US Domestic News Roundup: Bipartisan U.S. Senate group discusses scaled-back elections bill; Biden's immigration goals fade after setbacks at the U.S.-Mexico border and more
Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Bipartisan U.S. Senate group discusses scaled-back elections bill
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators is discussing a scaled-back law focused on safeguarding election results and protecting election officials from harassment following Democrats' twin defeats on a voting-rights bill. Lawmakers led by Republican Senator Susan Collins and including conservative Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, are due to meet virtually on Friday to discuss reform of the 1887 Electoral Count Act, sometimes called the ECA, which allows members of Congress to dispute presidential election results.
Biden's immigration goals fade after setbacks at the U.S.-Mexico border
Days after U.S. President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, two of his top immigration advisors outlined bold plans, including a major immigration reform bill, a 100-day deportation moratorium, and a strategy to restore protections for asylum seekers that were degraded under former President Donald Trump. One year later, those goals remain unfulfilled after Biden officials spent much of his first year in office grappling with record-breaking border arrests, unfavorable court decisions on immigration, Republican opposition in Congress and internal divisions between liberals and moderates within his own administration.
Biden administration raises minimum wage for U.S. federal employees to $15
U.S. federal agencies have been directed to raise the minimum wage for government employees to $15 an hour, according to a new guidance from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
The directive will impact almost 70,000 federal employees most of whom work at the Departments of Defense, Agriculture and Veteran Affairs, OPM said in a statement on Friday.
U.S. House panel turns to oil major boards in next climate probe
A U.S. congressional committee has invited key board members at four oil majors to testify in February about the industry's role in climate change and spreading "disinformation," turning up the heat on big oil after lawmakers grilled their CEOs last year. The hearing of officials from Exxon, Shell, Chevron and BP, scheduled for Feb. 8, is the next phase of the House oversight committee's ongoing investigation into the role of fossil fuel companies in blocking action on climate change and misrepresenting the industry's efforts to address it.
Georgia prosecutor requests special grand jury in Trump election probe
The prosecutor for Georgia's biggest county on Thursday requested a special grand jury with subpoena power to aid her investigation into then-President Donald Trump's efforts to influence the U.S. state's 2020 election results. In a letter to Fulton County's chief judge, first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, District Attorney Fani Willis wrote that multiple witnesses being probed have refused to cooperate absent a subpoena requiring their testimony.
Is COVID retreating in the U.S.? Data paints encouraging scenario
New coronavirus cases are falling in parts of the United States hardest hit by the fast-spreading Omicron variant, according to a Reuters analysis of public health data, offering an early indication the virus might once again be on retreat. COVID-19 infections have decreased in 15 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, an analysis of the past week through Wednesday compared with the prior week showed.
Anti-abortion advocates will take to the streets of Washington on Friday for the annual "March for Life," their mood boosted by recent state abortion restrictions and the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court could soon upend long-held abortion rights. The march marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that established a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy before the fetus is viable, at around 24 weeks.
U.S. panel probing Jan. 6 attack seeks interview with Ivanka Trump
The U.S. House of Representatives panel investigating the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol on Thursday requested an interview with former U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter and White House aide Ivanka Trump. In a letter to Ivanka Trump, lawmakers said they were seeking her voluntary cooperation as part of their ongoing probe and would limit their questions to issues related to events surrounding that day, including activities leading up to or influencing it and her role in the White House at that time.
U.S. charges man with human smuggling after 4 freeze to death near Canada border
U.S. authorities on Thursday charged a man with human smuggling of Indian nationals from Canada, the day after four people including a baby were found frozen to death in a remote part of Canada close to the Minnesota border. The U.S. attorney's office in Minnesota said 47-year-old Steve Shand had been arrested just south of the border on Wednesday while driving two undocumented Indian citizens.
Alzheimer's patient groups, disappointed by Medicare's plan to sharply limit coverage of new drugs for the brain-wasting disease, are planning publicity and lobbying campaigns to protest a proposal they say could delay their use for 10 years. "Congress has to know how bad this will be for patients," said John Dwyer, president of Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation (GAP) advocacy group.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)