Day 121: "Not the case."
1/ The House voted to create an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol assault. The bill to create a bipartisan 10-person commission tasked with delivering a report on the causes and facts of the insurrection passed on a 252-to-175 vote with 35 Republicans supporting the measure. In the Senate, Democrats need 10 Republicans to join them in supporting the measure in order to reach the 60-vote threshold required for passage in the evenly divided Senate. (Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / Axios / CNN)
2/ The House narrowly approved a $1.9 billion spending bill to fortify security at the Capitol after the Jan. 6 insurrection. The legislation was approved in a 213-212 vote after a group of Democratic progressives objected to spending millions more on the Capitol Police without more knowledge about whether some officers were complicit in the Jan. 6 riot. The funding bill, however, is unlikely to advance in the Senate, where Republicans have complained that House Democrats drafted the bill without their input. (Politico / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / ABC News)
3/ Israel and Hamas agreed to a tentative cease-fire after 11 days of fighting in the Gaza Strip. Since the fighting began, the Israeli aerial and artillery campaign has killed more than 230 Palestinians – including 64 children and 38 women – and wounded another 1,620 people. The truce will take effect Friday morning. (New York Times / CNBC / USA Today / Washington Post)
4/ Sen. Bernie Sanders will introduce a resolution disapproving of the U.S. sale of $735 million in weapons to Israel. The planned sale of the precision-guided weapons was approved by the Biden administration before the latest outbreak of violence between Hamas and the Israeli government. In the House, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mark Pocan, and Rashida Tlaib introduced a similar resolution yesterday. (Washington Post / CNN)
5/ The Biden administration reinstalled the scientist responsible for producing the federal government’s definitive reports on climate change. The Trump administration removed Michael Kuperberg in November. Kuperberg coordinates climate change research across 13 federal agencies and production of the program’s National Climate Assessment. (Washington Post / HuffPost)
6/ Iowa and Texas both banned mask mandates in public schools. In Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill preventing schools from mandating masks for students, employees, or members of the public. Cities or counties must also lift mask mandate restriction on businesses, although individual business owners may still require masks at their discretion. The law takes effect immediately. While in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order prohibiting counties, public school districts, public health authorities, and government officials from requiring masks. Dr. Anthony Fauci, meanwhile, said many Americans are “misinterpreting” the latest CDC guidance advising that fully vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks in most cases. “The problem is,” Fauci said, “people interpreted that as a signal that you don’t need masks anymore, which absolutely is not the case.” (Des Moines Register / CNN / Iowa Capital Dispatch / Bloomberg / NBC News)
7/ About 444,000 Americans filed first-time unemployment claims last week – a pandemic-era low. The figure, however, is still well-above pre-pandemic levels. (Bloomberg / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / CNBC)
8/ Lawyers located the parents of 54 migrant children separated from their families by the Trump administration. The Biden administration task force, however, estimates that roughly 1,000 families remain separated. (NBC News)
9/ The New York attorney general’s office opened a criminal tax investigation into the Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer. The investigation began with a referral from state tax authorities and involved Allen Weisselberg’s compensation by the Trump Organization and “whether taxes were paid on fringe benefits” from Trump, “including cars and tens of thousands of dollars in private school tuition for at least one” of Weisselberg’s grandchildren. While Weisselberg has not been accused of any wrongdoing, prosecutors are seeking to turn Weisselberg into a cooperating witness against Trump and the Trump Organization. Attorney General Letitia James notified the Trump Organization in January that it had opened an investigation into Weisselberg. (CNN / New York Times / Axios / CNBC / ABC News)
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