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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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On Wednesday, pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., breaking down doors and forcing their way into both the Senate and House chambers. MTPR’s Aaron Bolton spoke with Montana’s Democratic Sen. Jon Tester about what he calls an attempted coup.

Demonstrators gather outside the Montana Capitol January 6, 2021 in support of President Trump's debunked claims of fraud in the presidential election.
Shaylee Ragar / Montana Public Radio

Montana state political leaders issued statements condemning pro-Donald Trump extremists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

A screenshot from C-SPAN shows a pro-Trump mob outside the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, 2021 at 2:47 p.m. Members of the U.S. House and Senate were meeting in a joint session to certify states' electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election.
CSPAN

The three members of Montana’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C., along with their staff, are safe following a group of pro-Trump extremists storming the U.S Capitol as a mob.

Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte has put his support behind a proposal to raise state employee pay by 55 cents an hour in 2023.

Newly-inaugurated Gov. Greg Gianforte announced his first executive order Tuesday in an effort to make good on one of his key campaign promise — cutting regulations. Gianforte signed an order to create the Red Tape Relief Task Force, which is charged with reviewing state regulations on business and industry.

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

Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale is joining a group of Republican U.S. Representatives who have announced their intention to object to Electoral College results from certain states during a joint session of Congress Wednesday.

Rosendale joins Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines in calling for the creation of an Electoral Commission to conduct an emergency 10 day audit of election returns.

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

As the 67th Montana Legislature gets underway, lawmakers are establishing the various ways they’ll conduct business amid the public health threat of the coronavirus. The COVID-19 protocols in each committee room may look different.

Montana House Minority Leader Kim Abbott speaks to the press on the Capitol steps January 5, 2021. She said Montana Democrats have had “good conversations” with Gov. Greg Gianforte and House and Senate Republicans regarding policy goals for the session.
Austin Amestoy / UM Legislative News Service

Montana Democrats released their top legislative priorities for the 2021 legislative session on Tuesday. House Minority Leader Kim Abbott and other Democatic leaders presented their caucuses’ goals for policymaking over the next 90 days, although that did not include specific bill drafts.

Gov. Greg Gianforte releases his plans for the state’s response to COVID-19 at a press conference January 5, 2021. He said he will rescind the statewide mask mandate, but only after certain criteria are met.
James Bradley / UM Legislative News Service

On his second day in office, Gov. Greg Gianforte pledged to lift Montana’s statewide mask mandate enacted by his predecessor to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Now local areas are preparing face-covering ordinances of their own.

At a press conference Tuesday, Gianforte said addressing COVID-19 was his top priority as governor, and that he would be issuing new guidance to help the state recover.

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