Biden news live: Latest updates as Trump drives past supporters in Florida
Biden news live: Latest updates as Trump drives past supporters in Florida
Trump drives past supporters at impromptu rally in Florida
A crisis at the US-Mexico border is unfolding early in Joe Biden’s presidency, with the situation described as like a “war zone” by one pastor.
Rosalio Sosa, who runs shelters on the Mexican side, claimed American border agents were sending injured migrants back across the frontier without medical treatment.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has performed a drive-by greeting of supporters at a rally in Florida.
Vigorous preparation returns as Biden calls other leaders
A new-old ritual is taking shape in the Biden White House, one that starts with bulky briefing packages, war-gaming the “what-ifs”, and Oval Office discussions about how to talk to this or that particular US ally or adversary.
Twelve times since he took office, Joe Biden has dialed up a world leader after reinstituting what was a long-held White House standard mothballed by Donald Trump: vigorous preparation. Gone are unnecessary digressions and over-the-top cajoling or haranguing of fellow heads of state.
The changes to telephone diplomacy have been about both style and substance as Mr Biden has sought to send the message to foreign leaders – many embittered by Mr Trump’s habit of berating his counterparts and conflating personal interests with US national security – that Mr Biden is determined to reset the US relationship with the world.
Jon Sharman16 February 2021 11:40
Biden heads to Wisconsin to pitch Covid-19 stimulus
Joe Biden will travel to Wisconsin on Tuesday to promote his $1.9 trillion (£1.36 trillion) pandemic relief bill in the political battleground state that helped secure his victory in last year’s presidential election.
Jen Psaki said last week that Biden would participate in a CNN town hall with voters while visiting the state, hard hit by the pandemic and its economic fallout.
“That’s an opportunity to hear directly from people about how the dual crises are impacting them,” the White House spokesperson told reporters.
Mr Biden has already traveled to his home state of Delaware and to the Camp David presidential retreat since taking office, but the trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s largest city, is his first on official business since his inauguration.
The state, which has 10 Electoral College votes, sided with the Democratic president over Donald Trump, then the Republican incumbent, by a narrow margin in the November election.
Additional reporting by Reuters
Jon Sharman16 February 2021 11:21
Biden’s White House routine: From morning coffee to reading citizens’ letters before bed
New US president Joe Biden is well known for being a creature of habit, writes Joe Sommerlad.
For decades, his nickname in the Senate was “Amtrak Joe”, bestowed in honour of his commitment to commuting to Washington, DC, by train every morning from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, and returning each evening by the same means to ensure he spent time with his young sons after their mother was killed in a tragic car accident.
The 78-year-old has quickly established a similarly orderly routine in the White House during his first weeks in office, according to CNN.
Jon Sharman16 February 2021 10:53
Fast-food workers to strike in Fight For $15 as lawmakers battle over minimum wage hike
Fast-food workers across the US will renew demands for a nationwide $15 minimum wage and union rights as well as better protections from the coronavirus pandemic on 16 February, as lawmakers push for raising the federal hourly wage as part of a sweeping Covid-19 relief package, writes Alex Woodward.
Workers from Burger King, McDonald’s and Wendy’s in more than a dozen cities are expected to participate in the latest nationwide Fight for $15 strike, an eight-year effort among workers and union advocates to push companies as well as federal, state and local lawmakers to raise wages.
Jon Sharman16 February 2021 10:34
White House extends ‘forbearance and foreclosure’ protections for homeowners
The Biden administration has extended a scheme that protects homeowners from foreclosure until the end of June.
It will also “provide up to six months of additional mortgage payment forbearance, in three-month increments, for borrowers who entered forbearance on or before June 30, 2020” and extend the window for applying to the scheme, according to a White House statement.
“Today’s actions directly benefit the 2.7 million homeowners currently in Covid forbearance and extend the availability of forbearance options for nearly 11 million government-backed mortgages nationwide,” the statement added.
The White House also called on Congress to pass Mr Biden’s $1.9 trillion (£1.36 trillion) coronavirus stimulus package.
Jon Sharman16 February 2021 10:14
‘Unhinged falsehoods’: McConnell doubles down on Trump attack despite Senate acquittal
The Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell defended the upper house of Congress’s decision to acquit Donald Trump on Monday, but nonetheless said that the former president’s “unhinged falsehoods” led to the deadly rioting at the Capitol in January, for which he “bears moral responsibility”, writes Rituparna Chatterjee.
“But senators take our own oaths. Our job wasn’t to find some way, any way, to inflict a punishment. The Senate’s first and foundational duty was to protect the Constitution,” Mr McConnell wrote in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled “Acquittal Vindicated the Constitution, Not Trump”.
Jon Sharman16 February 2021 09:55
Republican donor who gave $2.5m to investigate Trump’s bogus ‘voter fraud’ claims wants his money back
A top Republican donor who gave $2.5m (£1.79m) to a group investigating former president Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud has reportedly filed a lawsuit to get his money back, writes Namita Singh.
Fred Eshelman, founder of Eshelman Ventures, had contacted a Texas-based nonprofit called True the Vote as Mr Trump started losing his lead in key battleground states following November’s vote.
Jon Sharman16 February 2021 09:36
Three-quarters of Republicans want Trump to play big role in party, poll claims
Three-quarters of Republicans want Donald Trump to play a “prominent” role in the party’s future, according to a new poll.
Quinnipiac University researchers found the support for such an idea was 75 to 21 per cent among Republicans.
But among all Americans, just 34 per cent were in favour.
“He may be down, but he is certainly not out of favour with the GOP. Twice impeached, vilified by Democrats in the trial, and virtually silenced by social media. Despite it all, Donald Trump keeps a solid foothold in the Republican Party,” said analyst Tim Malloy.
Quinnipiac surveyed 1,056 adults between 11 and 14 February.
- 57 per cent say “extremism is growing” in wake of US Capitol riot
- Overall, only one-quarter say Trump did “everything he could” to stop the insurrection (but 57 per cent of Republicans say he did)
It came as a separate Gallup poll found that a majority of Republican voters supported the idea of a third mainstream political party.
Trump voters from several red-leaning states are breaking off and forming “patriot parties” to reflect their loyalty to the former president above all else.
Jon Sharman16 February 2021 09:17
Democratic congresswoman tells of death threats from Trump supporters
A Democratic congresswoman has spoken of being in the “Donald Trump hate tunnel” and seeing armed men loitering outside her home.
Debbie Dingell, of Michigan, told MSNBC: “I’ve been in the Donald Trump hate tunnel. I’ve had men in front of my house with assault weapons. I, too, have been threatened with being hung for treason.”
She added, speaking of a breakdown of political dialogue: “People use to talk to each other. They used to learn from each other. That’s what hearings were for. They weren’t theatrical shows. They were to get information to base sound policy decisions on.”
Jon Sharman16 February 2021 08:58
House Republicans suggest Pelosi responsible for security failure during Capitol riot
In a letter to Nancy Pelosi, four House Republicans who supported Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn election results suggested that the House Speaker is partly to blame for security failures during the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January, during which pro-Trump rioters ransacked her office, writes Alex Woodward.
Congressmen Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, Rodney Davis and James Comer demanded answers to their questions about her “responsibility for the security of the Capitol” and criticised her “hyperbolic focus on fabricated internal security concerns” in a letter accusing her of leading a “political charade” after she supported installing magnetometers at the Capitol.
Jon Sharman16 February 2021 08:39