National News

With New Georgia Senators Sworn In, Democrats Officially Control The Senate

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET

Democrats officially took control of the Senate as Georgia's two new Democratic senators-elect were sworn in Wednesday afternoon, cementing a 50-50 split, with Vice President Harris serving as the tiebreaking vote in her new role as president of the the Senate.

Harris administered the oath of office to Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff hours after her own swearing-in.


AP

As President Biden Awaits Cabinet Confirmation, White House Announces Interim Leaders

President Joe Biden has picked a slate of nearly two dozen acting officials to temporarily lead agencies as he waits for Congress to confirm his Cabinet.

According to a list of officials issued by the White House on Wednesday, most of the temporary leaders are career civil servants.


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Up Next On The Inaugural Agenda: A Virtual 'Parade Across America'

The traditional inaugural parade was not an option this year, given security fears and the coronavirus pandemic.

So instead, the Biden Inaugural Committee is throwing a "Parade Across America" — a virtual celebration involving dancers, drum lines, singers and athletes from across the United States.


AP

President Biden And Predecessors Attend Wreath-Laying Ceremony At Arlington Cemetery

President Biden traveled from the U.S. Capitol across the Potomac River to Arlington National Cemetery after his inauguration ceremony Wednesday afternoon to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

He was joined by Vice President Harris as well as former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, along with their spouses and members of their families.

Biden and Harris each touched the wreath, and Biden made the sign of the cross before saluting. A military bugler then played taps.


Pool/AFP via Getty Images

'We've Got A Steep Road Ahead': Americans Focus On The Future

Updated at 4:19 p.m. ET

As President Joe Biden took the oath of office on Jan. 20 with his history-making vice president, Kamala Harris, people across the nation seemed cautiously optimistic.


Delphine Lee/ NPR

President Biden Will Extend Student Loan Payment Freeze Through Sept. 30

President Biden will issue an executive order asking the Education Department to extend pandemic relief for about 41 million federal student loan borrowers through Sept. 30.

In March 2020, borrowers were granted a reprieve on their loan payments — interest was set to 0% and collections of defaulted federal student loans were paused. Congress initiated this relief in the CARES Act. Both President Donald Trump and, later, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, extended it.


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Biden Order Blocks Keystone XL Pipeline

As part of his ambitious plan to address climate change, President Biden is revoking a key cross-border presidential permit needed to finish the controversial Keystone XL pipeline


POOL/AFP via Getty Images

On Inauguration Day, Transfer Of Power Includes Handover Of Twitter Accounts

After President Biden and Vice President Harris were sworn into office Wednesday, they inherited two other important titles: @POTUS and @VP.

That's because the transfer of power included the transition of official administration Twitter accounts.


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Biden Adviser Sees Local Answers To Boosting Mask Use, Speeding Up Vaccinations

The night before their inauguration, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris stood near the Lincoln Memorial and marked more than 400,000 people killed by the coronavirus. On Wednesday, the Biden administration takes responsibility for fighting the pandemic.


NPR

Pride And Excitement At Howard University, Harris' Alma Mater

Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET

The sounds of base drums, cymbals and helicopters all rang out Wednesday morning through a main quad at Washington D.C.'s Howard University, Vice President Harris' alma mater.

Harris' face adorned one of the famous alumni banners at the historically black university on Inauguration Day as some student members of the university's Showtime Marching Band — the drum line and dance and flag squads — prepared to participate in the inaugural parade.


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