Biden is calling for unity. Will Washington listen?

Welcome to the Biden administration. It’s devoid of controversial tweets (so far) — but still involves some fireworks.

Two weeks after the nation witnessed an attack on the US Capitol, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in to office in a ceremony full of pomp and circumstance. It felt worlds away from the militarized zone established around the Capitol, in the face of threats against the peaceful transfer of power.
As expected, former President Donald Trump skipped his successor’s inauguration. Air Force One, with Trump on board, lifted skyward to the final notes of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” A fitting final note to a presidency conducted outside of so many norms.

Now Biden faces the challenges of actually running the country. On his first day in office, he issued a flurry executive orders, ranging from a federal mask mandate to reentering the United States in the Paris climate accord. And it’s only the beginning. Soon his relationships with legislators will be put to the test as he attempts to pass his $ 1.9 trillion Covid relief plan.
    On Capitol Hill, members are still grappling with responding to the January 6 violent insurrection — and new signs of unity are hard to find. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy walked back his comments a week earlier laying blame at the feet of Trump for the insurrection. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised an investigation into what happened. Some Democrats say they still don’t feel safe among colleagues.
      House Democrats at last indicated they will send the article of impeachment to the Senate on Monday. Leaders hammered out a deal Friday evening that will delay the start of arguments in the trial until February 9. The new (and very narrow) Democratic majority will now have two weeks before they must juggle work between the new President’s policies and the former president’s impeachment trial.
      The Point: Despite President Biden’s calls for unity, there are still hard feelings and partisan tension on Capitol Hill.




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