👋 Away Message: Hi there! Matt is currently out on parental leave. He'll return August 30th-ish. More details can be found here. In the meantime, Joe (the voice of the newscast/podcast) will be publishing an abridged version of WTF Just Happened Today? every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can expect 5-7 news items covering a slightly wider range of political news in about two sentences each. We'll return to our regularly scheduled WTFJHT programming when Matt returns in late August.
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1/ The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee sued Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and two extremist groups, accusing them of conspiring to incite the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in order to interfere with Congress’ certification of the Electoral College count. The lawsuit, filed by the NAACP on behalf of Rep. Bennie Thompson, alleges that Trump and Giuliani, in collaboration with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, violated the Ku Klux Klan Act, an 1871 statute designed to protect lawmakers from violent interference in Congress’s constitutional duties. The suit, filed in federal court in Washington, says that by repeatedly claiming that the election was stolen, Trump and Giuliani “endorsed rather than discouraged” threats of violence from his supporters in the weeks leading up to the assault on the Capitol. And, at the Jan. 6 rally near the White House, the two “began stoking the crowd’s anger and urging them to take action to forcibly seize control of the process for counting and approving the Electoral College ballots.” (Washington Post / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Politico / Associated Press / NPR / NBC News / The Guardian / ABC News / CNN / Axios)
2/ The White House said Biden would support efforts to establish the creation of a “9/11-type commission” to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Nancy Pelosi said Monday that the House would move to establish an independent commission for Congress to “get to the truth” of the Capitol attack as well as “the interference with the peaceful transfer of power.” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said the White House would also cooperate with Congress to deter similar episodes in the future. (Politico / New York Times / NBC News / Washington Post / CNN)
3/ House Democrats are finalizing the details of Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, aiming to vote on final legislation Feb. 26. Currently, the legislation would provide billions of dollars for schools and small businesses, extend unemployment benefits through the fall, provide $1,400 in direct payments, and gradually increase in the federal minimum wage to $15. While the full House could pass the legislation as soon as next week, two Democrats in the Senate have voiced opposition to raising the federal minimum wage. Any changes made in the Senate would mean that the bill would have to go back to the House for another vote. (New York Times / Bloomberg / CNBC / CNN)
😷 Dept. of “We Have It Totally Under Control.”
- Global: Total confirmed cases: ~109,387,000; deaths: ~2,415,000
- U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~27,740,000; deaths: ~488,000; vaccinated: ~12% of total population
- Source: Johns Hopkins University / Washington Post
4/ Biden extended the federal moratorium on home foreclosure through the end of June, saying the pandemic had “triggered a housing affordability crisis.” Biden had previously extended the moratorium, which was set to expire at the end of January, until the end of March in an executive actions on his first day in office. The White House also extended the enrollment window to request forbearance mortgage and six months of additional forbearance for those who enroll on or before June 30. The moves will benefit about 2.7 million homeowners currently in Covid-19 forbearance and extend the availability of forbearance options for around 11 million other government-backed mortgages nationwide. (NBC News / CNBC / New York Times / Wall Street Journal)
5/ The Biden administration will increase coronavirus vaccine doses sent to states to 13.5 million a week – up from 11 million doses. The White House will also double vaccines doses shipped to pharmacies, increasing the number of doses per week from 1 million to 2 million. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the weekly vaccine doses sent to states represents a 57% increase in supply since Biden was inaugurated Jan. 20. About 12% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a vaccine. (Washington Post / The Guardian / Bloomberg)
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