January 24, 2021

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US congressional leaders’ homes vandalised

2 min read

Vandals in the US have attacked the homes of the leaders of the two houses of Congress on the eve of a new session and the swearing-in of lawmakers.

Police said fake blood and a pig’s head were left outside the California home of Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives.

In Kentucky, graffiti was scrawled on the house of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican.

Congress is deadlocked over a relief package for the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday the House voted to increase the one-off payments sent to individuals from $600 (£440) to $2,000. The Democratic-controlled chamber passed the bill with the help of more than 40 Republicans.

But the Republican-led Senate has not approved the bigger cheques, despite calls to do so from US President Donald Trump.

What’s happening on Sunday?

The two houses of Congress will convene for a new session, with recently elected lawmakers to be sworn in.

Ms Pelosi will be re-elected as House speaker, but with a reduced majority, after the Democrats lost seats in the 3 November election.

Mr McConnell remains as Senate majority leader but could be unseated if the Democrats win special elections for both Senate seats in Georgia on Tuesday.

Control of the Senate is likely to determine the fate of President-elect Joe Biden’s legislative agenda. If the Republicans win, they will retain a narrow majority, giving them the power to vote down bills coming from the House.

Before Christmas, Democrats and Republicans blocked each other’s attempts to amend a vital $900bn (£665bn) stimulus package. The legislation, which comes with a $1.4tn federal budget attached, was agreed by both sides.

However, it was vetoed by President Donald Trump, who uncharacteristically sided with Democrats in wanting higher payments of $2,000, rather than $600.

“The Senate is not going to be bullied into rushing out more borrowed money into the hands of Democrats’ rich friends who don’t need the help,” Mr McConnell said on Wednesday.

Graffiti, covered up, on Nancy Pelosi's home, 2 January 2021

What damage was done to McConnell and Pelosi’s houses?

On Saturday Mr McConnell’s house in Louisville, Kentucky, was daubed with the words “were’s my money” and “Mitch kills the poor”.

In a statement, Mr McConnell said he appreciated all Kentuckians who took part in the democratic process “whether they agree with me or not”.

“This is different,” he said. “Vandalism and the politics of fear have no place in our society.”

San Francisco police said they were investigating the incident at Ms Pelosi’s home. Graffiti was daubed on her garage door, which was later covered over with black plastic bags.

She has not yet commented.

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