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Set for February 8, the start of Donald Trump’s Senate trial complicates Joe Biden’s plans

The congestion feared by Joe Biden in Congress is becoming clearer, with the risk of slowing the pace of his start of mandate, in the midst of an epidemic and while the economy is showing worrying signs of weakness. The United States House of Representatives has in fact planned to transmit to the Senate on Monday, January 25, the indictment of Donald Trump for his role in the attack on Congress on January 6. This was the culmination of a disinformation campaign aimed at challenging the result of the presidential election won by the Democratic candidate on November 3, 2020.

The trial of the former president, the only one in the history of the United States to have known the stigma of two indictments during his tenure, now adds to a busy agenda. It is due to begin on February 8 according to the leader of the new Democratic majority, New York State Senator Chuck Schumer.

Complicated agenda

The upper assembly is already busy with the process of confirming the personalities selected by Joe Biden to compose his cabinet. After Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, the first woman to hold the post, former General Lloyd Austin was confirmed by an overwhelming majority on Friday January 22 as Secretary of Defense, becoming the first African-American to hold such a post. .

Only two Republican senators, Mike Lee (Utah) and Josh Hawley (Missouri) opposed this confirmation. Previously, Lloyd Austin had to get a prior green light from Congress. In fact, he has only left the army for four years instead of the seven required to be able to occupy a post which ordinarily belongs to a civilian. The former soldier took advantage of his first hours as Pentagon boss to join NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, a signal addressed to allies of the United States after four years of conflicting relations with Donald Trump.

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To these confirmations traditionally consensual because they concern national security should quickly add Janet Yellen. The former president of the Federal Reserve (Fed, central bank) will be the first woman to hold the post of Secretary of the Treasury. But a good twenty strategic positions remain however dependent on an agenda still complicated by the balance of power between Democrats and Republicans.

The former became a majority on January 20 with the swearing in of two Democrats elected on January 5 in Georgia, a former Republican stronghold, but only because of the casting vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, also president of the Senate. Outgoing Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), a feared parliamentary mystery expert, is dragging his feet, however, in an attempt to secure an unlikely formal commitment from Democrats to preserve the filibuster, disposition which forces the majority to collect 60 votes to counter any attempt to obstruct.

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