Busy day on Capitol Hill: Confirmation hearings, updates on the Russian hacking attack and more.


It was a busy day on Capitol Hill.

President Biden’s candidates for Home Secretary and Health Secretary have appeared before Senate committees, where they were faced with tough questions from Republicans.

The two-day confirmation hearing Representative Deb Haaland, candidate for Home Secretary, by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, launched at 9:30 a.m. EST, and questioning Republicans on the panel was to be particularly difficult. Democrats highlighted the historic nature of her appointment: she would be the first Native American to serve in cabinet, leading a ministry that plays a huge role in providing services to 1.9 million Indigenous people and helping to maintain the government with 574 federally recognized tribes. His detractors have focused on his opposition to all oil and gas exploration on public lands and the method of extracting natural gas known as hydraulic fracturing or hydraulic fracturing.

Xavier Becerra, the Attorney General of California and candidate for the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, appeared before the health, education, work and pensions committee at 10 a.m. He would be the first Latino to serve as a Secretary of Health and has extensive experience as a legislator and legal advocate for the Affordable Care Act. But Republicans have portrayed him as an extremist, blaming him for his views on ACA and abortion rights. He is scheduled to appear before the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday.

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Full Senate voted to confirm Mr Biden’s candidate for Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and the candidate for secretary of agriculture, Thomas J. Vilsack.

Opening of two other Senate committees investigative hearings in the security failures which did not prevent the January 6 riot on the Capitol. The joint hearing of the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and the Committee on Rules and Administration began at 10 a.m. It was the first time the public heard from senior security officials at the time of the attack.

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Jerome H. Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, appeared before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, and is expected to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. His testimony comes as Democrats seek to pass on $ 1.9 trillion in new economic relief, an effort that has raised concerns in some quarters about the potential for higher inflation. Mr Powell has generally called for additional government support to help the economy weather the pandemic.

Vaccine manufacturers also appeared before the House Energy Committee to discuss the increasing availability of their products. Executives from Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Novavax were scheduled to appear.

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Confirmation hearings for the candidate for Attorney General, Justice Merrick B. Garland, entered its second day on Tuesday, as lawmakers heard from expert witnesses. In his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, Justice Garland vowed to make the federal investigation into the Capitol Riot his top priority if confirmed.

The Senate Intelligence Committee opened a hearing on digital security at 2:30 p.m., with senior executives from tech companies FireEye, SolarWinds, Microsoft and CrowdStrike appearing as witnesses. The top White House cybersecurity official said last week that investigators are still uncovering details of a large Russian breach of government and business computers discovered late last year, known as SolarWinds attack. Officials believe that a Russian intelligence operation inserted code into network management software created by SolarWinds, a Texas company, and other layers of the supply chain to infiltrate government agencies.


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