Eleven Republicans joined the vote to strip Marjorie Taylor Greene of committee assignments
Mr Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan is showing signs of moving forward. Senators passed a budget plan which will allow the Covid relief package to be pushed through, with or without Republican support.
This follows Senators blocking suggestions of increasing US minumum wage during the pandemic.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that in spite of this, Democrats would continue to try to raise the wage to $15 (about £11) an hour.
Eleven Republicans joined the Democrats to pass the motion and expel Ms Greene from two committees.
In a speech Ms Green retracted previous claims that the 11 September 2001 attacks were staged, but did not apologise for her racist or anti-semetic comments.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden delivered a major foreign policy speech from the State Department declaring: “Diplomacy is back at the centre of our foreign policy.”
Mr Biden went on to add that the days of the US “rolling over” to Russia are over.
The speech outlined several foreign policy initiatives. These included a freeze of troop withdrawals from Germany, an end to military operations in Yemen and a review of the number of US troops stationed overseas.
The US president also set out an executive order to restore the country’s refugee admissions program after Donald Trump lowered the refugee cap.
Iran Nuclear Deal to be addressed in National Security Council meeting
A National Security Council principals committee meeting is due today to focus on improving America’s strategy towards Iran’s nuclear program, reported Axios.
The Biden administration will look at how it could resurrect the 2015 deal that Iran formerly had with the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany. This was before Donald Trump pulled the US from it in 2018.
A source told Axios that one of the main items to be discussed, would be whether America should return to the nuclear deal before or after the June presidential elections in Iran.
However, the US’s re-entry to the Iran Nucelar Deal was not mentioned in Mr Biden’s foreign policy speech on Thursday.
Eleanor Sly5 February 2021 12:06
Senate passes budget plan to authorise Covid relief package without Republican support
Following almost 15 hours of debate and voting on dozens of amendments, the Senate found itself in a 50-50 deadlock over passage of the budget plan.
It was Vice President Kamala Harris, whose “yes” vote broke this at 5:30am ET, providing a win for the Democrats.
It will now be passed to the House of Representatives for final approval.
Read Louise Hall’s report here:
James Crump5 February 2021 11:17
Johnson & Johnson said it has filed for emergency approval of its Coronavirus vaccine in the US
The drugmaker Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday that it has asked US regulators to clear its single-dose Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use.
The company’s application follows a report in which it revealed the vaccine had a 66 per cent rate of preventing coronavirus infections in its global trial.
Although not as effective as the two dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be easier to distribute as it only requires one dose.
Dr Peter Marks, the US Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine chief told the American Medical Association: “With so much need to get this pandemic under control, I think we can’t ignore any tool in the tool chest.”
However, Dr Marks cautioned against making comparisons before all the evidence is in.
Eleanor Sly5 February 2021 11:01
Baby bond: Bill introduced that would give American children $1,000 from birth
Senator Cory Booker and representative Ayanna Pressley on Thursday reintroduced the “Baby Bonds” bill, that proposes giving every American child a federally-funded savings account with $1,000 (£730) at birth.
The proposal, its authors say, would make “economic opportunity a birthright for every American and help close the racial wealth gap.”
Mayank Aggarwal has more:
If accepted, the bill could mean every newborn in the US would have $50,000 by the time they turn 18
Eleanor Sly5 February 2021 10:37
Voting on Biden’s economic recovery plan moves forward
President Biden’s economic stimulus plan moved ahead on Thursday with the Senate kicking off voting in a bid to approve the $1.9 trillion rescue package.
Republicans staunchly opposed a proposal to increase minimum wage to $15 (almost £11) per hour and this was blocked by the Senate.
Almost 900 amendments have been drafted and those that have been passed include:
- An amendment to provide grants to food and drinking establishments.
- An amendment to bar undocumented immigrants from receiving a stimulus check.
- An amendment to prevent “upper-income taxpayers” from getting a direct payment.
- An amendment to assure state and local authorities cooperate with federal law enforcement failed in a party-line vote of 50-50.
None of these were made into law.
Eleanor Sly5 February 2021 10:26
Native Americans are dying from Covid at twice the rate of white Americans, says report
The findings reveal that one in 475 native Americans has died from coronavirus since the pandemic began. This compares to one in 825 white Americans and one in 645 black Americans.
Where 121 white Americans have died of Covid per 100,000 people, native Americans have figures almost double that, with 211 deaths for every 100,000.
Eleanor Sly5 February 2021 09:33
US Representative Steny Hoyer condemns Marjorie Taylor Greene’s social media posts in furious speech
Steny Hoyer condemns Marjorie Taylor Greene’s social media posts in furious speech
Eleanor Sly5 February 2021 09:04
What Joe Biden means when he says American diplomacy is back
The vision of America’s place in the world presented by Joe Biden was starkly, and predictably, different from that of Donald Trump, with a focus on undoing the damage done in the last four years as a leading role is reclaimed in the international scene.
Biden reassured allies of support, but also warned that it would not be unconditional. He put adversaries on notice, lauded international cooperation, and insisted that core liberal democratic values would be the linchpin on which US global strategy will be based on his watch.
Diplomatic Editor Kim Sengupta writes:
President signals sharp break with his predecessor but warns support of allies will not be unconditional
Eleanor Sly5 February 2021 08:42
Eleven Republicans vote to throw Marjorie Taylor Greene off committees
Eleven GOP House members have joined Democrats in voting to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments over past comments supporting QAnon conspiracy theories.
Illinois representative Adam Kinzinger was among the first to cross the aisle to turn on his colleague in the 230 to 199 vote.
Justin Vallejo explains here:
The result effectively removed any influence she may have had on committees instumental to oversight and legislation
Eleanor Sly5 February 2021 08:27
Welcome to The Independent’s coverage of Joe Biden and everything going on in the White House…
Eleanor Sly5 February 2021 08:10