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Biden to Begin Dismantling Trump-Era Rules on Campus Sexual Misconduct

President Biden will begin the process of replacing Trump-era regulations on sexual assault on college campuses.
Credit…Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

President Biden, targeting Trump-era policies that established rules for how college campuses investigate sexual violence, will on Monday order the Department of Education to reassess this and other regulations issued under Title IX, a 1972 law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally funded schools.

Mr. Biden, who has promised since his campaign to reassess a number of the former administration’s education policies, has long vowed to dismantle rules that afforded greater protections to students accused of sexual assault. The effort was a signature policy change by the Education Department under President Donald J. Trump. It also reversed sweeping changes, made in favor of protecting victims, to Title IX made under the Obama administration.

Miguel Cardona, the new education secretary, will be directed to suspend, revise or rescind changes made to Title IX, administration officials familiar with Mr. Biden’s plans said on Sunday evening.

The review will also seek to assess rules that could allow “discrimination on basis of sexual orientation or gender identity,” an official said. In January, the administration retracted its support for a Trump-era lawsuit seeking to block transgender students from participating in girls’ high school sports.

Mr. Biden is also expected on Monday to issue an executive order formally establishing the creation of a White House council on gender equity, an effort that was dismantled during the Trump administration.

Officials on the Gender Policy Council will be required to submit a governmentwide strategy for advancing gender equity directly to the president, according to an official familiar with the planning who spoke on the condition of anonymity on Sunday evening.

The council will be co-led by Julissa Reynoso, chief of staff to Jill Biden, the first lady, and Jennifer Klein, a former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton when she was first lady. The team will have four other officials, including senior advisers who focus on policies to prevent gender-based violence and on promoting equity for Black, Latina and Indigenous women and girls.

Mr. Biden is expected to detail his directives in a speech on Monday afternoon to celebrate International Women’s Day. Earlier in the day, he is scheduled to visit a veteran’s health center with Denis McDonough, the Veterans Affairs secretary. One of Mr. Biden’s first acts in office was to sign an executive order that established gender identity and sexual orientation as protected classes under federal discrimination laws.

Among other measures, the task force is recommending the hiring of more than 800 Capitol Police officers after the assault by pro-Trump rioters.
Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The task force examining security shortcomings on Capitol Hill after the Jan. 6 attack will brief House lawmakers on Monday about its findings and draft recommendations, as congressional leaders continue to examine the leadership and organizational failures that led to the breach by a mob of Trump supporters.

Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré, a retired Army officer whom Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California chose to lead the task force, and other members are expected to update lawmakers on the conclusions of their six-week review in three separate briefings meant to ensure social distancing.

The task force is recommending the hiring of more than 800 Capitol Police officers, mobile fencing around the complex and changes to Capitol Police Board procedures to allow the chief of the agency to quickly summon the National Guard during an emergency, according to a copy of its report previously obtained by The New York Times.

“The breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 brought into stark relief the need to immediately improve the security of the Capitol complex and the security of congressional members and staff,” the report says. It also recommends funding for home security systems for every member of Congress and closer collaboration between the Capitol Police and intelligence officials in federal law enforcement.

The Pentagon is already evaluating a request from the chief of the Capitol Police to keep thousands of National Guard troops on Capitol Hill because of an increase in threats against lawmakers. The troops are scheduled to leave this week. Democratic lawmakers are also contemplating emergency supplemental funding to address the financial needs outlined in the report.

“In the coming days, against the backdrop of inquiry and investigation, Congress will engage in spirited debate over the Capitol’s current security arrangements and the change necessary to better secure the Capitol and safeguard its members, staff and employees,” the report says. “As you consider the recommendations of this task force, we must not forget it was the riotous actions of an angry mob that laid bare the vulnerabilities of the Capitol complex.”

Ms. Pelosi has also pushed to establish an independent commission, modeled on the panel created after the Sept. 11 attacks, to further examine the circumstances surrounding the Jan. 6 breach. Republicans have been reluctant to endorse the draft proposals outlined by Ms. Pelosi, accusing her of partisanship.

Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, on Sunday aired his doubts about General Honoré, who was applauded for his response to Hurricane Katrina. In a statement, Mr. McCarthy pointed to comments General Honoré made before his appointment, including what Mr. McCarthy described in part as an “inflammatory accusation that Capitol Police officers themselves were complicit in the attack.”

Mr. McCarthy said he and General Honoré met on Wednesday at the retired general’s request, a meeting the Republican leader said came “far too late in the process.”

“While there may be some worthy recommendations forthcoming, General Honoré’s notorious partisan bias calls into question the rationality of appointing him to lead this important security review,” Mr. McCarthy said. “It also raises the unacceptable possibility that the speaker desired a certain result: turning the Capitol into a fortress.”

President Biden has urged Congress to pass the stimulus bill as soon as possible.
Credit…Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

Here’s a guide to what’s included in the plan, which is scheduled to go before the House for final approval on Tuesday and then would head to President Biden for his signature.

The bill would give out $1,400 stimulus checks.

Individuals making under $75,000 and married couples making under $150,000 would receive direct payments of $1,400 per person. The bill would also provide $1,400 per dependent.

The payments would gradually decrease above those income levels and disappear entirely above an income cap: $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for married couples.

Those caps were lowered from the thresholds in the House’s version of the stimulus plan, which set the cutoffs at $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for married couples.

The current $300-per-week boost to unemployment benefits would continue.

The Senate bill extends unemployment programs through early September, including the $300-per-week federal supplement provided in the last stimulus plan passed in December.

Mr. Biden had proposed bumping up that supplemental benefit to $400 per week, which the House agreed to, but the Senate kept it at $300 weekly.

The child tax credit would become more generous, among other benefits.

For 2021, the bill would temporarily expand the child tax credit, which is currently worth up to $2,000 per child under 17. Under the legislation, the tax credit would be as much as $3,600 for children up to age 5 and as much as $3,000 for children 6 to 17.

The bill would make the full value of the credit available to low-income people who are currently ineligible or receive only a portion. And for the second half of this year, it would have the federal government send advance payments of the credit to Americans in periodic installments, akin to a guaranteed income for families with children.

The legislation would also expand the child and dependent care tax credit for 2021, and it would expand the earned-income tax credit for workers without children for this year as well. Through 2025, it would exempt student loan forgiveness from income taxes.

Money would go to fight the pandemic and to help states, local governments and schools.

The bill would provide funding for vaccine distribution as well as coronavirus testing, contact tracing and genomic sequencing. It would give money to the Federal Emergency Management Agency as well.

It would provide $350 billion for states, local governments, territories and tribal governments, and it contains about $130 billion for schools. It also includes funding for colleges and universities, transit agencies, housing aid, child care providers and food assistance.

In addition, the bill contains funding to help businesses, including restaurants and live venues, and it includes a bailout for multi-employer pension plans that are financially troubled.

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