Related video: Biden issues stack of executive actions to tackle climate crisis after four years of Trump
As Joe Biden marks his first full week in office, a new report suggests that more than 30,000 registered Republican voters have left the GOP in response to the events of 6 January when a mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in protest at the Democrat’s election win, leaving five people dead.
The US remains on high alert over the threat posed by “violent domestic extremists”, with California governor Gavin Newsom believed by the FBI to have been the target of a planned attack by a Trump supporter charged with weapons offences in Napa County.
The US Department of Homeland Security issued a new domestic terrorism advisory bulletin on Wednesday, warning that the country faced a “heightened threat environment” from anti-government “ideologically-motivated violent extremists” motivated by “perceived grievances fueled by false narratives”.
Progressive Democrats push ‘overhaul’ of US immigration system
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Progressive Caucus, has drafted a Roadmap to Freedom resolution with immigration advocates that outlines a “bold, progressive, visionary north star for what humane immigration policy looks like”, she told reporters on Wednesday, part of a bid to oveturn Donald Trump’s toxic record at the border.
The five-pronged resolution endorsed by more than 60 civil rights and immigrant advocacy groups centres on family unity, immigrants’ access to social services, protections for front line workers, ending police militarisation in border communities and alternatives to detention and deportation.
“We are not simply reversing the hateful immigration policies of the last four years,” Jayapal said.
The nation’s “racist, xenophobic immigration system has been broken for decades,” she added. “We need to finally leave the nation’s long history of criminalising immigration and leaving families behind.”
Alex Woodward has this report.
Joe Sommerlad28 January 2021 11:35
Biden’s first week celebrated as ‘hopeful moment’
Here’s Chris Riotta’s assessment of the new president’s first seven days in the Oval Office, which has seen him issuing a flurry of executive orders to overturn nefarious Trump-era policies and set an impressive pace.
Joe Sommerlad28 January 2021 11:15
Tens of thousands of voters leave Republican Party after Capitol riot
More than 30,000 registered Republicans have left the GOP in response to the events of 6 January, according to The Hill.
Of that total, 10,000 were from Pennsylvania and 5,000 from Arizona, both key swing states that went blue for Joe Biden during the election and which thereafter became the focal point for Donald Trump’s chaotic and unconvincing legal challenges to the vote count, all but one of which, out of more than, 60 was thrown out of court.
“The massive wave of defections is a virtually unprecedented exodus that could spell trouble for a party that is trying to find its way after losing the presidential race and the Senate majority,” the DC news site writes.
Joe Sommerlad28 January 2021 10:55
House Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene
California congressman Jimmy Gomez moved on Wednesday to expel the hard-right representative Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress, after a number of past violent comments she allegedly endorsed on social media about Democratic officials came to light.
“As if it weren’t enough to amplify conspiracy theories that the 11 September attacks were an inside job and the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was staged, a string of recent media reports has now confirmed that Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene had previously supported social media posts calling for political violence against the Speaker of the House, members of Congress, and former President Barack Obama,” Gomez said.
“Such advocacy for extremism and sedition not only demands her immediate expulsion from Congress, but it also merits strong and clear condemnation from all of her Republican colleagues.”
Joe Sommerlad28 January 2021 10:35
FBI says extremist may have targeted California governor Gavin Newsom
Back to the disturbing problem of domestic terror.
A criminal complaint reveals that the FBI believes the embattled leader of the West Coast state, which is suffering terribly from Covid at present, was to be the target of an attack by Trump supporter Ian Benjamin Rogers.
Prosecutors charged the Napa County resident after finding weapons including five pipe bombs, 49 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition at his home and auto business following a 15 January search.
A “White Privilege” card was also uncovered among his positions, with Rogers also apparently plotting to target the Bay Area headquarters of Twitter and Facebook as part of his grossly misguided fight to ensure Trump remained in office.
Napa County district attorney Allison Haley told The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that he also faces 28 felony charges in state court “for possession of the explosives and weapons, including possession of an illegal silencer and multiple unregistered assault weapons.”
Newsom’s Michigan counterpart, Gretchen Whitmer, was the target of a foiled kidnapping plot last year by militant Trump supporters opposed to the Democrat’s strict lockdown measures while at least one of the Capitol rioters carried zip-ties intending to use them as handcuffs with a view to taking lawmakers prisoner.
Joe Sommerlad28 January 2021 10:15
Kerry says Trump sold workers ‘false narrative’ about job losses
Introducing himself as Biden’s climate czar yesterday, John Kerry moved to quash concerns that the president’s planned policies would kill jobs for Americans in traditional energy sectors.
Kerry said workers had been misled by Donald Trump about the impact clean climate policy would have on their jobs, declaring: “Unfortunately, workers have been fed a false narrative, no surprise, for the last four years. They’ve been told that somehow dealing with climate is coming at their expense. No, it’s not.”
Joe Sommerlad28 January 2021 09:55
Biden insists he will not ban fracking despite opposition
Joe Biden unveiled a stack of climate crisis executive actions on Wednesday, banning the awarding of oil and gas extraction leases on federal land, directing the US government to purchase electric cars and establishing a new environment office under John Kerry and Gina McCarthy.
But he continues to face questions over the damaging business of hydraulic fracturing, which is bad for the earth but a crucial employer in heartland America.
Joe Sommerlad28 January 2021 09:35
House leader meeting with Trump at Mar-a-Lago
The 45th president, who has kept a low profile since leaving the White House a week ago, will reportedly host the Republican House minority leader Kevin McCarthy at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida on Thursday.
Graeme Massie has more on an intriguing secret meeting.
Joe Sommerlad28 January 2021 09:15
US facing ‘heightened threat’ from domestic terrorism
Joe Biden’s new administration is facing a “heightened threat environment”, according to the US Department of Homeland Security, which issued a new domestic terrorism advisory bulletin on Wednesday, warning against anti-government “ideologically motivated violent extremists” motivated by “perceived grievances fueled by false narratives”.
The agency said groups could “continue to mobilise to incite or commit violence” of the kind seen during the US Capitol riot on 6 January, when a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the heart of government after being riled up by the 45th’s president’s bogus claim that the election was “stolen” from him by a “mass voter fraud” conspiracy that he entirely failed to prove.
Alex Woodward has this report.
Joe Sommerlad28 January 2021 08:55
Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of the Joe Biden administration.
Joe Sommerlad28 January 2021 08:46