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Updated at 3:01 p.m. ET

It took more than three hours for former President Donald Trump's Defense Department to approve a request for the D.C. National Guard to intervene in the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, the commanding general of the outfit told senators on Wednesday.

Michelle Queen does not consider herself part of QAnon, but she does believe some of its most outlandish conspiracies – including that Satan-worshipping elites in a secret pedophile cabal are killing babies and drinking their blood.

"When you are evil, you're evil," says Queen, 46, from Texas. "It goes deep."

President Biden wasn't many progressives' first, second, third — or maybe even 20th — choice in the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

But ever since winning the party's nomination last spring amid the onset of the global pandemic and economic downturn, Biden has vowed to govern as the most progressive president since Franklin Roosevelt. He's even made a large portrait of FDR the centerpiece of his Oval Office to underscore that goal.

President Biden said on Tuesday that a key milestone in the fight against COVID-19 could be reached two months faster than earlier projected. By the end of May, there should be enough vaccine doses for every adult in America, he said — a dramatic improvement to his initial timetable for late July.

A turning point in speeding up that pledge came a few weeks ago, on a Sunday afternoon in early February, during a phone call with Johnson & Johnson executives that had been planned for 15 minutes but stretched for longer than an hour, two senior administration officials told NPR.

A conspiracy theory sown by former President Donald Trump and his allies to cast doubt on his loss last year has trickled down to county-level politics, impeding one Ohio county's ability to purchase new voting equipment ahead of local elections this year.

NPR's Noel King talks to reporter Dan Clark of WMHT-TV, about New York lawmakers' move to revoke emergencies powers granted to Gov. Cuomo after harassment allegations and his handling of the pandemic.

Biden says U.S. will have enough vaccine for all adults by May. Neera Tanden withdraws her nomination to head the Office of Management and Budget. Gov. Abbott is ending Texas' COVID-19 restrictions.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is lifting all COVID-19 restrictions in his state. That's leading to worries about the virus spreading before most Texas can be vaccinated.

President Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget has withdrawn from the proceedings. Key Democratic and Republican senators refused to back Neera Tanden.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Trump's effort to overturn a democratic election failed, but the departure from reality at the heart of that effort persists. A favorite conspiracy theory of the president's allies involved voting machines changing votes. The evidence-free claim was disproven in places like Georgia that recounted ballots on paper. But the false tale about Dominion voting machines persists, affecting politics in a county in Ohio. Here's Nick Castele of our member station WCPN Ideastream.

When Congress reconvened the night of the Jan. 6 riot to finish certifying the electoral college results, Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., huddled with top Democrats on the House floor.

"I was on the dais with the [Speaker Pelosi], and the speaker and I, and also [House Administration Chair Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.], had a conversation about a bipartisan approach and a bipartisan commission, or a bicameral commission, to move things forward to find out what went wrong," he told NPR. "Unfortunately that bipartisan discussion didn't last too long."

As a House panel is set to meet on new spending to ramp up Capitol security, military and federal officials will testify in a Senate hearing that is part of several congressional probes into what fueled the deadly Jan. 6 riot.

The power struggle that led to conservative social media site Parler abruptly firing its founder and CEO John Matze last month became so acrimonious that when Matze was sacked, he was also involuntarily stripped of his entire stake in the company, according to people familiar with Matze's exit.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Neera Tanden has withdrawn her name as President Biden's nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget. Her nomination has been controversial, mostly because of disparaging comments she's made in the past about Republican lawmakers. White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez is with us now for more.

Hi, Franco.

FRANCO ORDOÑEZ, BYLINE: Hi, Ari.

SHAPIRO: What did the White House and Tanden say this evening?

Updated at 7:11 p.m. ET

Neera Tanden, President Biden's controversial nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget, has withdrawn her nomination. Biden said in a statement Tuesday he had accepted her request.

"I have the utmost respect for her record of accomplishment, her experience and her counsel, and I look forward to having her serve in a role in my Administration," Biden said. "She will bring valuable perspective and insight to our work."

For the first time in nearly three decades, the state of Georgia voted to put a Democrat in the White House. Then it added two U.S. senators from the Democratic Party. And one person central to turning Georgia blue is the voting rights activist and former state legislator Stacey Abrams.

Abrams tells All Things Considered that the Democratic swing was "extraordinary," but "not wholly surprising," adding that the "numbers had been moving in our favor" in recent years.

The Trump administration was all about loosening rules for businesses. But Gary Gensler, President Biden's nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, has a very different mantra.

"When there are clear rules of the road and a cop on the beat to enforce them—our economy grows and our nation prospers," Gensler told members of the Senate Banking Committee.

The need for a tough cop on the beat during the pandemic is clear to Rohit Chopra - Biden's pick to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

President Biden said on Tuesday that the U.S. will produce enough vaccines for every adult in the U.S. by the end of May, while making a fresh push to vaccinate school staff over the next month.

"We're now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May," Biden said, crediting his administration's efforts to boost production and moving up the timeline from the end of July, which is what the president was saying just a few weeks ago.

The U.S. Supreme Court seemed ready on Tuesday to uphold Arizona's restrictive voting laws, setting the stage for what happens in the coming months and years, as Republican-dominated state legislatures seek to make voting more difficult.

Biden's picks for the watchdogs protecting Americans from financial wrongdoing will face the Senate Banking Committee. If confirmed, they will be much tougher on Wall Street than their predecessors.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Neera Tanden has withdrawn her name as President Biden's nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget. Her nomination has been controversial, mostly because of disparaging comments she's made in the past about Republican lawmakers. White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez is with us now for more.

Hi, Franco.

FRANCO ORDOÑEZ, BYLINE: Hi, Ari.

SHAPIRO: What did the White House and Tanden say this evening?

Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he is lifting the state's mask mandate and increasing capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100%. Abbott, a Republican, said the mandates are no longer needed due to advancements of vaccines and therapeutics to protect against COVID-19.

Updated at 2:58 p.m. ET

The Senate confirmed Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo on Tuesday as the next secretary of the U.S. Commerce Department.

Amid criticism of the FBI's handling of its findings of planned violence on Jan. 6, FBI Director Christopher Wray defended his agency's methods of sharing intelligence with law enforcement on the evening before the insurrection.

A situational intelligence report from the FBI's Norfolk office conveyed specific threats made online against members of Congress, maps of the tunnel system under the Capitol complex and places to meet before traveling together to Washington. But this intelligence was raw, consisting of online information that had not yet been analyzed or corroborated.

It will be a year and a half before the first votes are cast in the 2022 midterms, but volunteers are already staffing phone banks to start organizing Florida's Democratic voters. Ken Telesco is in Seattle, but he's calling Democrats in Florida. When he gets someone on the line, which is rare, he launches into his appeal, "We're a Democratic organization just calling around to make sure you are registered to vote as a Democrat."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, is testifying before Congress about the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He's taking questions from a committee chaired by Democrat Dick Durbin.

(SOUNDBITE OF HEARING)

The Biden administration, signaling a tougher stance on Russia than under the Trump White House, announced Tuesday new sanctions targeting seven senior Kremlin officials in response to last year's poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Senior administration officials, speaking to reporters on a conference call, said the sanctions also include export controls on 14 parties — nine Russian, three German and one Swiss, and one government research institute. The names of the sanctioned officials and entities will be announced Tuesday afternoon, the officials said.

Congressional lawmakers are launching a fresh push for significant gun control legislation, introducing two bills aimed at sweeping overhauls of the nation's gun laws.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers, led by California Rep. Mike Thompson, who leads the congressional task force on gun violence prevention, reintroduced legislation Tuesday to require background checks for all gun purchasers.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to Trita Parsi of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft about the next steps the U.S. should take to get Iran back to the negotiating table.

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