The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war'




Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. It is Thursday, the start of a new administration and Congress! We get you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch. Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver are the co-creators. Readers can find us on Twitter @asimendinger and @alweaver22. Please recommend the Morning Report to friends and let us know what you think. CLICK HERE to subscribe!

Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported each morning this week: Monday, 397,600; Tuesday, 399,003; Wednesday, 401,730; Thursday, 406,162.

A masked President BidenJoe BidenNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors Biden celebrates vaccine approval but warns 'current improvement could reverse' MORE got to work on Wednesday afternoon with his presidential pen and a stack of executive actions just hours after asking Americans to “end this uncivil war” in what he called “a broken land.” 


The 46th president — backed by history-making Vice President Harris, who administered oaths of office on Wednesday to Democratic senators whose runoff victories helped shift the Senate’s sway — said they are committed to national healing even as the inaugural ceremony eliminated celebratory throngs because of unprecedented security precautions following a deadly Capitol attack waged by right-wing rioters.


Biden appeared in the Oval Office at the Resolute Desk eight hours after former President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE and Melania TrumpMelania TrumpJill Biden picks up where she left off The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden navigates pressures from Dems Former first lady launches 'Office of Melania Trump' MORE departed the White House to begin a new chapter as Florida residents. In the space of an afternoon, the most famous office in the world underwent a mini-makeover, decorated with a rug and draperies familiar from the years of former President Clinton, a new assemblage of Biden family photographs and curated art representing progressive American icons, including busts of Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King Jr. (The Washington Post).


Biden told reporters that Trump left him “a very generous letter,” the contents of which he said he would not divulge because he had not spoken to his predecessor. Trump did not mention Biden’s name on Wednesday as he departed the nation’s capital and it remains unclear if the White House will arrange a call between Biden and Trump.


The new president used his clout to lean into the colossal challenges facing the nation, including a raging pandemic, a ravaged economy, racial inequities and significant political discord. His first acts were intended to draw stark contrasts with Trump’s policies and to deliver down payments on some of the promises he made to 81 million Americans who voted for change in November.


The New York Times: On day one, Biden moved to undo Trump’s legacy. The president’s assertive use of executive authority was intended to be a hefty and visible down payment on one of his primary goals as president: to “reverse the gravest damages” done to the country by Trump, the Times’s Michael Shear wrote. 


We’ll press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities,” Biden said during his address. “Much to repair. Much to restore. Much to heal. Much to build, and much to gain.”


The Hill: During his first two weeks in office, Biden expects to sign a pile of executive orders on climate, health care and immigration to start. On Wednesday after being sworn in, he took 15 executive actions and two directives. 





White House Press Secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiSunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Biden: Facility for young migrants 'won't stay open very long' Biden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president MORE says the president will “soon” meet with lawmakers to discuss the details of the administration’s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package (Reuters). 


“The package wasn’t designed with the $1.9 trillion as a starting point. It was designed with the components that were necessary to give people the relief that they needed,” she told reporters during her first official turn as Biden’s White House spokesperson.


As The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant and Jonathan Easley write, Biden’s opening moves on Wednesday represent what he talked about throughout his 18-month campaign: a direct repudiation of the Trump years. Among his first unilateral actions, Biden halted construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and of the wall along the southern border mere hours after taking the oath. The president also reversed the Trump era limits on travel of individuals from certain majority-Muslim countries and a ban on transgender individuals serving openly in the military. 


Biden also began the process of re-engaging with both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Paris agreement on climate change, all the while freezing regulations issued by the Trump administration in the past 60 days.


Niall Stanage: The Memo: Biden strives for common ground after Trump turmoil.


The Associated Press: Smooth Psaki shows new tone in first Biden press briefing.


With Wednesday in the rearview mirror, Biden is focused on an ambitious 100-day agenda dominated by the coronavirus. Biden warned that dark days are ahead for the pandemic’s painful impacts. In February, the president says he will present Congress with longer-range legislative proposals to investments in infrastructure, research and development and clean energy. 


Previous presidents, determined to act swiftly before national goodwill ebbed, were in similar positions during past crises.


“We had a one month, a hundred days and a one year [plan],” Rahm Emanuel, who served two Democratic presidents, told The Hill’s Reid Wilson. He was Obama’s first White House chief of staff during the financial crisis. “I guarantee you [chief of staff Ron KlainRon KlainDemocrats scramble to rescue minimum wage hike Biden 'disappointed' in Senate parliamentarian ruling but 'respects' decision The Memo: Biden faces first major setback as Tanden teeters MORE is] thinking a month in, a hundred days in and one year in.”


“Lincoln had the Civil War. Wilson had the Spanish flu. Roosevelt had the Great Depression. Kennedy had the Cold War. Johnson had civil and racial unrest,” Emanuel added. “Biden, D, all of the above.”


The Hill: Biden recommits the United States to the Paris climate accord.


The Hill: Biden enters debt fight on Capitol Hill.





National cooperation and comity, the president said at the Capitol, is required to contain the coronavirus pandemic, restore prosperity, halt human-caused climate change and mend deep divisions that were laid bare over the last four years.


“To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity,” Biden said (The Hill).


We can see each other, not as adversaries, but as neighbors. We can treat each other with dignity and respect,” he said. “We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature. For without unity there is no peace. Only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos.”





The Associated Press: Inaugural address text HERE.


The Hill: Biden repudiates white supremacy and calls for racial justice.


The Washington Post: In his speech, Biden targeted an insidious foe: falsehoods, purposeful misinformation and the spread of incendiary conspiracy theories.


“Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson,” the president said. “There is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies.”


The Hill: GOP senators praise Biden’s address. “I thought it was what we needed,” said Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGraham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Senate ref axes minimum wage, House votes today on relief bill Republicans see Becerra as next target in confirmation wars MORE (R-Alaska), who recently grew so agitated about Trump’s incitement of the Capitol rioters that she said his continued influence over the Republican Party could force her to leave it.


The Associated Press analysis: Biden’s call to unite comes with urgency.


The Hill: Biden speaks to those who didn’t vote for him to urge Americans to join together.


The Hill: Biden’s inauguration was marked by hope and fear. “As long as we're focused on getting people back to work, and getting the vaccine out quickly — if he'll come out with that — I think we can all get on board and move forward,” said Rep. Richard HudsonRichard Lane HudsonDemocrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' New Democratic super PAC to target swing-district Republicans over vote to overturn election The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' MORE (R-N.C.). “If he comes out with a lot of far-left policies, we won't be able to support him and it'll be unfortunate."


One of the inspiring standouts on Wednesday’s program was 22-year-old Amanda Gorman (pictured below), America’s first youth poet laureate, who wowed many with a powerful poem she wrote for the occasion, “The Hill We Climb.” Text is HERE and listen HERE.


The Hill’s In the Know has a full rundown from the evening’s made-for-TV inaugural program featuring Tom Hanks, John Legend, Katy Perry, former Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama … and the most eye-popping fireworks display in the nation’s capital in recent memory (if you missed any of it, check it out HERE.)





FORMER ADMINISTRATION: Minutes before officially handing over power on Wednesday, Trump revealed one final pardon to Albert Pirro, the ex-husband of Fox News host Jeanine Pirro to cap off the work of his administration and the more than 140 pardons and commutations he issued.


As The Hill’s John Kruzel writes, the pardon of Albert Pirro — who was convicted of tax fraud but previously worked with the 45th president on real estate deals — was an encapsulation of Trump’s use of the pardon, which he extended to a number of individuals who had a personal connection to the former White House team. 


The previous administration listed who had pushed for the pardon or commutation, which included a number of individuals who received clemency only after refusing to cooperate with investigators looking into Trump's potentially criminal wrongdoing. 


The Hill: Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Memo: CPAC fires starting gun on 2024 Trump at CPAC foments 2022 GOP primary wars Democrats scramble to rescue minimum wage hike MORE (R-Utah) said the Founding Fathers didn’t intend for presidential pardons to be used for “cronies.”


> COVID-19: Former Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceDemocrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' The Memo: CPAC fires starting gun on 2024 Merrick Garland is right to prioritize domestic terrorism, but he'll need a bigger boat MORE on Wednesday delivered a comprehensive report to Biden detailing the work of the White House coronavirus task force as the 46th president is set to reshape aspects of the government’s pandemic response. 


According to The Hill’s Brett Samuels, the 140-page report outlines the former administration’s pandemic response dating back to when China first reported a cluster of pneumonia cases. However, it does not address any of the myriad controversies that surrounded the Trump administration’s pandemic response and in some cases hindered the U.S.’s ability to get the virus under control. It focuses, instead, on the administration’s work to produce personal protective equipment and vaccines.


NBC News: Surgeon General Jerome AdamsJerome AdamsThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden argues for legislative patience, urgent action amid crisis Biden to name nurse as acting surgeon general: report Judge drops case against former surgeon general over alleged virus restrictions violation MORE says he was asked to resign by the Biden administration.


The Washington Post: “Have a good life”: Trump leaves for Florida in low-key farewell.




More Congress & Politics: One member of Biden’s Cabinet was confirmed on day one. The Senate on Wednesday night confirmed the first of Biden’s nominees. Avril Haines sailed through the upper chamber by a vote of 84 to 10 and began work as director of national intelligence. 


Haines’s confirmation took place after Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonSunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues The Memo: CPAC fires starting gun on 2024 Democrats scramble to rescue minimum wage hike MORE (R-Ark.) lifted a hold on a quick vote (The Washington Post). Haines, the first woman to become national intelligence director, previously served as deputy national security adviser and as deputy director of the CIA during the Obama administration. 


Who voted no?: Republican Sens. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers Biden health nominee faces first Senate test MORE (Tenn.), Mike BraunMichael BraunThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Senate ref axes minimum wage, House votes today on relief bill Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers Senate GOP ready to turn page on Trump MORE (Ind.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech Sunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Texas attorney general hits links with Trump before CPAC appearance MORE (Texas), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstBill to shorten early voting period, end Election Day early in Iowa heads to governor's desk We know how Republicans will vote — but what do they believe? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by TikTok - Senate trial will have drama, but no surprise ending MORE (Iowa), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleySunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Texas attorney general hits links with Trump before CPAC appearance The Memo: CPAC fires starting gun on 2024 MORE (Mo.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Key vote for Haaland's confirmation | Update on oil and gas leasing | SEC update on climate-related risk disclosure requirements Haaland on drilling lease moratorium: 'It's not going to be a permanent thing' Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March MORE (Utah), Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallPat Roberts joins lobbying firm weeks after Senate retirement Biden health nominee faces first Senate test Senate committee plans grid reliability hearing after Texas outages MORE (Kan.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Health Care: 50 million coronavirus vaccines given | Pfizer news | Biden health nominees Rand Paul criticized for questioning of transgender health nominee Haley isolated after Trump fallout MORE (Ky.) and Jim RischJim Elroy Risch11 GOP senators slam Biden pick for health secretary: 'No meaningful experience' Biden to redirect .4M in aid to Myanmar, sanction key military figures Can Palestine matter again? MORE (Idaho).


As The Hill’s Jordain Carney notes, the single confirmation is the smallest number of Cabinet picks to get through the Senate on the first day of a new administration. Four years ago, Republicans were upset when Democrats allowed only two Cabinet picks to be confirmed on Trump’s first day in office.


Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Grassley to vote against Tanden nomination Murkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo MORE (R-Ohio) indicated that Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenTreasury announces sanctions on Saudi officials following Khashoggi report Poll: Biden approval holds steady as Democrats eye .9 T COVID-19 relief bill Senate confirms former Michigan governor Granholm as Energy secretary MORE (Treasury Department) and Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenOvernight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Florida Republicans push Biden to implement Trump order on Venezuela Intelligence official says Khashoggi report 'obviously' will challenge Saudi relationship MORE (State Department) could join the ranks of confirmed Cabinet members by the end of the week. The Senate Finance Committee is set to vote on Yellen’s nomination on Friday (The Hill). 


The House is also set to vote today on a waiver to allow Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinCan a common bond of service unite our nation? Politics, not racism or sexism, explain opposition to Biden Cabinet nominees Pentagon releases training materials to address extremism MORE to serve as Defense secretary despite not meeting the requirement of a seven-year cooling off period for former military officials.


The upper chamber also saw a big change on Wednesday as Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe bizarre back story of the filibuster Hillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill MORE (D-N.Y.) took over as majority leader, becoming the first Jewish senator to hold the position (The Hill). Additionally, three new Democratic senators were sworn in on Wednesday evening by Harris in her new role as vice president: Georgia’s Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockKelly Loeffler's WNBA team sold after players' criticism The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Finger-pointing on Capitol riot; GOP balks at Biden relief plan Georgia's GOP-led Senate passes bill requiring ID for absentee voting MORE and Jon OssoffJon OssoffGeorgia's GOP-led Senate passes bill requiring ID for absentee voting Koch-backed group launches ads urging lawmakers to reject COVID-19 relief bill Perdue rules out 2022 Senate bid against Warnock MORE, who won their runoffs on Jan. 5, and Alex PadillaAlex PadillaMinimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster Biden's picks face peril in 50-50 Senate Menendez reintroduces corporate diversity bill MORE of California, appointed to fill Harris’s Senate term (The Hill). 


The Hill: Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe bizarre back story of the filibuster The Bible's wisdom about addressing our political tribalism Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' MORE (R-Ky.) trade places, but icy relationship holds.


Politico: Democrats poised to rebuff McConnell's filibuster demands.




The Morning Report is created by journalists Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver. We want to hear from you! Email: asimendinger@thehill.com and aweaver@thehill.com. We invite you to share The Hill’s reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE! 


Biden charged the people of this republic with fixing it. So the people need to grow up, by George F. Will, columnist, The Washington Post. https://wapo.st/2KyKgW9 


Biden’s “bold” immigration plan: It didn’t take long for him to drop the Mr. Moderate schtick, by Robert Verbruggen, policy writer, National Review. https://bit.ly/3bZEIiQ


Why Joe Biden should not shy away from the full power of the presidency, by Eric Posner, opinion contributor, The New York Times. https://nyti.ms/3c6CCNQ


The House meets at 2 p.m.


The Senate will convene at noon. The Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee at 10 a.m. will hold a confirmation hearing for Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegExclusive: How Obama went to bat for Warren The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden vs. Trump, part II Chasten Buttigieg jokes about his husband biking home from work MORE to be secretary of Transportation. 


President Biden, first lady Jill BidenJill BidenCan a common bond of service unite our nation? Biden pledges support for Texas amid recovery from winter storm The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Senate ref axes minimum wage, House votes today on relief bill MORE, Vice President Harris and second gentleman Doug EmhoffDoug EmhoffEmhoff reflects on interracial marriage case: Without this 'I would not be married to Kamala Harris' Biden leans into empathizer-in-chief role Biden mourns 500,000 American lives lost to coronavirus MORE will watch the virtual Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service hosted by the Washington National Cathedral at 10 a.m. The president and vice president will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 12:45 p.m. Biden will deliver remarks on COVID-19 and sign executive actions at 2 p.m. Biden and Harris will receive a briefing from members of the administration’s COVID-19 team at 2:25 p.m.


Psaki will hold a White House press briefing at 4 p.m. 


National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony FauciAnthony FauciNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech Sunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Underfunding classics and humanities is dangerous MORE leads a U.S. delegation during a meeting of the Geneva-based WHO this week (CNBC). Fauci, who is the medical adviser to Biden’s pandemic response team, will tell the global health group’s executive board that “the United States stands ready to work in partnership and solidarity to support the international COVID-19 response, mitigate its impact on the world, strengthen our institutions, advance epidemic preparedness for the future, and improve the health and wellbeing of all people throughout the world.” (The White House released advanced text of his remarks.)


Economic indicator: The Labor Department will report on claims for unemployment benefits filed during the week ending Jan. 16.


Hill.TV’s “Rising” program features news and interviews at http://thehill.com/hilltv or on YouTube at 10:30 a.m. EST at Rising on YouTube


CORONAVIRUS: Biden on Wednesday began his administration’s efforts to combat COVID-19 by modeling appropriate precautions using an executive order to require people on federal property, including on federal transport, to wear face coverings and to practice social distancing for the next 100 days. He also steered the United States back into the World Health Organization to reverse the Trump administration’s withdrawal last year from the global health group (The Hill). “We have a long way to go, Biden said from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening as he began to sign a stack of orders in front of the press corps. The president today will order agencies to use the Defense Production Act in the fight against COVID-19 (The Hill).


The Wall Street Journal: Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine plan: How he intends to speed up distribution by enlisting more community vaccination sites, mobile units and pharmacies. His pledge is 100 vaccine inoculations in 100 days and he’s proposing that Congress approve $20 billion on a national vaccination program.


> Vaccines: Shortages of COVID-19 vaccines are forcing some states to cancel appointments with those eligible to be inoculated. Reasons for the scarce supplies are unclear, but new shipments from the government go out every week, and both federal gatekeepers and the vaccine manufacturers have said there are large quantities in the pipeline (The Associated Press). … Amazon offered to assist the Biden administration with vaccine distribution (NBC News). … At least 16,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were ruined by temperature fluctuations in Maine and Michigan (The Washington Post). … Drug makers Pfizer and BioNTech say their COVID-19 vaccines are likely to be effective against the highly transmissible variant of the coronavirus identified in the United Kingdom (The Hill). … Unions, which fought to get their members near the top of eligibility lists for vaccinations, are poised to defend members who refuse employer mandates to be inoculated against COVID-19 (The Hill).


> Infections: Rep. Raul RuizRaul RuizOvernight Energy: Biden faces calls to shut down Dakota Access pipeline | Hackers breach, attempt to poison Florida city's water supply | Daines seeks to block Haaland confirmation to Interior Biden faces calls to shut down Dakota Access pipeline The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' MORE (D-Calif.) announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday and is working in self-isolation (Palm Springs Desert Sun). He is the most recent lawmaker to disclose a coronavirus infection after sheltering in the Capitol with mask-less colleagues for hours during the mob riot on Jan. 6.


INTERNATIONAL: Psaki told reporters on Wednesday that Biden will begin his calls with foreign leaders on Friday, starting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauSunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Trudeau lauds Biden: 'It's great to see America reengage' Biden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president MORE. She added that the first round of calls will be with “partners and allies,” indicating there are no immediate plans to speak with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinWest's 'wokeness' helped Russia to redefine a 'prisoner of conscience' For better or worse: Which way will US-Saudi relations go under Biden? How to rethink Russia sanctions MORE (The Hill). … Heads of state and government leaders extended their good wishes to the 46th president on Wednesday to kick off ties with the new administration. … In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE lauded his “warm personal friendship” with Biden in a 34-second message of congratulations. … French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronMacron urges US, EU to share vaccine doses Biden to champion alliances, democracy as he meets with foreign partners Overnight Defense: NATO expanding troops in Iraq MORE tweeted his well wishes to Biden and Harris, adding “Welcome back to the Paris Agreement!” … Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom said that he looks forward to working with Biden on issues such as climate change and COVID-19. However, his reign as prime minister was panned by his predecessor, Theresa MayTheresa Mary MayThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' Money talks: Why China is beating America in Asia China is winning the war for global tech dominance MORE, who accused Johnson of “abandoning” Great Britain’s leadership role during the Trump presidency (The Associated Press) … Queen Elizabeth II sent Biden a private congratulatory message. Biden is the 14th U.S. president to serve during her reign, which began in 1952 (CNN). 


And finally … It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for this week’s Morning Report Quiz! Inspired by the transfer of power to the 46th president, we’re eager for some smart guesses about inaugurations.


Email your responses to asimendinger@thehill.com and/or aweaver@thehill.com, and please add “Quiz” to subject lines. Winners who submit correct answers will enjoy some richly deserved newsletter fame on Friday.


The Capitol has not always been the setting for inaugurations. What other location(s) were backdrop(s) for the oath of office?


  1. The White House
  2. Federal Hall in New York City
  3. Congress Hall in Philadelphia
  4. All of the above


A departing president is not required to attend the swearing-in ceremony of a successor. Who was the first outgoing president to ride with his successor to the Capitol to participate in the inauguration?


  1. Abraham Lincoln
  2. Andrew Jackson
  3. Herbert Hoover
  4. Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonTrumpists' assaults on Republicans who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid will help Democrats The Jan. 6 case for ending the Senate filibuster Mellman: White working-class politics MORE


While taking the oath of office, Vice President Harris relied on two Bibles, including one previously owned by ___________.


  1. Thurgood Marshall
  2. Rosa Parks
  3. Martin Luther King Jr.
  4. John LewisJohn LewisDOJ faces swift turnaround to meet Biden voting rights pledge Harris holds first meeting in ceremonial office with CBC members Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy MORE


Which president was sworn in a second time because the chief justice bungled the administration of the initial oath of office during the ceremony at the Capitol?


  1. Ronald Reagan
  2. George H.W. Bush
  3. George W. Bush
  4. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaArtist behind golden Trump statue at CPAC says he made it in Mexico Obama opens up about singing 'Amazing Grace' after Charleston shooting: 'I've used up all my words' Exclusive: How Obama went to bat for Warren MORE