The House voted along partly lines, 205-218, to reject Republican congressman Chip Roy’s motion to adjourn for the day.
The House is now debating the resolution to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments over her racist, anti-Semitic and extremist rhetoric.
The Guardian’s Kari Paul reports:
Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook CEO, announced last week the platform will no longer algorithmically recommend political groups to users in an attempt to “turn down the temperature” on online divisiveness.
But experts say such policies are difficult to enforce, much less quantify, and the toxic legacy of the Groups feature and the algorithmic incentives promoting it will be difficult to erase.
“This is like putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound,” said Jessica J González, the co-founder of the anti-hate speech group Change the Terms. “It doesn’t do enough to combat the long history of abuse that’s been allowed to fester on Facebook.”
Read Kari’s full report:
Trump’s legal team signals he will not testify in impeachment trial
Donald Trump’s legal team has signaled that he will not testify in the Senate impeachment trial, despite the impeachment managers’ request for him to do so.
One of Trump’s senior advisers, Jason Miller, shared a letter to lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin describing the congressman’s request for the former president to testify as a “public relations stunt”.
The letter to Raskin is signed by two of Trump’s lawyers, Bruce Castor and David Schoen.
“Your letter only confirms what is known to everyone: you cannot prove your allegations against the 45th President of the United States, who is now a private citizen,” Castor and Schoen wrote.
Castor also told NBC News that the former president did not intend to testify in the impeachment trial.
The House has adopted the rule for the resolution to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments, clearing another procedural hurdle.
But Republican congressman Chip Roy has now introduced a motion to adjourn the chamber, which is expected to be defeated by the Democratic majority.
Roy’s motion will delay the final vote on Greene, who has been widely denounced for her racist and anti-Semitic views, until about 5:30 pm ET.
Joe Biden also used his state department speech to emphasize the importance of an independent press in a healthy democracy.
“We believe a free press isn’t an adversary, rather it’s essential,” the president said. “The free press is essential to the health of a democracy.”
The comments represented a stark contrast to Donald Trump, who repeatedly attacked the press as “fake news” and “the enemy of the people” for revealing unflattering facts about him and his administration.
Biden’s speech at the state department has now concluded.
Over his four years in office, Donald Trump brought down the cap on annual US refugee admissions to historic lows.
Joe Biden said in his state department speech today that he would sign an executive order to raise annual refugee admissions back up to 125,000.
But the new president acknowledged it would take time to “rebuild what has been so badly damaged” after four years of Trump’s leadership.
Biden to sign executive order raising US refugee admissions to 125,000
Joe Biden said he will sign an executive order to raise annual US refugee admissions to 125,000, after the Trump administration repeatedly slashed the refugee cap.
The president pledged that his administration would “begin the hard work of restoring our refugee admissions program to help meet the unprecedented global need”.
But Biden acknowledged it would take time to increase the US refugee capacity, after the Trump administration targeted some of the infrastructure that supports refugee admissions.
“It’s going to take time to rebuild what has been so badly damaged,” Biden said.
Biden says defense secretary will launch global posture review
Joe Biden said his newly confirmed secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, will lead a global posture review to assess US military operations.
In the meantime, any US troop redeployments from Germany that were approved by Donald Trump will be frozen, Biden said.
The president’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, announced the global posture review at the White House earlier today.
Biden also confirmed Sullivan’s announcement that the US is ending support for offensive operations and relevant arms sales in Yemen.
“We’re going to continue to help and support Saudi Arabia defend its sovereignty,” the US president added.
Joe Biden criticized the Vladimir Putin’s government, after a Russian court ruled that opposition leader Alexei Navalny should be jailed for two years and eight months.
Biden said Navalny “should be released immediately and without condition,” as protests rage over the opposition leader’s detainment.
“We will not hesitate to raise the cost on Russia and defend our vital interests and our people,” Biden said at the state department.
Biden at state department: ‘Diplomacy is back at the center of our foreign policy’
Joe Biden is delivering a speech at the state department, outlining his vision for America’s foreign policy agenda.
“America is back,” Biden said, echoing his comments to state department staffers earlier this afternoon. “Diplomacy is back at the center of our foreign policy.”
The president also reiterated the need for America to strengthen its global alliances, after four years of Donald Trump belittling those relationships.
“We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again — not to meet yesterday’s challenges but today’s and tomorrow’s,” Biden said. “We can’t do it alone.”
Senate vote-a-rama on budget resolution begins
The Senate’s “vote-a-rama” on the Democratic budget resolution is now underway, and it will likely continue for hours.
Republicans have prepared hundreds of amendments to the budget resolution, meaning the vote-a-rama could stretch well into the night.
With the Democrats in the majority, most of the Republican proposals will likely fail, but the amendments will force Democratic senators to take some painful votes on issues like abortion and immigration.
Once the budget resolution is approved, it paves the way for congressional Democrats to pass Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief package using reconciliation, meaning they will not need any Republican support to get the legislation to the president’s desk.
The House has voted to move forward with the resolution to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments over her racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric.
The House voted 218-209, exactly along party lines, to approve the procedural motion in connection to the resolution. A second procedural vote is now underway.
Congressman Don Beyer, a Democrat of Virginia, said Marjorie Taylor Greene’s floor speech was “filled with whataboutism that concluded with comparing American journalists to violent QAnon conspiracy theories”.
“She continued claiming to be a victim. She took no responsibility for advocating violence. She did not apologize,” Beyer said.
The House’s procedural vote on removing Greene from her committee assignments over her racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric is still underway.
As of now, the vote has fallen exactly along party lines.
A procedural vote on the motion to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments is now underway in the House.
Earlier this afternoon, Greene delivered a floor speech to defend herself amid widespread condemnation over her racist and extremist rhetoric.
In the speech, Greene claimed that she has not promoted the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory QAnon since she was elected to Congress.
But as a Daily Beast reported noted, that is not true. In December, Greene sent a now-deleted tweet promoting QAnon.
Biden sends message to global leaders: ‘America is back’
Joe Biden is speaking at the state department, thanking its staffers for their service to the country at home and abroad.
The president praised the state department employees as “an incredible group of individuals,” after four years of decreasing morale among diplomats due to Donald Trump’s attacks on them.
Biden said he would later go up to the eighth floor of the state department to deliver a message to world leaders about the direction of his foreign policy agenda.
“America is back,” Biden said. “Diplomacy is back.”