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President-elect Joe Biden's nominee to head the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, appears before a Senate panel Tuesday to begin his confirmation process.

Mayorkas, who would be the first Latino and first immigrant to lead that Department, was previously the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a DHS agency, during the Obama administration. He then served as deputy secretary of DHS.

Watch the hearing live beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

President-elect Joe Biden is nominating Pennsylvania health expert Dr. Rachel Levine to be assistant secretary for health in the department of Health and Human Services, in a move that could make Levine the first openly transgender federal official to win Senate confirmation.

Levine is currently the secretary of health in Pennsylvania, where she leads the state's fight against COVID-19. She is also professor at the Penn State College of Medicine. Levine began her medical career as a pediatrician, at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Authorities at the U.S. Capitol are on high alert. NPR's Noel King talks to National Guard Vice Chief Lt. Gen. Marc Sasseville about how the guard is helping to secure Inauguration Day events.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Keep up with the latest Montana politics, elections and Legislature news. Get updates on your radio during Morning and Evening Edition, on the web or via podcast any time.

The Montana Capitol
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

The 2021 Montana Legislature has begun, and it looks different this year due to the part remote, part in-person arrangement adopted in response to COVID-19. Here's how you can stay informed and make your voice heard during the session.

Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Monday his nomination for the director of the Montana Department of Commerce. Gianforte pledged on the campaign trail to replace all state agency leaders.

Montana's Republican Senator Steve Daines says calls for resignations and the impeachment of President Donald Trump aren’t helping the country heal after a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol last week.

YPR News’ Kevin Trevellyan spoke Friday with the Senator about how he views the mob and the aftermath.

Rep. Matt Rosendale
Corin Cates-Carny / Montana Public Radio

This week, Montana Representative Matt Rosendale became the third Congressman in Montana’s history to officially object to another states’ electoral results.

YPR News’ Rachel Cramer has been tracking this final step in certifying Pres.-elect Joe Biden’s win over Donald Trump. She shares her reporting with Nicky Ouellet.

President Donald Trump and then Republican Senate candidate Matt Rosendale on stage during a July 5, 2018 rally in Great Falls, MT.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

With less than two weeks left in the Trump Administration, Montana Republican Representative Matt Rosendale says that he won’t support cutting it short.

Rosendale says Jan. 20 will mark the transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden.

At a House Judiciary Committee meeting at the Montana Capitol January 5, 2021 lawmakers wearing masks and those with bare faces sat next to each other. Some committee chairs are requiring participants to adhere to public health guidance, others aren't.
Shaylee Ragar / Montana Public Radio

A panel of Montana state legislative leaders adopted new guidelines Friday for holding the session during the coronavirus pandemic. The move came one day after a state lawmaker announced he tested positive for COVID-19.

The Session Week 2: Gender, Guns, COVID-19

Jan 11, 2021

As of midday Jan. 8, 234 bills have been introduced and none have yet been signed into law. We're expecting to see policy priorities introduced this week that will set the tone for the rest of the 90 day session. This week, we're watching a couple of different bills about gender, guns and COVID-19.

A Coup Attempt, A Budget Proposal And COVID Confusion

Jan 9, 2021
'Capitol Talk' is MTPR's weekly legislative analysis program.
Montana Public Radio

Montana lawmakers had very different takes on Wednesday's insurrection and the unfounded claims that fueled it. Gov. Gianforte released his budget proposal. And the Legislature started out with confusing and contradictory COVID-19 protocols.

Listen now on Capitol Talk, with MTPR's Sally Mauk, Lee Newspapers State Bureau Chief Holly Michels and UM Political Science Professor Rob Saldin.

Montana lawmakers have set the first rough outline for state health department spending at about a billion dollars less than the agency’s current budget. A party line vote Friday set the initial base spending for budget negotiations. 

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte unveils his budget proposal in a press conference at the Montana Capitol in Helena January 7, 2021. The proposal promises a $100 million decrease in state spending over the next two years.
Austin Amestoy / UM Legislative News Service

Gov. Greg Gianforte’s first budget proposal includes broad tax cuts and a marginal change in the state’s general fund spending.

Gianforte is proposing a less than one percent increase, not adjusted for inflation, to the state’s general fund spending over the next 2 years.

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