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Scott Detrow

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Congress is on the verge of approving one of the largest spending bills in modern history.

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As Republicans in statehouses across the country introduce hundreds of bills raising barriers to vote, President Biden is issuing a new executive order signaling his administration's commitment to expanding, not shrinking, voting access and rights.

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Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

President Biden wasn't many progressives' first, second, third — or maybe even 20th — choice in the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

But ever since winning the party's nomination last spring amid the onset of the global pandemic and economic downturn, Biden has vowed to govern as the most progressive president since Franklin Roosevelt. He's even made a large portrait of FDR the centerpiece of his Oval Office to underscore that goal.

Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

President Biden and Vice President Harris acknowledged a grim milestone Monday: the deaths of more than 500,000 Americans from COVID-19.

Biden and Harris, along with first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff, emerged from the White House at sundown. They stood at the foot of the South Portico, covered in 500 candles honoring the dead, and listened to a Marine Corps band play "Amazing Grace" as they held a moment of silence.

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During the opening hours of former President Donald Trump's unprecedented second impeachment trial, the current occupant of the White House made it clear that he's continuing to take a hands-off approach to the proceedings.

Asked by reporters whether he planned to watch the trial, President Biden said: "I am not."

It's very early in Kamala Harris' vice presidency. So early, in fact, that she still has not yet moved into the official vice presidential residence at Washington, D.C.'s Naval Observatory as it undergoes maintenance work, according to a White House official.

But in her first two weeks on the job, the barrier-breaking first woman and first woman of color to serve in a job first held by John Adams has, so far at least, operated a lot like many of the vice presidents who came before her.

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