Brian Naylor

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Updated May 28, 2021 at 3:31 PM ET

Bipartisan legislation to establish an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has failed in the Senate, as Republicans staged their first filibuster since President Biden took office to block the plan.

The Transportation Security Administration, in the wake of the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline that caused widespread gasoline disruptions earlier this month, has announced new reporting requirements for pipeline operators.

Updated May 25, 2021 at 6:25 PM ET

President Biden lauded the courage of George Floyd's family after meeting with them on the first anniversary of his murder by a Minneapolis police officer, a killing that launched protests and calls for police reform nationwide.

The family visited with Biden and Vice President Harris at the White House on Tuesday and also met with congressional leaders in Washington, D.C.

Former Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who testified in former President Donald Trump's first impeachment proceeding that there was a quid pro quo between the White House and the government of Ukraine, is suing former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the U.S. government for $1.8 million.

The suit alleges that Pompeo reneged on "a legally binding promise, both individually and on behalf of the Government," to reimburse Sondland for his legal fees relating to the 2019 impeachment investigation.

The recent Colonial Pipeline hack created shortages and panic-buying of gasoline, and also raised questions about federal oversight of critical energy infrastructure.

It may come as a surprise to learn that the Transportation Security Administration, whose officers screen luggage and carry-ons at airport check-in gates, also has responsibility for the cybersecurity of energy pipelines.

President Biden says East Coast gas shortages brought on by the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline should begin to alleviate as soon as this weekend as the pipeline reaches full capacity, but he warned it will take several days before gas supplies are completely replenished.

"It's not like flicking on a light switch," Biden said, and "there may be some hiccups along the way," noting the pipeline has never been completely shut down before.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a case involving sentencing disparities between people found guilty of possessing crack cocaine and those possessing powdered forms, and whether recent changes in federal law should apply retroactively to those given long prison terms for small amounts of crack.

America has a lot of post offices — over 31,000 in fact. Most sell enough stamps and other services to cover their costs, but many, especially those in rural areas, do not.

Some 42% of the nation's post offices were underwater in 2019, not generating enough revenue to cover their expenses, according to a report released last month by the U.S. Postal Service inspector general. Half of those that didn't cover their costs are within 5 miles of another post office.

President Biden says America is not a racist country, but that Black Americans have been left behind and "we have to deal with it."

In an interview on NBC's Today show that aired Friday, Biden was asked about the remarks Wednesday by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., who delivered the Republican response to the president's address to a joint session of Congress.

Republicans have attacked President Biden's new plan to invest trillions of dollars into education and the economy as government intruding too much into the lives of Americans, but the White House says that critique is misleading.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

There are more than 31,000 post offices in this country. They sell stamps and services. But in many places, especially in rural areas, that's just not enough to cover their costs. Here's NPR's Brian Naylor.

President Biden announced Wednesday that Americans have received 200 million COVID-19 vaccinations since he took office, double his initial goal of 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days, and what he called "an incredible achievement for the nation."

Biden, who will officially cross the 100-day mark next week, also announced the availability of tax credits to employers who give their workers paid leave to get a shot.

"No working American should lose a single dollar from their paycheck because they are doing their patriotic duty to get vaccinated," Biden said.

Updated April 20, 2021 at 2:17 PM ET

President Biden, speaking as the jury in Derek Chauvin's murder trial is sequestered in its second day of deliberations, said Tuesday that he is "praying the verdict is the right verdict, which is, I think it's overwhelming in my view."

Biden told reporters in the Oval Office that he has reached out to family members of George Floyd as they, and the nation, await the outcome of the trial of the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing Floyd.

Updated April 9, 2021 at 2:28 PM ET

The Biden administration on Friday unveiled a $1.5 trillion partial budget request for the next fiscal year, calling for increases across a range of domestic programs aimed at fighting poverty and climate change, while keeping defense spending relatively flat.

Updated April 8, 2021 at 4:00 PM ET

Declaring U.S. gun violence an "epidemic" and "an international embarrassment," President Biden outlined actions to regulate certain firearms and to try to prevent gun violence after a spate of mass shootings in recent weeks and pressure from advocates.

"This is an epidemic, for God's sake, and it has to stop," Biden said.

Updated April 8, 2021 at 9:57 AM ET

President Biden on Thursday will announce initial steps his administration plans to take on firearm safety, along with the nomination of a prominent gun safety advocate to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The moves, which were previewed Wednesday evening by a senior administration official, come after recent high-profile mass shootings put added pressure on Biden to act on gun violence.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is the agency we think of responding to natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. But in recent weeks it's also been helping to administer COVID-19 vaccinations in several states, as well as assisting at the border.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last month FEMA was helping the Department of Health and Human Services place unaccompanied minors in shelters and with families. "They're playing a number of roles there to address what we feel is a significant problem and a significant challenge."

Vice President Harris urged the Senate to approve two House-passed gun control measures in the wake of mass shootings in Boulder, Colo., and Atlanta, downplaying the role of executive action and saying changes needed to be made permanent through legislation.

"Enough with the partisanship, enough with the ideological perspective on this. Let's just be practical and agree," Harris said in an interview on CBS This Morning.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is calling for longer delivery times for some first-class mail, shorter hours for some post offices and more expensive postal rates — all part of a 10-year reorganization plan for the U.S. Postal Service he unveiled Tuesday.

DeJoy outlined the changes at a news conference with other Postal Service officials.

"This is a very positive vision," DeJoy said. If the Postal Service's long-term financial woes are not addressed, he said, the USPS will "run out of cash and require a government bailout."

Karen Gibson begins her duties Monday as the U.S. Senate's sergeant-at-arms, the chief law enforcement officer for the upper chamber.

She replaces Michael Stenger, who resigned following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters.

Gibson is a retired Army lieutenant general who served as director of intelligence for U.S. Central Command. She'll be joined in the SAA office by new Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms Kelly Fado, who was an aide to former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, and by a new chief of staff, Jennifer Hemingway.

Updated March 17, 2021 at 3:34 PM ET

If you've been putting off filing your tax return this year, here's some good news. The IRS and Treasury Department have delayed the filing deadline by another month.

President Biden came to the defense of his rescue dog Major after the German shepherd caused what the president described as a minor incident last week at the White House.

Biden said Major, one of his two German shepherds, was just startled in his new home when he caused what the White House called a "minor injury" to someone last week.

Updated March 17, 2021 at 11:45 AM ET

President Biden says it will be "tough" to withdraw the remaining U.S. troops in Afghanistan by May 1 as was agreed to by the Trump administration.

In an interview with ABC's Good Morning America, Biden said he was "in the process" now of determining when the forces will leave.

You might want to check your bank account this weekend.

The Biden administration says the first of the $1,400 direct payments, part of the big coronavirus relief package the president signed on Thursday, were set to go out to eligible Americans over the weekend.

In one of his first actions in January, President Biden announced an ambitious plan that he said would create jobs and reduce the federal government's greenhouse gas emissions.

"The federal government also owns an enormous fleet of vehicles," he said Jan. 25, "which we're going to replace with clean, electric vehicles made right here in America by American workers, creating millions of jobs — a million autoworker jobs in clean energy — and vehicles that are net-zero emissions."

As Americans continue to complain of late-arriving bills, birthday cards and other deliveries, there has been one bright spot in the U.S. Postal Service's performance in recent months: the 2020 election. The vast majority of mail-in ballots sent during the election arrived on time, according to a report by the Postal Service's inspector general.

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SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

The Biden administration wants to convert hundreds of thousands of government vehicles from gas to electric-powered, but will it be enough to reduce the nation's carbon footprint? NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

Updated at 7:11 p.m. ET

Neera Tanden, President Biden's controversial nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget, has withdrawn her nomination. Biden said in a statement Tuesday he had accepted her request.

"I have the utmost respect for her record of accomplishment, her experience and her counsel, and I look forward to having her serve in a role in my Administration," Biden said. "She will bring valuable perspective and insight to our work."

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