Biden pitches childcare, education and tax plan in Virginia
The president formally confirmed the decision to raise the bar from 15,000 to 62,500 refugee admissions per year, three months after he submitted a proposal to Congress on the issue.
“It is important to take this action today to remove any lingering doubt in the minds of refugees around the world who have suffered so much, and who are anxiously waiting for their new lives to begin,” Mr Biden said.
He added that the limit introduced by his predecessor “did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees”.
Meanwhile, one of the president’s advisers told CNN that he was still wearing a mask outside out of habit, although it is no longer required under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.
Maduro ‘sending signals’ to Biden administration, senior White House official says
The US will not ease sanctions against Venezuela until it takes steps towards holding free elections, a top White House official has said.
However, the insider confirmed that Venezuelan president Nicolas Madura had been “sending signals” to Washington.
This comes after he let the World Food Programme (WFP) operate in the country and released six former executives of the US-based company Citgo from house arrest.
“Based on concrete actions, we’ll respond,” the source told Reuters. “But otherwise we’re going to continue to work with international partners to increase pressure in a multilateral fashion toward that goal of free and fair elections.”
Rory Sullivan4 May 2021 09:10
Good Friday Agreement must be protected, says top US diplomat
On a visit to London, Antony Blinken, Biden’s top diplomat, said the Good Friday Agreement must be protected.
He mentioned that the US has “no closer ally, no closer partner” than the UK. But amid warm talk of a special relationship, he had an important message for the British government.
“The United States remains a steadfast supporter of a secure and prosperous Northern Ireland, in which all communities have a voice and can enjoy the gains of the hard-won peace,” Mr Blinken said.
Alastair Jamieson reports:
Rory Sullivan4 May 2021 08:55
‘Stolen election’ lies are ‘poisoning our democratic system’, warns Cheney
Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney has hit out again at Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 presidential election being “stolen”.
The senior Republican figure tweeted on Monday that the 2020 election “was not stolen”, adding that anyone who supported this view was “turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system”.
Rory Sullivan4 May 2021 08:35
Senior Biden adviser suggests president still wears mask outside ‘out of habit’
Senior Biden adviser Anita Dunn has suggested that the president still wears a mask outside “out of habit” – although it is no longer part of official health guidance.
Speaking to CNN, she said “he’s always taken his role as sending a signal to follow the science very seriously”.
Rory Sullivan4 May 2021 08:15
Biden quadruples refugee cap
Joe Biden has quadrupled the US’ refugee cap to 62,500 this year, saying the low ceiling set by Donald Trump “did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees”.
The president described the move as an important way of showing “America’s commitment to protect the most vulnerable, and to stand as a beacon of liberty and refuge to the world.”
Rory Sullivan4 May 2021 07:58
Morning, and welcome to The Independent’s rolling US politics coverage.
Rory Sullivan4 May 2021 07:53