President Biden on Tuesday cast the United States as being in an urgent race with China to build electric vehicles as he visited a plant in Dearborn, Mich., that is about to formally unveil the electric version of its popular F-150 pickup truck. The trip was part of Biden’s ongoing pitch for a $2 trillion infrastructure plan that includes incentives to accelerate a transition to electric vehicles.

On Capitol Hill, the Democratic-led House passed legislation aimed at strengthening federal efforts to address hate crimes directed at Asian Americans amid a sharp increase in violence and discrimination against the community during the pandemic. The measure heads to Biden for his signature.

Here’s what to know:

  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced his opposition to a bipartisan deal to establish an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
  • Democratic Rep. Val Demings, who raised her national profile as one of the House managers prosecuting President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, plans to run for the U.S. Senate in Florida in a bid to unseat Sen. Marco Rubio (R).
  • Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and a former Trump aide, launched a promised Republican bid to become New York’s next governor.
  • The Supreme Court announced that it will review a restrictive Mississippi law that provides a clear path to diminish Roe v. Wade’s guarantee of a woman’s right to choose an abortion.
  • Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff released their 2020 tax returns, reversing the practice of the Trump administration.

Three lawmakers to be fined for not wearing masks on House floor

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Three lawmakers will face fines for not wearing a mask on the House floor, a Capitol official said Tuesday night.

Reps. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) and Beth Van Duyne (R-Tex.) will each have $500 docked from their congressional salary for breaking the mask rule a second time, according to the official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

Spokespeople for Mast, Miller-Meeks and Van Duyne did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

According to Emily Wilkins, a reporter for Bloomberg Government, several lawmakers were standing maskless on the floor of the House on Tuesday in protest of the restrictions. A screenshot of C-SPAN’s footage of the House chamber appears to show the lawmakers smiling and waving toward the camera during a vote.

The House last year voted to impose fines on lawmakers who refuse to wear masks on the House floor amid the coronavirus pandemic. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently relaxed its guidelines for masks as more Americans get vaccinated, the House still requires members to wear them in the chamber unless they are speaking.

Several other House Republicans — including Reps. Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Chip Roy (Tex.), Bob Good (Va.), Louie Gohmert (Tex.) and Mary E. Miller (Ill.) — have received first-offense warnings for not following the House mask rule, the Capitol official said.

Lawmakers face fines of up to $2,500 for repeated offenses.

House Problem Solvers Caucus endorses Jan. 6 commission, giving bipartisan boost to plan as GOP leaders remain opposed

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The bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus late Tuesday announced its support for the formation of an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, in the latest sign that House Republicans will likely join Democrats on Wednesday in approving the measure.

The news comes as House Republican leaders are urging members to vote against the legislation, and as former president Donald Trump is denouncing the proposal as a “trap.”

In a statement, the 58-member Problem Solvers Caucus, which is split evenly among Republicans and Democrats, said that more than 75 percent of its membership backs the legislation.

“The National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex Act (H.R. 3233) would create a Commission consisting of 10 members, five Republicans and five Democrats, who would issue a final report on the facts related to the attempted insurrection and provide recommendations to ensure an attack like January 6th can never take place again,” the group said in endorsing the plan.

Earlier Tuesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced his opposition to the bipartisan deal, arguing that the commission should be looking into other acts of politically charged violence in addition to the events of Jan. 6.

Trump echoed that argument in a statement Tuesday night, declaring that House and Senate Republicans “should not approve the Democrat trap of the January 6 Commission.”

“It is just more partisan unfairness and unless the murders, riots, and fire bombings in Portland, Minneapolis, Seattle, Chicago, and New York are also going to be studied, this discussion should be ended immediately,” Trump said. “Republicans must get much tougher and much smarter, and stop being used by the Radical Left. Hopefully, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy are listening!”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), meanwhile, has said that the Senate GOP is “undecided” about whether to back the commission and is “willing to listen” to arguments in favor of the panel.

Republicans divided over whether to support Jan. 6 commission that would put Trump’s actions in the spotlight

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Congressional Republicans are divided over whether to support the creation of an independent commission tasked with investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol as the party faces another moment of reckoning over the falsehoods President Donald Trump spread about the election and his role in the riot.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Tuesday announced his opposition to a bipartisan deal to establish a panel divided equally between Republican and Democratic appointees, arguing that the commission should be looking into other acts of politically charged violence, as well. He charged that the proposal, which will be voted upon Wednesday, was “shortsighted,” “duplicative” and “potentially counterproductive,” focusing his blame on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), despite the fact that several Republicans — including the top GOP member of the House Homeland Security Committee — have endorsed the measure.

House Democrats’ 2020 election autopsy: Bad polling hurt, and GOP attacks worked

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For the second time in four years, Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.) drew one of the toughest political assignments: investigating what went wrong in a disappointing election.

The 2017 after-action review followed even more devastating results: a clean GOP sweep of holding the House while Donald Trump won the presidency and Republicans retained the Senate.

This time around, President Biden won by 7.1 million votes, and Democrats gained three seats to claim the Senate majority — while Democrats lost 11 seats in the House on Election Day 2020 and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) barely clings to the majority.

Maloney, the new chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, worked with senior staffers to analyze 600 polls in House races last year, matched up against voter files from the November elections and other state and local data.

The faces of the Biden administration are still sometimes behind masks

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A maskless Biden delivered triumphant remarks Thursday, heralding the news that federal health guidelines had changed to say fully vaccinated Americans need not wear masks indoors or outside in most situations.

But within days, Biden was spotted in Wilmington, Del., walking out of church with his black mask still firmly fixed to his face, and had it on again Tuesday as he emerged from his presidential limo. Vice President Harris also appeared maskless for the Thursday announcement but wore one over the weekend when she dropped by Washington’s Eastern Market.

First lady Jill Biden was on a day trip to West Virginia as the guidance came out Thursday. She marked it by removing her face covering, and declaring “We feel naked!” But on Friday, as she toured a Washington museum, the mask was back in place.

‘I’m a car guy’: Biden races around in an electric Ford truck to boost clean energy agenda

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When Biden on Tuesday took the stage at a Ford plant he said, “I’m a car guy.” And then, shortly afterward, he proved it.

Biden — in an excursion that probably made his Secret Service detail squirm — jumped into a new F-150 Lightning electric truck and pressed his foot on the accelerator, speeding around an empty lot.

“This sucker’s quick!” he exclaimed to a group of reporters.

“I don’t know if anybody has a stopwatch,” he mused. “But I think we’re going zero to 60 in four-point-three. Four-point-four?”

Senate holds procedural vote on nomination of Kristen Clarke, Biden’s choice to lead DOJ’s civil rights division

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The Senate on Tuesday voted to proceed with consideration of the nomination of Kristen Clarke, Biden’s choice to run the Justice Department’s civil rights division.

Tuesday’s 50-48 vote came days after the Senate Judiciary Committee held a tie vote on Clarke’s nomination, with 11 members voting in favor and 11 against. Under Senate rules, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) was required to force a vote by the full Senate for the nomination to proceed.

Among those voting to proceed on Tuesday was Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), who in a statement praised Clarke as “a dedicated public servant who has spent her career serving our nation as an advocate for civil rights.”

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last month, Clarke faced intensive questioning from Republicans on whether she supports defunding police departments. Clarke, head of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said she has advocated for reallocating existing funding to bolster mental health care and other social services to help alleviate pressure on overburdened police officers.

Republicans have also criticized Clarke over her advocacy in favor of expanding voting access to minorities, her vocal denunciation of former president Donald Trump and her push to reform police departments accused of abusive tactics that have led to the killings of Black men.

Schumer praised Clarke in floor remarks shortly after last week’s Judiciary Committee vote and said Republicans are “trying to score political points by connecting every Justice Department nominee — many of whom happen to be women of color — to hot-button, partisan issues, whether or not they have any relevance.”

Conservatives have tried to paint Clarke and civil rights lawyer Vanita Gupta, who last month was confirmed to the department’s No. 3 position, as radical. Several Republican senators this month did so again, including Sens. Mike Lee (Utah), John Cornyn (Tex.) and Ted Cruz (Tex.).

David Nakamura contributed to this report.

A GOP congressman compared Capitol rioters to tourists. Photos show him barricading a door.

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Rep. Andrew S. Clyde (R-Ga.) last week downplayed the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, comparing the mob’s breaching of the building to a “normal tourist visit.”

But photos from that day show the congressman, mouth agape, rushing toward the doors to the House gallery and helping barricade them to prevent rioters from entering. The images have resurfaced in recent days on social media amid a wave of disbelief and outrage over Clyde’s comments, including from several Republicans.

Biden is increasingly at odds with other Democrats over Israel

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DEARBORN, Mich. — President Biden is increasingly coming into conflict with fellow Democrats as he resists a shift in his party toward a tougher stand on Israel and stronger support for the Palestinians, a disconnect highlighted Tuesday by Biden’s visit to a region that is a center of Arab American life in the United States.

Biden traveled to the Detroit area to tour an electric-vehicle plant and promote his infrastructure plan, an effort to bolster his domestic agenda at a moment of deadly conflict in the Middle East. Arab American protesters gathered at a mosque in Dearborn in advance of the visit, eager to demonstrate their anger at Biden’s approach to the conflict.

The president faced calls from at least one member of Congress to devote time during Tuesday’s trip to meeting with Arab Americans, because the plant Biden visited is in an area that is 90 percent Arab American. But the White House announced no such meetings.

St. Louis lawyer who waved gun at racial-justice protesters to seek U.S. Senate seat

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The St. Louis lawyer who went from waving his gun at racial-justice protesters to speaking at the Republican National Convention wants to become a U.S. senator.

Mark McCloskey is launching a campaign to represent Missouri in the U.S. Senate, according to his website, seeking the Republican nomination and the chance to replace retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R). And McCloskey tweeted Tuesday that he planned to make a “huge announcement” on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show later in the evening.

Former governor Eric Greitens, who resigned in 2018 amid allegations of sexual misconduct and campaign finance violations, is seeking the GOP nomination. Several other Republicans, including members of the congressional delegation, are weighing bids.

McCloskey made headlines in July 2020 when he and his wife exited their mansion waving and pointing loaded weapons at Black Lives Matter activists who were marching to the nearby home of St. Louis’s then-mayor, Lyda Krewson. Protesters wanted Krewson to resign after she read the names and addresses of individuals calling for police reform during a Facebook Live event — something she later apologized for doing.

While no video shows the McCloskeys being threatened — and in fact shows demonstrators walking past his 52-room home — the aspiring lawmaker said demonstrators came down his street like “the storming of the Bastille.”

“I was a victim of a mob that came through the gate,” he said on CNN days after the incident. “I didn’t care what color they were. I didn’t care what their motivation was. I was frightened, I was assaulted, and I was in imminent fear that they would run me over, kill me, burn my house.”

Video of the moment went viral and was eventually retweeted by Donald Trump before the former president deleted it. A month later, the McCloskeys recapped their experience in an effort to get more Americans to reelect Trump.

“No matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats’ America," said Patricia McCloskey, also a personal injury lawyer.

The couple was indicted on a weapons charges; they said they were merely defending their community against trespassers. In February, former U.S. attorney Richard Callahan was named as a special prosecutor overseeing the McCloskey case.

Scalise tells House GOP to vote against Jan. 6 commission

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House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) instructed GOP members to vote against a bill creating an independent commission to investigate the Jan 6 attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, because it does not allow for a broader investigation of other politically motivated crimes.

The bill was jointly introduced last week by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), the panel’s ranking Republican.

Scalise said in a memo to GOP House members, “This Commission cannot investigate the political violence leading up to and following the attack on the 6th, including the June 2017 shooting at the Republican Congressional baseball practice, and the deadly attack on Capitol Police on April 2, 2021.”

Scalise was shot and gravely injured at the baseball practice when a left-wing activist targeted Republican lawmakers.

His position as whip puts him in charge of rounding up Republican votes.

Scalise claims the limited scope of the investigation shows the “main concern” of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “is politics over solutions.” The House will vote on the bill Wednesday.

Democrats and some Republicans say the violent and deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol deserves its own singularly focused investigation to understand how an angry mob supporting President Donald Trump’s effort to block the confirmation of Joe Biden’s election victory was able to breach Capitol security and take over the building.

“The insurrection on January 6th was an attack on all who work at the Capitol — both Democrats and Republicans were hiding out and fearing for their lives that day,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said in a statement. “It was an attack on our Constitution, and now, it is our responsibility to get a full accounting of what led to it and what improvements we must make to prevent future violent acts from happening again.”


An earlier version of this post said the House would vote on the bill Thursday. The vote is set for Wednesday. The post has been corrected.

Pelosi calls for cease-fire between Israel and Hamas; McConnell says that suggests ‘moral equivalency’

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday called on Israel and Hamas to agree to a cease-fire to spare the loss of more Israeli and Palestinian lives.

Pelosi began her statement by reaffirming the United States’ support for Israel, condemning Hamas’s attacks and asserting that Israel had the right to defend itself.

“Israel is our friend and ally in the Middle East with whom we have shared values. It is in the U.S. national security interest to support security in Israel,” Pelosi said. “Hamas exploited a volatile situation to initiate hostilities against Israel, launching more than 3,000 rockets, and as always, Israel has a right to defend herself.”

Pelosi’s official statement comes as some House Democrats demand the United States take a stronger stance against the killing of civilians in Israeli airstrikes against Hamas. The White House has taken an even more moderate stance, offering support for a cease-fire but not outright calling for one.

“Now, after more than a week of hostilities, it has become even more apparent that a ceasefire is necessary. There must be a serious effort on the part of both parties to end the violence and respect the rights of both the Israeli and Palestinian people,” Pelosi said. “It is with respect for Israeli and Palestinian lives that leaders must strive for peace through a negotiated two-state solution.”

Republicans, meanwhile, argue that Democrats are equating the actions between the two sides and that Israel is protecting itself against a terrorist organization.

I’m really perplexed about the argument that there’s some kind of moral equivalency between Hamas, a terrorist organization funded by Iran, and Israel,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. “When Israel strikes, for example, they call the building and say, ‘Please get out of the building because we’re about to attack,’ in order to minimize civilian casualties. Hamas is lobbing rockets into Israel to kill civilians. There is no moral equivalency here. And those who are calling for a cease-fire are basically suggesting that there is moral equivalency.”

Mich. judge dismisses suit seeking new audit of Antrim County vote, one of last 2020 legal challenges

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A Michigan judge on Tuesday rejected an effort to force a new audit of the 2020 election results in a county that has been central to false claims promoted by former president Donald Trump and his supporters that the election was stolen.

Michigan Circuit Court Judge Kevin Elsenheimer dismissed a case brought by a voter in rural Antrim County who had argued that “material fraud or error” had taken place in the election and that he was entitled to a new audit of the results under state law.

The case was one of the last challenges to the November election results still pending in the nation’s courts. Its dismissal comes as Trump and his supporters have been pushing to conduct audits around the country in hopes of uncovering issues they say will support Trump’s baseless claims that he defeated President Biden.

Rep. Foxx is fined $5,000 for bypassing House security screening

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Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) has been ordered to pay a $5,000 fine for bypassing the House security screening last week, according to the House Committee on Ethics and the House sergeant-at-arms.

Foxx is the latest person to have been sanctioned under a resolution passed in February penalizing lawmakers who seek to bypass the security screening measures created in the wake of the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. Members face a $5,000 fine for the first offense and $10,000 each time thereafter.

A spokesman for Foxx did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and it is not clear whether the lawmaker plans to appeal. Members have 30 days from the date they were notified of the fine to file an appeal.

According to U.S. Capitol Police, the incident occurred around 4:10 p.m. on May 13, when Foxx left the elevator near the Republican Door of the House chamber “and ran through the magnetometer, activating the alarm.”

Foxx “threw her bag underneath the table adjacent to the magnetometer,” Capitol Police said, and continued into the House chamber even as two officers raised their hands and said “Ma’am” in an effort to stop her.

After casting a vote, Foxx returned to the screening area to retrieve her bag and said something to the effect of, “Good thing no one stopped me,” Capitol Police said.

Politico reporter Olivia Beavers, who witnessed the incident, reported last week that Foxx had told her, “I didn’t think the metal detector went off. I was late to vote. I barely made it. I ran back out and went back in.”

When Beavers attempted to ask a follow-up question, Foxx yelled at her. “Why don’t you deal with things that are important?” the lawmaker said, according to Politico.

The metal detectors were installed in a move aimed at tightening security in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 riot. Some Republican lawmakers have objected to being screened, prompting tense confrontations with Capitol Police.

After February’s vote to institute fines, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) noted that some lawmakers had been “refusing to adhere to basic precautions keeping members of our congressional community safe — including by dodging metal detectors, physically pushing past police, and even attempting to bring firearms into the chamber.”

“It is beyond comprehension why any Member would refuse to adhere to these simple, common-sense steps to keep this body safe,” Pelosi said at the time, describing the rule change as “sad” but necessary to ensure the safety of lawmakers and others inside the Capitol.