President Biden said Monday that the number of coronavirus cases are down in all 50 states for the first time since the pandemic began as he announced plans for the United States to share more U.S.-approved coronavirus vaccines abroad with the goal of “ending the pandemic everywhere.”

During remarks from the White House, Biden said 60 percent of Americans have received at least one shot and warned that those who do not get vaccinated “will end up paying the price” as he lamented that “we’re still losing too many Americans” despite the significant progress.

Here’s what to know:

  • Joel Greenberg, a Florida politician considered key to the investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), pleaded guilty Monday in Orlando to federal charges including sex trafficking of a child and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, a possibly ominous sign for Gaetz.
  • The Supreme Court said it will review a restrictive Mississippi abortion law that opponents of the procedure say provides a clear path to diminish Roe v. Wade’s establishment of the right of women to choose an abortion.
  • The Biden administration announced that roughly 39 million American families will begin receiving direct cash payments in July under a new child benefit created by Democrats’ coronavirus relief bill.
  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the Biden administration will remain focused on “intensive, quiet diplomacy behind the scenes” in a bid to “de-escalate” the deadly violence in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
11:04 p.m.
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Pelosi extends House proxy voting through early July as coronavirus pandemic continues

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Monday that members will be allowed to cast committee and floor votes from afar through July 3, extending the remote-voting regulations that were put into place last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The regulations were originally set to expire on Wednesday.

When the rules changes were first enacted last May, Pelosi and top Democrats said the move was temporary and tailored to the current crisis — which has made mass gatherings of lawmakers hazardous — but necessary to ensure that the House fulfills its constitutional obligations.

Some Republicans have objected to allowing proxy voting, however, arguing that the House could instead make more modest adaptations to its operations. During last year’s debate, they raised several objections, including that lawmakers should report to their workplaces like other essential workers, that the rules changes erode the rights of the minority and that they represent a major break with the customs of the House.

10:35 p.m.
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Biden, Harris release 2020 tax returns

President Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff on Monday released their 2020 tax returns, in a stark contrast with their immediate predecessors in the White House.

The Bidens had an adjusted gross income of $607,336 in 2020, according to their tax filings, with an effective federal income tax rate of 25.9 percent.

Harris and Emhoff had an adjusted gross income of nearly $1.7 million during the same year, their filings show. They paid an effective federal income tax rate of 36.7 percent.

Neither former president Donald Trump nor his vice president, Mike Pence, released their tax returns during their four years in the White House. Pence did release a decade’s worth of tax returns during the 2016 campaign. Trump, meanwhile, repeatedly declined to do so, saying that he had been advised not to release them because he was under audit.

Harris and Emhoff, an attorney, have filed jointly since they were married in 2014. Emhoff has reported more than $1 million in income in every year since.

The Bidens also donated about $30,000 to charity in 2020, with their largest gift — $10,000 — going to the Beau Biden Foundation. Harris and Emhoff donated about $27,000 to charity in 2020.

Chelsea Janes contributed to this report.

9:54 p.m.
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Biden tells Netanyahu he supports a cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians

Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the deadly conflict between Israel and Hamas militants entered its second week and “expressed his support for a ceasefire,” according to a White House readout of the call.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has indicated that the United States would not call for a cease-fire but would lend support if the two sides agree they want one.

Biden told Netanyahu that Israel had a right to defend itself against Hamas’s rocket attacks but that Israel should “make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians.” The Palestinian death toll in the fighting in Gaza tops 200, including 61 children and 36 women, according to local Health Ministry officials.

“The two leaders discussed progress in Israel’s military operations against Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza,” the White House said in the readout. “The President expressed his support for a ceasefire and discussed U.S. engagement with Egypt and other partners towards that end. The two leaders agreed that they and their teams would remain in close touch.”

Critics of the White House’s approach to the conflict from the left say Biden has been too deferential to Israel, while others on the right say he’s not giving Israel enough support.

9:48 p.m.
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Biden administration announces new Energy Star standards

The Biden administration on Monday announced a major push aimed at cutting carbon emissions from federal buildings and homes by setting new efficiency standards and investing in innovative research.

The White House said that, for the first time, the government will develop “building performance standards” for federal facilities. It will also establish new Energy Star standards for heat pumps and invest in programs meant to boost adoption of the potentially emissions-saving technology.

“I think the building sector is often overlooked for the tremendous potential it presents,” said Ali Zaidi, the deputy national climate adviser at the White House. “We’ve turned on approaches all over the government to chase that opportunity.”

The moves — which occurred across the Energy Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Council on Environmental Quality and the General Services Administration — are part of the White House’s ambitious climate agenda, which calls for the United States to achieve 100 percent clean electricity by 2035. Unlike some administration initiatives, such as the Energy Efficiency and Clean Electricity Standard, these changes shouldn’t require congressional approval.

9:21 p.m.
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Analysis: The GOP realignment matrix

For some reason, nearly six years into the Donald Trump Era of Republican Politics, there’s still this sense that Republican voters and elected officials should adhere to the traditional sense of conservatism.

For decades, legislators’ votes have been evaluated and plotted along a spectrum from liberal to conservative, with Republicans increasingly manifesting more conservative records and (to a lesser extent) Democrats more liberal ones. Such evaluations, like Voteview’s DW-NOMINATE metric, are central to the idea that Congress is more polarized than ever.

But the metric has also been of greatly diminished utility since June 2015. The emergence of Trump meant a quick evolution away from such traditional measures as conservative voting records or scores from right-leaning think tanks as useful gauges of Republican success. Trump himself was not interested in legislation, as he made explicit repeatedly. Instead, he championed a policy-free movement of nationalism and hostility to the left that quickly became the expected norm for his party.

8:08 p.m.
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New York Gov. Cuomo will receive $5.1 million from covid-19 pandemic book deal

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) will receive a total of $5.1 million for his book on the coronavirus pandemic, a spokesman confirmed Monday.

The book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the Covid-19 Pandemic,” was released in October. According to Rich Azzopardi, Cuomo’s director of communications and senior adviser, the book contract “calls for payment of $3,120,000 in the last taxable year and an additional $2 million over the following 2 years.” Cuomo released his 2020 tax filings on Monday.

According to Azzopardi, Cuomo received $1,537,508 from the $3,120,000 after expenses and taxes. Of that amount, Cuomo donated one-third to the United Way of New York State for “statewide covid relief and vaccination effort,” Azzopardi said. The remainder will go into a trust for Cuomo’s three daughters.

In a letter to Cuomo dated Monday, United Way expressed “our sincere gratitude to you for such an extraordinary and generous contribution of $500,000.” The timing of Cuomo’s donation was not immediately clear.

Cuomo aides worked on the $5.1 million book extensively, with many spending time in his office and in the mansion on the project. In one version of the book reviewed by The Washington Post, a Cuomo aide is asked to print a draft of the book labeled “MDR edits” — the initials of the governor’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa.

The governor asked a number of advisers, including top state officials, to spend scores of hours to help write the book, even as the coronavirus raged through the state, four people previously told The Post.

Some of Cuomo’s aides disagreed with the decision to write a book during the pandemic, saying it could be viewed as inappropriately timed and political, two people said. Azzopardi last month told The Post it was “not true” that aides said at the time that the project was not a good idea.

DeRosa was most involved in writing the book with Cuomo, while running the governor’s office, people familiar with the matter said. Other aides who worked in the governor’s office were asked to print drafts of the book on government computers, according to the people with knowledge of the situation.

7:28 p.m.
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Harris tells Hispanic lawmakers that business leaders are working with administration to address influx of migrants

Vice President Harris on Monday said that chief executives across the country are working with the Biden administration to increase support to the Northern Triangle region with the hope of curbing the region’s migrant crisis.

“We are bringing CEOs and private corporations in the U.S. together to think about their support,” Harris said Monday during a meeting with Hispanic lawmakers.

She said extreme climate incidents, such as two hurricanes in the region and drought in Guatemala, are factors in migrants leaving their countries and trying to enter the United States.

Harris has taken the lead in the administration in attempting to address the rise in migrants to the United States from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador by focusing on the reasons they are fleeing their home countries.

The number of migrants seeking to enter the United States from Central America rose shortly after Biden entered the Oval Office, with April being the first month of Biden’s presidency where the total number of illegal border crossings did not register a major month-over-month increase. The number of unaccompanied minors taken into custody last month decreased by 9 percent, according to the most recent U.S. Customs and Border Protection data published earlier this month.

Harris met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss poverty, food insecurity, violence and domestic violence against women and girls that has led migrants to seek refuge in the United States. She said companies and business leaders have an opportunity to address these challenges in ways that could improve the quality of life for so many of the people who are struggling to survive in inhumane conditions.

“So many of these issues are long-standing,” she said.

7:02 p.m.
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Amid deadlock on election law overhaul, Sens. Manchin, Murkowski press for bipartisan reauthorization of Voting Rights Act

Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on Monday called for a bipartisan reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, arguing in a letter to leaders of both parties on Capitol Hill that “inaction is not an option.”

“Congress must come together — just as we have done time and again — to reaffirm our longstanding bipartisan commitment to free, accessible, and secure elections for all. … We can do this. We must do this,” the senators said in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The letter comes as Congress is at a stalemate on how to proceed on the issue of voting rights, and amid a flurry of new state laws pushed by Republican legislatures aiming to restrict voting.

Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill have put forward a sprawling overhaul of federal election, ethics and campaign finance law — the For the People Act, also known as H.R. 1 or S. 1. But a Senate committee last week reached a partisan deadlock on the legislation, and there is no clear path to breaking it.

Manchin has said he instead supports an alternative — a refurbishment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 now known as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, named after the late Georgia congressman and civil rights icon, that would reestablish mandatory Justice Department oversight over voting laws in jurisdictions with a history of discriminatory practices, which previously included eight southern states plus Alaska.

Manchin, in fact, suggested he would extend the preemptive federal reviews, known as “preclearance,” to voting laws in all states and territories — a massive expansion of the landmark law that broke the back of Jim Crow. But, according to interviews with lawmakers, it is no more likely that bill could pass an evenly divided Senate than the For the People Act.

In their letter Monday, Manchin and Murkowski noted that the last reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act passed the Senate on a 98-to-0 vote. “Protecting Americans’ access to democracy has not been a partisan issue for the past 56 years, and we must not allow it to become one now,” they said.

6:16 p.m.
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Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, who was critical of Trump, announces he won’t seek reelection in 2022

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R), who last year emerged as one of the chief GOP critics of President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, announced Monday that he will not run for reelection next year.

In a statement, Duncan said that while he is not seeking a second term as lieutenant governor, he has “no intention of slowing down on my policy over politics platform” and will devote his energies to a group called GOP 2.0 that he has founded in a bid to move his party forward without Trump.

“This organization will focus on healing and rebuilding a Republican Party that is damaged but not destroyed through a strategy called P.E.T. Project,” Duncan said. “GOP 2.0 will work hard every day reminding Americans the value of conservative Policies through genuine Empathy and a respectful Tone.”

News of Duncan’s expected plans was first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last month.

In December, Duncan and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) issued a joint statement in response to Trump’s call for a special session of the legislature to overturn Biden’s victory in the state.

Duncan also criticized Trump for suggesting the election had been “stolen” from him and warned that his statements could keep Republican voters from the polls in January’s special Senate elections in the state. “The mountains of misinformation are not helping the process; they’re only hurting it,” Duncan said at the time.

6:13 p.m.
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Biden says U.S. will become global leader in sharing vaccines

For the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, new cases are down in all 50 states, President Biden announced on May 17. (The Washington Post)

President Biden championed the decline in covid-19 cases Monday while declaring that the United States would step up its efforts to address the global pandemic in the next few weeks.

“For the first time since the epidemic began, pandemic cases are down in all 50 states,” he said in remarks at the White House. “I can’t promise that will continue this way. We know there will be advances and setbacks, and we know that there are many flare-ups that could occur.”

“But if the unvaccinated get vaccinated, they will protect themselves and other unvaccinated people around them,” he added.

Biden has been encouraging more Americans, including young people, to get vaccinated — aiming to have 70 percent of Americans at least partly vaccinated by July Fourth. The increase in the number of vaccinated people led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to revise its mask guidelines last week, giving vaccinated people more freedom and flexibility on wearing masks.

Biden said updated numbers scheduled for release on Tuesday will show that at least 60 percent of Americans have received at least one shot. The “light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter,” he said, though he cautioned that the pandemic is not over and that millions more need to be vaccinated.

Ultimately, those who are not vaccinated will end up paying the price,” he said. “The vaccinated will continue to be protected against severe illnesses, but others may not be if you’re not vaccinated.”

Biden noted that the United States plans to send at least 80 million doses abroad in the next six weeks to help slow the spread of the coronavirus internationally. The effort will make the United States the global leader in sharing vaccines.

Biden noted that China and Russia have shared fewer vaccines and that there has been great interest in how the countries are using vaccines to bolster their global influence.

“Our nation is going to be the arsenal of vaccines for the rest of the world,” he said. “We’ll share these vaccines in the service of ending the pandemic everywhere. And we will not use our vaccines to secure favors from other countries.”

5:48 p.m.
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Biden announces Americans will begin receiving child tax credit payments in their bank accounts in July

President Biden on May 17 announced that millions of families would soon begin receiving direct cash benefits stemming from the 2021 coronavirus relief bill. (The Washington Post)

Many American families will begin receiving a portion of their child tax credit payments deposited in their bank account in mid-July rather than having to wait for a big tax break next year.

“I’m announcing today that on July 15th and the 15th of every month thereafter, throughout the year, you will get deposited in your bank account, half of your tax cut, at least two hundred and fifty dollars per child each month, a direct deposit into your account,” Biden said in remarks at the White House.

The child tax credit payment amounts were increased in the $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief package from a maximum of $2,000 per child to $3,600 per child. Instead of getting that money in one lump sum as part of their tax returns, now families will receive the assistance monthly.

This tax cut sends a clear and powerful message to American working families with children: Help is here,” Biden said.

5:14 p.m.
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Psaki defends updated mask recommendations that vaccinated can forgo masks outdoors and inside

Amid criticism from some groups, White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday defended a new recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that vaccinated people can safely forgo masks both outdoors and inside.

“There is going to be a determination about implementation and there are going to be populations and communities where they take a different approach to implementation, because a lot of it is going to be based on the level of vaccination, the level in each community,” she said during the daily briefing. “So we certainly respect and value that. But it is still our view is that science is the North Star.”

National Nurses United, one of the country’s largest unions for registered nurses, has called on the CDC to revise its new mask recommendation, arguing that the decision could harm front-line workers along with people of color by increasing their exposure to the coronavirus.

On several Sunday news shows, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky defended the decision to abruptly reverse the wide-ranging mask recommendations, arguing that it was influenced by updated data.

“We now have science that has really just evolved, even in the last two weeks,” she said on ABC News’s “This Week.” “We also need to say that this is not permission for widespread removal of masks.”

Psaki pushed back on the suggestion that the latest guidelines on masks are based on an honor system because no one knows for sure whether people not wearing masks indoors have been vaccinated. She sought to make it clear that going maskless without being vaccinated is still risky.

“If you get vaccinated, you go through your two doses, your two weeks passed,” she said. “You no longer need to wear a mask. If you are not, you should still wear a mask to protect others, but also to protect yourself.”

5:05 p.m.
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Psaki says Biden administration remains committed to codifying Roe v. Wade regardless of Supreme Court outcome

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on May 17 said President Biden is "committed to codifying" Roe v. Wade regardless of the Supreme Court ruling. (The Washington Post)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to respond directly to the Supreme Court’s decision to take up a high-profile abortion case, but said generally the Biden administration is committed to codifying Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling establishing the right to abortion, no matter what justices decide.

The nation’s highest court will review a Mississippi abortion law that would ban almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Lower courts have blocked it from going into effect because it contradicts the precedent set by Roe v. Wade.

Mississippi is one of several conservative states that have sought ways to limit access to abortions and other reproductive health care needs.

“I can say that over the last four years, critical rights like the right to health care, the right to choose, have been under withering and extreme attack, including through draconian state laws,” Psaki said. “And the president and the vice president are devoted to ensuring that every American has access to health care, including reproductive health care, regardless of their income. Zip code, race, health insurance status or immigration status.”

Psaki’s response is almost the same wording as a statement the Biden White House put out on the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

4:33 p.m.
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U.S. to send at least 20 million doses of vaccines abroad

Biden will send at least 20 million doses of U.S.-approved coronavirus vaccines abroad by the end of June.

The announcement, which the president will make Monday afternoon, marks the first time the United States is sharing vaccines that are authorized for domestic use. The shipments will include doses from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

Biden will also announce that Jeff Zients, the coronavirus coordinator, will lead the effort to share vaccines globally. Zients will work in coordination with the National Security Council and other agency partners, including Gayle Smith, who is coordinating global diplomatic outreach at the State Department.

The 20 million doses follows an earlier commitment by Biden to share up to 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine overseas. The United States has not authorized the vaccine for domestic use, and the doses are under review by the Food and Drug Administration. They are expected to be sent out in the next six weeks.

In recent weeks, Biden has been pressed to share more vaccines with the world and to develop a strategy to better distribute them as supply in the United States quickly outstrips demand.