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WASHINGTON- President Donald Trump’s last full day in office is also the senators’ first day of return after the violent assault on Capitol Hill, an unparalleled transition as the upper house moves toward impeachment of the outgoing president and initiates the cabinet confirmation hearings of incoming president Joe Biden.
Three Democratic senators-elect will be sworn in on Wednesday shortly after Biden’s inauguration on Capitol Hill, which has been under extreme security measures since the bloody Trump insurrection. The new senators will give the Democrats the smallest of majorities: 50-50, in which Vice President Kamala Harris will have the deciding vote in the event of a tie.
The two bloc leaders, Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Chuck Schumer, will meet in the next few hours to discuss the measures to be adopted, said a person familiar with the plans and who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The start of the new session of Congress will force senators to accept that Trump is no longer here and that it is a transfer of power like almost no other in the country’s history. Senators return to a Capitol with ruins and at the same time a Senate paralyzed by the extreme partisanship of the legislators.
Republican senators face a difficult decision: whether to convict Trump for inciting the insurrection, which means breaking relations with a defeated president who retains great influence on the party base, although his future is uncertain. All senators must initiate confirmation of Biden’s cabinet and decide whether to pass a $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 bailout bill.
In his first statements at the confirmation hearing, the nominee for Secretary of National Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, promised to thoroughly investigate the “horrendous” attack on the Capitol.
Mayorkas told the Senate National Security Committee that, if confirmed, he will do everything possible to ensure that “the desecration of the building that constitutes one of the three pillars of our democracy and the terror felt by you, your colleagues, your staff and everyone present will not happen again ”.
Five of Biden’s appointees had their hearings scheduled for Tuesday, as the Senate prepares to confirm some immediately after the president-elect is inaugurated. This is common, especially in the case of the White House national security team.
Biden wants the Senate to address the confirmation of its appointees, the COVID project and Trump’s impeachment, difficult for an institution used to proceeding slowly and with bitter confrontations.
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