After returning to Washington from Delaware on Monday, President Biden met virtually with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, with migration and the coronavirus pandemic among the topics on their agenda.

“The United States and Mexico are stronger when we stand together,” Biden said. “There’s a long and complicated history between our nations that haven’t always been perfect neighbors with one another. But we have seen over and over again the power and the purpose when we cooperate. And we’re safer when we work together.”

On Capitol Hill, the Senate voted Monday to confirm Miguel Cardona as Biden’s education secretary, while a committee is expected to advance the nomination of Merrick Garland as attorney general.

Here’s what to know …
  • Senate Democrats and the White House are retreating on efforts to include a $15 minimum wage increase in Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief bill as they aim to move the package forward this week in the Senate.
  • Former president Donald Trump declared that he is considering a presidential run in 2024, has ruled out forming a third party, and will devote himself to building up Republican efforts to take on Democrats and others he claimed have targeted his movement.
  • Facing fresh allegations of sexual harassment and mounting political pressure, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) apologized if anything he said may “have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation,” but denied he inappropriately touched or propositioned anyone in his office.
12:38 a.m.
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Analysis: D.C.'s vaccination portal failed three days in a row. It’s part of a bigger problem.

D.C. and Microsoft leaders are doing damage control after technical issues prevented tens of thousands of people from securing vaccination appointments — on the first days the city allowed people with qualifying medical conditions to sign up.

City and company officials issued a joint apology on Saturday after people across the city complained for three consecutive days that they were receiving a variety of error messages instead of vaccination slots.

The problems in the District highlight a broader problem throughout the United States.

The coronavirus has been an unfortunate stress test of local governments’ technical capabilities. And nearly three months since the first coronavirus vaccines were administered, cities and counties — and the tech vendors they’re working with — are continuing to fall short.

11:53 p.m.
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Senate confirms Miguel Cardona as education secretary

The Senate confirmed Miguel Cardona to serve as education secretary Monday, vaulting the little-known Connecticut educator into the center of the national debate over how to reopen schools for face-to-face classes.

The Senate vote was a bipartisan 64 to 33 for Cardona, whose nomination moved through the chamber without any significant controversy — in contrast with the confirmation of his immediate predecessor, Betsy DeVos, who needed the tiebreaking vote of Vice President Mike Pence to win confirmation.

“At this moment of crisis, Dr. Cardona is exactly the leader we need at the Department of Education,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. “He has the experience, principles and perspective that we need in this critical role.”

10:57 p.m.
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‘We’re safer when we work together,’ Biden says during virtual meeting with Mexican President López Obrador

President Biden met virtually Monday afternoon with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, with migration and the coronavirus pandemic among the topics on their agenda.

“The United States and Mexico are stronger when we stand together,” Biden said as the meeting began. “There’s a long and complicated history between our nations that haven’t always been perfect neighbors with one another. But we have seen over and over again the power and the purpose when we cooperate. And we’re safer when we work together.”

López Obrador thanked Biden for “wanting to base our relations on respect and equality.”

“It is important for Mexico, and we must keep on cooperating for further development based on independence and autonomy, potentializing what our peoples mean to us,” he said.

The meeting follows a virtual bilateral meeting last week with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Biden’s first with a foreign leader since taking office.

López Obrador plans to ask Biden for help in ensuring that coronavirus vaccines are available to poorer countries such as Mexico, which has been whiplashed by the pandemic.

Mexico has scrambled to get shots, signing agreements for seven vaccines that have been approved or are in testing, but they have been slow to arrive. About 2.5 million people in Mexico had received at least one dose as of Sunday; the number in the United States is about 50 million.

In response to a question from a reporter on whether he plans to send vaccines to Mexico, Biden said only, “We’re going to talk about that.”

9:21 p.m.
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Conservatives seek to recast what happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6

Instead of an attempt to overturn the election by radicalized Trump supporters, it was a choreographed attack staged by antifa provocateurs. Rather than an armed insurrection, it was a good-natured protest spoiled by a few troublemakers.

And instead of a deadly event that put the lives of hundreds of lawmakers, police officers and others at risk, the riot was no big deal at all.

A legion of conservative activists, media personalities and elected officials are seeking to rewrite the story of what happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6, hoping to undermine the clear picture of the attack that has emerged from video and photo evidence, law enforcement officials, journalistic accounts and the testimonials of the rioters themselves: that a pro-Trump mob, mobilized by the former president’s false claims of a stolen election, stormed the seat of American government to keep Trump in power through violent means.

8:27 p.m.
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Trump received coronavirus vaccine in January, adviser says

Trump and former first lady Melania Trump received coronavirus vaccines in January, an adviser said Monday.

The Trumps “were vaccinated at the White House in January,” said the adviser, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter. No further details were available on the timing or which vaccine was administered.

The news comes one day after the former president urged all Americans to get vaccinated against covid-19.

“We took care of a lot of people — including, I guess, on December 21st, we took care of Joe Biden, because he got his shot, he got his vaccine,” Trump said in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday. “It shows you how unpainful that vaccine shot is.”

“So everybody, go get your shot,” he added.

Aaron Blake contributed to this report.

7:46 p.m.
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Analysis: Trumpism will endure in the GOP. Trump may not.

When the Conservative Political Action Conference bothers to have a presidential straw poll, it tends to offer more insight into the conference’s attendees than the likely outcome of the election. In 2014 and 2015, for example, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) won the most support. The 2016 iteration of the event was held after the primaries were underway, and Donald Trump’s decision to skip a planned speech rankled some attendees. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) earned the most support that year, with Trump coming in third.

“Winning less than 15 percent of the vote is a rebuke for the billionaire businessman,” the Washington Times said of the straw poll (which it usually sponsors), “and it underscores just how uncomfortable both Republican Party leaders and high-level conservative activists are with Mr. Trump.”

6:49 p.m.
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Senate Judiciary Committee votes to advance Garland nomination

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday voted to advance Merrick Garland’s nomination to be the next U.S. attorney general, a procedural step that paves the way for a vote by the full Senate.

Fifteen members of the committee — all of the panel’s 11 Democrats plus four Republicans — voted in favor of advancing the nomination, while seven Republicans opposed it. Garland, a federal appeals-court judge with a reputation as a consensus-builder, is expected to eventually be confirmed with bipartisan support.

The vote came after brief remarks by the panel’s chair, Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), and highest-ranking Republican, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa). Though Grassley voted to move the nomination forward, he expressed some concerns about the direction of the Justice Department under President Biden and warned Garland not to shut down special counsel John Durham’s investigation of the FBI’s 2016 probe of Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign.

At his confirmation hearing last week, Garland had notably declined to commit to allowing the probe to finish, though he said he saw no reason it should be shut down. Grassley said that if Garland now moved to shut down the investigation, he would view his motivation as “premeditated and political.”

“His credibility is on the line,” Grassley said.

Those opposing the nomination were Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), John Neely Kennedy (R-La.), Michael Lee (R-Utah) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).

Some of the Republicans said that Garland did not provide meaningful responses to their questions at his confirmation hearing and in writing afterward. Durbin said Republicans had submitted nearly 850 written questions after the hearing.

6:41 p.m.
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Psaki says U.S. reserves right to sanction Mohammed bin Salman in future but defends response to Khashoggi murder

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the United States reserves the right to place sanctions on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the future. But she continued to defend the Biden administration’s decision not impose any direct punishment on the Saudi royal in the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

Appearing at the White House news briefing, Psaki was peppered with questions for another day in the wake of Friday’s public release of a U.S. intelligence report that concluded that Mohammed had “approved” the operation that led to the murder and dismemberment of the Washington Post contributing columnist and political commentator.

Asked if the United States reserves the right to sanction the crown prince in the future, Psaki said: “Of course, we reserve the right to take any action at a time and manner of our choosing.”

“I will note,” she added, “that historically the United States, through Democratic and Republican presidents, has not typically sanctioned government leaders of countries where we have diplomatic relations.”

On Friday, the State Department announced several steps that coincided with the release of the report, including what it called “the Khashoggi ban,” visa restrictions against anyone found to be “acting on behalf of a foreign government” and involved in “serious, extraterritorial counter-dissident activities.” It said that 76 Saudi “individuals believed to have been engaged in threatening dissidents overseas, including but not limited to the Khashoggi killing,” had already been listed.

I would say we took a number of steps that our team determined were the right steps to prevent this from ever happening again,” Psaki said Monday. “That is our objective. We also, from day one, even prior to the release of this report, have recalibrated the relationship [with Saudi Arabia], have made clear that is going to be a shift from how it was approached over the last four years. … Our objective is to recalibrate the relationship, prevent this from ever happening again and find ways as there are still to work together with Saudi leadership while still making clear where we feel action is unacceptable.”

6:30 p.m.
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Psaki says U.S. will not share vaccines with Mexico

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the United States will not share its vaccine supply with Mexico.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is expected to ask Biden for help with procuring vaccines when the two men meet virtually this afternoon.

“No,” Psaki said when asked whether Biden would consider giving vaccines to Mexico. “The president has made clear that he is focused on ensuring that vaccines are accessible to every American. That is our focus.”

6:04 p.m.
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Mayorkas says Biden administration is facing a ‘challenge’ at Mexico border, not a crisis

The increasing numbers of unaccompanied minors crossing into the United States have posed a “challenge” to the Biden administration, said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, but he said the influx is not a crisis.

In recent weeks, an average of 300 minors a day have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border without parents, a fourfold increase from the fall. The Biden administration has opened a tent facility in South Texas to shelter the minors while they are in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, a move that drew criticism from Democrats last week.

“We are challenged at the border, but the men and women of DHS are meeting that challenge,” Mayorkas said. “It is a stressful challenge, and that is why we are working at building capacity to manage it and meet our humanitarian aspirations.”

Former president Donald Trump blasted the Biden administration Sunday for reversing his administration’s deterrent policies along the border, moves he blamed for precipitating the surge.

5:59 p.m.
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Cuomo formally refers allegations of sexual harassment against him to state attorney general

NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) formally referred allegations of sexual harassment against him to the state’s attorney general on Monday, a move that initiates an investigation of the veteran politician, who has come under fire after disclosures by two former aides who alleged misconduct.

The requisite referral letter was sent to the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), who will be tasked with finding outside investigators to head the probe of Cuomo’s alleged misdeeds involving two women who worked in his administration, a person familiar with the matter confirmed.

Initially, Cuomo resisted sending the review to James’s office, instead suggesting the state’s highest-ranking judge, Janet DiFiore, take up the issue.

Charlotte Bennett recently detailed her alleged experience with Cuomo to the New York Times, saying the third-term governor harassed her last spring during the peak of the state’s coronavirus response.

The 25-year-old told the Times that Cuomo, 63, delved into her personal life in inappropriate ways and sought her opinion on romantic relationships with significant age differences.

Another accuser, Lindsey Boylan, said last week in an essay published on Medium that Cuomo was inappropriately flirty on a flight back from an event across the state in 2017 and once kissed her on the mouth at his office in New York City.

Both women said they were uncomfortable and feared repercussions for brushing him off.

In a statement Sunday, Cuomo said he “never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm,” describing his actions as the result of his “playful” nature.

“I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good natured way,” the statement read. “… I have teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married. I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.”

He added that he “never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody.”

Since the accusations were made, Cuomo has avoided public appearances. The revelations followed a controversy over whether his office purposely underreported nursing home deaths related to the pandemic.

5:39 p.m.
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Biden administration appoints Michelle Brané to lead family reunification task force

A prominent critic of former president Donald Trump’s immigration policies will lead a new Department of Homeland Security task force trying to contact parents separated from their children during the “Zero Tolerance” border crackdown in 2018.

Michelle Brané of the D.C.-based Women’s Refugee Commission will work with the U.S. State Department, federal agencies and attorneys to locate some of the roughly 500 parents whom attorneys have been unable to contact, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Monday.

“She has dedicated her entire career to human rights and she is an extraordinary talent that will bring justice and results to this effort,” he said.

Some of the parents who were separated from their children were deported under Trump, and many stayed behind in the United States with other relatives. The task force will review potential legal avenues for the families to be reunited, Mayorkas said.

“We have a moral imperative to reunite families and restore them to the fullest capacity the United States government can do,” he said.

5:26 p.m.
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Analysis: Biden’s cautious approach on Syria strikes, Saudi Arabia draws Democratic scrutiny

Biden’s two most recent headline-grabbing foreign policy decisions show a leader inclined toward caution and unworried about falling short of his political allies’ expectations — or of breaking his own lofty campaign promises.

Biden’s choice to strike Iran-linked forces in Syria and formally blame Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi — but stop short of punishing him personally — offer some clues to how he’ll manage world affairs, even if it’s far too soon to draw any broad conclusions.

The president has made the economy and the coronavirus pandemic his top two priorities — a reflection of his advisers’ certainty that voters will primarily judge him on his response to those crises.

But Biden faces an array of foreign policy decisions, few of them on a timetable of his choice.

5:07 p.m.
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Analysis: What GOP civil war? Republicans insist all is well — even as they attack each other.

In his first public appearance since leaving office, former president Donald Trump further cemented his dominance over the Republican Party. (Drea Cornejo/The Washington Post)

If there is one thing that unites the Republican Party these days, it’s its insistence that, despite appearances, it is not divided. The lack of a true GOP “civil war” was a talking point driven home by numerous high-profile Republicans at the weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference.

“The media desperately, desperately, desperately wants to see a Republican civil war,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.)

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), leader of Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, declared, “the Republican civil war is canceled.”

“We’ve got to resist the attempts of the oligarchy to divide us,” said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), adding: “You can see what their strategy is.”

Asked whether there was a GOP civil war, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said flatly, “No.”