LIVE Inauguration Updates
By Craig Papajohn-Shaw and Logan Balsan
Volume 1 Issue 4
January 20, 2021
Images provided by CNN Politics and Wall Street Journal, edited by Craig Papajohn-Shaw
Thursday, January 21
[3:58 PM] Within the first couple of days in the new presidency, the Biden Administration has solidified its commitment to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, climate change, and racial inequality through executive orders. The White House will have to balance its Democratic priorities with bipartisanship in its effort to pursue President Biden's ambitious agenda in the next 4 years.
[2:25 PM] Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee for the Secretary of Transportation is testifying at the Senate confirmation hearings. Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and former 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate, is likely to be confirmed later today with bipartisan support.
Wednesday, January 20
[7:43 PM] In a bipartisan effort, the Senate confirmed President Biden’s first cabinet nominee Avril Haines for Director of National Intelligence. The vote was 84-10, with 6 senators not voting. Joe Biden will only receive one cabinet nominee on his first day in office. This is unprecedented as past presidents received more nominations on their first day in office; Mr. Trump received 2, Mr. Obama received 6, and Mr. W. Bush received 7.
[7:27 PM] In the first White House Press Briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki reiterated the goal of rebuilding trust in America through “truth and transparency." Ms. Psaki discussed the private letter Mr. Trump wrote to President Biden: she said the President will not discuss the specific contents of the letter, but Biden did say it was a gracious letter. A key contrast in the new administration: they will hold press briefings Monday-Friday. Additionally, to prepare the White House for the Biden Administration, $500,000 was spent to deep-clean. Lastly, she focused on the 100-day mask "challenge" as well as the rejoining into the World Health Organization (WHO). Both were implemented by executive order. The final event tonight will be the Inauguration Special where artists such as John Legend will perform live at 8:30 PM.
[5:50 PM] In his first actions as President, by Executive Order, Mr. Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, a program former President Trump ceased participation in during June of 2017. The Paris Climate Accord is one of the major action groups focused on overcoming the issues involved with global warming. This is one of many orders he is expected to sign on his first day in office. Guide: Link here to NY Times's [Biden's 17 Executive Orders and Other Directives in Detail]
[5:07 PM] Georgia Senators-elect Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock attended Biden's Inauguration. At about 4:45PM today, Democrats took control of the Senate. Both Georgia Senators, along with Vice-President Harris's replacement, Alex Padilla, were sworn this evening, in a Senate Session where the Vice-President was in the chair, performing her role as President of the Senate. This would cause a shift in power in Congress and will affect Joe Biden's overall agenda as he begins to propose new legislation in his first days in office.
[2:46 PM] President Biden and Vice President Harris kept on with tradition by laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery. They were accompanied by the former Presidents.
[1:43 PM] Senator Amy Klobuchar is delivering remarks to the First and Second families. She is presenting custom made Lenox crystal vases in commemoration of their Inauguration. President Biden’s vase features the White House and Vice President Harris’s vase features the United States Capitol.
[1:31 PM] Republican Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted after Biden’s unifying speech, “#impeachbiden.” For the last week, the Representative claimed that she will bring papers of impeachment to the house floor on Joe Biden’s first full day in office.
[1:10 PM] The Institution White House Twitter accounts including, @POTUS have been transferred over from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration. Additionally, a new Twitter Government account was activated: "@SecondGentleman"
[12:48 PM] In his inaugural address, now President Biden focused on how "democracy has prevailed" in the 2020 election.
[12:14 PM] Joe Biden cites in his Inaugural Address, "The work and prayers ⁄ Of centuries ⁄ Have brought us to this day ⁄ What shall be our legacy? ⁄ What will our children say? ⁄ Let them say of me ⁄ I was one who believed In sharing the blessings ⁄ I received ⁄ Let me know in my heart ⁄ When my days are through ⁄ America ⁄ America ⁄ I gave my best to you" from the song American Anthem by Nora Jones as a message to the country.
[12:00 PM] Joe Biden has been officially been sworn in by Chief Justice Roberts. He is now the 46th President of the United States as of 12:00PM. Joe Biden, the former senator and Vice President from the small-town of Scranton, Pennsylvania, starting a career in politics at the young age of 30, is now the new leader of the free world, alongside his Vice-President Kamala Harris. Joe Biden is expected to sign many executive first orders during his first day in office. Biden will now give his inaugural address.
[11:58 AM] Biden asks the nation to join him together in one cause: unity.
[11:50 AM] President-Elect Biden is now President, and Donald Trump now joins the list of single-term Presidents.
[11:45 AM] Jennifer Lopez is performing "This Land is Your Land."
[11:42 AM] Vice President-Elect Harris is being sworn in right now by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, making her the first person of color and female to take the oath of the vice presidency.
[11:39 AM] First African American female, Andrea Hall, to be named Captain in her Georgia fire department recites The Pledge of Allegiance.
[11:34 AM] Incoming First Lady Dr. Jill Biden is wearing a stunning ocean blue Markarian dress and overcoat to the inauguration. Designer Alexandra O’Neill, also made the complimentary blue mask.
[11:30 AM] The Pledge of Allegiance is being recited and the National Anthem is being performed by The United States Marine Band.
[11:26 AM] Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri is next to speak as Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Inauguration.
[11:21 AM] Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar is the first to speak at the 59th Presidential inauguration.
[11:19 AM] President-Elect Biden is about to walk out to the outside platform where he will be inaugurated. House and Senate Leadership is currently being introduced.
[11:17 AM] Former Vice President Dan Quayle from the H.W. Bush Administration is also in attendance.
[11:14 AM] In a historic moment, Vice President-Elect Harris is seen having a quick chat with outgoing Vice President Pence. It also appears to be snowing in a small flurry.
[11:04 AM] Mike Pence has officially chosen to attend the Inauguration, instead of going to Trump's own planned send-off to Florida
[10:57 AM] The nine Supreme Court Justices have taken their spots on the inaugural stage. Chief Justice Roberts will read the oath of office to former Vice-President Biden. Vice President-elect Harris selected Justice Sonia Sotomayor to read the oath of office to her. In an effort to show a sign of unity, Former Presidents Obama, W. Bush, and Clinton are attending the inauguration, and have taken their spots on the stage.
[10:36 AM] Both the President elect and Vice-President elect have just arrived at the Capitol for the inaugural ceremony. Replacing the large crowd in front of the capitol, a sea of flags cover the grounds symbolizing those Americans who cannot attend the ceremony. To date, 400,000 have lost their lives to the coronavirus pandemic.
[9:31] Although President Trump has broken from many traditions when it comes to a peaceful transfer of power, advisors have said he did uphold one norm: leaving a note for the incoming President. The contents of the note are unknown at this time.
[8:49 AM] A large, closely-packed crowd of supporters came out to Joint Base Andrews to watch Trump's last expected speech as President, which ended at 8:45 am. He focused on his successes as President such as the economy, the stock market, and how his great relationship with Congress allowed for the passage of successful legislation. Mr. Trump stated to supporters: “this is just the beginning." He thanked all of his administration, including the Vice-President, and wished the incoming administration "the best of luck."
[8:31 AM] Mr. Trump has left the White House for the last time as President this morning around 8:00 AM . He will be traveling to Palm Beach, Florida with the First Lady. Trump will still travel with the nuclear football (the satchel with the nuclear codes); however, at 12:00 PM, Joe Biden's nuclear football in D.C will be activated and Trump's will be deactivated. Because Trump will not attend the inauguration, two nuclear footballs were required during this historic transfer of power.
[7:53 AM] Before the inauguration ceremony at the Capitol at noon, President-Elect Biden along with Speaker Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Schumer, House Minority Leader McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader McConnell are attending a morning service at St. John's Cathedral in Washington.
[6:57 AM] Washington D.C is on lockdown this morning. Over 25,000 National Guard Troops are overseeing the inauguration in order to provide high security. Additionally, the FBI is on high alert due to threatening information posted online.