”

Asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper if he would allow the Justice Department to investigate Mr. Trump if it wanted to, Mr. Biden reiterated his commitment to the department’s independence.

“Their prosecutorial decisions will be left to the Justice Department, not me,” Mr. Biden said.

Mr. Biden has been in office for four weeks. Referring to the first lady, Jill Biden, he joked of the experience of living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: “I get up in the morning and look at Jill and say, ‘Where the hell are we?’”

Asked if he had called any former presidents, Mr. Biden said he had, without specifying whom he had reached out to.

“They’re private conversations,” he said. “By the way, all of them have, with one exception, picked up the phone and called me as well.”

Mr. Biden’s appearance in Milwaukee was his first work trip away from Washington since taking office, and it amounted to something of a makeup visit for the city that had been set to host the Democratic National Convention last summer — until the pandemic upended plans for an in-person gathering.

It came as Democrats in Congress are pressing ahead with plans to pass Mr. Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, which he calls the American Rescue Plan. At the town hall, Mr. Biden stressed the need to pass a relief package of that scale.

“Now is the time we should be spending,” he said. “Now is the time to go big.”

Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, is vehemently opposed to Mr. Biden’s relief plan and has said that the relief package Congress passed in December was “way more than we needed and more than enough.” The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said Tuesday that Mr. Biden was hoping to engage with Americans who thought otherwise, but said pressuring Mr. Johnson from his home turf was not the purpose of the trip.

“The president felt that he could have a good conversation with people about the path forward and also even people who disagree with him,” she said.

Milwaukee, however, wasn’t exactly venturing into enemy territory. The city is a labor stronghold whose once ruby-red suburbs shifted leftward in the Trump years, reflecting national erosion among college-educated white voters.

The setting for the town hall made sense for a president promoting a plan to help Americans recover from the ravages of the pandemic. A spike in coronavirus cases made Wisconsin one of the most affected states throughout last fall and early winter. Those numbers have dropped significantly, from a peak of more than 8,000 a day in mid-November to a seven-day average below 1,000 in recent days.

The state’s 5.5 percent unemployment rate is down from double-digit peaks it hit in the early days of the pandemic last spring, but still higher than it was just before the pandemic began.

Former President Donald J. Trump meeting with Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, in the Oval Office last year. They were wary political allies throughout Mr. Trump’s term in office.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Former President Donald J. Trump on Tuesday made a slashing and lengthy attack on Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader, calling him a “dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack” and arguing that the party would suffer losses in the future if he remained in charge.

“If Republican senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again,” Mr. Trump said.

The 600-word statement, coming three days after the Senate acquitted him in his second impeachment trial, was trained solely on Mr. McConnell and sought to paint Mr. Trump as the best leader of the G.O.P. going forward. The statement did not include any sign of contrition from Mr. Trump for his remarks to a crowd of his supporters who then attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6. Nor did it include any acknowledgment of his role in the violent hours in which his own vice president and members of Congress were under threat from the mob of Trump supporters.

Rather, Mr. Trump chose to focus on Mr. McConnell as he broke his silence after an unusually lengthy period of silence by the standards of the former president, who was permanently barred from his formerly favorite medium — Twitter — last month because of tweets that he posted during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

Mr. McConnell’s office declined to comment on Mr. Trump’s attacks on Tuesday, but the senator has left little mystery about his contempt for the former president. Shortly after he joined the majority of Republican senators in voting to acquit Mr. Trump on the House impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection” on Saturday, Mr. McConnell excoriated Mr. Trump, laying the blame for the deadly riot at his feet suggesting that further investigations of Mr. Trump could play out in the judicial system.

Those comments were widely interpreted as an attempt to minimize Mr. Trump’s brand of politics within the Republican Party, and to appeal to donors who have said they are rejecting the party after some Republican senators voted against certifying President Biden’s victory.

Mr. McConnell wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed article and gave an interview to the paper’s news section suggesting he might get involved in primaries for 2022 as part of an effort to win back the majority.

One person close to the former president said his initial version of the statement was more incendiary than what was released publicly. A second person said the statement was issued instead of the news conference that Mr. Trump had initially planned to give on Tuesday; some aides had feared he would go off track and say even harsher things extemporaneously.

In the statement, Mr. Trump resorted to insults about Mr. McConnell’s acumen and ability, as the former majority leader has tried to move on from the Trump era, and faulted him for Republicans losing their majority.

“The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political ‘leaders’ like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm,” Mr. Trump said. “McConnell’s dedication to business as usual, status quo policies, together with his lack of political insight, wisdom, skill, and personality, has rapidly driven him from majority leader to minority leader, and it will only get worse.”

Mr. Trump offered up some new taunts: “The Democrats and Chuck Schumer play McConnell like a fiddle — they’ve never had it so good — and they want to keep it that way! We know our America First agenda is a winner, not McConnell’s Beltway First agenda or Biden’s America Last.”

While Mr. McConnell has faulted the former president for the party’s losses last month in both U.S. Senate races in Georgia, Mr. Trump maintained that it was because Republican voters were angry that the party’s officials did not do more to address his baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.

Mr. Trump claimed credit for Mr. McConnell’s victory in his own Senate race last year, and took a swipe at Mr. McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, who worked for the Trump administration as the transportation secretary.

“McConnell has no credibility on China because of his family’s substantial Chinese business holdings. He does nothing on this tremendous economic and military threat,” Mr. Trump said.

“He will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our country,” Mr. Trump said, adding that “where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First.”

The statement released on Tuesday was the longest one Mr. Trump has released since leaving office on Jan. 20.

Mr. Trump has also been mindful that he’s the target of multiple investigations, people close to him said, and has been advised against appearing to taunt prosecutors or people who might sue him in civil courts. Still, Mr. Trump’s ability to stay silent through situations that anger him tends to last only so long.

Mr. Trump’s advisers are discussing backing nearly a dozen candidates in primaries against the Republicans who voted in favor of impeachment, a move that would only deepen Mr. Trump’s friction with Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader from California. Not all of Mr. Trump’s aides think this is a wise course of action.

Democrats aim to pass the stimulus plan using a fast track budgetary process, which would allow them to push it through the Senate with a simple majority vote.
Credit…Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

House Democrats are finalizing the details of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic relief package, and barreling toward a vote on the final legislation at the end of next week.

Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the majority leader, told House Democrats during a conference call on Tuesday that he hoped to have the legislation reach the House floor by next Friday, according to two people familiar with the remarks.

“Our challenges are immense, and the House must meet them with bold and resolute action,” Mr. Hoyer wrote on Tuesday in a letter to Democrats, warning that votes on the stimulus plan could go into the weekend.

Committees have been meeting remotely during the House recess to haggle over the details of Mr. Biden’s proposal, with the budget and rules committees expected to be the last two panels to finalize the legislation in the coming days.

In its current form, the stimulus legislation would provide billions of dollars for schools and small businesses, bolster unemployment benefits through the fall, deliver a round of $1,400 direct payments to individuals and provide for a gradual increase in the federal minimum wage to $15.

Faced with a lapse in unemployment benefits beginning in mid-March, lawmakers hope to have the legislation passed through the House by the end of February, before sending it to the Senate. House Democratic leaders scheduled a series of phone calls this week for committees to brief rank-and-file lawmakers about the details of the emerging legislation.

Democrats aim to pass the plan using a fast track budgetary process, known as reconciliation, which would allow them to push it through the Senate with a simple majority. But it also requires lawmakers to adhere to a series of strict budget parameters, designed to prevent the process from being abused with extraneous provisions, that could derail certain liberal priorities, including the minimum wage increase.

Despite using the same parliamentary maneuvers in 2017, Republicans have argued that Democrats are forcing Mr. Biden to renege on his promises for bipartisan collaboration by cutting them out of the process. During committee work earlier this month, Republicans largely failed to force a series of amendments that would have forced the package to be more targeted in its delegation of relief or imposed requirements on the billions of dollars in funds.

Mr. Hoyer on Tuesday confirmed plans to bring back earmarks, the banned practice of tucking pet projects into sweeping spending bills, rebranding the funding moves as “congressional initiatives.”

In the letter to Democrats, he also said that the House would vote on a package of wilderness legislation and the Equality Act, which would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. In March, the chamber is expected to take up Democrats’ centerpiece voting rights and anti-corruption legislation, as well as police reform legislation that House Democrats pushed through during the 116th Congress, but failed to get through the Senate.

Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, a homeland security official during the Trump administration, in September in Washington.
Credit…Pool photo by Tom Williams

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Tuesday rejected a last-minute agreement reached by Trump loyalists that would have limited its ability to enact sweeping policy changes.

The agreement would have handed policy controls to the pro-Trump union representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, prompting a whistle-blower to accuse a departing homeland security official, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, of “gross mismanagement, gross waste of government funds and abuse of authority.”

Mr. Cuccinelli signed the agreement, which included a clause requiring homeland security leaders to obtain “prior affirmative consent” in writing from the union on changes to policies affecting immigration agencies, essentially to tie Mr. Biden’s hands, according to the anonymous whistle-blower complaint.

Under a federal law, the Department of Homeland Security has 30 days to cancel such an agreement once signed, after which it goes into effect.

“As part of routine process and provided for by statute, the department conducted a review of the terms of the agreement and determined that it was not negotiated in the interest of D.H.S. and has been disapproved because it is not in accordance with applicable law,” said Sarah Peck, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security.

Ms. Peck said in a statement that the department notified ICE and the union on Tuesday that the agreement had been rejected. Chris Crane, the ICE union president who signed the agreement with Mr. Cuccinelli, did not respond to a request for comment. The union, which represents more than 7,500 agents and employees, endorsed Donald J. Trump in the 2016 and 2020 elections.

ICE leadership had discussed in recent weeks whether the agreement would hinder Mr. Biden’s policy changes, including a recent directive to focus deportations on violent criminals, according to a senior homeland security official.

The agreement suggested that the union could appeal any such rejection to the Federal Labor Relations Authority.

Mr. Cuccinelli previously denied any abuse of authority and argued that the deal was signed in the best interest of the agency.

President Biden and the first lady, Jill Biden, arriving at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Monday.
Credit…Al Drago for The New York Times

President Biden, liberated from the distraction of his predecessor’s impeachment trial, is escaping Washington this week — embarking on trips to Wisconsin and Michigan to rally support for his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan.

Without the spectacle of a constitutional clash, the new president “takes center stage now in a way that the first few weeks didn’t allow,” said Jennifer Palmieri, who served as communications director for former President Barack Obama. She said the end of the trial means that “2021 can finally start.”

The president plans to fly to Milwaukee on Tuesday, his first work trip as president, and will participate in a CNN town hall where he is expected to tout his proposal to send $1,400 checks to individuals struggling during the pandemic. On Thursday, Mr. Biden will travel to Kalamazoo, Mich., to tour a Pfizer manufacturing site and meet workers producing the company’s coronavirus vaccine.

The travel is intended to represent a clean break from the Trump era. With the reality-TV drama done for now, he is pivoting back to the approach that got him elected: focusing on the coronavirus and the economy — in a way that balances safety precautions with his need to sell his agenda to the public.

He is off to a fairly fast start. House committees have begun debating parts of the coronavirus relief legislation, and several of his cabinet members have been confirmed.

But the president’s bipartisan prospects are complicated by the fact that much of his agenda is aimed at dismantling Mr. Trump’s policies or addressing what Democrats have cast as his failures, most significantly the fumbled response to the pandemic.

That is why Mr. Biden’s first official trips are to the two big Midwestern states he flipped in 2020 from the 2016 Trump column — and he hopes to build support in both places for his presidency by pushing his plan, which already enjoys broad backing among Americans of all political stripes. (So far, Mr. Biden has left Washington only to spend a weekend in Wilmington, Del., and for a visit to Camp David last weekend.)

Nonetheless, the 43 “not guilty” votes from Senate Republicans are a stark reminder that Mr. Trump continues to hold sway over most of his party, and that his influence with Republicans will be an obstacle. Even with control of both houses of Congress, Democrats will still need some Republican support on many of Mr. Biden’s agenda items to overcome a filibuster in the Senate.

To that end, Mr. Biden has been meeting with the handful of Republican lawmakers he views as potential partners. He hosted a group of 10 Republicans — some of whom he served with as a senator from Delaware — in a recent meeting in the Oval Office that stretched on for two hours.

Mr. Biden is banking on those personal connections he made during his 36 years in the Senate to help advance his legislative priorities in a chamber that has been troubled by dysfunction that has only grown worse in the decade since he’s been gone. His identity as a deft navigator of its clubby idiosyncrasies has become a defining feature of his governing approach.

“He loves the Senate,” said Senator Susan Collins of Maine, one of the Republicans who met recently with the president. Ms. Collins and another moderate Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, recalled that Mr. Biden did not seem to want their meeting to end.

He is also using the power and prestige of his office to woo Democrats who represent more conservative states and are likely to need more persuasion than some of their colleagues. And some of his work appears to be leaving an impression. Senator Jon Tester of Montana, for example, said that in his 14 years in the Senate, no president had invited him to the Oval Office until now.

“I’m going to be honest with you: It was pretty emotional for me,” Mr. Tester said.







Biden Will Speak With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu ‘Soon’

The White House’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, said Tuesday, that President Biden planned to speak with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and intended to “recalibrate” the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia.

First, let me say on Israel, I know there’s been some questions about when the president will speak with Prime Minister Netanyahu, which was, I think, the root of that question or how the question started. So let me first confirm for you that his first call with a leader in the region will be with Prime Minister Netanyahu. It will be soon. I don’t have an exact date for you, but it is soon. Stay tuned. Israel is, of course, an ally. Israel is a country where we have an important strategic security relationship, and our team is fully engaged. And on Saudi Arabia, I would say, you know, we’ve made clear from the beginning that we’re going to recalibrate our relationship. The president’s counterpart is King Salman. And I expect that in an appropriate time, he would have a conversation with him. I don’t have a prediction of the timeline on that. But I’ll also say that, you know, we have Saudi Arabia is in a position where they are defending themselves from threats from the region. You know, they are they have critical self-defense needs. And we will continue to work with them on those even as we make clear areas where we have disagreements, and where we have concerns. And that’s certainly a shift from the approach of the prior administration.

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The White House’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, said Tuesday, that President Biden planned to speak with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and intended to “recalibrate” the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia.CreditCredit…Pool photo by Marc Israel Sellem

President Biden’s first call to a leader in the Middle East will be to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said Tuesday, giving no time frame for the call but saying it would happen “soon.”

Ms. Psaki also said that when it came to speaking to leaders of Saudi Arabia, “the president’s counterpart is King Salman,” and that Mr. Biden did not plan to speak directly to Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince who ordered the detention of at least four senior members of his own royal family and has been connected to the killing of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

That marks a major shift from the policy of the Trump administration, which dealt directly with the crown prince. Ms. Psaki said the administration was “going to recalibrate our relationship with Saudi Arabia.”

The comments came on a day when the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced approval of the sale of $197 million in missile equipment to another key strategic partner in the region, Egypt.

Former President Donald J. Trump had a close relationship with the kingdom during his time in office, and made his first foreign trip as president to Riyadh. Mr. Trump also dismissed evidence suggesting that Prince Mohammed ordered Mr. Khashoggi’s killing and dismemberment, preserving billions of dollars in American weapon sales to Saudi Arabia.

Ms. Psaki said Saudi Arabia has “critical self-defense needs and we will continue to work with them on those, even as we make clear areas where we have disagreements and where we have concerns, and that’s certainly a shift from the approach of the prior administration.”

On Friday, Mr. Biden is scheduled to join other world leaders in a virtual Group of 7 summit to discuss the pandemic and the global economy. Mr. Biden has already talked with many world leaders by phone, including a two-hour call with President Xi Jinping of China last week.

George T. Conway III appearing on MSNBC.

George T. Conway III, one of the founders of the anti-Trump group the Lincoln Project, said on Tuesday that it should close down in the wake of revelations that some of its leadership ignored warnings that another founder was harassing young men, including interns.

His comments came after a former senior adviser to the project, Kurt Bardella, tweeted on Tuesday, “Just shut it down already … it’s over.” Mr. Conway agreed in his own tweet, writing, “It’s a shame, and we shouldn’t forget the hard work of so many people and the positive things the organization did, but yes, I think this is right.”

In an interview on Tuesday, Mr. Conway said, “It’s just really sad and depressing, and I hope it doesn’t tarnish the work of so many people who devoted themselves to such a good cause.”

The Lincoln Project emerged over the last year as the leading group of Republicans opposed to the presidency of Donald J. Trump, skewering him with mocking ads and drawing a large following on the left.

But revelations last month that one of the group’s founders, the longtime political strategist John Weaver, had repeatedly harassed young men, including at least one minor, have engulfed the group in crisis. Its problems have intensified after a string of reports suggesting that the group’s leaders knew about Mr. Weaver’s conduct earlier than they had let on.

On Monday, the project said it had hired a law firm, Paul Hastings, “to investigate allegations of inappropriate behavior by John Weaver as part of a comprehensive review of our operations and culture.”

“The instant Donald Trump ceased being the president, he exited the Senate’s jurisdiction,” Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, argued in an opinion piece.
Credit…Brandon Bell for The New York Times

A majority of Americans would have supported the conviction of former President Donald J. Trump in his second impeachment trial — and a nearly equal percentage would have favored barring him from running for office again, according to two new polls.

In an ABC News/Ipsos poll, released on Tuesday, 58 percent of respondents believed Mr. Trump should have been convicted, with 41 percent saying the Senate’s acquittal was justified. The survey, which had a margin of error of about 5 percent, was conducted just after the verdict.

On Monday, Quinnipiac University’s polling unit reported that Americans backed a lifetime ban for Mr. Trump by a nearly identical split, 55 to 43 percent.

Both results tracked closely with the actual floor vote, 57 to 43, by which Mr. Trump was acquitted on Saturday. And both explain, in part, why even those who opposed conviction have defended their decision as a constitutional judgment rather than an exoneration of the former president.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, offered an impassioned defense on Monday evening (not Sunday evening as an earlier version of this article stated) of his vote, arguing that “the instant Donald Trump ceased being the president, he exited the Senate’s jurisdiction.”

In an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, which mirrored much of his scathing post-acquittal speech condemning Mr. Trump’s actions, Mr. McConnell defended himself and other senators who voted to absolve the former president of an incitement of insurrection charge as defenders of the Constitution.

“I respect senators who reached the opposite answer,” Mr. McConnell wrote. “What deserve no respect are claims that constitutional concerns are trivialities that courageous senators would have ignored.”

Critics of Mr. McConnell’s decision, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, noted over the weekend that he his refusal to bring the Senate back to hear the impeachment case against Mr. Trump while he was majority leader ensured that Mr. Trump would not be tried until he was out of office.

“It was not the reason that he voted the way he did,” Ms. Pelosi said of Mr. McConnell’s constitutional objection. “It was the excuse that he used.”

But in his op-ed, Mr. McConnell dug in.

“There is a modern reflex to demand total satisfaction from every news cycle,” he said. “But impeachment is not some final moral tribunal. It is a specific tool with a narrow purpose: restraining government officers.”

An affadavit in support of a criminal complaint against Leo Brent Bozell IV includes this screenshot and identifies Mr. Bozell as the man on the right.

The son of Brent Bozell, a conservative commentator, has been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol after being identified by wearing a sweatshirt from the Christian high school where he once worked as a girls basketball coach, court records show.

Leo Brent Bozell IV — whose father’s full name is Leo Brent Bozell III — is accused of entering a restricted government building, obstructing an official proceeding and disorderly conduct, according to a complaint filed in Federal District Court in Washington on Tuesday.

The court documents include several screenshots of the younger Mr. Bozell at various locations inside the Senate chamber, where he lingered, without a mask, for about ten minutes. He is seen chatting on his phone, and, at one point, appears to be repositioning a C-SPAN camera in the chamber’s upper gallery.

Mr. Bozell’s father is a high-profile right-wing activist known for infusing his politics with Christian values. He founded the Parents Television Council in 1995 to protect young people from what he saw as the morally degrading effect of popular culture.

While he has expressed sympathy with the frustrations expressed by former President Donald J. Trump’s supporters, the elder Mr. Bozell has criticized the Capitol attack in unequivocal terms.

“One element went forward in lawlessness and it’s done tremendous damage to everyone else,” he told Fox News. “I think it’s absolutely wrong.”

Birth records, retrieved through, show that the younger Mr. Bozell was born in 1979 to Brent Bozell and Norma Petruccione, who has been identified as the elder Mr. Bozell’s wife in news accounts over the years.

Messages left for the elder Mr. Bozell were not immediately returned. The court documents did not provide information about the younger Mr. Bozell’s legal representation.

A witness watching video of the riot was able to identify the younger Mr. Bozell, who goes by the nicknames “Zeek” or “Zeeker,” after noticing that he was wearing a blue sweatshirt emblazoned with “Hershey Christian Academy,” a small parochial school located near Harrisburg, Penn., according to the complaint.

“Bozell stopped being the girls’ basketball coach in March 2020, as the team could no longer practice, or play games, due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” the witness told an F.B.I. agent.

David Perdue was one of two Republican Senators from Georgia defeated in runoff elections last month.
Credit…Nicole Craine for The New York Times

David Perdue, the one-term U.S. senator from Georgia who lost a runoff election last month against Senator Jon Ossoff, filed paperwork on Monday night indicating that he plans a comeback effort — this time against Georgia’s other new senator, Raphael Warnock, in 2022.

In a statement posted to his Twitter account on Tuesday, the former senator claimed that Mr. Warnock and Mr. Ossoff, who narrowly defeated him a runoff last month, “do not fairly represent most Georgians” because they are too liberal.

In announcing his interest in unseating the state’s first Black senator, Mr. Perdue suggested that his 1.8 percent margin of victory over Mr. Ossoff in November — which triggered the runoff — represented a victory.

“We beat the Democrat by nearly two points,” said Mr. Perdue, a businessman who first ran for office as an outsider and later became one of former President Donald J. Trump’s closest allies in the Senate.

Georgia’s runoff requirement, triggered when a candidate fails to reach the 50 percent threshold, was created in 1962, in part as an effort to dilute Black voting power.

Mr. Perdue’s move is a first step in Republican efforts to reclaim one of the seats lost in the Democratic sweep of the Jan. 5 runoffs. Mr. Perdue has filed federal documents establishing a “Perdue for Senate” campaign committee.

Working in Mr. Perdue’s favor is a significant war chest — about $5 million left over from his campaign.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Warnock did not return a request for comment. Maggie Chambers, a spokeswoman for Democratic Party of Georgia, said in an email: “Instead of accepting his retirement as a has-been corrupt Senator, David Perdue would rather entertain the idea of going down in history as a sore loser who lost Georgia three times.”

The joint win by Mr. Warnock and Mr. Ossoff handed Democrats control of the Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote.

Mr. Perdue’s loss followed a bitter campaign that ended with an election eve appearance in the state by Mr. Trump which failed to ignite sufficient Republican turnout, raising questions about whether it was depressed by his repeated allegations of fraud.

Mr. Ossoff received 50.6 percent of the vote to 49.4 percent for Mr. Perdue, who waited two days to concede.

Mr. Warnock prevailed over Senator Kelly Loeffler in their runoff, 51 percent to 49 percent. The two were running in a special election to fill a six-year term; the winner of the 2022 Senate race will serve a full term.

Bill Crane, a Georgia political operative and commentator, said on Monday that Mr. Perdue, who leaned heavily on Mr. Trump last time, would need to broaden his base, regardless of whether the former president campaigns for Republican candidates in 2022.

“He would need to be speaking on occasion to women, non-aligned, libertarian and more centrist voters, not just the Republican Party base,” Mr. Crane said.

Representative Bennie Thompson is seeking compensatory and punitive damages in the lawsuit filed in federal court. The suit does not include a specific financial amount.
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

The N.A.A.C.P. on Tuesday morning filed a federal lawsuit against former President Donald J. Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, claiming that they violated a 19th-century statute when they tried to prevent the certification of the election on Jan. 6.

The civil rights organization brought the suit on behalf of Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi. Other Democrats in Congress — including Representatives Hank Johnson of Georgia and Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey — are expected to join as plaintiffs in the coming weeks, according to the N.A.A.C.P.

The lawsuit contends that Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani violated the Ku Klux Klan Act, an 1871 statute that includes protections against violent conspiracies that interfered with Congress’s constitutional duties; the suit also names the Proud Boys, the far-right nationalist group, and the Oath Keepers, the militia group. The legal action accuses Mr. Trump, Mr. Giuliani and the two groups of conspiring to incite a violent riot at the Capitol, with the goal of preventing Congress from certifying the election.

The suit is the latest legal problem for Mr. Trump: New York prosecutors are investigating his financial dealings; New York’s attorney general is pursuing a civil investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s company misstated assets to get bank loans and tax benefits; and a Georgia district attorney is examining his election interference effort there.

In the lawsuit, Mr. Thompson said he was forced to wear a gas mask and hide on the floor of the House gallery for three hours while hearing “threats of physical violence against any member who attempted to proceed to approve the Electoral College ballot count.”

Mr. Thompson is seeking compensatory and punitive damages in the lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in Washington. The suit does not include a specific financial amount.

In an interview on Monday, Mr. Thompson said he would not have brought the suit against Mr. Trump if the Senate had voted to convict him in last week’s impeachment trial.

Mr. Thompson said: “This is me, and hopefully others, having our day in court to address the atrocities of Jan. 6. I trust the better judgment of the courts because obviously Republican members of the Senate could not do what the evidence overwhelmingly presented.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a news conference last week.
Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said Congress would move to establish an independent, 9/11 Commission-style panel to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, including facts “relating to the interference with the peaceful transfer of power.”

In a letter to her Democratic colleagues in the House on Monday, Ms. Pelosi also promised to move forward in coming weeks with emergency funding legislation “for the safety of members and the security of the Capitol” after consulting with Russel L. Honoré, a retired Army lieutenant general, whom she had asked to examine security on Capitol Hill.

“Security is the order of the day: the security of our country, the security of our Capitol, which is the temple of our democracy, and the security of our members,” Ms. Pelosi wrote in the letter, adding that it was clear from both General Honoré’s findings and “from the impeachment trial that we must get to the truth of how this happened.”

Calls have grown for a bipartisan, independent investigation into the law enforcement and administrative failures that led to the first breach of the Capitol complex in two centuries, particularly after the Senate acquitted former President Donald J. Trump in his impeachment trial on a charge of inciting the rioters. For some lawmakers, such a commission offers the last major opportunity to hold Mr. Trump accountable.

“There’s still more evidence that the American people need and deserve to hear,” Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, said over the weekend on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.”

And at a news conference on Tuesday, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, signaled that President Biden would back the kind of investigation that House Democrats are proposing.

“It’s of course Congress’s decision to form this commission,” she said, “but it’s certainly one the president would support.”

One in five renters have fallen behind on rent and more than 10 million homeowners are behind on mortgage payments, according to the White House statement.
Credit…Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

The Biden administration on Tuesday announced additional relief for American homeowners struggling with payments, saying the pandemic had “triggered a housing affordability crisis.”

The actions include:

  • extending a moratorium on foreclosures through June 30;

  • extending an enrollment window for mortgage payment forbearance requests until June 30; and

  • providing up to six months of additional mortgage payment forbearance for borrowers who entered forbearance on or before June 30.

On his first day in office, President Biden issued orders extending federal moratoriums on some foreclosures and evictions through the end of March. But the expiration of those protections would leave “many at risk of falling further into debt and losing their homes,” White House officials said in a statement.

One in five renters have fallen behind on rent and more than 10 million homeowners are behind on mortgage payments, according to the White House statement. People of color, who face greater hardship in the pandemic, are at greater risk of eviction and foreclosure.

Homeowners can find out who owns their mortgage by entering their address on various government websites.

The relief programs are part of a coordinated effort by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Agriculture.

Sorgente articolo:
Biden Pitches Stimulus Plan at Wisconsin Town Hall – The New York Times

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