Manchin and Sinema Implore Republicans to Support Jan. 6 Commission

Here’s what you need to know: Senator Joe Manchin, right, and Senator Kyrsten Sinema spoke at the Capitol in Washington earlier this month. The senators are attempting to drum up Republican support for the Capitol riot investigation.Credit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times A pair of moderate Senate Democrats pleaded with Republicans on Tuesday to drop their opposition to creating an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, in an 11th-hour attempt to prevent its collapse on the floor. The Democrats, Senators Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, called the formation of a 9/11-style inquiry “a critical step to ensuring our nation never has to endure an attack at the hands of our countrymen again.” Behind the scenes, they were working to tweak the legislation in hopes of attracting the 10 Republicans needed to advance it. “We implore our Senate Republican colleagues to work with us to find a path forward on a commission to examine the events of January 6,” the senators wrote in a joint statement. The maneuvering amounted to a long-shot effort to salvage what may be the best chance at a full, bipartisan accounting for the most violent attack on the Capitol in centuries and a stunning series of security failures around it. Modeled after the panel that studied the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the proposed commission would produce a report of its findings and recommendations to prevent a repeat. It was also bipartisan; crafted with the input of a key Republican, the commission won 35 Republican votes in the House. Still, G.O.P. leaders have moved swiftly to try to destroy its chances in the Senate amid fears of political fallout for their party of any close examination of the assault by a pro-Trump mob. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader, blasted the commission on Tuesday as a “purely political exercise” by Democrats merely trying “to debate things that occurred in the past.” “They would like to continue to litigate the former president into the future,” Mr. McConnell said. “We think the American people going forward and in the fall of ’22 ought to focus on what this administration is doing to the country.” A handful of Republican senators, including many who voted to convict former President Donald J. Trump during his impeachment trial for inciting the violence, have indicated they are willing to support the 10-person commission anyway. Among them are Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Others, like Senators Susan M. Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania want to tweak the legislation to ensure Republicans have more say in who the committee hires as staff and to put a hard stop on its work in December, before entering an election year. Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema are working with Ms. Collins to try to address those concerns, but lawmakers in both parties say there is no guarantee that such changes would yield enough Republican support for passage. What’s more, Democratic leaders are skeptical of the changes themselves. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, said a proposal like Ms. Collins’s could lead to “two warring staffs” of conservatives and liberals, undermining the inquiry. Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema have their own motivation for running up Republican support, as well. Without 10 Republicans, the bill is likely to become the first of the year to be blocked by a filibuster, because of the Senate rule that requires 60 votes to overcome one. The two moderates are the two most outspoken proponents of the filibuster in their caucus, and the commission’s failure would only ratchet up pressure on them from the party’s left flank to cave and change the rules so that legislation could move on a simple majority vote. Mr. Manchin was adamant on Tuesday that he would not change the rules around the commission vote. “No,” he told reporters. “I can’t take the fallout.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks on Tuesday during a joint statement with the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, in Ramallah in the West Bank.Credit...Pool photo by Alex Brandon America’s top diplomat came to the seat of the Palestinian government on Tuesday with promises of additional aid, a reopened consulate in Jerusalem and a broad sympathetic pledge to rebuild ties that had been severed by the previous administration in favor of Israel. With the raw emotion of deaths and wreckage from an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas militants still fresh in the minds of both Israelis and Palestinians, the actions by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken represented, in tone at least, an attempted revival of America’s former role as a more neutral arbiter in the Middle East’s most protracted conflict. But it also carries big risks. The Biden administration says it will help finance an enormous reconstruction effort in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by H

Manchin and Sinema Implore Republicans to Support Jan. 6 Commission
Here’s what you need to know: Senator Joe Manchin, right, and Senator Kyrsten Sinema spoke at the Capitol in Washington earlier this month. The senators are attempting to drum up Republican support for the Capitol riot investigation.Credit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times A pair of moderate Senate Democrats pleaded with Republicans on Tuesday to drop their opposition to creating an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, in an 11th-hour attempt to prevent its collapse on the floor. The Democrats, Senators Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, called the formation of a 9/11-style inquiry “a critical step to ensuring our nation never has to endure an attack at the hands of our countrymen again.” Behind the scenes, they were working to tweak the legislation in hopes of attracting the 10 Republicans needed to advance it. “We implore our Senate Republican colleagues to work with us to find a path forward on a commission to examine the events of January 6,” the senators wrote in a joint statement. The maneuvering amounted to a long-shot effort to salvage what may be the best chance at a full, bipartisan accounting for the most violent attack on the Capitol in centuries and a stunning series of security failures around it. Modeled after the panel that studied the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the proposed commission would produce a report of its findings and recommendations to prevent a repeat. It was also bipartisan; crafted with the input of a key Republican, the commission won 35 Republican votes in the House. Still, G.O.P. leaders have moved swiftly to try to destroy its chances in the Senate amid fears of political fallout for their party of any close examination of the assault by a pro-Trump mob. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader, blasted the commission on Tuesday as a “purely political exercise” by Democrats merely trying “to debate things that occurred in the past.” “They would like to continue to litigate the former president into the future,” Mr. McConnell said. “We think the American people going forward and in the fall of ’22 ought to focus on what this administration is doing to the country.” A handful of Republican senators, including many who voted to convict former President Donald J. Trump during his impeachment trial for inciting the violence, have indicated they are willing to support the 10-person commission anyway. Among them are Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Others, like Senators Susan M. Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania want to tweak the legislation to ensure Republicans have more say in who the committee hires as staff and to put a hard stop on its work in December, before entering an election year. Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema are working with Ms. Collins to try to address those concerns, but lawmakers in both parties say there is no guarantee that such changes would yield enough Republican support for passage. What’s more, Democratic leaders are skeptical of the changes themselves. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, said a proposal like Ms. Collins’s could lead to “two warring staffs” of conservatives and liberals, undermining the inquiry. Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema have their own motivation for running up Republican support, as well. Without 10 Republicans, the bill is likely to become the first of the year to be blocked by a filibuster, because of the Senate rule that requires 60 votes to overcome one. The two moderates are the two most outspoken proponents of the filibuster in their caucus, and the commission’s failure would only ratchet up pressure on them from the party’s left flank to cave and change the rules so that legislation could move on a simple majority vote. Mr. Manchin was adamant on Tuesday that he would not change the rules around the commission vote. “No,” he told reporters. “I can’t take the fallout.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks on Tuesday during a joint statement with the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, in Ramallah in the West Bank.Credit...Pool photo by Alex Brandon America’s top diplomat came to the seat of the Palestinian government on Tuesday with promises of additional aid, a reopened consulate in Jerusalem and a broad sympathetic pledge to rebuild ties that had been severed by the previous administration in favor of Israel. With the raw emotion of deaths and wreckage from an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas militants still fresh in the minds of both Israelis and Palestinians, the actions by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken represented, in tone at least, an attempted revival of America’s former role as a more neutral arbiter in the Middle East’s most protracted conflict. But it also carries big risks. The Biden administration says it will help finance an enormous reconstruction effort in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas, a militant group considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Israel and many other countries. While pushing for calm, the Biden administration has also been careful not to rupture relations with Israel. The United States was the lone holdout at the United Nations Security Council, where it blocked any attempt to blame Israel in its recent war with Hamas. Mr. Biden had also publicly supported Israel’s right to self-defense in the conflict. In fact, only a few hours before meeting with the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, Mr. Blinken met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who also thanked the Biden administration for its backing in the fight against Hamas. On Wednesday, Mr. Blinken will travel to Egypt, which prodded Hamas to agree to last week’s cease-fire, and then on to Jordan, the custodian of the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, one of the holiest sites in Islam. He would not comment Tuesday on whether he had secured specific commitments from Israel to ease security around the Aqsa Mosque or to halt the eviction of Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Tensions in both places helped trigger the escalated hostilities that ended in military conflict this month. Attorney General William Barr’s decision to clear former President Trump of ever being prosecuted on charges of illegally obstructing the Russia investigation was widely criticized.Credit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times The Biden administration has decided to fight to keep secret most of a Trump-era Justice Department memo related to former Attorney General William P. Barr’s much-disputed declaration in 2019 clearing President Donald J. Trump of illegally obstructing justice in the Russia investigation. In a late-night filing Monday, the Justice Department appealed part of a district-court ruling that ordered it to make public the entire memo. It was written at the same time that Mr. Barr sent a letter to Congress claiming the evidence in the then-still secret report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, was insufficient to charge Mr. Trump with a crime. The Justice Department did release the first page and a half of the nine-page memo. While Mr. Mueller had declined to render a judgment about what the evidence added up to because the department’s policy was not to charge a sitting president, the memo said Mr. Barr was justified in making a decision in order to shape public understanding of the report. “Although the special counsel recognized the unfairness of levying an accusation against the president without bringing criminal charges, the report’s failure to take a position on the matters described therein might be read to imply such an accusation if the confidential report were released to the public,” wrote Steven A. Engel and Edward C. O’Callaghan, two senior Trump-era Justice Department officials. The Mueller report itself — which Mr. Barr permitted to become public weeks after his letter to Congress had created an impression that the fruits of Mr. Mueller’s inquiry cleared Mr. Trump of obstruction — detailed multiple actions by Mr. Trump that many legal specialists say were clearly sufficient to ask a grand jury to consider indicting him for obstruction of justice. Those actions included attempting to bully his White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, into falsifying a record to cover up an earlier attempt by Mr. Trump to fire Mr. Mueller, and dangling a potential pardon at Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, to encourage him not to cooperate with investigators. The new Justice Department filing also apologized for and defended its Barr-era court filings about the memo, which Judge Amy Berman Jackson had labeled “disingenuous,” saying that they could have been written more clearly but were nevertheless accurate. “The government acknowledges that its briefs could have been clearer, and it deeply regrets the confusion that caused,” the Justice Department said. “But the government’s counsel and declarants did not intend to mislead the court, and the government respectfully submits” that any missteps still did not warrant releasing the entire memo. Mr. Barr’s claim — which he made weeks before releasing the Mueller public — that the evidence gathered showed that Mr. Trump did not commit a chargeable offense of obstruction has been widely criticized as deeply misleading. Among other fallout, a government watchdog group, CREW, filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in the United States District Court in Washington seeking disclosure of an internal memo about the matter. Earlier this month, Judge Jackson issued a scathing ruling in that case saying that the Barr-era Justice Department had been “disingenuous to this court” about the nature of the memo in court filings by arguing that it could be lawfully kept secret under an exemption for pre-decisional deliberations. She wrote that she had made the discovery after insisting that she read it herself. While the Barr-era Justice Department told her the memo concerned deliberations about whether Mr. Trump should be charged with obstruction, the memo itself showed that Mr. Barr had already decided not to do so, and the memo was instead about strategy and arguments that could be mustered to quash the idea. She ordered the entire document released. The Biden-era Justice Department had until Monday to respond. In its filing, it acknowledged that its earlier filings “could have been clearer, and it deeply regrets the confusion that caused.” But it also insisted that its “declarations and briefs were accurate and submitted in good faith.” The decision that Mr. Barr was actually making, the department said, was about whether to decide whether the evidence was sufficient to charge Mr. Trump someday — not whether he should be charged at that moment, since longstanding department legal policy is to consider sitting presidents temporarily immune from prosecution while they are in office. And, it said, the legal analysis in the second part of the memo — the portion it is appealing to keep secret — was, in fact, pre-decisional, even though the memo was completed after Mr. Barr made his decision, because it memorialized legal advice that department lawyers had previously provided to the attorney general. George Floyd’s daughter Gianna Floyd walks into the West Wing after she and her family met with President Biden and Vice President Harris on Tuesday.Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times In an April phone call after a former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty of killing George Floyd, President Biden promised Mr. Floyd’s family that he would win passage of a police reform bill in his name. “That and a lot more,” Mr. Biden pledged that day. Mr. Biden has so far failed to make good on that promise, even as he met with Mr. Floyd’s family in a private Oval Office session on Tuesday to mark the day when a white police officer pressed his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, killing him. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was convicted of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The closed-door meeting lasted for over an hour on Tuesday afternoon. In a speech to Congress last month, the president used the emotional power of Mr. Floyd’s death, and the national movement it helped spark, to urge lawmakers to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act by May 25, the first anniversary of Mr. Floyd’s death. It was, the president implored Democrats and Republicans, a moment to “bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice, real justice.” But Washington missed the moment. The legislation bearing Mr. Floyd’s name — which would ban the use of chokeholds, impose restrictions on deadly force and make it easier to prosecute officers for wrongdoing — has languished in Congress as lawmakers spar over a series of issues, including a measure that would alter a legal shield known as qualified immunity that protects police officers in brutality cases. After meeting with the Floyd family on Tuesday, Mr. Biden reiterated his commitment to passing a police reform bill, calling the conviction of Mr. Chauvin “another important step forward toward justice,” but one that was not enough. “To deliver real change, we must have accountability when law enforcement officers violate their oaths, and we need to build lasting trust between the vast majority of the men and women who wear the badge honorably and the communities they are sworn to serve and protect,” Mr. Biden said. “We can and must have both accountability and trust and in our justice system.” Though both sides say they are optimistic that a deal may still be possible in the weeks ahead, the stalemate is a reminder for Mr. Biden of the limits of presidential power, and of the deepening lack of any real bipartisanship in the nation’s capital, even in the face of the largest racial justice protests in generations. “He was a son. He was a father. He was a brother. And we failed him,” Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey, said Tuesday on the “CBS This Morning” program. “We have to make progress here. We cannot lose this moment.” A now-famous video of the killing of Mr. Floyd in Minneapolis, which showed Mr. Chauvin kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, accelerated a nationwide racial reckoning against police brutality and fueled demands for justice and policing reform. The Biden administration said on Tuesday that Mr. Biden will travel next week to Oklahoma to attend the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre. Before arriving at the White House on Tuesday afternoon, the Floyd family made stops with key lawmakers on Capitol Hill, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who renewed her party’s commitment to get a bill signed into law. “Today is the day that set the world in a rage and people realized what’s going on in America and we all said ‘enough is enough,’” said Philonise Floyd, standing with his family and lawmakers beneath a portrait of George Washington. Among those who are attending the meeting with the president, according to Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, are: Gianna, Mr. Floyd’s daughter; Roxie Washington, Gianna’s mother; Bridgett Floyd, his sister; Philonise Floyd, his brother; Kita Floyd, his sister-in-law; Rodney Floyd, his brother; Terrence Floyd, his brother; and Brandon Williams, his nephew. Before the meeting, Mr. Biden praised the family on Twitter, saying that Mr. Floyd’s relatives have shown “extraordinary courage” and calling the conviction of Mr. Chauvin a “step towards justice” for Mr. Floyd. But he added: “We cannot stop there. We face an inflection point. We have to act.” The wreckages of Afghan police vehicles, most of them destroyed by Taliban roadside bombs, litter a parking lot in Panjwai, Afghanistan in March.Credit...Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times United States troops and their NATO allies intend to be out of Afghanistan by early to mid-July, well ahead of President Biden’s Sept. 11 withdrawal deadline, military officials said, in what has turned into an accelerated ending to America’s longest war. But the race to the exits, which has picked up steam as planeloads of equipment and troops are flown out of the country, leaves the United States grappling with huge unresolved issues that officials had thought they would have more time to figure out. The Pentagon still has not determined how it will combat terrorist threats like Al Qaeda from afar after American troops leave. Nor have top Defense Department officials secured agreement from allies about repositioning American troops in other nearby countries. And administration officials are still grappling with the thorny question of whether American warplanes — most likely armed Reaper drones — will provide air support to Afghan forces to help prevent the country’s cities from falling to the Taliban. The rapid withdrawal has exposed a variety of complex problems that have yet to be resolved and are provoking intense concern. Officials have yet to decide how to ensure security for Kabul’s international airport, an issue that could determine whether other nations can maintain a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan. Australia announced on Tuesday that it is shutting down its embassy in Kabul until the security situation in the country improves. Around 17,000 private contractors — more than 6,000 of them U.S. citizens — are expected to leave along with U.S. and allied military forces, potentially leaving Afghanistan’s military, and especially its air force, without vital support. A U.S. Army document outlining the contractor withdrawal, dated April 20, called the move “G2Z,” or “Go to Zero.” “Nobody wants to have a contractor left behind or be the company that is highlighted on ‘60 Minutes’ as the company that lost employees in Afghanistan,” the memo said. But as U.S. officials confront what the future of Afghanistan will look like without a foreign military presence, it has become readily apparent that the Afghan military is not ready to be without private contractors, especially for its air force, which relies almost completely on them for maintenance. Kristen Clarke spoke at the announcement of her nomination for attorney general for the civil rights division in Wilmington in January. Ms. Clarke’s nomination was confirmed on Tuesday.Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times The Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm Kristen Clarke to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division, making her the first woman of color to be confirmed by the Senate to do so. Ms. Clarke was ceremonially sworn in shortly before 7 p.m. in a brief ceremony at the Justice Department. Ms. Clarke’s mother, Pansy Clarke, held the Bible as Vice President Kamala Harris administered the oath of office. Attorney General Merrick Garland delivered brief remarks. The deputy attorney general, Lisa O. Monaco, and the associate attorney general, Vanita Gupta, were also in attendance. Ms. Clarke’s confirmation comes at a time when the Biden administration has vowed to revitalize the division as part of its promise to combat systemic racism, hate crimes and restrictive voter laws. Ms. Clarke was confirmed by a vote of 51 to 48, largely along party lines. Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, broke with her party to support Ms. Clarke’s confirmation. Senator John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana, did not vote. A number of Republicans took to the Senate floor to argue Ms. Clarke supported reducing police department budgets. But Ms. Collins said that she believed that Ms. Clarke would not support such efforts, after studying Ms. Clark’s professional record, including her work as a prosecutor during the George W. Bush administration. Ms. Collins said that Ms. Clarke gave her a letter saying she was “committed to to ensuring that law enforcement officers have the resources that they need.” The daughter of Jamaican immigrants who rose from a Brooklyn housing project to earn degrees from Harvard and Columbia Law School, Ms. Clarke is best known as a leading advocate for voting rights protections. Her expertise will make her a key player in the administration’s effort to push back on laws that could restrict access to the ballot box. During her confirmation hearing, Ms. Clarke, 46, said that she would use all of the tools at her disposal, including the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act and the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Citizens Voting Act, to ensure that eligible Americans continued to have the right to vote. In supporting her nomination, Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois and chair of the Judiciary Committee, said that Ms. Clarke was poised to become the first Senate-confirmed woman of color to lead the civil rights division on the one-year anniversary of Mr. Floyd’s murder by the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. He said that Ms. Clarke’s “breadth of experience defending the civil rights of all” made her “singularly qualified to lead this division, particularly at this moment in history.” The civil rights division has already been involved in some of the Justice Department’s most high-profile work under the Biden administration, including the recently announced investigations into police practices in Minneapolis, Minn., and Louisville, Ky., and the federal indictment of the officers involved in the killing of George Floyd. The work of the civil rights division is also likely to dovetail with the administration’s efforts to stem the threat of domestic terrorism, as numerous national security officials have testified that white supremacists currently pose the greatest domestic extremist threat. Republicans largely opposed Ms. Clarke. Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, said that she was a partisan and radical nominee who had sharply criticized centrists like Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, and Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia attended a meeting with cabinet members and high range military officials in Sochi on Tuesday. President Biden will meet with Mr. Putin in Geneva in June.Credit...Pool photo by Sergei Ilyin President Biden and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia have agreed to meet on June 16 in Geneva for a face-to-face encounter that comes at a time of fast-deteriorating relations over Ukraine, cyberattacks and a raft of new nuclear weapons Mr. Putin is deploying. The summit is the first in-person meeting between the two leaders since Mr. Biden became president. The one-day meeting is expected to focus on ways to restore predictability and stability to a relationship that carries a risk of nuclear accident, miscalculation and escalation. Geneva was also the site of the 1985 summit between Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, and Ronald Reagan that was focused on the nuclear arms race. The meeting comes at the worst point in Russian-American relations since the fall of the Soviet Union about 30 years ago. To say that the two leaders have a tense relationship is an understatement: Mr. Biden called Mr. Putin a “killer” in a television interview in March, leading Mr. Putin to dryly return the accusation and wish the new president “good health.” White House officials say they expect no major breakthroughs. Instead, they argue that Mr. Putin and Mr. Biden must begin to engage on the few issues where there is room for cooperation, like fighting climate change and the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Gorbachev — the Soviet leader, now 90, whose 1985 summit with Mr. Reagan in Geneva helped defuse Cold War tensions — said on Tuesday that he was happy to hear Mr. Putin would meet Mr. Biden, whom he cast as a more reliable counterpart than Mr. Trump. “There’s a new president in the White House now, and you can negotiate with him,” Mr. Gorbachev said, according to the Interfax news agency. “The prior team turned out to be unreliable.” Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has compared mask and vaccine mandates to actions by the Nazis during the Holocaust.Credit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times House Republican leaders on Tuesday broke nearly a week of silence about comments by Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia comparing mask and vaccine mandates to the treatment of Jews by Nazis during the Holocaust, condemning her language but stopping short of punishing her. The slow response by Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, to Ms. Greene’s string of anti-Semitic statements reflected the reluctance of top Republicans to take on the first-term congresswoman, who had previously endorsed violent and racist conspiracy theories and whose combative style has made her a favorite of former President Donald J. Trump and his far-right supporters. The Republicans’ reaction was a contrast to their swift ouster this month of Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, whom they forced from her leadership post after she enraged her colleagues by vocally repudiating Mr. Trump’s election lies. Instead, Mr. McCarthy issued a sternly worded statement that rebuked Ms. Greene but also referred to “anti-Semitism on the rise in the Democrat Party” and made no mention of further consequences. His statement was quickly followed by condemnations by the other two top House leaders and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, who denounced Ms. Greene’s statements as “outrageous” and “reprehensible.” In a series of posts on Twitter, Ms. Greene has railed against decisions made by private businesses to impose vaccine mandates or drop mask requirements only for vaccinated individuals. Her comments came amid an uptick in anti-Semitic attacks on Jews across the nation. “Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star,” she wrote in one post on Tuesday. In another, referring to a university barring unvaccinated students from attending classes in person, she wrote: “It appears Nazi practices have already begun on our youth. Show your VAX papers or no in person class for you. This is exactly what I was saying about the gold star.” After Ms. Greene was met with a wave of public criticism, she refused to apologize, arguing that she had never compared mask mandates specifically to the Holocaust, which killed six million Jews, “only the discrimination against Jews in the early years.” The condemnations by Republican leaders came after a rebuke from the Republican Jewish Coalition, a prominent organization whose political action committee contributes generously to the party. “Please educate yourself so that you can realize how absolutely wrong and inappropriate it is to compare proof of vaccination with the 6million Jews who were exterminated by Nazis,” Matt Brooks, the executive director, wrote on Twitter in response to one of Ms. Greene’s broadsides. A new plan would allow offshore wind farms in an area off the coast of Morro Bay, Calif.Credit...Drew Kelly for The New York Times The notion of wind farms churning in the Pacific Ocean, creating clean energy to power homes and businesses, has long been dismissed because of logistical challenges posed by a deep ocean floor and political opposition from the military, which prefers no obstacles for its Navy ships. But changing technology and a president determined to rapidly expand wind energy have dramatically shifted the prospects for wind farms in the Pacific. On Tuesday, the Navy abandoned its prior opposition and joined the Interior Department to give its blessing to two areas off the California coast that the government said can be developed for wind turbines. The plan allows commercial offshore wind farms in a 399-square-mile area in Morro Bay along central California, and another area off the coast of Humboldt in Northern California. The announcement came weeks after the Biden administration approved the nation’s first ever commercial-scale offshore wind farm, to be built off the coast of Massachusetts. About a dozen other offshore wind projects along the East Coast are now under federal review. The administration estimates that wind turbines in Morro Bay and near Humboldt could together eventually generate enough electricity to power 1.6 million homes. If those numbers are realized, it could make the California coast one of the largest generators of wind power in the world. The new coastal Massachusetts wind farm is expected to have up to 84 giant wind turbines. By comparison, Mr. Newsom estimated that the California sites could hold more than 300 turbines. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure testified before the Senate Finance Committee during her nomination hearing to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in Washington in April.Credit...Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc., via Getty Images The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, a former Obama administration health official, to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, one of the most powerful posts at the Department of Health and Human Services. The vote was 55 to 44, with five Republicans joining Democrats to support her confirmation. As the official charged with overseeing providing services to poor and older Americans in Medicare and Medicaid, Ms. Brooks-LaSure will manage roughly $1 trillion of the federal budget in addition to the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces and regulations. Ms. Brooks-LaSure, the first Black administrator confirmed to lead the agency, comes to the job with extensive experience in federal health policy. She was a senior official at the agency under President Barack Obama in the years after the health care law passed, working to expand coverage. She also worked on health issues as a congressional staffer and member of the White House’s budget office. She was a managing director at the health consulting firm Manatt before President Biden nominated her as Medicare chief. The agency is key to fulfilling Mr. Biden’s health care agenda. His administration and a Democratic-controlled Congress are aiming to engineer the first substantial reforms and expansion of the Affordable Care Act since its passage, in part through billions of dollars in the American Rescue Plan. The administration opened a highly publicized special enrollment period in February that allowed the uninsured to sign up for coverage right away, drawing in over a million Americans. Her nomination was challenged by Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, who opposed a recent Medicaid policy decision affecting his home state. Biden administration Medicaid officials withdrew the approval of a waiver that would have given hospitals more than $100 billion in federal dollars over a decade for treating patients without insurance. The officials said the waiver’s approval, which was granted in the closing days of the Trump administration, had been rushed. The agency has also begun rolling back state Medicaid work requirements approved in some states during the Trump administration. Ms. Brooks-LaSure’s predecessor, Seema Verma, feuded bitterly during the Trump administration with the H.H.S. secretary, Alex M. Azar II, and she attracted inspector general and congressional investigations into her agency’s lavish spending on outside consultants who worked to polish her personal brand. A battle over whether there should be a preferred national style of architecture helped propel a generally low-key commission into the spotlight.Credit...Samuel Corum for The New York Times Four of the seven members of the federal Commission of Fine Arts, a generally low-key, earnest design advisory group that became embroiled in battles over architectural style during the Trump era, have been told by the Biden administration to resign or face termination, according to the commission’s chairman. All seven members of the commission were appointed by former President Donald J. Trump; four were appointed Jan. 12, just days before Mr. Trump left office. The commission offers advice on “matters of design and aesthetics, as they affect the federal interest and preserve the dignity of the nation’s capital,” according to its website. Mr. Trump thrust architecture into the culture wars late in his presidency when he signed an executive order establishing classical architecture as the preferred style for new federal buildings, over the opposition of prominent architecture and preservation groups, which bristled at any attempt that could be seen as trying to impose a national style. The commission’s chairman, Justin Shubow, who was a driving force behind the push to promote classical architecture, said that he and three other members of the commission — the architect Steven Spandle, the artist Chas Fagan, and the landscape architect Perry Guillot — had been asked to resign. He noted that the commission’s members are appointed to four-year terms, and said that seeking their removal would break a longstanding precedent. A spokesman for the White House said on Tuesday that Mr. Biden planned to appoint four new members to the commission who will collectively bring a wider range of aesthetic viewpoints. The appointees are Peter Cook, a Principal at HGA Architects who has worked on the National Museum of African American History and Culture; Hazel Ruth Edwards, the chair of Howard University’s architecture department; Justin Garrett Moore, a designer and urbanist at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and Billie Tsien, a partner at Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects in New York. Administration officials suggested that the aesthetic sensibilities of the four members they had removed — including their strong advocacy for classical architecture — did not align with Mr. Biden’s. Mr. Shubow declined the request to resign, according to email correspondence reviewed by The New York Times. The emails showed that he had received a formal letter from an assistant to the president requesting his resignation on Monday. The letter said that if the White House did not receive his resignation, his position with the commission would be terminated effective 6 p.m. Monday. The classical architecture issue proved divisive in the architecture community. The order Mr. Trump eventually signed, titled “Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture,” established classical architecture as the preferred style for new federal buildings but stopped short of banning other styles. The American Institute of Architects called on the Biden administration to reverse the order, and he did so soon after he took office. A young heifer at a dairy farm in Schodack Landing, N.Y.Credit...Lauren Lancaster for The New York Times The Biden administration said on Tuesday that it had requested the establishment of a panel to address a dispute over American dairy exports to Canada, an early attempt by the United States to enforce the terms of the updated North American trade deal. The request stems from a challenge announced in December by the Trump administration, which accused Canada of improperly limiting the ability of the American dairy industry to sell its goods into Canada. The Trump administration had highlighted the trade deal, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, as a victory for American dairy farmers, who stood to gain increased access to the Canadian market. Enabling exports of U.S. milk and other dairy products to Canada was a key issue in negotiations over the trade deal, with the Trump administration threatening to leave Canada out of the North American pact if it did not allow access. The final agreement opened the Canadian market to more exported American dairy products, and it included a concession by Canada to jettison a program that helped Canadian sellers of certain milk products, both domestically and abroad. But the Biden administration said that consultations with Canada over the challenge announced in December had not been successful in resolving the dispute. “A top priority for the Biden-Harris administration is fully enforcing the U.S.M.C.A. and ensuring that it benefits American workers,” Katherine Tai, the United States trade representative, said in a statement, referring to the trade deal by its initials. “Launching the first panel request under the agreement will ensure our dairy industry and its workers can seize new opportunities under the U.S.M.C.A. to market and sell U.S. products to Canadian consumers.” Mary Ng, Canada’s minister of small business, export promotion and international trade, said in a statement that Canada was “disappointed that the United States has requested a dispute settlement panel.” Under the trade deal, she said, “Canada agreed to provide some additional market access to the United States for dairy while successfully defending our supply management system and dairy industry.” She added that Canada was “confident that our policies are in full compliance” with the pact. An asylum seeker and her children were followed by a Texas Highway Patrol officer as they looked for cover after crossing the border last week.Credit...Adrees Latif/Reuters President Biden is coming under increasing pressure to abandon a Trump-era immigration rule that has sealed off the United States to most migrants during the pandemic, with human rights officials and two of the administration’s own medical consultants saying it endangers vulnerable families. The policy, known as Title 42, allows border agents to turn away migrants without giving them a chance to apply for protections in the United States. White House officials declined to comment on the record, but a government official said the White House position was that the rule was necessary given the many Americans who had not been fully vaccinated. Like the Trump administration, the Biden administration has defended the policy as a “public health directive” rather than an immigration tool. On Monday, two physicians who work as consultants for the Department of Homeland Security sent a letter to members of Congress saying the rule had the “perverse impact” of encouraging parents to send their children to cross the border alone, since Mr. Biden has chosen not to immediately turn away minors. Most single adults and many migrants traveling together as families are immediately turned back. The complaint came days after Filippo Grandi, the United Nations’ high commissioner for refugees, who rarely criticizes U.S. immigration policy, said the expulsions have had “serious humanitarian consequences.” The Biden administration’s embrace of Title 42 highlights a difficult balancing act for the president: how to make good on his pledge to have a more compassionate approach to migrants fleeing poverty and persecution while managing a surge of people who want to come to the United States. The topic also leaves Mr. Biden open to political attacks from Republicans and moderate Democrats who say he risks losing control of the border.