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Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: January 15, 2021

Documenting America's Path to Recovery by Ballotpedia

The next 72 hours

What is changing in the next 72 hours?

  • Connecticut (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Ned Lamont (D) announced individuals age 75 and older can begin scheduling vaccination appointments starting Jan. 18, marking the beginning of Phase 1b. Lamont said other groups included in Phase 1b will be allowed to make appointments once the supply increases and more individuals in the 75+ age group receive vaccines. Frontline essential workers, residents and staff in congregate settings, individuals between the ages of 65 and 74, and individuals with underlying health conditions are the other groups included in Phase 1b. Previously, the state focused on vaccinating healthcare workers and nursing home residents in Phase 1a.
  • Maryland (divided government): On Thursday, Jan. 14, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced the state would move to Phase 1B of its vaccine distribution plan beginning Monday, Jan. 18. In Phase 1B, all residents over the age of 75 are eligible for the vaccine. Additionally, people in assisted living facilities, teachers, daycare providers, and people in correctional facilities also become eligible. 
  • Missouri (Republican trifecta): Gov. Mike Parson (R) announced Phase 1b – Tier 2 of the state’s vaccine distribution plan will start on Jan. 18. It includes individuals age 65 or older and any adult with a high-risk condition (like COPD, cancer, type 2 diabetes, or severe obesity). Phase 1b – Tier 1 started Jan. 14, making the vaccine available to first responders and public health professionals. 

Since our last edition

What rules and restrictions are changing in each state? For a continually updated article, click here.

  • Alaska (divided government): Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) extended the state’s coronavirus emergency order until Feb. 14.
  • Kentucky (divided government): Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced a state partnership with Kroger to open regional drive-through vaccination sites starting the week of Feb. 1. The Kroger vaccination sites will provide vaccines to individuals in phases 1a, 1b, and 1c of the state’s vaccination plan. Beshear said he will announce details on participating locations and how to sign up on Jan. 28.
  • New Hampshire (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, Jan. 14, Gov. Chris Sununu (R) announced that the next phase of the state’s vaccine distribution plan will begin Jan. 26. People 65 and older will become eligible to receive the vaccine, as well as medically vulnerable people, the caregivers of medically vulnerable children, and people in correctional facilities.
     
  • New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): On Jan. 14, individuals age 65 and older and people between the ages of 16 and 64 with high-risk medical conditions (including people who smoke and individuals with type 2 diabetes, COPD, and cancer) became eligible to receive the vaccine. Previously, eligible recipients included healthcare workers, nursing home residents and staff, and first responders. Before Gov. Phil Murphy (D) expanded eligibility, individuals 75 and older and essential frontline workers were scheduled to be next in line.
  • Utah (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, Jan. 14, Gov. Spencer Cox (R) announced that Utah would continue to reserve vaccines for people age 70 and older, likely into late February. Cox said people age 65 and older would become eligible once the state had acquired a greater supply of the vaccine. 
  • Virginia (Democratic trifecta): On Thursday, Jan. 14, the Virginia Department of Education released new guidance encouraging schools to prioritize in-person learning, especially for younger students and those with disabilities.


Biden nominates Walsh as labor secretary

Biden nominates Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as labor secretary  

President-elect Joe Biden (D) announced last week that he would nominate Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for secretary of labor. Biden’s transition team said Walsh “has the necessary experience, relationships, and the trust of the President-elect to help workers recover from this historic economic downturn and usher in a new era of worker power.”

Walsh has served as the mayor of Boston since 2014. He was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party Labor Caucus, and the co-chair of the Special Commission on Public Construction Reform. Walsh was also a union leader, serving as the head of the Laborers’ Union Local 223 and the Building and the Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council. 

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) said Walsh’s nomination “was especially welcomed by our union, as we threw our support behind the mayor soon after Biden won the election.” AFSCME President Lee Saunders said, “Secretary-designate Walsh understands the contributions public service workers make to the strength and vitality of our communities. On behalf of the 1.4 million AFSCME members, I am proud to support him and look forward to working with him.”

According to John Logan, a professor of labor and employment relations at San Francisco State University, Walsh “has supported many progressive causes, such as greater police accountability, declaring racism a public health issue, tackling wage theft, championing workplace safety in the construction industry, using city contracts to promote diversity, and pushing parental leave for city employees.” 

Logan says Walsh is “significantly more progressive than many former building trades officials” and says Walsh could “bridge the various sections of the labor movement, which is currently more divided than almost ever before. … The AFT, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, and building trades do not agree on too much; but they all agreed on Marty Walsh for Secretary of Labor.”

According to Politico, United Auto Workers, Utility Workers Union of America, National Nurses United, Communications Workers of America, and United Farm Workers of America backed other candidates for the position.

Sean Higgins, a research fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, responded to the nomination, “Joe Biden’s decision to nominate Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as Labor Secretary will elevate a person to oversee the nation’s workplace who is not merely pro-union, but who sees the purpose of public office as working to represent the interests of unions. The interests of business leaders, entrepreneurs, independent workers and voters in general will take a back seat.” 

The last time a union member served as secretary of labor was in 1977, according to the Northwest Labor Press. W.J. Usery Jr. was a member of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Biden and Walsh on public-sector unions and Janus v. AFSCME

Biden’s campaign website laid out the following labor policy priorities: 

As president, Biden will establish a federal right to union organizing and collective bargaining for all public sector employees, and make it easier for those employees who serve our communities to both join a union and bargain. He will do so by fighting for and signing into law the Public Safety Employer Employee Cooperation Act and Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act. He will work to ensure public sector workers, including public school educators, have a greater voice in the decisions that impact their students and their working conditions. He will also strongly encourage states to pursue expanded bargaining rights for state licensed and contracted workers, including child care workers and home health care workers. And, he will look for federal solutions that will protect these workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively.

In a 2019 Labor Day message, Walsh referenced the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Janus v. AFSCME

Janus was just the start. The regulators who killed overtime for low-income workers and let Walmart fire people for organizing? The trade wars that devastate truck drivers and farmers? The government shutdown that bankrupted federal employees and contractors? Their new plan is to deregulate apprenticeships — the hard-earned credential that your careers and paychecks are built on — turned into nothing more than a piece of paper. Who will be left to speak up for you, when your rights are gone?

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 26 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking. 

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s) 

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of relevant legislative actions taken since our last issue.

  • Maine LD52: This bill would allow educational policies related to preparation and planning time and transfer of teachers to be subjects of collective bargaining negotiations. 
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Introduced and referred to Labor and Housing Committee Jan. 11. 
  • Maryland HB374: This bill would extend collective bargaining rights to faculty at Baltimore City Community College.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Introduced Jan. 13. House Appropriations Committee hearing scheduled for Jan. 27.
  • Maryland SB9: This bill would make revisions to the collective bargaining process for employees of the University System of Maryland.    
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Introduced Jan. 13. Senate Finance Committee hearing scheduled for Feb. 4. 
  •  Maryland SB138: This bill would extend collective bargaining rights to employees of the Baltimore County Public Library.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Senate Finance Committee hearing scheduled for Feb. 4.  
  • New Hampshire HB348: This bill would require a public employer to provide notice of a new or amended collective bargaining agreement.
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Referred to House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee on Jan. 9. 
  • New York A01804: This bill would alter resolution procedures for disputes that arise during collective bargaining between public-sector employers and unions.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Introduced and referred to Assembly Governmental Employees Committee Jan. 11. 
  • Oregon HB2061: This bill would prohibit public employers and unions from entering into fair-share agreements.
    • Introduced Jan. 11.  
  • Oregon HB2270: This bill would amend the law’s definition of “employment relations” to include class size and caseload limits as mandatory collective bargaining subjects for school districts. 
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Introduced Jan. 11.
  • Oregon SB580: This bill would amend the law’s definition of “employment relations” to include class size and caseload limits as mandatory collective bargaining subjects for school districts.  
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Introduced Jan. 11.
  • Oregon SB679: This bill would amend the law’s definition of “employment relations” to include class size and caseload limits as mandatory collective bargaining subjects for school districts. 
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Introduced Jan. 11.
  • Tennessee SJR0002: This bill proposes a constitutional amendment that would bar any person, corporation, or governmental entity from denying employment due to an individual’s affiliation status with a union or other employee organization.
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee Jan. 13. 
  • Washington SB5055: This bill would prohibit law enforcement personnel from entering into collective bargaining agreements that prevent, prohibit, or otherwise alter local government ordinances or charters providing for “civilian review of law enforcement personnel.”
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Senate Labor, Commerce, and Tribal Affairs Committee hearing held Jan. 14.
  • Washington SB5133: This bill amends the definition of a “confidential employee” for the purposes of collective bargaining.
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Introduced Jan. 8; referred to Senate Labor, Commerce, and Tribal Affairs Committee Jan. 11. 


Recommended subject line: Ballotpedia’s Weekly Transition Tracker: January 9-15, 2021

Prior to taking office on January 20, 2021, President-elect Joe Biden (D) and his team must prepare for the transition between presidential administrations, including selecting senior White House staff and appointees to top government positions.

In 2020, there were 1,472 government positions subject to presidential appointment: 1,118 positions required Senate confirmation and 354 did not. The new administration is also responsible for filling thousands of other positions across the federal government, including in operations and policy. Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking potential Cabinet nominees, appointments, and news related to the Biden presidential transition.

Appointments and Nominations

William Burns, director of the CIA

Biden announced Wiliam J. Burns, a former ambassador to Russia and Jordan, was his nominee for director of the CIA. Burns retired from the U.S. Foreign Service after 33 years of service in 2014. He was also deputy secretary of state, under secretary of state for political affairs, and an assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. He is currently the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Politico reported that the position, created in 2005, will not be part of Biden’s Cabinet. President Donald Trump (R) was the first and only president to give it Cabinet-rank status.

Samantha Power, administrator of the United States Agency for International Development 

Biden announced on Wednesday that he had selected Samantha Power, a former ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017, as his nominee for administrator of the United States Agency for International Development. He also elevated the position to the National Security Council (NSC).

Power was a special assistant to the president and senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights from 2009 to 2013 in the Obama administration. She previously worked as an international correspondent and the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Other administration appointments

Biden announced additional appointees to deputy and administrative roles on Friday:

  • Janet McCabe for deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Shalanda Young for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget
  • Jason Miller for deputy director of management at the Office of Management and Budget
  • David Cohen for deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency
  • Deanne Criswell, FEMA administrator

Biden has also selected David Kessler to lead the federal vaccine distribution program. Kessler was the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration during the Bush I and Clinton administrations. 

Confirmation News

  • Janet Yellen, nominee for secretary of the Treasury, will appear before the Senate Finance Committee.
  • Alejandro Mayorkas, nominee for secretary of homeland security, will appear before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
  • Tony Blinken, nominee for secretary of state, will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
  • Three members of the Senate Armed Services Committee—Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)—said they would vote against granting a waiver to Ret. Army General Lloyd Austin to allow him to serve as secretary of defense after leaving military service less than seven years ago.
  • Ten House Republicans called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to not fast track Lloyd Austin’s waiver to serve as secretary of defense. They wrote, “We urge the waiver process to receive full time for deliberation, including committee hearings, a committee vote, and a recorded vote on the House floor.” The signers include Reps. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Rob Wittman (R-Va.), Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Mike Turner (R-Ohio), and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).
  • The Senate Intelligence Committee postponed its confirmation hearing for Avril Haines, originally scheduled for Friday, to next week.
  • Interior Secretary nominee Debra Haaland released her financial disclosures, which showed that she received no income beyond her congressional salary and had between $15,000 and $50,000 in student loan debt from her 2006 law degree.

Potential Nominees

  • The Washington Post reported that Biden is likely to select Gary Gensler, a former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the Obama administration, as his pick for chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Other News

  • President Donald Trump (R) said he will not attend Biden’s inauguration. The last president not to participate in his successor’s inauguration was Andrew Johnson in 1869. Richard Nixon (R), who resigned from office, also did not attend the swearing-in ceremony of Gerald Ford (R). Vice President Mike Pence (R) said he will attend the event.
  • Politico reported that the Biden Transition was prioritizing confirmation of national security Cabinet nominees Alejandro Mayorkas, Lloyd Austin, and Antony Blinken. “Amid fallout from the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol, Biden officials and congressional allies will begin making the case Tuesday that there is a unique urgency in getting the positions filled as soon as possible so there is no gap in national security during a presidential transfer of power,” Politico said.
  • The House introduced an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump (R) on Monday. With the possibility of a Senate trial taking place during the first 100 days of Biden’s presidential term, Biden said he was exploring whether both his policy agenda and the trial could be on the Senate schedule at the same time.
  • Bloomberg reported that the Biden Transition was considering what it would take to remove the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Mark Calabria, who was appointed in 2019 to a five-year term. It is not known whether Biden would have the authority to do so. “Any effort to oust Calabria probably wouldn’t be activated unless he starts to take drastic steps to change Fannie and Freddie’s status that the Biden administration would have difficulty reversing, such as trying to release the companies from federal control,” Bloomberg said. On Thursday, the Treasury Department announced it would not restructure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, leaving it to the future Biden administration to decide how to handle the status of the companies. 
  • Biden received a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 on Monday.
  • The Biden Transition said on Tuesday that Biden planned to appoint career officials as interim agency heads during the confirmation process for his nominees.
  • Due to security concerns, Biden will no longer take the Amtrak from Delaware to Washington, D.C., for the inauguration.
  • Google is pausing ads across its channels, including YouTube, that reference impeachment, inauguration, or protests at the Capitol. “We regularly pause ads over unpredictable, ‘sensitive’ events when ads can be used to exploit the event or amplify misleading information,” Google said in a statement.
  • Following Twitter’s announcement that current @POTUS followers will be reset to zero when Biden takes office, the Biden Transition has created a new account in the interim—@PresElectBiden—to build up a following before he takes office. This account will become @POTUS when he is sworn in.
  • Biden will stay in the Blair House, the official residence for presidential guests, the day before his inauguration.

Transition in Context

Biden took 69 days to announce his nominee for director of the CIA. Like President Barack Obama (D), he is not expected to make this position Cabinet-rank.

President Donald Trump (R), who elevated the position to the Cabinet for the first time, named his nominee 10 days after the 2016 presidential election.

Transition in Context: How many cross-party Cabinet secretaries did Obama and Trump have?

President Barack Obama (D) made three cross-party Cabinet appointments in his first term in office:

  • Robert Gates for secretary of defense (who had served in the Bush administration in the same role)
  • Ray LaHood for secretary of transportation (confirmed)
  • Judd Gregg for secretary of commerce (withdrew)

President Donald Trump (R) does not have any Democrats in his Cabinet. While he selected Obama administration official David Shulkin for secretary of veterans affairs, Shulkin is not registered with any party.

Similarly, none of Biden’s Cabinet nominees is a Republican.

Transition in Context: How many Trump and Obama Cabinet nominees withdrew?

Two of President Donald Trump’s (R) Cabinet secretary nominees withdrew from consideration after being nominated:

  • Andrew Puzder for secretary of labor: Politico reported that Puzder did not have sufficient Republican support to be confirmed.
  • Ronny Jackson for secretary of veterans affairs: The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee released a list of allegations against Jackson, including inappropriate medication prescription and drunk driving. Jackson denied the allegations.

Three of President Barack Obama’s (D) Cabinet secretary nominees withdrew:

  • Bill Richardson for secretary of commerce: Richardson was under investigation for his potential involvement in improperly giving a state contract to a donor. The Department of Justice ultimately did not pursue any charges.
  • Judd Gregg for secretary of commerce: Gregg, a Republican, said he had irresolvable conflicts with Obama regarding his economic stimulus plan.
  • Tom Daschle for secretary of health and human services: Daschle failed to pay approximately $140,000 in back taxes. He withdrew because he said he did not have the full faith of the American people.

Senate Committees and the Confirmation Process

Nominations for Cabinet secretaries and other appointments requiring Senate confirmation are reviewed by committees before going to the floor for a full vote. Committees investigate nominees, hold hearings, and take a majority vote on whether to report the candidate to the Senate favorably, unfavorably, or without recommendation.

Different committees have jurisdiction over different positions. For example, the Senate Intelligence Committee will review nominees for CIA and national intelligence leadership, while the Energy and National Resources Committee will preside over nominations to the Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

For a complete list of the jurisdiction of each Senate committee, click here.

Transition in Context: In Their Words…

Here’s how Democratic and Republican leaders, advisers, and stakeholders have reacted to granting or opposing a waiver for retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to serve as secretary of defense.

  • “I believe in the importance of civilian control of the military. So does the secretary-designee Austin. He’ll be bolstered by a strong and empowered civilian sector and senior [officials] working [Defense Department] policies and to ensure that our defense policies are accountable to the American people.” – President-elect Joe Biden (D)
  • Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee said that granting a waiver could create a standard where “future presidents will default to nominating retired general officers to the position of secretary of defense, in lieu of qualified civilians.”
  • “It is reasonable to ask whether the appointment of two generals to political positions in four years will increase politicization of the senior military officer corps.” – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee
  • “The reason for the principle of civilian control is not only to protect our democracy against military interference, it is to protect the military against excessive interference—political partisan interference—that may jeopardize the professionalism and effectiveness of our military.” – Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
  • “I supported a one-time waiver in the case of Secretary James Mattis with the belief that the circumstances at the time warranted a rare exception, not the establishment of a new precedent, which erodes the basic principle of civilian control of the military. I would need to take a hard look at the Biden administration’s justification for such a waiver before reaching a conclusion on whether or not one is warranted in this case.” – Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)
  • “Voting against a waiver for him, from those who voted yes on a waiver for Mattis, would have a disparate racial impact. Democrats oppose policies with disparate impact because we recognize that race matters. How can anyone justify voting for a different outcome for a highly qualified Black man compared to how Mattis was treated, no matter what facially neutral justification there may be?” – Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.)

What We’re Reading



Haines confirmation hearing postponed to next week

January 15, 2021: The Senate Intelligence Committee postponed the confirmation hearing for Avril Haines originally scheduled Friday.

Prior to taking office on January 20, 2021, President-elect Joe Biden (D) and his team must prepare for the transition between presidential administrations, including selecting senior White House staff and appointees to top government positions.

In 2020, there were 1,472 government positions subject to presidential appointment: 1,118 positions required Senate confirmation and 354 did not. The new administration is also responsible for filling thousands of other positions across the federal government, including in operations and policy. Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking potential Cabinet nominees, appointments, and news related to the Biden presidential transition.

Appointments and Nominations

Biden announced additional appointees to deputy and administrative roles on Friday:

  • Janet McCabe for deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Shalanda Young for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget
  • Jason Miller for deputy director of management at the Office of Management and Budget
  • David Cohen for deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency
  • Deanne Criswell, FEMA administrator

Biden has also selected David Kessler to lead the federal vaccine distribution program. Kessler was the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration during the Bush I and Clinton administrations. 

News

  • The Senate Intelligence Committee postponed its confirmation hearing for Avril Haines, originally scheduled for Friday, to next week.
  • Interior Secretary nominee Debra Haaland released her financial disclosures, which showed that she received no income beyond her congressional salary and had between $15,000 and $50,000 in student loan debt from her 2006 law degree.
  • Following Twitter’s announcement that current @POTUS followers will be reset to zero when Biden takes office, the Biden Transition has created a new account in the interim—@PresElectBiden—to build up a following before he takes office. This account will become @POTUS when he is sworn in.
  • Biden will stay in the Blair House, the official residence for presidential guests, the day before his inauguration.

Transition in Context: In Their Words…

Here’s how Democratic and Republican leaders, advisers, and stakeholders have reacted to granting or opposing a waiver for retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to serve as secretary of defense.

  • “I believe in the importance of civilian control of the military. So does the secretary-designee Austin. He’ll be bolstered by a strong and empowered civilian sector and senior [officials] working [Defense Department] policies and to ensure that our defense policies are accountable to the American people.” – President-elect Joe Biden (D)
  • Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee said that granting a waiver could create a standard where “future presidents will default to nominating retired general officers to the position of secretary of defense, in lieu of qualified civilians.”
  • “It is reasonable to ask whether the appointment of two generals to political positions in four years will increase politicization of the senior military officer corps.” – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee
  • “The reason for the principle of civilian control is not only to protect our democracy against military interference, it is to protect the military against excessive interference—political partisan interference—that may jeopardize the professionalism and effectiveness of our military.” – Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
  • “I supported a one-time waiver in the case of Secretary James Mattis with the belief that the circumstances at the time warranted a rare exception, not the establishment of a new precedent, which erodes the basic principle of civilian control of the military. I would need to take a hard look at the Biden administration’s justification for such a waiver before reaching a conclusion on whether or not one is warranted in this case.” – Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)
  • “Voting against a waiver for him, from those who voted yes on a waiver for Mattis, would have a disparate racial impact. Democrats oppose policies with disparate impact because we recognize that race matters. How can anyone justify voting for a different outcome for a highly qualified Black man compared to how Mattis was treated, no matter what facially neutral justification there may be?” – Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.)

What We’re Reading



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: January 14, 2021

Documenting America's Path to Recovery by Ballotpedia

The next 24 hours

What is changing in the next 24 hours?

  • Montana (Republican trifecta): Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) issued an order lifting capacity limits and the 10 p.m. curfew on restaurants, bars, and casinos starting Jan. 15. Gianforte also ended the state’s 25-person gathering limit. Former Gov. Steve Bullock (D) issued the previous restrictions on Nov. 20, 2020.

Since our last edition

What rules and restrictions are changing in each state? For a continually updated article, click here.

  • California (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced individuals age 65 and older are next in line for the coronavirus vaccine. Currently, the state is distributing vaccines to healthcare workers and nursing home residents. 
  • Indiana (Republican trifecta): On Wednesday, Jan. 13, Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) announced that people age 70 and older can now register to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Previously, vaccines were reserved for those 80 and older.  
  • Maine (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Janet Mills (D) announced the state is expanding Phase 1a (the current phase) of the vaccine distribution plan to include first responders, corrections officers, and critical COVID-19 response personnel (like test manufacturers). Mills also said Phase 1b will be expanded to include residents age 70 and older and individuals with high-risk medical conditions, which the state will define at a later date.
  • Massachusetts (divided government): On Wednesday, Jan. 13, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced that employees and residents in congregate care facilities and homeless shelters, as well staff and inmates in correctional facilities, will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 18. 
  • Michigan (divided government): On Wednesday, Jan. 13, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced that she would ease restrictions on indoor group exercises and non-contact sports beginning Jan. 16 while leaving a ban on indoor dining in place at least through Feb. 1. The text of the new order was not immediately available. 
  • Minnesota (divided government): On Wednesday, Jan. 13, Gov. Tim Walz (D) extended the statewide coronavirus emergency an additional 30 days.  
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): New York Supreme Court Justice Henry Nowak issued a preliminary injunction allowing 90 restaurants that were part of a lawsuit against the indoor dining ban in Orange Zones to resume indoor dining at 50% capacity. The preliminary injunction is effective through Jan. 19, when Nowak will decide whether the injunction should be made permanent. New York Supreme Courts are the highest trial courts in New York State, not New York’s courts of last resort.
  • Oklahoma (Republican trifecta): On Wednesday, Jan. 13, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) extended the statewide coronavirus emergency an additional 30 days and removed a requirement that bars and restaurants close to indoor dining at 11 p.m.
  • North Carolina (divided government): On Thursday, Jan. 14, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said that people 65 and older would soon be eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine. Cooper said more information would be forthcoming but did not give a time for when the new policy would take effect. 
  • West Virginia (Republican trifecta): On Wednesday, Jan. 13, Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced the state would open up COVID-19 vaccinations to people age 70 and older. 

School closures and reopenings

    Read more: School responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic during the 2020-2021 academic year

We last looked at schools in our Jan. 7 newsletter. Since then, no states have issued an order closing or reopening schools statewide. The current status of school restrictions in the states is as follows:

  • Two states (N.M., W.Va.) and Washington, D.C. had state- or district-ordered school closures.
    • 2016-17 enrollment: 695,968 students (1.38% of students nationwide)
  • Five states (Calif., Del., Hawaii, N.C., R.I.) had state-ordered regional school closures, required closures for certain grade levels, or allowed hybrid instruction only.
    • 2016-17 enrollment: 8,319,164 students (16.44% of students nationwide)
  • Four states (Ark., Fla, Iowa, Texas) had state-ordered in-person instruction.
    • 2016-17 enrollment: 9,180,918 students (18.15% of students nationwide)
  • Thirty-nine states left decisions to schools or districts.
    • 2016-17 enrollment: 32,391,809 students (64.03% of students nationwide)

Travel restrictions

    Read more: Travel restrictions issued by states in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

  • Governors or state agencies in 13 states issued executive orders placing restrictions on out-of-state visitors. At least 14 of those orders have been rescinded.
    • Since Jan. 7, no states have implemented new, or modified existing, travel restrictions. 

Federal responses

Read more: Political responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

  • On Jan. 12, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that, beginning Jan. 26, all travelers to the United States would need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of departure, regardless of vaccination status. Airlines will be required to verify that all passengers meet the requirement and deny boarding to those who cannot or will not present a test result.
  • On Jan. 12, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced the federal government was changing its vaccine distribution guidelines and recommending states expand the pool of eligible recipients to include everyone 65 and older, including people with underlying health conditions. Azar also said the federal government would begin shipping second doses to states instead of holding them in reserve. He also announced a new system for allocating vaccines to states. Instead of basing the allocation on the total adult population in a state, it will now be based on the population of people age 65 and older, as well as on how quickly states can administer vaccines.


Haines confirmation hearing set for Friday

January 14, 2021: The Senate Intelligence Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Avril Haines, Biden’s nominee for director of intelligence, on Friday. 

Prior to taking office on January 20, 2021, President-elect Joe Biden (D) and his team must prepare for the transition between presidential administrations, including selecting senior White House staff and appointees to top government positions.

In 2020, there were 1,472 government positions subject to presidential appointment: 1,118 positions required Senate confirmation and 354 did not. The new administration is also responsible for filling thousands of other positions across the federal government, including in operations and policy. Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking potential Cabinet nominees, appointments, and news related to the Biden presidential tr

News

  • Biden announced additional appointees to the Domestic Policy Council, Office of Domestic Climate Policy, The White House Council on Environmental Quality, National Economic Council, and the Presidential Personnel Office on Thursday.
  • Biden also announced more appointees to the National Security Council on Wednesday, including Ann Neuberger in a new cybersecurity-focused position on the council.
  • Due to security concerns, Biden will no longer take the Amtrak from Delaware to Washington, D.C., for the inauguration.
  • Google is pausing ads across its channels, including YouTube, that reference impeachment, inauguration, or protests at the Capitol. “We regularly pause ads over unpredictable, ‘sensitive’ events when ads can be used to exploit the event or amplify misleading information,” Google said in a statement.

Transition in Context: Senate Committees and the Confirmation Process

Nominations for Cabinet secretaries and other appointments requiring Senate confirmation are reviewed by committees before going to the floor for a full vote. Committees investigate nominees, hold hearings, and take a majority vote on whether to report the candidate to the Senate favorably, unfavorably, or without recommendation.

Different committees have jurisdiction over different positions. For example, the Senate Intelligence Committee will review nominees for CIA and national intelligence leadership, while the Energy and National Resources Committee will preside over nominations to the Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

For a complete list of the jurisdiction of each Senate committee, click here.

What We’re Reading



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: January 13, 2021

Documenting America's Path to Recovery by Ballotpedia

Since our last edition

What rules and restrictions are changing in each state? For a continually updated article, click here.

  • California (Democratic trifecta): The state lifted the Greater Sacramento region’s stay-at-home order on Jan. 12, marking the first time a regional stay-at-home order has ended in California. The region’s stay-at-home order began on Dec. 10. Three of the state’s five regions still have active stay-at-home orders. Counties in the Greater Sacramento region are now subject to the state’s color-coded risk level restrictions. For more information on restrictions in each county, click here
  • Idaho (Republican trifecta): Gov. Brad Little (R) announced the state is starting its next phase of vaccine distribution. Little said teachers, school staff, and first responders would be prioritized between Jan. 13-31. The first phase included frontline healthcare workers and nursing home staff and residents. Individuals age 65 and older will be able to access the vaccine starting February 1.
  • Louisiana (divided government): Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) extended the state’s modified Phase 2 reopening until Feb. 10. The modified phase limits restaurants, retailers, gyms, personal care businesses, and movie theaters to 50% capacity. Bars must close indoor service if their parish has a positivity rate greater than 5%. Bars that are permitted to open are limited to 25% capacity. All indoor and outdoor gatherings are limited to the lesser of 25% capacity or a maximum of 75 people indoors or 150 people outdoors.
  • Massachusetts (divided government): On Tuesday, Jan. 12, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced that Gillette Stadium, the home of the New England Patriots, would serve as the state’s first mass vaccination site. The site is currently equipped to administer up to 300 vaccines a day to first responders. Baker said that number will increase to 5,000 per day as more individuals become eligible. 
  • New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): On Jan. 13, Gov Phil Murphy (D) announced the state will begin offering vaccines to individuals age 65 and older “effective almost immediately, within the next day or two.”
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) expanded Phase 1b of the state’s vaccination plan to include individuals age 65 and older and immunocompromised individuals. Previously, only individuals 75 and older were eligible.
  • Oklahoma (Republican trifecta): On Tuesday, Jan. 12, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) announced that schools enforcing social distancing and mask-wearing will not have to quarantine students who were potentially exposed to the virus but are not showing symptoms. The new policy does not apply to students who were potentially exposed during after-school activities, including sports. Previously, schools were required to enforce a two-week quarantine for students potentially exposed to COVID-19, whether or not they exhibited symptoms.  
  • Oregon (Democratic trifecta): 
    • Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced that effective Jan. 15-28, 26 counties will be in the state’s Extreme Risk level, two will be at High Risk, two will be at Moderate Risk, and six will have Lower Risk restrictions. To see restrictions in a specific county or risk level, click here
    • Brown also announced individuals age 65 and older will be included in the next phase of the state’s vaccine distribution plan, starting Jan. 23, along with childcare workers and school staff. 
  • Washington (Democratic trifecta): On Tuesday, Jan. 12, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) issued an order allowing statewide elected officials to be sworn in remotely, instead of at the Washington state capitol building. 

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of other federal, state, and local government activity, private industry responses, and lawsuits related to the pandemic. 

  • On Tuesday, Jan. 12, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced the federal government was changing its vaccine distribution guidelines and recommending states expand the pool of eligible recipients to include everyone 65 and older, including people with underlying health conditions. Additionally, Azar said the federal government would begin shipping second doses to states instead of holding them in reserve. He also announced a new system for allocating vaccines to states. Instead of basing the allocation on the total adult population in a state, the allocation will now be based on the population of people age 65 and older, as well as on how quickly states can administer vaccines.


Confirmation hearings set for Yellen, Mayorkas, and Blinken

January 13, 2021: Janet Yellen, Alejandro Mayorkas, and Tony Blinken will have confirmation hearings on Jan. 19.

Prior to taking office on January 20, 2021, President-elect Joe Biden (D) and his team must prepare for the transition between presidential administrations, including selecting senior White House staff and appointees to top government positions.

In 2020, there were 1,472 government positions subject to presidential appointment: 1,118 positions required Senate confirmation and 354 did not. The new administration is also responsible for filling thousands of other positions across the federal government, including in operations and policy. Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking potential Cabinet nominees, appointments, and news related to the Biden presidential transition.

Appointments and Nominations

Samantha Power, administrator of the United States Agency for International Development 

Biden announced on Wednesday that he had selected Samantha Power, a former ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017, as his nominee for administrator of the United States Agency for International Development. He also elevated the position to the National Security Council (NSC).

Power was a special assistant to the president and senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights from 2009 to 2013 in the Obama administration. She previously worked as an international correspondent and the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

News

  • The Biden Transition said on Tuesday that Biden planned to appoint career officials as interim agency heads during the confirmation process for his nominees.
  • In addition to Lloyd Austin’s previously announced confirmation hearing, three more confirmation hearings were scheduled for Jan. 19
    • Janet Yellen, nominee for secretary of the Treasury, will appear before the Senate Finance Committee.
    • Alejandro Mayorkas, nominee for secretary of homeland security, will appear before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
    • Tony Blinken, nominee for secretary of state, will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
  • Three members of the Senate Armed Services Committee—Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)—said they would vote against granting a waiver to Ret. Army General Lloyd Austin to allow him to serve as secretary of defense after leaving military service less than seven years ago.
  • The Washington Post reported that Biden is likely to select Gary Gensler, a former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the Obama administration, as his pick for chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Transition in Context: How many Trump and Obama Cabinet nominees withdrew?

Two of President Donald Trump’s (R) Cabinet secretary nominees withdrew from consideration after being nominated:

  • Andrew Puzder for secretary of labor: Politico reported that Puzder did not have sufficient Republican support to be confirmed.
  • Ronny Jackson for secretary of veterans affairs: The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee released a list of allegations against Jackson, including inappropriate medication prescription and drunk driving. Jackson denied the allegations.

Three of President Barack Obama’s (D) Cabinet secretary nominees withdrew:

  • Bill Richardson for secretary of commerce: Richardson was under investigation for his potential involvement in improperly giving a state contract to a donor. The Department of Justice ultimately did not pursue any charges.
  • Judd Gregg for secretary of commerce: Gregg, a Republican, said he had irresolvable conflicts with Obama regarding his economic stimulus plan.
  • Tom Daschle for secretary of health and human services: Daschle failed to pay approximately $140,000 in back taxes. He withdrew because he said he did not have the full faith of the American people.

What We’re Reading



SCOTUS to take up donor disclosure appeal

Welcome back! Starting this week, we’ll be publishing this newsletter on a weekly basis. Today, we turn our attention to a pending U.S. Supreme Court case involving donor disclosure requirements in California.  

SCOTUS to take up donor disclosure appeal   

On Jan. 8, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear an appeal involving a California law requiring nonprofits to disclose their donors’ identities to the state’s attorney general.  

What’s at issue, and how lower courts have ruled

California law requires nonprofits to file copies of their IRS 990 forms with the state. Schedule B of this form includes the names and addresses of all individuals who donated more than $5,000 to the nonprofit in a given tax year. The California law requires nonprofits to give the state copies of their Schedule B forms. Although the law does not allow the public access to Schedule B information, court documents indicate inadvertent disclosures have occurred.

In 2014, Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, filed suit in U.S. district court, alleging the California law violated its First Amendment rights. In 2016, Judge Manuel Real of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California found in favor of AFPF and barred the state from collecting the group’s Schedule B information. Real was appointed to the court by Lyndon Johnson (D).

In 2015, the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, filed a similar suit in the same U.S. district court. In a separate 2016 ruling, Real also found in favor of TMLC and prevented the state from collecting the group’s Schedule B information.

The two suits were combined on appeal. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously overturned Real’s rulings in 2018. Judges Raymond Fisher, Richard Paez, and Jacqueline Nguyen issued the ruling. Fisher and Paez are Bill Clinton (D) appointees. Barack Obama (D) appointed Nguyen. 

Writing for the court, Fisher said: 

It is clear that the disclosure requirement serves an important governmental interest. In Center for Competitive Politics, we recognized the [California] Attorney General’s argument that ‘there is a compelling law enforcement interest in the disclosure of the names of significant donors.’ The Attorney General observed that ‘such information is necessary to determine whether a charity is actually engaged in a charitable purpose, or is instead violating California law by engaging in self-dealing, improper loans, or other unfair business practices,’ and we agreed[.]

The plaintiffs petitioned the Ninth Circuit for en banc review. That petition was rejected March 29, 2019. On Aug. 26, 2019, the plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court.

Reactions   

Emily Seidel, CEO of Americans for Prosperity Foundation, praised the court’s decision to hear the case: 

Tens of thousands of Americans each year participate in AFPF’s educational programs, which inspire them to make a greater impact in their community and our country. Their rights — as well as the rights of every person who participates in organizations that seek to reform our justice system, protect the rights of our veterans, or make progress on other issues as diverse as Americans themselves — are at stake. The Court’s decision to hear the case signals the importance of these foundational civil liberties.

Xavier Becerra (D), California’s attorney general and Joe Biden’s (D) nominee for secretary of health and human services, defended the law in question:

California’s donor reporting rules simply require charities to provide the state, on a confidential basis, the same information about major donors that they already provide to the federal government. This information helps the state protect consumers from fraud and the misuse of their charitable contributions. We look forward to defending our rules before the Supreme Court.

What comes next

The Supreme Court has not yet scheduled oral arguments. The case name and docket number are Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Becerra (19-251). 

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state: We’re currently tracking eight pieces of legislation dealing with donor disclosure. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking. 

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s)

Recent legislative actions

For complete information on all of the bills we are tracking, click here

  • Nebraska LB8: This bill would change the statutory definition of an “independent expenditure.” It would also alter reporting requirements for independent expenditures and electioneering communications.
    • Nonpartisan sponsorship (Nebraska legislators are elected in nonpartisan elections).
    • Introduced Jan. 7.
  • New Hampshire HB105: This bill would require that political contributions from domestic or foreign limited liability companies be allocated to their individual members for campaign finance reporting purposes.  
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Introduced and referred to House Election Law Committee Jan. 6.
  • New York A00064: This bill would require district attorney candidates to disclose the acceptance of campaign contributions from law firms that represent defendants in criminal proceedings.
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Introduced and referred to Assembly Election Law Committee Jan. 6.
  • New York A00447: This bill would require political candidates and committees to disclose identifying information for contributions from intermediaries.
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Introduced and referred to Assembly Election Law Committee Jan. 6.
  • New York A01383: This bill would require financial disclosure of certain political contributions made by elected officials, including statewide executives, state legislators, and New York City officials.
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Introduced and referred to Assembly Governmental Operations Committee Jan. 8.
  • New York S00352: This bill would require political candidates and committees to disclose identifying information for contributions from intermediaries.
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Introduced and referred to Senate Elections Committee Jan. 6.
  • New York S00840: This bill would establish reporting requirements for transition and inaugural entities.
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Introduced and referred to Senate Elections Committee Jan. 6.
  • New York S00941: This bill would require district attorney candidates to disclose the acceptance of campaign contributions from law firms that represent defendants in criminal proceedings.
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Introduced and referred to Senate Elections Committee Jan. 6.

Thank you for reading! Let us know what you think! Reply to this email with any feedback or recommendations. 



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: January 12, 2021

Documenting America's Path to Recovery by Ballotpedia

The next 24 hours

What is changing in the next 24 hours?

  • South Carolina (Republican trifecta): Gov. Henry McMaster (R) announced all individuals age 70 or older can begin scheduling appointments to receive a vaccine starting Jan. 13.

Since our last edition

What rules and restrictions are changing in each state? For a continually updated article, click here.

  • Maryland (divided government): On Monday, Jan. 11, Gov. Larry Hogan announced a $1 billion COVID-19 relief bill he plans to introduce in the spring legislative session. The bill includes $267 million in direct payments to low- and moderate-income residents and $180 million in tax relief for those who were laid off in the pandemic. The bill also includes sales tax credits for small businesses.
  • Massachusetts (divided government): On Monday, Jan. 11, first responders, including police officers, firefighters, and EMTs, became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Michigan (divided government): On Monday, Jan. 11, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar requesting permission to buy 100,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine directly from Pfizer to speed up distribution. 
  • Nevada (Democratic trifecta): 
    • On Monday, Jan. 11, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) extended statewide coronavirus restrictions an additional 30 days. Restrictions include a requirement that businesses like restaurants, bars, and casinos operate at no more than 25% capacity. 
    • On Jan. 11, Sisolak also announced the state will prioritize vaccinations for people age 70 and above. Previously, the minimum age for seniors had been 75.  
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced all individuals in Phase 1b of the state’s vaccine distribution plan could begin scheduling appointments starting Jan. 11. Phase 1b includes individuals age 75 and older, first responders who were not included in Phase 1a, school staff, and correctional and congregate living facility staff and residents. Cuomo said the state is still prioritizing members of Phase 1a (including frontline healthcare workers and nursing home staff and residents), so individuals in Phase 1b should expect appointments up to 14 weeks out from the day they schedule an appointment.
  • West Virginia (Republican trifecta): On Monday, Jan. 11, Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced that 100% of the COVID-19 vaccine doses the state received from the federal government had been administered or were scheduled to be administered this week. 

Lawsuits about state actions and policies

Read more: Lawsuits about state actions and policies in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview:

  • To date, Ballotpedia has tracked 1,361 lawsuits, in 50 states, dealing in some way with the COVID-19 outbreak. Court orders have been issued, or settlements have been reached, in 424 of those lawsuits. 
    • Since Jan. 5, we have added 25 lawsuits to our database. We have also tracked an additional 11 court orders and/or settlements. 

Details:

  • Chew v. Bedke: On Jan. 7, two Idaho state lawmakers sued Idaho House of Representatives Speaker Scott Bedke (R), alleging that the absence of COVID-19 safety measures at the state capitol violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The plaintiffs are Reps. Sue Chew (D) and Muffy Davis (D), both of whom are at greater risk of serious danger from COVID-19 due to pre-existing medical conditions. They seek “accommodations, including remote participation and a self-contained office if the legislature leadership and Governor aren’t going to reasonably institute COVID-19 protections and control those with bad intentions who enter our Capitol.” Bedke said, “Though it’s unfortunate that negotiations have taken this turn, I will continue to move forward in good faith toward a solution workable for all members.” The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho. It has been assigned to Chief Judge David C. Nye, an appointee of President Donald Trump (R).

State mask requirements

We last looked at face coverings in the Jan. 5 edition of the newsletter. Since then, no new states have adopted a statewide public mask mandate or let a face-covering requirement expire.

Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia

Read more: Politicians, candidates, and government officials diagnosed with or quarantined due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

  • Federal
    • Two federal officials have died of COVID-19.
    • Fifty-two members of Congress have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • Forty-one federal officials have quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19.
  • State
    • Eight state-level incumbents or candidates have died of COVID-19.
    • One-hundred and sixty-six state-level incumbents or candidates have been diagnosed with COVID-19
    • Eighty-four state-level incumbents or candidates have quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19.
  • Local
    • At least five local incumbents or candidates have died of COVID-19.
    • At least 36 local incumbents or candidates have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • At least 26 local incumbents or candidates have quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19.

Since Jan. 5, seven U.S. representatives, four state representatives, one state senator, and one city council member announced positive COVID-19 test results. One lieutenant governor and one mayor announced negative results. 

Details:

  • On Jan. 4, South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Mitchell Spearman (R) announced she tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • On Jan. 5, Pennsylvania state Rep. Summer Lee (D) announced she tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Jan. 5, Nashville, TN, Mayor John Cooper announced he tested negative for COVID-19. 
  • On Jan. 6, Mesa, AZ, city council member Francisco Heredia announced he tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Jan. 6, Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fl.) announced he tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • On Jan. 6, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) announced he tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • On Jan. 7, Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) announced she tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • On Jan. 7, Rep. Jacob LaTurner (R-Kan.) announced he tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Jan. 8, Michigan state Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D) announced he tested positive for COVID-19.  
  • On Jan. 8, Montana state Rep. David Bedey (R) announced he tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Jan. 10, Florida state Sen. Kathleen Passidomo (R) announced she tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • On Jan. 11, Montana state Rep. Fiona Nave (R) announced she tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Jan. 11, North Dakota Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford (R) announced he tested negative for COVID-19. His wife tested positive for the virus on Jan. 7.
  • On Jan. 11, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) announced she tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • On Jan. 11, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) announced she tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • On Jan. 12, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) announced he tested positive for COVID-19.


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