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This piece was originally published in the January 26, 2021 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.
“The antidote is constructive, strong action…by us!”
— Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is clearly excited to get the Senate working again with Mitch McConnell out of his way
Recovering from the damage of Trump’s failed coronavirus response won’t be easy.
But with a national vaccination strategy and responsible, science-driven leadership, there’s hope that we can get this pandemic under control and save lives.
IN THE NEWS
- Breaking tonight: President Biden announced that he would order 200 million additional coronavirus vaccine doses — enough for everyone in the U.S. to get both doses of the vaccine by the end of the summer.
- Several of President Biden’s cabinet nominees have been confirmed by the Senate over the past few days, including Antony Blinken today, Janet Yellen yesterday, and Lloyd Austin late last week. Secretary Yellen, who previously chaired the Federal Reserve under the Obama administration, made history when she was sworn in this morning, becoming the first woman to hold the office of Treasury Secretary.
- Mitch McConnell finally accepted his fate as Senate minority leader and signed the organizing resolution that outlines how the Senate will function under the new leadership of Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. McConnell gave in (or more accurately, he stopped obstructing) without having secured a previous demand that Schumer commit to keeping the filibuster in place.
- Leader Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow last night that he’s preparing to take swift, bold action to fulfill his and President Biden’s legislative goals. He laid out an exciting progressive vision for the new Senate, citing top priorities like combating the climate crisis and promptly confirming judicial nominees to rebalance the massive right-wing dent McConnell managed to make in the federal judiciary under Trump.
- A federal court in Texas issued an order that lifted the deportation freeze enacted by President Biden last week. Biden’s executive order, which was issued last week, had paused most deportations for 100 days. With today’s ruling, that pause will be lifted for at least 14 days. Just before Trump left office, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — who you may know from his alleged abuse of office and bribery — reportedly entered Texas into an agreement with DHS which he claims was violated by Biden’s action.
- The Department of Justice announced this afternoon that they would rescind a Trump-era memo that established a “zero tolerance” border crossing policy. The original policy sparked months of protests back in 2018 against the resulting cruel separation of thousands of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
WHAT WE’RE READING
- Biden Reverses Trump’s Trans Military Ban, But Assault on Rights Continues at State Level by Chase Strangio (Democracy Now)
- To Move Forward, We Need to Redefine ‘Normal’ by Alicia Garza (Marie Claire)
- The High-Risk Group Left Out of New York’s Vaccine Rollout by Troy Closson (New York Times)
- Biden to address racism toward Asian Americans during pandemic with executive action by Weijia Jiang, Bo Erickson, Arden Farhi, and Gaby Ake (CBS News)
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“The Progress Report” is CAP Action’s regular news email, providing policy-minded analysis of the day’s stories—and offering subscribers ways to get involved.