This Week in Washington - January 21, 2021

This Week in Washington - January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

Thanks for your interest in Washington, and welcome back to the special inauguration issue of This Week in Washington.

I attended my first inaugural in 1985 and subsequently in 1989, 2001, and 2005. Inaugurals are celebrations for the winners. But for all of us, inaugurals celebrate the continued victory of American democracy.

2020 was quite a year and the first 21 days of January have been more of the same, so this inaugural was different. Washington, D.C. – from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial – was the most secure place in America. The pandemic meant that everything had to be changed. The official swearing-in ceremony was not open to the public. The parade was virtual, and the galas were cancelled.

There were changes Wednesday in the Senate too. Late Wednesday afternoon, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock were sworn in as Georgia’s new U.S. Senators, which created a 50-50 tie. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is now the Majority Leader because Vice President Harris, who
serves as President of the Senate, can break a tie vote. Senator Mitch McConnell is now the Minority Leader.

That is a great deal of change, and change changes everything. We will start looking at the Biden Administration’s legislative directions and new committee assignments in both the House and the Senate in upcoming editions of This Week. Today’s covers Inaugural Week 2021– the environment, the swearing in ceremony, and Day One of the Biden Administration.