Fallout builds over Biden classified documents as Senate returns: live updates

President Joe Biden is grappling with mounting political fallout after the Justice Department discovered additional classified documents at his private Wilmington, Delaware home last Friday. The discovery has drawn criticism from both Democrats and Republicans and has called into question the transparency of the White House.

The Senate is back in session on Monday for the first time since the US officially hit the debt ceiling. There is still time before the country defaults on its debt, but lawmakers are starting to sound the alarm.

House Republicans have demanded spending cuts from Democrats in exchange for raising the debt limit. So far, most Democratic lawmakers and the White House have not budged.

In political news, Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., that he will seek the Senate seat now held by Democrat-turned-independent Kyrsten Sinema.

Here are today’s latest political developments.

  • What we know so far: Revelations continue to grow Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents

  • Biden names Jeff Zients as his new chief of staff

  • The White House holds its daily press briefing at 14.35 The Senate meets this afternoon.

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Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego will run for Kyrsten Sinema’s Senate seat

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., made it official Monday morning, announcing he will seek the Senate seat now held by Democrat-turned-independent Kyrsten Sinema.

Gallego, 43, who confirmed his long-rumored run via a video statement, tweeted: “Today, too many Arizonans are seeing their dream slip away. I’m running for the United States Senate to win it back for you!”

The outspoken liberal, a military veteran first elected to the House in 2014, has been particularly critical of Sinema, who, along with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, has opposed many of President Joe Biden’s initiatives.

Last month, Sinema announced that she has left the Democratic Party and gone independent; she has not announced whether she will run again.

David Jackson

Biden appoints Jeff Zients as White House Chief of Staff

Jeff Zients, who managed President Joe Biden’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic during the first year of his administration, will be appointed as the new Chief of Staff in the White House, according to the Associated Press.

Zients, a management consultant who also served in President Barack Obama’s administration, will succeed Ron Klain, who is stepping down after guiding Biden’s first two years in office, the AP said, citing two people familiar with the matter. Klain plans to travel in the weeks following Biden’s State of the Union address in February.

Zients, 56, will step into the role of chief of staff as Biden deals with the fallout from the discovery of classified documents at his home in Delaware and his former private office in Washington, and as he is expected to run for a second term.

– Michael Collins

Learn more here: Biden to name Jeff Zients, who managed the COVID response, as White House chief of staff

A broader problem: Missing classified records is not uncommon

Biden and Trump’s classified document disclosures – including the new collection of records found in President Joe Biden’s Delaware home on Friday – are very different, although both indicate that US national security could have been compromised by sensitive government documents stored in unsecured personal locations.

But they have a similarity, Security analysts tell USA TODAY: Both cases underscore how the U.S. system for protecting classified presidential documents is in urgent need of improvement, especially during the critical period when one administration hands over the keys to the White House to another.

— Josh Meyer

Biden news today

President Joe Biden will return to the White House from his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del., at 10.40. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will brief the press at 14.35.

On Tuesday, Biden will host Democratic congressional leaders at the White House. He will also host a reception for new members of Congress.

Later this week, Biden will travel to Virginia to make remarks about the economy. He will also host a Lunar New Year reception at the White House.

In Congress, the Senate returns at 15 today to consider a candidate for Assistant Secretary of Defense.

Kamala Harris urges supporters of abortion rights to continue the fight

Vice President Kamala Harris marked the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Sunday by imploring reproductive rights advocates to continue the fight, even as some states move to restrict access to abortion or ban it.

“Let us not be weary or discouraged,” she said in Tallahassee, Fla. “Because we are on the right side of history.”

On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court issued its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, which established a constitutional right to abortion. Five decades later, the court’s conservative majority delivered a stunning setback to the abortion rights movement when it overturned the decision last June, ruling that there is no constitutional right to abortion.

That decision moved one of the nation’s most divisive debates back to the states. At least 13 have since banned abortion entirely, while others have restricted access to the procedure.

– Michael Collins

‘Right side of history’: VP Harris urges abortion rights supporters to continue fight on Roe anniversary

Read more here: Biden and Trump documents reveal a broader problem: Lack of classified records is not uncommon

Latest political news

Summary: More Biden documents found after DOJ searched his Delaware home

Trump returns to the public stage: Donald Trump plans to end campaign targeting Republican opponents – and prosecutors

What happens?: Biden documents investigation means US has 3 special counsel investigations at once. What are they?

“Justice and double standards”: How Biden’s debacle with classified documents could become a political, legal liability

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden classified documents and debt ceiling standoff: live updates

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