Pence: I'll likely never see eye to eye with Trump on Jan. 6
Former Vice President Mike Pence says he isn't sure he and former President Donald Trump will ever see “eye to eye” over what happened on Jan_ 6 but he will “always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years.”.
States struggle to get rent relief to tenants amid pandemic
Andrew Cuomo announced last July that New York would spend $100 million in federal coronavirus relief to help cash-strapped tenants pay months of back rent and avert evictions. As much as $3.43 billion in federal aid was spent on rental assistance, according to National Low Income Housing Coalition. Last year, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Mississippi and Kansas were among the states that struggled to distribute rental assistance. Pennsylvania had similar problems, spending $54 million on rental assistance and $10 million on mortgage assistance, out of nearly $175 million dedicated for the program. AdFacing the Republican-controlled Legislature's Nov. 30 deadline to spend the money, the state Housing Finance Authority returned the bulk of it.
The eviction moratorium is expiring. What will Biden do?
President Joe Bidens administration is cutting things close on a nationwide eviction moratorium, which is set to expire in less than a week. Housing advocates are confident the ban, due to expire March 31, will be extended for several months and possibly even strengthened. Last week, Dunn said, a HUD official conducted a call with housing advocates to field opinions on a new, streamlined form that tenants can use in order to gain protection from eviction. “The question is: What is the extension going to look like?”Dunn and others would like to see the moratorium extended and improved. Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package included more than $25 billion in emergency rental assistance, plus more to help tenants who were behind on their utilities, but no extension of the eviction moratorium.
The eviction moratorium is expiring. What will Biden do?
Still, they argue the existing moratorium hasn’t been a blanket protection and say thousands of families have been evicted for other reasons beyond nonpayment of rent. Eric Dunn, director of litigation for the National Housing Law Project, noted signs that a decision has already quietly been made. “The question is: What is the extension going to look like?”Dunn and others would like to see the moratorium extended and improved. Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package included more than $25 billion in emergency rental assistance, plus more to help tenants who were behind on their utilities, but no extension of the eviction moratorium. One of the biggest changes being advocated is for Biden to make the ban's protection's automatic and universal.
Housing advocates call on Biden to extend eviction ban
The protest was part of a national day of action calling on the incoming Biden administration to extend the eviction moratorium initiated in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)BOSTON – Housing advocates around the country staked out courthouses and held rallies Wednesday, calling on the incoming Biden administration to extend and strengthen the current federal ban on evictions. Several dozen tenants, advocates and small landlords gathered outside a housing court in Boston, chanting “Housing is the Cure” and holding signs including “Eviction Free Zone" and ”Ban Utility Shutoffs." But with most of those expired, the federal ban is the only remaining protection preventing the more than 23 million renters from being evicted. “When he comes into office, the current federal eviction moratorium is set to expire 11 days later.
Capitol assault a more sinister attack than first appeared
Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. Minutes later, Pence was taken from the Senate chamber to a secret location and police announced the lockdown of the Capitol. Even before the mob reached sealed doors of the House chamber, Capitol Police pulled Pelosi away from the podium, she told “60 Minutes.”“I said, ‘No, I want to be here,’”she said. Back in the House chamber, a woman in the balcony was seen and heard screaming. When they breached the abandoned Senate chamber, they milled around, rummaged through papers, sat at desks and took videos and pictures.
The unfolding of ‘home-grown fascism’ in Capitol assault
Minutes later, Pence was taken from the Senate chamber to a secret location and police announced the lockdown of the Capitol. Even before the mob reached sealed doors of the House chamber, Capitol Police pulled Pelosi away from the podium, she told “60 Minutes.”“I said, ‘No, I want to be here,’”she said. Back in the House chamber, a woman in the balcony was seen and heard screaming. When they breached the abandoned Senate chamber, they milled around, rummaged through papers, sat at desks and took videos and pictures. These domestic terrorists were in the People’s House, desecrating the People’s House, destroying the People’s House.”___Associated Press writers Dustin Weaver in Washington and Michael Casey in Concord, New Hampshire, contributed to this report.
Chaos, violence, mockery as pro-Trump mob occupies Congress
On Wednesday, hallowed spaces of American democracy, one after another, yielded to the occupation of Congress. There was a heavy police presence at the Capitol on Thursday morning, including officers from D.C., Maryland and Virginia and the D.C. National Guard. Trump told his morning crowd at the Ellipse that he would go with them to the Capitol, but he didn’t. Video footage also showed officers letting people calmly walk out the doors of the Capitol despite the rioting and vandalism. Shortly after being told to put on gas masks, most members were quickly escorted out of the chamber.
Exposure feared after New Hampshire speaker dies of COVID-19
Dick Hinch, who was sworn in as leader of the state’s newly Republican-led, 400-member Legislature just last week, died Wednesday. He was 71 and had been starting his seventh two-year term in the state House. The swearing-in of the House and the 24-member state Senate was held outdoors Dec. 2 at the University of New Hampshire because of the coronavirus pandemic. Packard, who represents Londonderry and is serving his 15th term in the House, will remain the acting speaker until the full House membership meets Jan. 6. In an emotional speech when he was elected speaker Dec. 2, Hinch urged lawmakers to view each other as “friends and colleagues,” rather than members of opposing parties, particularly during a pandemic.
AP sources: Biden to pick Katherine Tai as top trade envoy
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden is set to nominate Katherine Tai to be the top U.S. trade envoy, according to two people familiar with his plans. Biden's selection of Tai, who is Asian American, reflects his promise to choose a diverse Cabinet that reflects the makeup of the country. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Tai earlier oversaw China trade enforcement for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, setting U.S. strategy in trade disputes with China. Biden’s trade representative will inherit a trade war with China, put on pause by an interim trade pact in January that left many of the hardest issues unresolved and U.S. taxes remaining on $360 billion in Chinese imports. As the top trade staffer at Ways and Means, Tai handled negotiations last year with the Trump administration over a revamped North American trade deal.
US colleges mull new virus protocols for students’ return
As coronavirus cases are surging around the U.S., some colleges and universities are rethinking some of their plans for next semester. By November, a total of 76 of the roughly 1,400 students on campus had tested positive, the school said. When students come back for the spring semester, St. Michael’s will begin testing them weekly. Schools that are bringing students back are adjusting testing protocols, introducing new screenings, and eliminating spring breaks to discourage students from traveling to help keep campuses open. In the spring semester, Colby College in Maine wants to add some rapid antigen tests to twice-weekly tests for students, faculty and staff.
Heading home for the holiday? Get a virus test, colleges say
University of Utah student Abigail Shull takes a rapid COVID-19 test at the University of Utah student testing site Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, in Salt Lake City. Now, many students are heading home for Thanksgiving, raising the risk of the virus spreading among family, friends and other travelers. Only about 100 colleges initially tested all students once or twice a week, regardless of symptoms, as part of their back-to-school plans. The few institutions that already regularly test students even without symptoms don’t have to change much. “We, of course, have health services and we have nurses, but they’re working like dogs and there’s not enough of them.”For students, testing availability can be a relief.
Trump, Biden try to line up by Fauci as they court voters
President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden are both looking to harness the credibility of America’s best-known infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, as they make their case to American voters. The doctor is calling out the Trump campaign for taking one of his quotes and popping it into a campaign ad to suggest Fauci is in the president’s corner. Biden has treated Fauci’s opinion over the course of the pandemic as gospel, urging governors to “listen to Dr. Fauci” as they weigh loosening COVID-19 restrictions in their states. “The fact that both candidates are grasping at Dr. Fauci is revealing,” said Steven Webster, an Indiana University political scientist. He’s running a national ad, quoting Dr. Fauci out of context.”Trump's embrace of Fauci in the last lap of the campaign comes as the latest twist in an up-and-down relationship.