10 things you need to know today: January 25, 2021
The House will send Trump's impeachment charge to the Senate, Biden pushes for fast action on coronavirus relief, and more
House sending Senate impeachment charge against Trump
The House plans to send the article of impeachment against former President Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday, kicking off the process of Trump's historic second impeachment trial. Senate Democrats last week agreed to a two-week delay to give both sides time to prepare, so the trial will start on Feb. 8. The Democratic-led House impeached Trump on Jan. 13, accusing him of inciting an insurrection by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol a week earlier. A growing number of Senate Republicans on Sunday argued that the Senate should drop the matter to help the nation heal. "I think the trial is stupid," Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said on Fox News Sunday. "I think it's counterproductive. We already have a flaming fire in this country, and [impeachment is] taking a bunch of gasoline and pouring it on top of the fire."
Biden aides press lawmakers for fast action on coronavirus relief
As the U.S. surpassed 25 million COVID-19 cases, one of President Biden's top economic aides on Sunday pressed Democratic and Republican lawmakers to act quickly on Biden's proposal for a new, $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The effort by Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council, was part of a broad push by the Biden administration for a fresh round of stimulus. "We can't wait," White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said. Lawmakers from both parties urged the Biden administration to aim for a less ambitious, more targeted relief bill. Biden also reportedly plans to reinstate COVID-19 travel restrictions on most non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, and 26 European countries that allow travel across open borders.
Biden expected to rescind ban on transgender people in military
President Biden is expected to issue an executive order rescinding a ban on transgender people serving in the military, The Associated Press reported Monday, citing a person briefed on the decision. The order would reverse a policy former President Donald Trump announced in a tweet during his first year in office. Biden's newly confirmed defense secretary, retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, discussed his support for Biden's plan to scrap the ban during his Senate confirmation hearing last week. "If you're fit and you're qualified to serve and you can maintain the standards, you should be allowed to serve," Austin said. Biden has issued a wave of executive actions in his first days in office. This week, he plans to continue with more executive orders focusing on equity issues.
Chicago teachers vote against returning to classrooms
Chicago Teachers Union members voted on Sunday to defy Chicago Public Schools' plan to reopen schools, opting instead to continue working from home on Monday. About 86 percent of the union's 25,000 members voted over the last three days, and 71 percent rejected in-person work. The union and the school district, the nation's third largest, have been debating for months how to handle classes during the coronavirus pandemic. The vote did not resolve the dispute. The union emphasized that its action would not amount to a strike, because teachers planned to continue working from home. But it said it would call a strike if the district blocks teachers from working remotely. The school district has said that it no longer plans to let about half of union members teach entirely from home.
Netherlands anti-lockdown protests turn violent
Anti-lockdown protesters clashed with police in two Dutch cities on Sunday. Officers in Amsterdam tried to disperse an unauthorized demonstration by blasting participants with water cannons on a major square flanked by museums, including the Van Gogh Museum. Protesters in the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven threw rocks at police, and officers responded with tear gas and water cannons. At least 55 protesters were arrested in Eindhoven, and more than 100 in Amsterdam. It was the second straight Sunday of clashes in Amsterdam, and the worst violence the Netherlands had seen since the pandemic began. The country enacted a strict lockdown in mid-December. It is scheduled to last until Feb. 9, or longer.
Thousands of National Guard members to remain in D.C.
Federal law enforcement officials informed members of Congress last week that about 7,000 National Guard troops must remain in Washington, D.C., through early February to protect the Capitol due to "impeachment security concerns," Politico reported Sunday, citing four people familiar with the matter. Authorities are preparing for the possibility of pro-Trump protests when the Senate begins former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial on Feb. 8. Thousands of National Guard members were sent to D.C. after the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6. As many as 5,000 will stay through mid-March. Some Guardsmen told Politico they have received little information about the extension, although most of those who remain will do so on a voluntary basis.
6 killed in Indianapolis 'mass murder' shooting
Six people were killed in a shooting early Sunday in an Indianapolis home in what Mayor Joe Hogsett described as a "mass murder." The victims included a pregnant woman and her male fetus, after efforts to save it failed. Investigators say the victims were targeted. One victim, a boy, was found on a nearby block and hospitalized with gunshot wounds. The victims were identified by the Marion County Coroner's office as Kezzie Childs, 42; Raymond Childs Jr., 42; Elijah Childs, 18; Rita Childs, 13; and Kiara Hawkins, 19, who was pregnant. The murders came days after Hogsett and police officials discussed how to reduce violent crime in the city, which had a record 245 homicides in 2020, a 40 percent increase over the previous year.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders expected to launch run for governor
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who served as press secretary under former President Donald Trump, will formally announce Monday that she is running for governor of Arkansas, The New York Times reported, citing a person briefed on her plans. Trump reportedly supports her bid for the seat, which was once held by her father, fellow Republican Mike Huckabee. Sanders' campaign is expected to be an early test of Trump's ongoing strength in the GOP after he left office with the party deeply divided following the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of his supporters. Sanders left the Trump administration in June 2019. She was one of Trump's favorite advisers, but faced criticism over her frequent clashes with reporters.
Birx says she expected White House role to end her federal career
Dr. Deborah Birx, who served as the White House coronavirus response coordinator under former President Donald Trump, opened up about her time working with the Trump administration during an exclusive interview with CBS News' Margaret Brennan on Sunday. Birx was often criticized for not pushing back enough on Trump's comments about the pandemic, like the time Trump asked her about whether COVID-19 could be treated with a bleach injection. She said she had expected her work for Trump's coronavirus task force would mark the end of her federal career. "You can't go into something that's that polarized and not believe you won't be tainted by that experience," she told Brennan, adding that she'll "need to retire" within the next few weeks.
Tampa Bay, Kansas City earn spots in Super Bowl
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs won their NFL conference championship games on Sunday to advance to Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7. Star quarterback Tom Brady led Tampa Bay to a 31-26 upset victory over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship game. The top-seeded Packers trimmed an 11-point deficit to 5 points with a late surge, but Brady, who will be playing in his 10th Super Bowl, led Tampa Bay to a fourth-quarter field goal to seal the victory. The Chiefs advanced with a 38-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC championship game, led by a stellar performance by quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Tampa Bay will be the first NFL team to host the Super Bowl at their home field.