Live Updates: Biden Invites More Lawmakers to the White House to Discuss Infrastructure

A family fishing last summer under the Interstate 35 bridge in Austin, Texas. Republicans have argued for a bill focused on infrastructure like roads and bridges, while President Biden is proposing a more expansive view of infrastructure.
Credit…Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

President Biden met with a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers at the White House on Monday afternoon in his effort to win support for his proposal to overhaul the nation’s aging infrastructure.

“I am prepared to compromise,” Mr. Biden said in the Oval Office at the start of the meeting. He said the discussion would focus on what to include in the bill and how to pay for it, adding, “It’s a big package, but there are a lot of needs.”

Mr. Biden had already hosted two such bipartisan meetings to discuss his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, as well as sessions with the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. The president invited former mayors and governors serving in Congress for Monday’s meeting, White House officials said, because of their experience confronting infrastructure issues in their communities.

The group was expected to include two Republican senators, Mitt Romney of Utah and John Hoeven of North Dakota; two Democratic senators, John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire; and one independent senator, Angus King of Maine. It also was expected to include five House lawmakers: Representatives Kay Granger of Texas and Carlos Giménez of Florida, both Republicans, and Representatives Emanuel Cleaver II of Missouri, Charlie Crist of Florida and Norma J. Torres of California, all Democrats.

The president has repeatedly said it is his preference to pass a bipartisan deal. But White House officials and other Democrats have also made clear that they are willing to push through a bill on a party-line vote if necessary to achieve their priorities.

Republicans, who have criticized the proposal’s size, scope and reliance on tax increases, have warned that Mr. Biden needs to prove he is genuinely interested in their input, particularly after passing his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan without their votes despite initial bipartisan talks.

Still, a senior Republican senator said over the weekend that he believed a compromise was possible.

“There is a core infrastructure bill that we could pass,” Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, said on “Fox News Sunday,” in a joint appearance with Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, that centered on the potential for compromise in the 117th Congress.

“I think that if we come together in a bipartisan way to pass that $800 billion hard infrastructure bill that you were talking about, that I’ve been urging, then we show our people that we can solve their problems,” Mr. Coons said.

But the yawning gap between the size of Mr. Biden’s plan and what Republicans might support is only one indication of the difficulties ahead in Congress. While Republicans have pushed for a smaller, more focused plan, progressives were pressing Mr. Biden to go even bigger as they planned to unveil legislation Monday laying out markers on public housing and renewable energy.

Democratic leaders have not settled on a legislative strategy to pass Mr. Biden’s plan. They are exploring the possibility of using a fast-track budget reconciliation process to bypass both Republican objections and the 60-vote filibuster threshold in the Senate. If they go that route, every Senate Democrat will need to remain on board to overcome united Republican opposition.

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Harris Says Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Will Create ‘Good Jobs’

Vice President Kamala Harris visited North Carolina on Monday to promote President Biden’s infrastructure plan, saying it will create “good jobs.”

In the 21st century in America, I believe you should not have to work more than one job to be able to pay your bills and feed your family. [applause] One good job should be enough. At a good job, you shouldn’t have to worry about your safety, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether you have the ability to get a good life because you might have to go in debt for a diploma that promises a decent paycheck. It’s pretty simple. A good job allows people the freedom to build the life you want, to reach as high as you want, to aspire. That’s what a good job does. And good jobs are what the president and I will create with the American Jobs Plan. We will draw on the skills that millions of workers in our country already have. We can’t just talk about higher education without thinking about what kind of training Americans need to get hired — instead of simply framing it as higher education, let’s create a variety of opportunities for education after high school.

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Vice President Kamala Harris visited North Carolina on Monday to promote President Biden’s infrastructure plan, saying it will create “good jobs.”CreditCredit…Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday traveled to North Carolina to promote the Biden administration’s $20 billion proposal to convert the country’s entire fleet of gasoline and diesel-powered school buses to electric vehicles, and to talk up the president’s plans to create “good jobs.”

The speech was expected to help position Ms. Harris as one of the main faces advocating the American Jobs Plan, which so far has been handled mostly by five cabinet secretaries tasked with selling President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal. Administration officials said she would travel the country in the coming weeks to continue promoting the plan.

Speaking at Guilford Technical Community College, Ms. Harris talked about how the administration’s infrastructure plans would create “good jobs,” a notable shift away from attempts by other officials to provide specific metrics about how many jobs the plan would create.

“I believe you shouldn’t have to work more than one job to pay your bills and feed your family,” she said. “One good job should be enough.”

Ms. Harris said only that the administration’s plan would create “millions of jobs” and noted that “a majority of the jobs we will create through the American jobs plan will require at most six months of training after high school.”

Ms. Harris’ focus on the quality of the jobs that would be created, rather than any specific number of jobs that would be added to the economy, reflected the administration’s new push as it tries to sell a plan that still has no Republican support in Congress.

Mr. Biden and Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, have both claimed, inaccurately, that the plan would add 19 million jobs to the U.S. economy. But the analysis by Moody’s Analytics that they were referring to included 16.3 million jobs that were projected to be added even if the proposal never comes to pass. Since then, the administration has shifted its focus to talking more generally about “good jobs” rather than a target number.

As the administration approaches 100 days in office, Ms. Harris, the first Black woman to be vice president, still appears to be figuring out how she wants to function in a historically frustrating role.

Her portfolio also includes leading a diplomatic effort with Mexico and Central American countries to address the root causes of migration as well as the crisis at the border. That task offers Ms. Harris an opportunity and a risk: If she appears to take on a hard problem and make progress, she would impress critics who do not see her as a policy heavyweight in the White House. But it also puts her at the forefront of one of the most difficult issues before the administration.

For now, her appearances are mostly tied to policies she championed as a senator. Her speech on Monday followed an appearance last month in Oakland, Calif., where she visited a water treatment plant and underscored the infrastructure plan’s $45 billion in funding to eliminate all lead service lines and to reduce lead exposure in 400,000 schools and child care centers.

As a senator, Ms. Harris introduced the Water Justice Act, which included emergency funds for communities and schools to test for and remediate or replace toxic infrastructure for drinking water. And she introduced the Clean School Bus Act to assist school districts in replacing diesel school buses with electric buses, her aides said.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland at the White House earlier this month. He has vowed to focus on combatting domestic violent extremism.
Credit…Amr Alfiky/The New York Times

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said on Monday that the Justice Department was pouring resources into its effort to stop domestic violent extremists and that those who attacked the United States would be brought to justice, in a speech commemorating the 26th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

As a young Justice Department official, Mr. Garland led the investigation into the 1995 attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the worst domestic terror attack in American history. Timothy J. McVeigh, an Army veteran who hoped to use violence to spark an anti-government revolution, was ultimately convicted of using a massive truck bomb to destroy the federal building and kill 168 people, including 19 children.

“Although many years have passed, the terror perpetrated by people like Timothy McVeigh is still with us,” Mr. Garland said. “The Department of Justice is pouring its resources into stopping domestic violent extremists before they can attack, prosecuting those who do, and battling the spread of the kind of hate that leads to tragedies like the one we mark here today.”

Mr. Garland delivered his remarks amid the Biden administration’s ongoing efforts to combat domestic extremism in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that included members of anti-government militias and other right-wing extremist groups.

An intelligence report delivered to Congress last month warned that extremist groups pose a rising threat, with extremists who are motivated by race more likely to attack civilians, and members of anti-government militias more likely to target law enforcement and government buildings and employees.

“Those of us who were in Oklahoma City in April 1995 do not need any warning,” Mr. Garland said. “This memorial is a monument to a community that will not allow hate and division to win.”

The Justice Department’s sprawling investigation into the Jan. 6 attack represents the administration’s most visible effort to combat domestic extremism.

That effort gained ground on Friday, when Jon Ryan Schaffer, a member of the Oath Keepers militia who was charged in connection with the assault, pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the government inquiry.

Mr. Schaffer, 53, is the first defendant charged as part of the investigation to plead guilty, and his cooperation could help prosecutors pursue conspiracy cases against other assailants.

In the 100 days since the Jan. 6 attack, the department has arrested more than 410 defendants in 45 states, averaging more than four arrests a day since the siege.

Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, brought in more than $3 million in campaign donations in the three months after the Capitol attack on Jan. 6.
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Republicans who were the most vocal in urging their followers to come to Washington on Jan. 6 to try to reverse President Donald J. Trump’s loss, pushing to overturn the election and stoking the grievances that prompted the deadly Capitol riot, have profited handsomely in its aftermath, according to new campaign data.

Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas, who led the challenges to President Biden’s victory in their chamber, each brought in more than $3 million in campaign donations in the three months that followed the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia who called the rampage a “1776 moment” and was later stripped of committee assignments for espousing bigoted conspiracy theories and endorsing political violence, raised $3.2 million — more than the individual campaign of Representative Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader, and nearly every other member of House leadership.

A New York Times analysis of the latest Federal Election Commission disclosures illustrates how the leaders of the effort to overturn Mr. Biden’s electoral victory have capitalized on the outrage of their supporters to collect huge sums of campaign cash. Far from being punished for encouraging the protest that turned lethal, they have thrived in a system that often rewards the loudest and most extreme voices, using the fury around the riot to build their political brands. The analysis examined the individual campaign accounts of lawmakers, not joint fund-raising committees or leadership political action committees.

“The outrage machine is powerful at inducing political contributions,” said Carlos Curbelo, a former Republican congressman from Florida.

Shortly after the storming of the Capitol, some prominent corporations and political action committees vowed to cut off support for the Republicans who had fanned the flames of anger and conspiracy that resulted in violence. Only a handful of corporate political action committees gave to the Republican objectors in the first three months of the year. But any financial blowback from corporate America appears to have been dwarfed by a flood of cash from other quarters.

Representative Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, a freshman who urged his supporters to “lightly threaten” Republican lawmakers to goad them into challenging the election results, pulled in more than $1 million. Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado — who like Ms. Greene compared Jan. 6 to the American Revolution — took in nearly $750,000.

The sums reflect an emerging incentive structure in Washington, where the biggest provocateurs can parlay their notoriety into small-donor successes that can help them amass an even higher profile. It also illustrates the appetites of a Republican base of voters who have bought into Mr. Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud and are eager to reward those who worked to undermine the outcome of a free and fair election.

Lauren Hirsch and Jeanna Smialek contributed reporting.

A mass vaccination event for teachers at Carteret High School in Carteret, N.J., this month.
Credit…Bryan Anselm for The New York Times

All adults in every U.S. state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, meeting the April 19 deadline that President Biden set two weeks ago.

“For months I’ve been telling Americans to get vaccinated when it’s your turn. Well, it’s your turn, now,” Mr. Biden said Sunday on a program called “Roll Up Your Sleeves” on NBC. “It’s free. It’s convenient and it’s the most important thing you can do to protect yourself from Covid-19.”

The United States is administering an average of 3.2 million doses a day, up from roughly 2.5 million a month before. More than 131 million people, or half of all American adults, had received at least one shot as of Sunday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and about 84.3 million people have been fully vaccinated.

Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont were the last states to expand eligibility, opening vaccinations to all adults on Monday.

“It’s truly historic that we have already reached this milestone,” said Dr. Nandita Mani, the associate medical director of infection prevention and control at the University of Washington Medical Center.

After a slow start, the pace of vaccinations has risen considerably in recent months. Mr. Biden, who initially said he wanted states to make all adults eligible for a vaccine by May 1, moved the deadline up as vaccinations accelerated. Mr. Biden has also set a goal of administering 200 million doses by his 100th day in office, which the nation is on pace to meet with more than 192 million shots administered, starting on Inauguration Day.

The expansion of eligibility comes as medical officials investigate whether Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot Covid-19 vaccine is linked to a rare blood-clotting disorder. All 50 states suspended administration of the vaccine last week, after federal health officials recommended a pause.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said on Sunday that federal regulators should come to a decision on Friday about whether to resume Johnson & Johnson vaccinations. Although he said he did not want to get ahead of the C.D.C. and the Food and Drug Administration, he said he expected experts to recommend “some sort of either warning or restriction” on the use of the vaccine.

Even if there is a link between the vaccine and the clotting disorder, the risk is exceedingly low, experts say.

Still, Dr. Mani said the pause was likely to harden the hesitancy of some Americans to get vaccinated.

At the same time, with the virus resurgent, public health experts are warning Americans not to let their guards down. The United States is averaging more than 67,000 new cases a day over the past seven days, up from over 54,000 a month ago, according to a New York Times database.

“Seventy thousand cases a day is not acceptable. We have to get that down,” said Barry Bloom, a research professor and former dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He said more vaccinations would help, but people must remain vigilant about wearing masks and social distancing.

At its current pace, the United States will vaccinate 70 percent of its population by mid-June. But vaccine hesitancy could slow progress toward herd immunity, which will also depend on vaccinating children.

“We’re making tremendous progress, but we’re still in the race against this virus, and we need to vaccinate tens of millions more Americans,” Mr. Biden said on Sunday. “We could have a safe and happy Fourth of July with your family and friends in small groups in your backyard. That’s going to take everyone doing their part. Get vaccinated.”

Pfizer announced this month that it had applied for an emergency use authorization to make children ages 12 to 15 eligible for its vaccine. Moderna is expected to release results from its trial in young teenagers soon, and vaccinations in this age group could begin before school starts in the fall.

Trials in younger children are underway. Dr. Fauci also said on Sunday that he expected children of all ages to be eligible for vaccination in the first quarter of 2022.

Although vaccinations have picked up in the United States, many countries still face dire vaccine shortages. About 83 percent of Covid-19 vaccinations have been administered in high- and upper-middle-income countries, while only 0.2 percent of doses have been administered in low-income countries, according to a New York Times vaccine tracker.

Dr. Funmi Olopade, the director of the Center for Global Health at the University of Chicago, said it was crucial for the United States to step up its role in the global vaccination campaign as supply increases. The virus, left to spread around the world, could continue to mutate and threaten the nation’s economic recovery, she said.

It is in everybody’s “self-interest to provide whatever we can in the way of excess vaccines to low- and middle-income countries,” Dr. Bloom said.

Matthew McConaughey at an event in Sydney, Australia, in 2019.
Credit…Dan Himbrechts/EPA, via Shutterstock

A new poll may put some wind in the actor Matthew McConaughey’s sails as he considers whether to run for governor of Texas.

Forty-five percent of the state’s voters said that they would vote for Mr. McConaughey if he were to challenge Gov. Greg Abbott next year, according to the poll, conducted by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas, Tyler.

An additional 33 percent of voters said they would support the incumbent, while 22 percent said that at this early stage, they would prefer to choose someone else.

But such highly theoretical questions can sometimes produce wonky results, especially this far in advance of any actual campaigning. That’s doubly true when the hypothetical involves a figure with name recognition as high as Mr. McConaughey’s, particularly in his home state.

The actor has repeatedly flirted with running for governor, though he has not said whether he would run as a Republican or a Democrat. Last month he said he was seriously considering a bid.

“I’m looking into now again, what is my leadership role?” he said on a podcast. “Because I do think I have some things to teach and share, and what is my role? What’s my category in my next chapter of life that I’m going into?”

His fortunes in the new poll were particularly good among independents, 44 percent of whom said they’d support him and only 18 percent of whom said they would back the governor, a Republican.

Yet Mr. Abbott’s job approval rating was healthy, with 50 percent of voters giving him positive marks and 36 percent negative. Fifty-four percent said he had responded well to the state’s power failure crisis, driven by strong support from Republicans; independents tilted away from him here, with 50 percent saying he had handled it badly and 43 percent saying he responded well, the poll found.

The survey was conducted from April 6-13 among 1,126 registered Texas voters, using a mixed-mode approach that included live phone interviews as well as online polling through the Dynata database.

Supporters of President Donald J. Trump faced off against supporters of Joseph R. Biden Jr. as they gathered outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center during the ongoing counting of ballots in November.
Credit…Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

American democracy faces many challenges: The corrosive effect of misinformation. The rise of domestic terrorism. Foreign interference in elections. New limits on voting rights. Efforts to subvert the peaceful transition of power. And making matters worse on all of these issues is a fundamental truth that the two political parties see the other as an enemy.

It’s an outlook that makes compromise impossible and encourages elected officials to violate norms in pursuit of an agenda or an electoral victory. It turns debates over changing voting laws into existential showdowns. And it undermines the willingness of the loser to accept defeat — an essential requirement of a democracy.

This threat to democracy has a name: sectarianism. It’s not a term usually used in discussions about American politics. It’s better known in the context of religious sectarianism — like the hostility between Sunnis and Shia in Iraq. Yet a growing number of eminent political scientists contend that political sectarianism is on the rise in America.

That contention helps make sense of a lot of what’s been going on in American politics in recent years, including President Donald J. Trump’s successful bid for the White House in 2016, President Biden’s tortured effort to reconcile his Inauguration Day call for “unity” with his partisan legislative agenda, and the plan by far-right House members to create a congressional group that would push some views associated with white supremacy. Most of all, it re-centers the threat to American democracy on the dangers of a hostile and divided citizenry.

Whether religious or political, sectarianism is about two hostile identity groups who not only clash over policy and ideology, but see the other side as alien and immoral. It’s the antagonistic feelings between the groups, more than differences over ideas, that drives sectarian conflict.

President Biden on Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery visiting the graves of service members who lost their lives in Afghanistan.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Biden used his daily national security briefing on the morning of April 6 to deliver the news that his senior military leaders suspected was coming. He wanted all American troops out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the attacks on New York and the Pentagon.

In the Oval Office, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wanted to make certain. “I take what you said as a decision, sir,” General Milley said, according to officials with knowledge of the meeting. “Is that correct, Mr. President?”

It was.

Over two decades of war that spanned four presidents, the Pentagon had always managed to fend off the political instincts of elected leaders frustrated with the grind of Afghanistan, as commanders repeatedly requested more time and more troops. Even as the number of American forces in Afghanistan steadily decreased to the 2,500 who still remained, Defense Department leaders still cobbled together a military effort that managed to protect the United States from terrorist attacks even as it failed, spectacularly, to defeat the Taliban in a place that has crushed foreign occupiers for 2,000 years.

The current military leadership hoped it, too, could convince a new president to maintain at least a modest troop presence, trying to talk Mr. Biden into keeping a residual force and setting conditions on any withdrawal. But Mr. Biden refused to be persuaded.

There would be no conditions put on the withdrawal, Mr. Biden told the men, cutting off the last thread — one that had worked with Mr. Trump — and that Mr. Austin and General Milley hoped could stave off a full drawdown.

They were told, Zero meant zero.

In that moment, the war — which had been debated across four presidents, prosecuted with thousands of commando raids, cost 2,400 American fatalities and 20,000 injured, with progress never quite being made — began its final chapter. It will be over, Mr. Biden has promised, by the 20th anniversary of the attacks that stunned the world and led to more than 13,000 airstrikes.

Representative Steve Stivers of Ohio during at a hearing in Washington in 2017.
Credit…Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Representative Steve Stivers of Ohio, who led the House Republicans’ campaign arm in 2018 and more recently nudged the party to move past former President Donald J. Trump, said on Monday that he planned to resign and take a job in the private sector next month.

Mr. Stivers, 56, had been exploring a run for Senate in 2022, telephoning donors and presenting himself as a possible alternative to candidates representing the pro-Trump wing of the party. But on Monday, he said he would be leaving the House on May 16 instead, to become the president and chief executive of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

“Throughout my career, I’ve worked to promote policies that drive our economy forward, get folks to work, and put our fiscal house in order,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’m excited to announce that I will be taking on a new opportunity that allows me to continue to do that.”

The retirement will give a brief boost to Democrats, cushioning their exceedingly narrow majority in the House until Ohio can hold a special election to fill the seat. His Columbus-area district is considered reliably Republican and is likely to stay in G.O.P. hands in a special election.

A business-minded Republican, Mr. Stivers once represented the mainstream of the party’s delegations in Congress. He was an ally of Speaker Paul D. Ryan and chosen to lead the National Republican Congressional Committee during the 2018 midterm elections, when a wave of antipathy toward Mr. Trump cost Republicans their House majority.

But as the House has moved decisively toward Mr. Trump and his pugilistic style of politics in recent years, he has at times looked out of step with colleagues who continue to embrace the former president, and his departure continues a fast-paced turnover the party has experienced in Mr. Trump’s shadow.

Mr. Stivers voted against impeaching Mr. Trump in January after the attack on the Capitol, but he said that Mr. Trump’s attempts to overturn the election results were “unacceptable and contributed to what will be remembered as one of the darkest days in our nation’s history.” In interviews, Mr. Stivers said he hoped Mr. Trump would “step aside” like other former presidents who have “had their time in the sun.”

Jonathan Martin contributed reporting.

Lisa Monaco is poised to become the deputy attorney general, where her ability to broker consensus on politically charged issues will quickly be tested.
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Lisa Monaco was President Barack Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser when she was handed an intractable problem: Fix the administration’s ineffective response to the kidnappings of Americans by Islamic State fighters, which had prompted outcries from victims’ families, without changing the government’s refusal to make concessions to terrorists.

Ms. Monaco quickly instituted a change, according to Matthew Olsen, a former director of the National Counterterrorism Center. She mandated that the families, who had been kept in the dark about the government’s restrictions and had even faced threats of prosecution should they pay ransoms themselves, be brought into the fold. Most had lost faith in the government, and she sought them out to ensure that a new hostage policy was fair and credible.

“For the administration to realize it was not handling this right was a lot to Lisa’s credit,” said Diane Foley, whose son James Foley was the first American to be beheaded by the Islamic State in 2014. After Ms. Monaco’s team completed its review, the administration adopted a policy that included advising families of all their options and refraining from threats of prosecution. Mr. Obama acknowledged that the government should have treated them as “trusted partners.”

Now Ms. Monaco, 53, a veteran of national security roles, is poised to become the deputy attorney general — the Justice Department’s No. 2 official — where her ability to broker consensus on politically charged issues will quickly be tested. Among other matters, she is expected to be a key player in the Biden administration’s push to combat domestic extremism, embodied most publicly in the Justice Department’s investigation into the deadly Capitol attack on Jan. 6 by a pro-Trump mob.

Her experience with cyberissues will help give her office an influential voice as the Biden administration confronts threats from countries like Russia, which it penalized on Thursday for hacking American government agencies and companies and for interfering in the 2020 presidential election.

Ms. Monaco will also work closely with Attorney General Merrick B. Garland to rebuild trust in the Justice Department after it became a target of President Donald J. Trump and his allies.

Her résumé makes her uniquely suited to tackle the department’s biggest issues, which include not only domestic extremism but also foreign cyberattacks, a sensitive investigation into Mr. Biden’s son and an open special inquiry into the roots of the Russia investigation.

Ms. Monaco is also known for being careful to build support for her views. “Good ideas die all the time because people don’t go to the right congressman or cabinet secretary and get buy-in,” said Ken Wainstein, who was Ms. Monaco’s predecessor as the head of the Justice Department’s national security division. “That’s the kind of thing that Lisa is masterful at.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee voiced unanimous support for her nomination last month and a bipartisan coalition of senators is expected to confirm her in the coming days.

Credit…Robert Neubecker

Members of the National Association of Realtors — the nation’s largest industry group, numbering 1.4 million real estate professionals — are challenging a moratorium on evictions put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Both the Alabama and the Georgia Associations of Realtors sued the federal government over the matter, and the national association is paying for all of the legal costs. A hearing is scheduled for April 29, Ron Lieber reports for The New York Times.

The N.A.R. spends more money on federal lobbying than any other entity, according to the Center for Responsive for Politics. To puzzle out its actions and advocacy, let’s first be crystal clear about what the N.A.R. is and whose interests it serves. As its own chief executive boasted to members in 2017, it’s really the National Association for Realtors, not of them.

And of those million-plus members, according to the association, about 38 percent own at least one rental property. The N.A.R. isn’t shy about this, stating on the lobbying section of its website that it wants to “protect property interests.”

Why would it do this? The N.A.R. expert on the topic was unable to schedule a phone call, according to a spokesman.

But if you’re selecting a listing agent for your house from among their members, ask that person about this issue if you’re curious or concerned. Many of them have no idea what the N.A.R. is advocating on their behalf.

“I think there was virtually no chance we could stay out of it,” Doug Parker, the head of American Airlines, said to employees. “You have to take a stand on these things.” 
Credit…Oliver Contreras for The New York Times

The American Airlines chief executive, Doug Parker, spoke to workers last week about his decision to publicly oppose restrictive voting legislation pending in Texas, saying that people of color feel “as though these laws are making it much harder for people like them to vote.”

Mr. Parker said in a meeting with employees that he wasn’t trying to take sides in a partisan dispute, but that for him, voting rights was “an equity issue,” according to a recording of the conversation obtained by View From the Wing, a travel industry blog.

American Airlines declined to comment on the recording.

The airline, which is based in Fort Worth, was among the first major companies to publicly oppose the voting legislation that Republicans were advancing in Texas. Just days after Georgia passed a voting law that would make it harder for some people to vote, the company came out against similar legislation pending in Texas, saying it was “strongly opposed to this bill and others like it.”

In the meeting with employees last week, Mr. Parker said he felt the company was going to have to weigh in on the issue. “I think there was virtually no chance we could stay out of it,” he said. “You have to take a stand on these things.”

He added that legislation that targets minority populations is bad for the economy, noting that when such laws pass, companies, sports leagues and entertainers sometimes take their business elsewhere.

“The more we divide ourselves, and the more divisive we become, the less likely it is that people are going to travel to states that take divisive stances, and that’s not good for us either,” Mr. Parker said.

Mr. Parker’s comments come as companies around the country are calibrating their opposition to restrictive voting laws being advanced by Republicans in almost every state. Hundreds of companies last week signed a letter opposing “discriminatory legislation.” Yet there is so far scant evidence that Republican lawmakers are reining in their efforts as a result of the corporate community’s outcry.

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