LIVE: Pelosi Holds Weekly News Conference Amid New Threats of a Capitol Attack

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “LIVE: Pelosi Holds Weekly News Conference Amid New Threats of a Capitol Attack” – below is their description.

    (Mar. 4) Watch live as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

    The U.S. House abruptly finished its work for the week on Wednesday given the threat of violence at the Capitol by a militia group seeking to storm the building, as happened in a deadly siege Jan. 6. House Democrats late Wednesday passed the most ambitious effort in decades to overhaul policing nationwide as well as a sweeping elections and ethics bill.

    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer notified lawmakers late Wednesday of the sudden schedule change. The decision was made given the threats on the Capitol, according to a Democratic aide granted anonymity to discuss the matter.

    The House had been scheduled to be in session Thursday, but moved up consideration of its remaining legislative item, the George Floyd Justice in Police Act, to Wednesday night.

    Capitol Police said Wednesday they uncovered intelligence of a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, nearly two months after a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the iconic building to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden’s victory.

    The Senate enters the final stages of debating President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill on Thursday, with passage in the chamber likely pushed off until the weekend.

    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had planned to kick off the process Wednesday night but lacked an official cost estimate on the latest version of the bill, which has been trimmed down from the House-passed measure.

    In addition to stripping out a minimum-wage increase to comply with Senate rules, Biden agreed to moderate Democrats’ demands for tightening eligibility for $1,400 stimulus checks, which will also affect the Congressional Budget Office’s calculation of the overall price tag.

    Once the CBO’s numbers are in and the Senate votes to begin debate, a process starts that Republicans are threatening to drag out as long as possible to register their opposition to the massive bill.

    The Senate is plowing ahead despite warnings from federal law enforcement agencies that a militia group may be plotting to attack the Capitol on Thursday, about two months after a Jan. 6 siege of the building by extremist supporters of then-President Donald Trump that led to five deaths.

    Two congressional aides said the House canceled plans to vote on Thursday and is scaling back other events at least in part because of the threat.

    The threat may extend into the weekend as the Senate deals with the coronavirus relief bill. A joint intelligence bulletin late Tuesday from the Homeland Security Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned that extremists discussed carrying out attacks at the Capitol from March 4 to March 6.

    The March 4 timing coincides with the date linked to conspiracy theories about it being the “true inauguration day.” Presidents were sworn in on that date until the 20th Amendment to the Constitution shifted the ceremony to Jan. 20, in 1933.

    With Democrats intending to get the bill to Biden’s desk by March 14, when existing supplemental unemployment aid expires, Republicans are promising to stall.

    One of them, Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, says he’ll demand an entire reading of the 700-page bill — something that could take 10 hours. After that, will come as much as 20 hours of debate.

    The final step before the Senate completes its work is the “vote-a-rama.” That’s where the Senate votes on amendments, with GOP members vowing to stretch out the session for days, as long as lawmakers have the stamina to keep voting.

    So far, the weekend work doesn’t threaten the Democrats’ goal of enacting the bill before the March 14 deadline. However, if major changes are made in the Senate that are unacceptable to House Democrats, that could force a conference committee to convene and delay final passage by Congress.

    Biden has spoken repeatedly this week with Democratic senators to ensure the unity that will be vital to passage given united Republican opposition and the chamber’s 50-50 partisan divide.

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