The Lead: Closed Due To Threat of Terrorism
The House of Representatives will shut down today due to threats of riots. QAnon groups and Trump supporters have touted the idea that today is an Inauguration Day because the January 20th Inauguration of President Biden was illegitimate. Law enforcement has been monitoring protest plans and originally said that they weren’t worried about it but now it seems like they are a little.
All voting sessions will be canceled for the day but a lot happened on Wednesday evening in anticipation of a break.
Why it matters
First off, Senate Democrats agreed to lower the income threshold for stimulus payments. Under the previous stimulus packages, individuals that earned less than $100,000 per year would receive a full stimulus check. The new plan gives these payments to individuals earning less than $75,000 per year. It phases the payment amount down based on income level from there so someone making $80,000 would receive something but not the full $1,400.
Experts estimate that this new guideline will exclude 9 million households or 11.8 million people from receiving payments that did receive payments last time around but Democrats calculated that they needed to make this change in order to get full party support.
Also, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was passed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday. It is a police reform bill that would outlaw racial profiling, the use of chokeholds and other violent maneuvers, and end qualified immunity for police officers. It would also create a database of officers with a history of violence or questionable investigations.
The bill will now face the Senate, where many Republican Senators have agreed to the need for police reform but not these exact reforms.
Also notable, the House of Representatives passed a voter rights bill that would expand voting rights, end voter ID rules, and solidify mail-in voting as an option. This too faces an uphill battle in the Senate.