(1) up to 20,000 National Guard expected in DC for inauguration; road closures already starting this week
(2) new Democratic National Committee chair will likely be Jaime Harrison, who ran against Lindsey Graham for U.S. Senate
Up to 20,000 National Guard members are expected in DC for inauguration. Road closures in the district are already starting this week.
“‘I think you can expect to see somewhere upwards beyond 20,000 members of the National Guard that will be here in the footprint of the District of Columbia,’ acting Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said at a news conference.” (POLITICO)
The security preparations for next week’s inauguration are unprecedented in the modern age.
- President Trump declared a “state of emergency” in D.C. ahead of the inauguration earlier this week. As POLITICO explains, this “allows the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist the city in any emergency response.”
- Up to 20,000 National Guard members — or more — may be in D.C. for the inauguration next week. Members of the National Guard are already stationed in the U.S. Capitol; several photos of Guardsmen meeting with Members of Congress, eating pizza, and even sleeping were posted on social media yesterday.
- Several major D.C. streets are already closed. There will be additional closures for roads and the D.C. metro (subway) system this weekend that will remain in place until after the inauguration next week.
- Joe Biden will no longer take an Amtrak train to D.C.ahead of the inauguration events.
And some private companies are changing their policies for next week, too.
- AirBnB blocked reservations through its site for D.C. next week and has canceled previously booked stays. As CNBC reported: “Guests who had reserved a place will be refunded in full, Airbnb said. It will also reimburse the hosts with the money that would have been earned from the canceled reservations.”
- Delta announced a temporary ban on firearms checked in luggage for flights to D.C. (They will make an exception for law enforcement officers.) The airline also announced it would put passengers who yelled at Senators Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham in recent days on its internal “no-fly” list.
The inauguration ceremony itself will likely remain similar to previous years.
- Although there will be no parade due to COVID-19, Biden will be sworn in on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, as is traditionally done. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama will attend as will VP Mike Pence.
- After his swearing-in, Biden will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery along with Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.
New Democratic National Committee chair will likely be Jaime Harrison, who ran against Lindsey Graham for U.S. Senate.
“Harrison, who recently launched a PAC focused on long-term investments in areas seen as Democratic reaches, will be tasked with defending the Democrats’ narrow majorities in the House and Senate in 2022.” (Axios)
- Jaime Harrison is likely to be the next Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair to run the Democratic Party heading into the 2022 midterm elections.
- Harrison ran against Lindsey Graham in 2020 for the U.S. Senate seat in South Carolina. Although he lost to Graham, Harrison set an all-time Senate fundraising record ($57 million in one quarter) during his campaign.
2020 presidential primary candidate Andrew Yang running for NYC mayor
“Former 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang on Thursday launched his New York City mayoral campaign — hoping to replace outgoing Bill de Blasio with an audacious pitch for a universal basic income as a headline policy. ‘I’m running for mayor for a very simple reason — I see a crisis and believe I can help,’ he said, citing the COVID crisis as well as high unemployment in the Big Apple.” (Fox News)
- Andrew Yang formally announced he’s running for New York City mayor today. The policy centerpiece of his campaign is universal basic income, with a start of $2,000 per year given to those in “extreme poverty.”
- Yang ran in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.