Politics & Government

The newly inaugurated Biden administration wasted no time in taking two major steps to dismantle much-criticized Trump-era immigration policies in its first day in office.

The Department of Homeland Security announced that starting Thursday, it would pause deportations for certain noncitizens in the United States for 100 days and would stop new enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocols policy, also known as the "remain in Mexico" program.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Joe Biden assumes the presidency at a time of historic domestic challenges - international challenges too, as the president addressed this afternoon.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

In today's program, we are hearing from Americans across the country. And so we turn now to NPR national correspondent Adrian Florido, who is in Los Angeles, a Democratic stronghold and also the home of Vice President Harris.

Hi, Adrian.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Today, Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States in an inauguration ceremony unlike any other in this country's history.

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The Senate has voted to confirm Avril Haines to be director of national intelligence, making her President Biden's first Cabinet-level official to receive Senate confirmation. The vote was 84-10.

Her confirmation comes after Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., briefly held up the process, asking for a written response from her about a question during her confirmation hearing a day earlier.

"I no longer object," Cotton said Wednesday evening, noting that Haines had provided him with a response.

Updated at 8:23 p.m. ET

The Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all hit new records as markets closed on Wednesday afternoon.

The achievement was notched right in the middle of Inauguration Day celebrations, as the Biden administration played a montage of dancing and singing across America. There just may have been some celebratory shimmies on Wall Street, too.

The Dow rose nearly 1% to 31,188. The tech-heavy NASDAQ closing nearly 2% higher at 13,457, while the broader S&P 500 rose 1.39% to end the day at about 3,852.

Former President Donald Trump did not declare martial law in his final minutes in office; nor did he reveal a secret plan to remain in power forever. President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were not sent to Guantánamo Bay. The military did not rise up and arrest Democratic leaders en masse.

Instead, Biden took the oath of office and became the 46th U.S. president on Wednesday.

For some supporters of QAnon, this was an earth-shattering turn of events. Or rather, nonevents.

China imposed sanctions Wednesday on 28 former Trump administration officials, including outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In a statement released just minutes after President Biden took office, China's foreign ministry said it had decided to sanction those "who have seriously violated China's sovereignty and who have been mainly responsible for such U.S. moves on China-related issues."

A Connecticut man has been charged with assaulting an officer during the breach of the U.S. Capitol in an incident captured on video and shared widely on social media.

They gathered long distance via Zoom, garlanded with pearls in homage to Kamala Harris's signature neckwear, and with champagne bottles ready to pop.

Eight Black women, who for the past 25 years have belonged to what they call the Brown Girls Book Club, could not miss the opportunity to join together for this historic moment: the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who becomes the first woman, first African American, and first Asian American vice president.

Updated at 9:37 p.m. ET

Michael Pack resigned Wednesday as the CEO of the federal agency over the Voice of America and other federally funded international broadcasters after a turbulent seven-month tenure. He leaves the U.S. Agency for Global Media with a Trumpian legacy of ideological strife, lawsuits and scandal, his departure effective just two hours after the swearing-in of President Biden, who requested him to leave.

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET

Democrats officially took control of the Senate as Georgia's two new Democratic senators-elect were sworn in Wednesday afternoon, cementing a 50-50 split, with Vice President Harris serving as the tiebreaking vote in her new role as president of the the Senate.

Harris administered the oath of office to Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff hours after her own swearing-in.

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