We’ve Reached ‘Secure Harbor’ – The New York Instances
With a flick of the wrist the Supreme Court reduce a Republican attempt to reverse the loss of President Trump in Pennsylvania. In a one-sentence order yesterday, the court declined to hear a challenge to the use of postal ballot papers in Pennsylvania without the judges publicly opposing it.
It was a sharp rejection of Trump’s attempts to dispute the election by a court made up of three judges he appointed and on which he had his hopes placed after the election.
The country yesterday met what electoral officials call the “safe harbor,” which is widely believed to be the date by which all state-level electoral challenges such as recounts and audits must be completed. State courts are likely to commence a new lawsuit against the election after that period. Whether he openly admits it or not, Trump’s attempt to overthrow the election seems nearing the inevitable end.
The White House submerged again Stimulus negotiations with Congressional Democrats yesterday, which put forward a $ 916 billion proposal that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin shared with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The deal would include one-time cash payments to Americans and aid to state, local, and tribal governments.
The proposal also includes a provision that gives employers who employed workers during the pandemic full immunity. This is an important Republican request, but Democratic leaders have said they are unwilling to cross that line.
McConnell announced early yesterday that if the Democrats gave up seeking billions of dollars for state and local governments, he would be dropping his demand for full liability coverage. But democratic leaders were quick to reject the idea.
Now that it’s in a lame duck sessionCongress seems unusually busy. The House yesterday passed a military spending bill that includes the removal of Confederate names from American military bases. President Trump has vowed to veto.
This creates the potential for the first veto suspension of Trump’s presidency. The law was passed with a veto-proof, non-partisan majority of 335 to 78 and is now going to the Senate, where it will also receive overwhelming support.
Congress has passed a successful law on military spending for the past 60 years. But the president remains against it. “I hope the Republicans of the House will vote against the very weak National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that I will VETO,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Joe Biden will elect Marcia Fudge to represent herThe Ohio Democrat is slated to serve as secretary for housing and urban development, bringing Tom Vilsack back to his old job as Secretary of Agriculture, according to people familiar with the president’s transition process.
Meanwhile, retired General Lloyd Austin, whom Biden wants to appoint as Secretary of Defense, encounters bipartisan opposition over concerns about choosing another former commander to run the Pentagon. The latest trend has defied the longstanding tradition of civilian control over the military.
Austin, who would become the country’s first black Secretary of Defense, would face a waiver from Congress because he retired less than seven years ago. Congress granted Jim Mattis a waiver four years ago to serve as Trump’s first defense secretary.
Adding to concerns about Austin, however, are its ties to Raytheon, a defense company that makes billions of dollars selling weapons and military equipment to the US and other countries, creates what critics have termed a conflict of interest.
Biden officially introduced the core team of health officials This will guide his response to the Wilmington, Delaware pandemic to announce an ambitious plan to “get at least 100 million Covid vaccine shots into the arms of the American people” in his first 100 days as president.
The promise poses at least some risk to Biden, as fulfilling the promise does not require any problems in making or distributing the vaccine and the willingness of Americans to be vaccinated.
As he spoke, Biden was flanked by members of his team, some of whom joined by video. These included Dr. Anthony Fauci, who will serve as Biden’s premier medical advisor as he continues his role as the country’s best infectious disease expert, and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who will be director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Both made speeches, as did Xavier Becerra, Biden’s candidate for the Ministry of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith from Yale University Medical School, who will lead a new Covid-19 Equity Task Force. The virus’s impact has been disproportionately focused on color communities, and Nunez-Smith spoke of “centering equity in our response to this pandemic rather than a secondary concern, not a checkbox, but a shared value.”
Britain became the first yesterday Land to begin delivering the Pfizer BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to civilians, the start of a mass vaccination campaign unprecedented in recent times. (And trust the UK was indeed very British: the second person to receive the vaccine was none other than William Shakespeare, 81), a Warwickshire man who had been hospitalized for several weeks after having had a stroke was.)
The FDA is expected to approve the vaccine this week, and Trump celebrated the milestone at a “vaccine summit” near the White House. He spoke to a full, mostly masked crowd of industry representatives and members of his administration and declared the development of the vaccine a “monumental national achievement”.
When asked why he hadn’t invited Biden’s transition team to the summit, Trump reiterated his baseless claims that the election was stolen and said he was still expecting another term.