President Biden lamented that there has “never been more strain” on the U.S. Capitol Police and recalled in deeply personal terms his own loss of family as he spoke Tuesday at a service in the Capitol Rotunda for William “Billy” F. Evans, the second officer to lie in honor there in recent months.

Biden also met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus in the Oval Office at the White House as part of continuing outreach to key constituencies in Congress. The White House said topics included voting rights and racial equality.

Here’s what to know:

  • Biden proposed meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in a third country during a phone call. The White House said Biden “emphasized the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” at a time when Russia has built up forces on its Ukrainian border.
  • Biden will withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan over the coming months, completing the military exit by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
  • Housing Secretary Marcia L. Fudge moved to reinstate fair housing regulations that had been gutted under President Donald Trump.
  • Jeff Zients, the White House’s covid-19 response coordinator, said that the Biden administration’s call for a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine will not have a significant impact on the White House’s vaccination efforts.
2:15 a.m.
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Pelosi invites Biden to address joint session of Congress on April 28

Pelosi has formally invited Biden to deliver an address to a joint session of Congress on April 28.

Presidents typically deliver a joint-session address within the first several weeks after taking office, and the White House had signaled this month that Biden remained interested in doing so, though a date had not yet been set.

“Nearly 100 days ago, when you took the oath of office, you pledged in a spirit of great hope that ‘Help Is On The Way.’ Now, because of your historic and transformative leadership, Help Is Here!,” Pelosi wrote in the brief letter inviting Biden to give the address later this month. “In that spirit, I am writing to invite you to address a Joint Session of Congress on Wednesday, April 28, to share your vision for addressing the challenges and opportunities of this historic moment.”

Pelosi said earlier this month that Congress was still figuring out the timing and logistics of the address, consulting with the Capitol physician and House sergeant-at-arms on protocol given pandemic restrictions.

The president has accepted the speaker’s invitation to address Congress, the White House said late Tuesday.

1:14 a.m.
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Republicans say Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal plan is ‘dumber than dirt’

President Biden’s pledge to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 prompted immediate backlash Tuesday from leading congressional Republicans, who decried his plans as “outrageous,” “dumber than dirt” and “a disaster in the making.”

“Precipitously withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan is a grave mistake. It is a retreat in the face of an enemy,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor. “Foreign terrorists will not leave the United States alone simply because our politicians have grown tired of taking the fight to them.”

The GOP’s wholesale rejection of Biden’s planned withdrawal illustrates the political risk confronting the new administration as it seeks to bring the country’s longest war to a close — even as many Democrats greeted the news with relief.

“It took us 10 years to find and kill Osama bin Laden. We stayed an additional 10 years to help train Afghan security forces and create conditions for a more stable future in that country,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a leading advocate for repealing the 2001 war authorization that permitted American engagement in Afghanistan. “It is now time to bring our troops home.”

12:51 a.m.
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House panel to vote on slavery reparations bill for first time; supporters are calling it an important milestone

The debate over whether to pay reparations to the descendants of enslaved people will take a step forward Wednesday when a House committee votes on legislation to create a commission to study the issue, which has been fiercely debated over the past year on the campaign trail and in several communities across the country.

The bill was first proposed in 1989 by Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), but it has never received a committee vote as it drew little interest from congressional leaders. But advocates of reparations pushed it to the forefront last year as racial justice demonstrations were held across the country after more police killings of Black Americans, including George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The bill continues to face a steep climb to making it into law or to even receiving a vote from the full House, but supporters of the proposal are cheering on Wednesday’s vote as an important milestone in their push to deal with the human and economic wounds that the institution of slavery has left on the country to this day.

11:58 p.m.
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Education Secretary Cardona praises newly reopened school in Maryland during reopening tour

Four days into the reopening of schools in Prince George’s County, students paused during a lesson about opinion writing to hear a few opinions from visiting Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

“Fourth grade!” Cardona exclaimed to the class at Mary Harris “Mother” Jones Elementary School, which had been offering views on pizza. “I love fourth grade. I taught fourth grade. It’s the best year, isn’t it?”

They did not disagree, and before their lesson went further, Cardona gave a quick pop quiz of his own. “Instagram or TikTok?” he said. “How should I handle my social media?”

“Both!” a girl called out quickly, winning his praise.

The exuberance and banter went on as Cardona toured the 1,000-student high-poverty school in Adelphi, in the Maryland suburbs, where about half of children are learning in person part time and half are getting full-time instruction virtually.

10:58 p.m.
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Senate poised to advance rare bipartisan measure aimed at hate crimes against Asian Americans

Senate leaders are poised to move ahead Wednesday on the rarest types of legislation in this bitterly divided atmosphere, a bipartisan effort to investigate hate crimes focused on Asian Americans in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Both sides cautioned that the tentative framework could still fall apart, but senators signaled they are willing to merge a few different proposals that could lead to a bipartisan passage of a bill by the end of the week, which is highly unusual in a chamber that has been dominated for the past three months by a presidential impeachment trial and the Democrats’ party-line passage of the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), the main sponsor of the hate-crime legislation, told reporters Tuesday that she is willing to broaden her bill to more thoroughly capture all instances of anti-Asian crimes.

“The whole point is that there is a connection between covid and the rise of these hate crimes. We wanted to make sure that everyone understood there’s a cause and effect here, but I’m open to eliminating that so that we can get to the real issue, which is the rise in hate crimes against AAPIs,” Hirono said, using the acronym for Asian American Pacific Islanders.

She introduced the bill last month, after a mass shooting at three Atlanta-area spas left eight people dead, including six women of Asian descent. The crime heightened the pressure on Congress to respond to the rise in attacks against the Asian American community a year after the deadly virus was first found in China.

9:59 p.m.
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Senate confirms Polly Trottenberg as deputy transportation secretary

The Senate confirmed Polly Trottenberg as deputy transportation secretary Tuesday, installing the veteran official, who most recently ran New York City’s transportation department, in the federal agency’s No. 2 spot. The vote was 82 to 15.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg congratulated Trottenberg on Twitter: “I’m looking forward to working together on the unprecedented opportunities before our department.”

Trottenberg, who previously served at the department as a senior official in the Obama administration, returns to the federal government at a time when President Biden is proposing to significantly increase spending on transportation with a $600 billion infusion. Beyond repairing roads and bridges, Buttigieg is seeking to make the environment and racial justice priorities.

9:29 p.m.
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Biden vows ‘real change’ for African Americans in interactions with police

In brief remarks ahead of a meeting with members of the Congressional Black Caucus in the Oval Office, Biden vowed “real change” for African Americans.

“It’s been a pretty painful week with the loss we’ve had,” Biden began, noting the death of longtime Democratic congressman Alcee L. Hastings and “the god-awful shooting” that took the life of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Minnesota.

After he spoke, a reporter asked Biden what he could deliver on changing how police interact with African Americans.

“A lot,” the president answered.

Biden said in his remarks that the issues are not just about police but also about economic opportunities for Black Americans. “It’s about income, it’s about being able to earn a living, it’s about being able to be in a position where you have economic opportunity,” he said.

“We’re in the business, all of us meeting today, to deliver some real change,” Biden said. “I signed an executive order, every single aspect of our government including every agency has a primary focus of dealing with equity. It’s not a joke.”

After the meeting, the lawmakers spoke to reporters and said they were encouraged by their conversations with Biden. Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) suggested that the meeting was inspired by the police shooting of Wright, an unarmed Black man stopped for a traffic violation.

“We are standing here on the grounds of the White House because of them and for them,” Beatty said, referring to those protesting in the wake of Wright’s death. “We feel their pain because many of us have witnessed the same pain, the same discrimination. It is not by accident that we are here now. … We stand with them to use our power and our message to bring about change, to bring about hope, and we’re going to do that through voting, through jobs and the economy.”

During the meeting, Biden also underlined a commitment to diversity in the process of making appointments and nominations, including for judicial nominations, according to a White House readout.

9:28 p.m.
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Biden, Obama to be featured on TV special to push coronavirus vaccinations

Biden and former president Barack Obama will appear in an hour-long television special on Sunday to encourage Americans to get vaccinated.

The “Roll Up Your Sleeves” special is set to air on NBC at 7 p.m. Eastern time and was created by ATTN: alongside the nonprofit Civic Nation’s Made to Save initiative, a campaign launched this month to push for equitable access to vaccines and to bolster confidence in the shots, especially in communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

Biden will speak directly to the public during his appearance, urging Americans to get a shot when they can, according to a news release from Civic Nation. The appearance comes as the administration continues a vaccination campaign that includes television ads and a grass-roots network of leaders meant to encourage people to get their shots.

The television special will feature former first lady Michelle Obama, who will appear alongside Faith Hill, Jennifer Lopez and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Top infectious-disease expert Anthony S. Fauci will be interviewed by actor Matthew McConaughey. Former president Obama will appear with NBA stars Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal. The special will also feature television doctors Eric Dane, Ryan Eggold, Ken Jeong, Ellen Pompeo and Jane Seymour, according to the release. The slate of big-name appearances also includes Billy Crystal, Wanda Sykes, Sterling K. Brown, Lana Condor, Jennifer Hudson, Dale Jarrett, Joe Jonas, Eva Longoria, Demi Lovato, Joel McHale, Kumail Nanjiani and Amanda Seyfried, as well as Vin Gupta, a critical care pulmonologist at the University of Washington.

8:51 p.m.
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Nearly every House Democrat from N.Y. writes they ‘reserve the right to oppose any tax legislation’ that doesn’t end SALT cap

Nearly every Democrat in New York’s congressional delegation signed a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) calling for a repeal of the Trump-era limit on state and local tax deductions, writing that they will “not hesitate to oppose any tax legislation that does not fully restore the SALT deduction.”

The lawmakers urged that the House leaders “insist on full repeal of the limitation” of the state and local tax deduction cap, known as SALT. The limit was set in the tax law passed by Congress in 2017.

“This issue is so critical to our state and our constituents that we will reserve the right to oppose any tax legislation that does not include a full repeal of the SALT limitation,” wrote the lawmakers, led by Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Thomas Suozzi of New York.

Reps. Kathleen Rice and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are the two New York Democratic lawmakers who did not sign the letter.

Earlier this month, the White House signaled it was open to ideas from Democrats on including a repeal of the SALT cap in its infrastructure plan.

“If Democrats want to propose a way to eliminate SALT — which is not a revenue raiser, as you know, it would cost more money — and they want to propose a way to pay for it and they want to put that forward, we’re happy to hear their ideas,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a press briefing on April 1.

A group of Democratic lawmakers from New York and New Jersey, including Suozzi, had previously said they wouldn’t back Biden’s infrastructural proposal unless it ended the SALT restrictions.

8:49 p.m.
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Democrats signal limited patience for GOP opposition to Biden infrastructure package

Top Senate Democrats on Tuesday signaled they may have no choice but to bypass Republicans to advance President Biden’s roughly $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs package, as GOP leaders continued to attack the plan over the scope of its spending and the corporate tax increases the White House has proposed to pay for it.

The political schisms seemed only to widen a day after Biden invited lawmakers from both parties to the White House, illustrating the significant obstacles the president faces if he hopes to craft a swift bipartisan deal. Biden has said a massive package is necessary to upgrade the country’s roads, bridges and water ways as well as rebuild schools, improve broadband services and provide more home care for the elderly.

At a weekly party lunch, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Democrats remain committed to addressing the country’s infrastructure needs with Republican support, according to party aides, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private gathering. But Schumer still acknowledged that Democrats have at their disposal the ability to use a budget process, known as reconciliation, to adopt the president’s American Jobs Plan using only 51 votes.

7:37 p.m.
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Robert Santos, Biden’s pick to lead Census, would be bureau’s first permanent director of color

Biden announced on Tuesday that he intends to nominate Robert Santos to be the director of the U.S. Census Bureau. Santos, a third-generation native Mexican American, would be the first person of color to permanently lead the agency, if he is confirmed by the Senate.

Santos currently serves as the vice president and chief methodologist at the Urban Institute and as the president of the American Statistical Association.

An expert in survey sampling, survey design and the areas of social science and policy research, Santos previously served as president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research and was an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, according to the White House. He was previously the director of survey operations at the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center; the vice president of statistics and methodology at NORC University of Chicago; and senior study director at Temple University’s Institute for Survey Research.

7:21 p.m.
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Biden tries to reassure Americans there are enough vaccine shots available amid Johnson & Johnson pause

Biden sought to reassure Americans that there will be enough coronavirus vaccine shots for all eligible adults, even as federal health officials called for a pause in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Biden said the administration made sure they had 600 million doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Both vaccines require two doses, meaning 300 million people would be fully vaccinated.

“So there is enough vaccine, that is basically 100 percent, unquestionable, for every single, solitary, American,” Biden said.

He made the remarks as he was meeting with members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Health officials called for a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, as they review reports of six U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot among the 6.8 million people who have received that vaccine.

Hours earlier, White House officials sought to deliver the same reassurances. Jeff Zients, the White House’s covid-19 response coordinator, said the Biden administration’s call for a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine will not have a significant impact on the White House’s vaccination efforts.

“Let me start by saying that this announcement will not have a significant impact on our vaccination program,” Zients said during a news briefing at the White House, noting that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has accounted for less than 5 percent of 190 million shots already administered.

7:12 p.m.
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McConnell suggests GOP won’t block anti-Asian hate-crimes bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested Republicans won’t block legislation on combating the anti-Asian discrimination that spiked during the pandemic, but said there are amendments they’d like to see added to the bill.

“I can tell you as a proud husband of an Asian American woman. I think this discrimination against Asian Americans is a real problem,” McConnell said, referring to his wife, Elaine Chao, who served as transportation secretary in the Trump administration and labor secretary in the George W. Bush administration.

McConnell said he hoped an agreement could be reached to proceed with debate and amendments on the bill and move to final passage. He did not address Republicans’ specific concerns with the underlying bill or what amendments might be offered.

The bill, which has only Democratic sponsors, would direct the Justice Department to prioritize a review of the increase in crimes against Asian Americans since the start of the pandemic. Some Republicans want to see a bipartisan measure added to it that would strengthen law enforcement reporting of all hate crimes.

5:25 p.m.
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Harris says Daunte Wright ‘should be alive today’

“Folks will keep dying if we don’t fully address racial injustice and inequities in our country,” Vice President Harris said on April 13. (The Washington Post)

Vice President Harris briefly spoke about the killing of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Minnesota man whose death at the hands of police became the latest flash point in a national conversation about officers’ use of force against Black people.

“Before we get started I do want to address the killing of Daunte Wright,” Harris said Tuesday at a roundtable on Black women’s maternal health. “He should be alive today.”

Harris added that “law enforcement must be held to the highest standards of accountability,” and called for “justice and healing.”

Wright, who was Black, was shot and killed Sunday by a veteran police officer, Kim Potter. Body-camera footage released Monday showed that Potter apparently meant to fire her Taser but accidentally pulled her service weapon instead. The killing happened 10 miles from the Minneapolis courtroom where the officer accused of killing George Floyd is on trial.

Brooklyn Center, where Wright was killed, has endured two nights of protests, vigils and curfews.