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Top Pennsylvania Republicans pressure congressional delegation to challenge Biden’s victory

Top Pennsylvania Republicans pressure congressional delegation to challenge Biden’s victory

Dozens of Pennsylvania Republican state legislators, including the speaker of the House, are calling on the state’s Republican-heavy congressional delegation to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory when federal lawmakers certify the presidential election Jan. 6. “[W]e the undersigned members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly urge you to object, and vote to sustain such objection, to the Electoral College votes received from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania during the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021,” the lawmakers wrote in a…

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House votes to legalize weed

House votes to legalize weed

The House on Friday passed a landmark bill that would remove federal penalties on marijuana and erase cannabis-related criminal records. The bill passed by a vote of 228-164, with several Republicans on board. While the MORE Act is not expected to come up in the Senate this year, and likely won’t in the next session of Congress either, its passage nevertheless marks a monumental step in marijuana policy. “We’ve been patient for years on this,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.),…

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Pelosi eyes combining Covid aid with mammoth spending deal

Pelosi eyes combining Covid aid with mammoth spending deal

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she wants to attach a coronavirus relief bill to a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending package that would avert a government shutdown later this month, raising the prospects of long-stalled stimulus relief finally being signed into law. The California Democrat said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed with her about combining the annual spending measures with coronavirus relief during their conversation Thursday, the first time in weeks the two leaders have discussed moving a relief…

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Progressive judicial group to Biden: Pick a Black woman for solicitor general

Progressive judicial group to Biden: Pick a Black woman for solicitor general

An influential progressive judicial group is asking President-elect Joe Biden to select a Black woman to be the administration’s top lawyer at the Supreme Court — and imploring him not to pick several well-known Democratic attorneys who frequently argue before the court. The move by the group, Demand Justice, to weigh in on Biden’s choice for solicitor general — the fourth-highest-ranking post in the Justice Department — offers a preview of how it might try to exert influence in the…

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Becerra among new candidates for Biden’s health secretary

Becerra among new candidates for Biden’s health secretary

President-elect Joe Biden is eyeing three new candidates for health secretary after previous front-runners fell out of contention for the job this week, according to people familiar with the discussions. Those now under consideration include California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who ran the Department of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration. The Biden transition team’s attention has swiftly turned to new candidates for one of his administration’s most important…

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Trump mulls preemptive pardons for up to 20 allies, even as Republicans balk

Trump mulls preemptive pardons for up to 20 allies, even as Republicans balk

President Donald Trump is considering preemptively pardoning as many as 20 aides and associates before leaving office, frustrating Republicans who believe offering legal reprieves to his friends and family members could backfire. Trump’s strategy, like much of his presidency, is nontraditional. He is eschewing the typical protocol of processing cases through the Justice Department. And he may argue that such preemptive pardons for his friends and family members are necessary to spare them from paying millions in legal fees to…

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Biden asks Fauci to stay on Covid team, become chief medical adviser

Biden asks Fauci to stay on Covid team, become chief medical adviser

Joe Biden asked Anthony Fauci to stay on in his administration to help combat the coronavirus pandemic, the president-elect said Thursday. Speaking with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Biden said he spoke with the country’s top infectious disease expert earlier in the day, asking him to remain in his position leading the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Biden also asked Fauci to serve as his chief medical adviser and on his Covid team. Fauci has been in his NIAID role…

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New candidates for Agriculture secretary emerge as Biden faces pushback on Heitkamp

New candidates for Agriculture secretary emerge as Biden faces pushback on Heitkamp

Lawmakers and industry leaders are pushing new candidates in the race for Agriculture secretary as the Biden transition team seems to be at an impasse between the leading names in the race: former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp or Rep. Marcia Fudge. For weeks, food and agriculture leaders have assumed that the pick will come down to either Heitkamp or Fudge. Now, two other prominent agricultural leaders are being aggressively pushed by allies: Kathleen Merrigan, a USDA veteran who was deputy secretary…

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Zients, Murthy tapped to head up Biden’s Covid-19 response

Zients, Murthy tapped to head up Biden’s Covid-19 response

President-elect Joe Biden has tapped two close allies to oversee his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to two people familiar with the decision. Transition co-chair and former Obama administration official Jeff Zients is set to serve as the White House’s Covid-19 coordinator and Vivek Murthy, the former U.S. surgeon general under Obama, will return to that role, but with a broader portfolio that will include acting as the top medical expert and public face of the effort. Marcella…

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Wikipedia page for Biden’s new Covid czar scrubbed of politically damaging material

Wikipedia page for Biden’s new Covid czar scrubbed of politically damaging material

Jeff Zients, the man President-elect Joe Biden has put in charge of his administration’s response to Covid-19, “fell in love with” the culture at Bain & Co. He later founded his own private equity firm, Portfolio Logic. He joined the board of Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. One chief executive on Obama’s Jobs Council remarked that he thought Zients, then a top Obama aide, was a Republican. That was the Jeff Zients people read about on Wikipedia. At least,…

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