Politics First Black secretary of Senate sworn in
Senate advances key nominees for Joe Biden as president's Cabinet starts to take shape
Two more nominees – Deb Haaland for Interior and Xavier Becerra for Health and Human Services – have begun confirmation hearings.The Senate approved former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to serve in the same position in Biden's Cabinet. That vote came shortly after senators confirmed Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador to the United Nations.
Sonceria "Ann" Berry was sworn in as the Senate's new secretary Monday afternoon, becoming the first Black American and eighth woman to hold the appointed position.
A veteran Senate aide, Berry most recently served as deputy chief of staff for Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who swore her into her new role.
"We begin this week on a joyful note welcoming an upstanding individual to serve as the new Secretary of the Senate," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said following Berry's swearing in. Schumerin February.
Sonceria Ann Berry is sworn in as Secretary of the U.S. Senate.
House Poised to Pass Stimulus as Minimum Wage Hike Dealt Blow
The House is poised to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 stimulus, but a ruling by late Thursday by a Senate official dealt a major blow to prospects that the final legislation will include a hike in the U.S. minimum wage to $15 per hour.Friday’s vote in the House will bring most Americans one step closer to receiving $1,400 relief payments and move action to the Senate, where disagreements among Democrats over the minimum wage had been the biggest obstacle to turning the pandemic relief plan into law.- CSPAN (@cspan)
Schumer added that Berry's elevation to the position was a "testament to her outstanding career as a public servant of the highest caliber over her 40 years in Washington."
Video: Why some Biden Cabinet nominees are facing tougher confirmations (The Washington Post)
The Secretary of the Senate has existed since 1789, when Congress was still in its infancy. Per the Senate website, the upper chamber's secretary is responsible for a wide array of "legislative, financial and administrative functions" in support of the legislative body's "day-to-day operations."
The Senate this week is expected to confirm two more of President Biden's Cabinet nominations - Miguel Cardona for education secretary and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) for commerce secretary.
During his remarks, Schumer also signaled that the Senate would take up Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that passed in the House on Friday.
Any version of the bill that's passed by the Senate is almost guaranteed to be different than the House's version, as moderate Democrats and Republicans have balked at multiple parts of the legislation.
Buzzzz-o-Meter: Stars Are Buzzing About These Low-Calorie Spritzes .
Heating up in Hollywood! If you love drinking a spritz (but hate the extra calories) or you’re looking for another way to boost your immunity, Us Weekly has you covered! Find out what celebrities are buzzing about this week by scrolling through the photos!