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Biden heads to Washington with big plans, big problems

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There’s additionally severe concern about whether or not extra violence might be within the offing as he prepares to take the oath of workplace on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON — It is hardly the grand entrance Joe Biden might need dreamed of. The president-elect is arriving within the nation’s capital Tuesday, able to assume energy because the nation reels from the coronavirus pandemic, hovering unemployment and grave considerations about extra violence as he prepares to take the oath of workplace.

Biden, an avid fan of Amtrak, had deliberate to take a practice into Washington forward of Inauguration Day, however scratched that plan within the aftermath of the Jan. 6 revolt on the U.S. Capitol.

He’ll as a substitute fly right into a navy airbase simply outdoors the capital and motorcade into fortress D.C. — a metropolis that is been flooded by some 25,000 Nationwide Guard troops guarding a Capitol, White Home and Nationwide Mall which can be wrapped in a maze of barricades and tall fencing.

Biden, who ran for the presidency as a cool head who may get issues accomplished, plans to challenge a collection of government orders on Day One — together with reversing President Donald Trump’s effort to go away the Paris local weather accord, canceling his journey ban on guests from a number of predominantly Muslim nations, and increasing pandemic-era limits on evictions and pupil mortgage funds.

Trump will not attend Biden’s inauguration, the primary outgoing president to skip the ceremony since Andrew Johnson greater than a century and a half in the past. Trump remained out of sight within the White Home on Tuesday with a naked introduced schedule. Aides mentioned he had recorded a farewell message and was consulting with advisers on final-hour pardons and grants of clemency.

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Trump plans to depart from Washington Wednesday morning in a grand airbase ceremony that he helped plan himself.

Aides say that Biden’s first occasion in Washington, together with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, shall be to participate in a night ceremony on the Reflecting Pool close to the Lincoln Memorial to honor the practically 400,000 American lives misplaced to COVID-19.

Inaugural organizers on Monday completed putting in some 200,000 small U.S., state and territorial flags on the Nationwide Mall, a show to symbolize the American individuals who couldn’t come to the inauguration, which is restricted below the tight safety and Covid restrictions.

It is also a reminder of all of the president-elect faces as he seems to be to steer the nation by means of the pandemic with infections and deaths hovering.

Out of the beginning gate, Biden and his workforce are intent on transferring shortly to hurry up the distribution of vaccinations to anxious Individuals and cross his $1.9 trillion virus aid package deal, which incorporates fast funds to many individuals and a rise within the minimal wage to $15 an hour.

Biden additionally plans to unveil a sweeping immigration invoice on the primary day of his administration, hoping to offer an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million individuals residing within the U.S. with out authorized standing. That may be a serious reversal from the Trump administration’s tight immigration insurance policies.

However Biden’s legislative ambitions might be tempered by the exhausting reality he faces on Capitol Hill, the place Democrats maintain slender majorities in each the Senate and Home. His hopes to press ahead with an avalanche of laws in his first 100 days may be slowed by an impeachment trial of Trump.

As Biden ready to make his approach to Washington, 5 of his Cupboard picks have been showing on Tuesday earlier than Senate committees to start affirmation hearings. Treasury nominee Janet Yellen, Protection nominee Lloyd Austin, Homeland Safety nominee Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken and Director of Nationwide Intelligence nominee Avril Haines have been being questioned.

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Aides say Biden will use Wednesday’s inaugural handle — one which shall be delivered in entrance of an unusually small in-person group due to virus protocols and safety considerations — to name for American unity. To that finish, he prolonged invites to Congress’ high 4 Republican and Democratic leaders to attend Mass with him at St. Matthew’s Cathedral forward of the inauguration ceremony.

As Biden presses bipartisanship, he is additionally going through stress from his left to go massive instantly, with the progressive wing of the Democratic Get together calling on Senate Democrats to assist by getting rid of the chamber’s filibuster.

“We’re glad President-elect Biden is able to begin addressing the determined wants of the American individuals and put forth a Covid assist proposal which begins to handle the numerous points we face,” the progressive teams Justice Democrats, Dawn Motion and New Deal Methods wrote in a memo on Monday. “We hope ten Senate Republicans will assist it, however will not be holding our breath. The massive query is, what occurs when Republicans block Biden?”

In a measure of how nervous the capital metropolis has turn into, U.S. Capitol Police on Monday briefly locked down the Capitol advanced and paused inaugural rehearsals after a fireplace broke out at a close-by homeless encampment.

Biden transition officers, together with incoming Homeland Safety adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall and the deputy lawyer normal nominee, Lisa Monaco, held a videoconference with performing heads and profession employees from nationwide safety companies to debate the safety scenario surrounding Inauguration Day.

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Harris performed down any private safety considerations, saying she was “very a lot wanting ahead to being sworn in.”

“I’ll stroll there, to that second, proudly with my head up and my shoulders again,” Harris instructed reporters on Monday after volunteering at a meals financial institution along with her husband to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. vacation.

Madhani reported from Chicago. Related Press writers Darlene Superville and Alexandra Jaffe contributed reporting.

This story has been corrected to indicate that flags on the Nationwide Mall symbolize individuals who could not come, not COVID deaths.

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