The TAKE with Rick Klein
A very short but very long two weeks ago, Democrats were as united as they've been in the Biden era -- in heady enough times that President Joe Biden was celebrating what he called "a moment that lives beyond the headlines."
That leaves Democrats where they are Tuesday. Fourteen days after a bipartisan breakthrough brought Senate passage of a $1 trillion in infrastructure deal, the fate of that measure and an additional $3.5 trillion spending package on education, health, climate priorities and more rest in the House's uncertain hands.
The uncertainty stems from the narrowness of the Democrats' majority as well as the sharpness of the divisions between their moderate and progressive wings. Now, a foreign-policy fiasco is added to the mix -- a fresh rationale, just perhaps, for any small group of lawmakers to want to slow things down.
There's no outward reason to think that events in Afghanistan would wash into domestic political priorities -- or make any Democrats any more likely to want to sink a good chunk of their governing agenda.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hinted at the political consequences of "any delay" to passing the budget package in a letter to colleagues over the weekend: "It is essential that our Caucus proceeds unified in our determination to deliver once-in-a-century progress for the children," she wrote.
Yet the legislative calendar to date this year has run under a set of assumptions that include a relatively popular president pushing relatively popular spending items. Long-delayed reckonings were pushed long enough that outside events could be changing any assumptions.
The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper
It is a new day in New York as Gov. Kathy Hochul takes the helm of the Empire State.
"Kathy Hochul will become governor and I believe she will step up to the challenge," said Cuomo in his remarks Monday. "We all wish her success."
"I think it's very clear that the governor and I have not been close, physically or otherwise, in terms of much time," said Hochul earlier this month of Cuomo.
Hochul's transition will be a trial by fire. She is stepping into her role as the state confronts both a sluggish economic recovery and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that continues to threaten that recovery.
The TIP with Meg Cunningham
After months of delays surrounding the partisan review of 2.1 million 2020 ballots from Maricopa County, Arizona, a draft report was finally set to be delivered to the state Senate on Monday. That, too, was delayed, following news that three of the five top audit staffers were ill with the coronavirus.
Arizona Senate President Karen Fann tweeted that the three officials, including Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, were "quite sick" which would delay the delivery of the full report by the Monday deadline the so-called auditors set for themselves. Fann said that some portions of the report will be delivered and staff will begin to parse through the findings ahead of the final report.
The unexpected delay in delivering the draft report to the Senate comes as House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney and Rep. Jamie Raskin, chair of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, renewed their request for documentation and communications from Cyber Ninjas regarding the audit.
Cyber Ninjas so far have missed two deadlines to hand over the information and have until Friday to comply, otherwise the committee "will be forced to consider other steps to obtain compliance."
ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Tuesday morning's episode features ABC News' Anne Flaherty breaking down the significance of the Food and Drug Administration's first full approval of a COVID vaccine. Then, ABC News Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee talks about the factors involved in Tennessee's deadly flooding. And, ABC News' Alexander Mallin reports on the Capitol Police's decision to clear the police officer who shot Ashli Babbitt on Jan. 6. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
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