The Morning Dispatch: What Delayed the Deployment of the National Guard?

Happy Thursday! Until Congress changed the date in 1933, presidential inaugurations were held on March 4. Not unrelated: American intelligence and law enforcement officials are warning of another QAnon-inspired plot by a militia to storm the U.S. Capitol today.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • Maj. Gen. William Walker, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Rules committees Wednesday that his response to the January 6 Capitol insurrection was delayed three hours due to “unusual” restrictions by senior leadership that inhibited guardsmen from entering the fray.

  • The U.S. Al Asad air base in Iraq came under rocket fire of unknown origin Wednesday, resulting in a heart attack and subsequent death of an American civilian contractor. The attack comes less than a week after the U.S. strike on Iran-backed militia groups in Syria. Whether the attack is directly attributable to Tehran or one of its regional proxy groups, it likely signals an escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

  • In an effort to boost support for his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill in the Senate, President Joe Biden on Wednesday approved a plan proposed by centrist House Democrats to lower the income eligibility for the bill’s $1,400 stimulus checks. Should the bill pass, only those who earn $80,000 or less would be eligible for direct payments, an income cap that is $20,000 less than the last round of stimulus checks that were sent from the federal government under the Trump administration.

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