McCarthy Announces Opposition to Jan. 6 Commission

Credit…Jason Andrew for The New York Times

Representative Kevin McCarthy, the top House Republican, said on Tuesday that he would oppose an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, denouncing the proposed bipartisan inquiry into the deadliest attack on Congress in centuries because it would not examine unrelated “political violence” associated with the left.

The announcement by Mr. McCarthy, Republican of California, suggested that a House vote this week to create the panel would likely be a partisan affair, with much of the G.O.P. opposing the effort to scrutinize the storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

But in yet another sign of how the former president’s election lies continue to drive wedges through the G.O.P., the position put him at odds with his counterpart in the Senate, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who said later he was open to supporting a commission depending on a review of the “fine print.”

Mr. McCarthy had been pushing for any outside investigation to look at violence by anti-fascists and Black Lives Matter, rather than focus narrowly on the actions of former President Donald J. Trump, whose false claims of election fraud drove the riot.

“Given the political misdirections that have marred this process, given the now duplicative and potentially counterproductive nature of this effort, and given the speaker’s shortsighted scope that does not examine interrelated forms of political violence in America, I cannot support this legislation,” Mr. McCarthy said in a statement.

Mr. Trump himself put out a statement Tuesday night calling the commission a “Democrat trap.” He urged Republicans to “get much tougher” and oppose it unless its was expanded to look at “murders, riots, and fire bombings” in cities run by Democrats.

“Hopefully, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy are listening!” he said.

In rejecting the commission, Mr. McCarthy essentially threw one of his key deputies, Representative John Katko of New York, under the bus in favor of shielding Mr. Trump and the party from further scrutiny. Mr. Katko had negotiated the makeup and scope of the commission with his Democratic counterpart on the Homeland Security Committee and enthusiastically endorsed it last Friday.

It was all the more striking coming just days after Mr. McCarthy had maneuvered the ouster from leadership of his No. 3, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, because she refused to drop criticisms of Mr. Trump and Republicans who abetted his election falsehoods. Ms. Cheney has said the commission should have a narrow scope, and that Mr. McCarthy should testify about a phone call with Mr. Trump during the riot.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, immediately slammed Republican opposition as “cowardice.”

Mr. Katko was more conciliatory. He defended his work as “a solid, fair agreement” but said the opposition was “not something I take personally.” He predicted a “healthy” number of Republicans would still vote for it.

“I can’t state this plainly enough: This is about facts,” Mr. Katko told the House Rules Committee at a hearing on the bill. “It’s not about partisan politics.”

House Democrats have the votes to pass the measure with or without Republicans. They got a boost from the White House, as well, which formally endorsed the bipartisan bill on Tuesday.

But Mr. McCarthy’s opposition raised questions about the breadth of Republican support. In the Senate, Democrats need 10 Republicans to join them to create it.

Mr. McConnell said Senate Republicans would “listen to the arguments on whether such a commission is needed.” He said he had concerns that the body might interfere with ongoing prosecution of suspected Capitol rioters and that the panel was not truly bipartisan.

Mr. McCarthy’s biggest complaint about the commission appeared to be the idea of a panel focused exclusively on the right-wing violence inspired by Mr. Trump, rather than a broader look at what he called “interrelated political violence,” including a shooting by a left-leaning gunman four years ago that targeted Republicans.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Representative Rashida Tlaib, Democrat of Michigan, confronted President Biden on Tuesday over his support for Israel amid its bombing campaign against Hamas in Gaza, urging him to stop enabling a government that she said was committing crimes against Palestinians, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the exchange.

During a conversation on a tarmac in Detroit, where Mr. Biden had arrived to visit a Ford factory near her congressional district, Ms. Tlaib echoed a scathing speech she delivered last week on the House floor, telling the president that he must do more to protect Palestinian lives and human rights, said the aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe her remarks.

Her comments came as Israel has scaled up its bombing campaign in the past week. Among Democrats in Congress, attitudes toward Israel have grown more skeptical as the party base expresses concern about Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Several high-profile progressive lawmakers including Ms. Tlaib have become increasingly vocal in criticizing Mr. Biden for his stance.

There was no immediate comment on the exchange from the White House.

Mr. Biden has expressed support for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza, but he has not demanded one, and he has continued to assert that Israel has a right to defend itself.

Ms. Tlaib told the president that the status quo was enabling more killing, and that his policy of unconditional support for the Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not working, the aide said.

Representative Debbie Dingell, Democrat of Michigan, whose district is home to the Ford F-150 factory that Mr. Biden was visiting and who also greeted him on his arrival, later said that the exchange on the tarmac was part of “an important dialogue.”

“It was a very compassionate, honest discussion,” she said in a brief interview. “But the president doesn’t deal with these kinds of issues in public, and he doesn’t negotiate in public.”

Mr. Biden shook Ms. Tlaib’s hand after the conversation, and later praised the congresswoman during his public remarks at the factory in Dearborn.

“I admire your intellect, I admire your passion and I admire your concern for so many other people,” Mr. Biden said before referring to Ms. Tlaib’s grandmother Muftia Tlaib, who lives in the West Bank. “From my heart, I pray that your grandmom and family are well. I promise you, I’ll do everything to see that they are.”

Credit…Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

The House overwhelmingly passed legislation on Tuesday aimed at strengthening federal efforts to address hate crimes directed at Asian-Americans, clearing the measure for President Biden’s signature.

The bill, approved in a 364-62 vote, is the first legislative action that Congress has taken to bolster law enforcement’s response to attacks on people of Asian descent amid an uptick in discrimination and violence against Asian-American communities during the pandemic.

“The Asian-American community is exhausted from being forced to endure this rise in bigotry and racist attacks,” said Representative Grace Meng, Democrat of New York. “Asian-Americans are tired of living in fear.”

The measure, led by Ms. Meng and Senator Mazie Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii, would establish a position at the Justice Department to expedite the agency’s review of hate crimes and expand the channels to report them. It would also encourage the creation of state-run hate crime hotlines, provide grants to law enforcement agencies that train their officers to identify hate crimes and introduce a series of public education campaigns around bias against people of Asian descent.

The bill was also approved by an overwhelming margin in the Senate, with only Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, opposing it. He argued that it mandated an overly expansive collection of data around hate crimes that could slide into government overreach.

In the House, 62 Republicans opposed it.

Mr. Biden last month pledged to swiftly sign the legislation when it reached his desk, hailing it as putting “our nation one step closer to achieving justice and equality.”

“For more than a year, far too many Asian Americans have woken up each morning increasingly fearful for their safety and the safety of their loved ones,” Mr. Biden said. “They have been scapegoated, harassed, and assaulted; some have even been killed.”

Credit…Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

In a victory for same-sex couples, the State Department on Tuesday said it would grant U.S. citizenship to babies born abroad to married couples with at least one American parent — no matter which parent was biologically related to the child.

The new policy effectively guarantees that American and binational couples who use assisted reproductive technology to give birth overseas — such as surrogates or sperm donations — can pass along citizenship to their children.

Earlier rules had left couples like Allison Blixt and Stefania Zaccari in a precarious — and often unexpected — legal situation.

Ms. Blixt, who is American, and Ms. Zaccari, who is Italian, sued the State Department after their older son, Lucas, was denied citizenship. Lucas was conceived and carried to birth by Ms. Zaccari, while his younger brother, who was conceived and carried by his American mother, was given U.S. citizenship when he was born.

“We are relieved and thankful that our fight for our family to be recognized by the government has finally ended,” Ms. Blixt said on Tuesday in a statement released by Immigration Equality, which was advocating on behalf of same-sex families. “Lucas, who made me a mother, will finally be treated as my son and recognized as American, as his brother always has been.”

The State Department said in a statement that it could not estimate how many couples the new guidance would affect. Lawsuits filed against the State Department during the Trump administration are pending, one official said, but the guidance issued on Tuesday may soon render the litigation moot.

Previously, the State Department, based on an interpretation of 1950s immigration law, required a child born abroad to have a biological connection to an American parent in order to receive citizenship at birth.

The emphasis on biology drew scrutiny in particular for its impact on same-sex couples, who are more likely to use assisted reproductive technology.

In several cases, same-sex couples sued the State Department after their child was not recognized as a U.S. citizen.

In one stark example, the daughter of a married gay couple was denied citizenship, even though both of her fathers are American citizens. In that case, one of the fathers is an American citizen by birth, born and raised in the United States. His husband was born in Britain to an American mother. Their daughter, who was born abroad to a surrogate using a donor egg and sperm from her British-born father, did not qualify for citizenship at birth.

In another example, a married Israeli-American gay couple had twin sons in Canada using sperm from each of the fathers. The biological son of the American received citizenship, but his brother, the biological son of the Israeli, did not.

In both of those cases, judges sided with the families, granting the children citizenship, but the policy itself remained in effect.

Advocates for gay and lesbian couples argued that the policy, which predated the Trump administration, was discriminatory, because it failed to recognize same-sex marriages. Under the policy, the department classified certain children born through assisted reproductive technology as “out of wedlock,” a category which set a higher bar for citizenship, even if the parents were legally married.

Credit…Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

A political firestorm erupted in Arizona this week after Republican-backed reviewers of the November election in Maricopa County, the state’s largest, suggested that someone had deleted a crucial data file from election equipment that had been subpoenaed as part of the inquiry.

The county’s chief official, himself a Republican, called the charge outrageous. Former President Donald J. Trump, who has promoted the lie that the Arizona vote was rigged against him, boasted that the allegation was “devastating” evidence of irregularities.

But on Tuesday, a contractor for the Republican-controlled State Senate, which is conducting the review, said the claim had become “a moot point.” The file had been found on a set of four computer drives in the election equipment, the contractor, Ben Cotton, said at a meeting on the review convened by Republican senators.

Mr. Cotton’s effort to downplay the brouhaha fit the theme of the livestreamed meeting, in which the senators sought to cast the widely ridiculed review as a civics-lesson effort to improve election administration, not a bid to placate angry Trump supporters who refuse to accept his loss in the state.

“I’ve said from the get-go that I’m relatively sure we are not going to find anything of any magnitude that would imply any intentional wrongdoing,” the president of the State Senate, Karen Fann, said at the session. Rather, she said, the review is expected to highlight that “we could do a little better job with the chain of custody” of voting material and other technical aspects of conducting an election.

The review has nonetheless acquired a markedly partisan tilt, with senators employing a firm whose chief executive has spread conspiracy theories of an Arizona election stolen from Mr. Trump, and granting One America News and pro-Trump figures broad access to the process.

Among the ardent set of believers that Mr. Trump actually won the November election, the notion that the Arizona review will demolish all evidence of President Biden’s victory has become an article of faith.

Jack Sellers, the Republican chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, denounced the review on Monday as “a grift disguised as an audit.” Other Republicans in the county government have urged the State Senate to scrap the inquiry, saying it was an effort to undermine the November election and with it, Arizonans’ faith in democracy.

In the meeting on Tuesday, Ms. Fann and another supporter of the review, State Senator Warren Petersen, largely ignored such criticisms, while expressing frustration that county officials had decided not to cooperate with their inquiry.

The 70-minute session raised minor questions about the November election, such as a purported mismatch between some ballots that had been damaged at polling places and the duplicate ballots that were used to record those votes. But it made no broad claims of irregularities.

Mr. Cotton, the founder of a data security firm in Ashburn, Va., called CyFIR, maintained that the data file at the center of the latest dispute over the audit had indeed been deleted from election equipment hard drives. But he later indicated that he had been unable to find the file because county election officials had not given him instructions to find it.

Senator Petersen, seen by many as the prime supporter of the audit, called Mr. Cotton’s discovery of the supposedly deleted file “good news.”

Credit…Pool photo by Debbie Hill

President Biden on Monday delivered a firmer message in private to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel than he has done in public, warning that he could put off growing pressure from the international community and from Congress to call on Israel to change its approach to Hamas for only so long, according to two people familiar with the call.

The private message hinted at a time limit on Mr. Biden’s ability to provide diplomatic cover for the actions of the Israeli government, as well as a new dynamic in American politics: the president presenting himself as a closer friend to Israel than it might find in Congress.

“We have a new dynamic with Congress playing the bad cop with Israel and asking the president to put a hold on an arms sales while the president plays the good cop,” said Ilan Goldenberg, an Obama administration official who is the director of the Middle East Security program at the Center for a New American Security. “It may give President Biden more flexibility and leverage down the line with the Israelis.”

The tactic — private pressure, combined with the president’s public support for Israel’s right to defend itself — has come under fire from Democratic members of Congress and progressive Jewish groups.

“This combination of inadequate ‘quiet’ appeals for de-escalation, and otherwise nearly unquestioning public support for and tolerance of the Netanyahu government’s actions, is unhelpful,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J-Street, a liberal pro-Israel advocacy group that has worked for years to shift the debate as a counterweight to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

But administration officials defended it on Tuesday as a product of Mr. Biden’s decades of foreign policy experience.

“He’s been doing this long enough to know that the best way to end an international conflict is typically not to debate it in public,” the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, told reporters on Tuesday.

Mr. Biden and Mr. Netanyahu on Monday discussed Israel’s right to defend itself against “indiscriminate rocket attacks,” according to the White House’s public readout of the call. In the brief summary, the White House said that Mr. Biden had “expressed his support for a cease-fire.”

Credit…Brittany Greeson for The New York Times

A Michigan state judge on Tuesday dismissed one of the last, high-profile court cases questioning the results of the 2020 presidential election, a case former President Donald J. Trump cited to claim fraud after unofficial results in one county initially assigned some votes for him to President Biden.

The plaintiff, William Bailey, a local resident, and his lawyer, Matthew S. DePerno, had sought to use the case to cast doubt on the vote nationwide, suggesting that a flawed count by Dominion Voting System machines in Antrim County, Mich., meant that all such machines were open to manipulation and deliberate fraud. The suit was also an attempt to force another statewide audit.

Although Mr. DePerno and the various experts he tapped to analyze the vote repeatedly said that various flaws with the voting machines left them open to hacking, they did not cite any specific evidence that it had occurred. A computer expert hired by the state also noted some security weaknesses, but said there was no indication that they had been exploited.

Mr. Trump cited Antrim County in his speech on Jan. 6 in Washington claiming that the vote was corrupt and has continued to site the case as an example of “major” fraud. The critical mistake made by local election officials was readily evident right after the Nov. 3 vote. Unofficial results posted online by the county clerk indicated that Mr. Biden won the heavily Republican country with 7,769 votes versus 4,509 votes for Mr. Trump.

A quick analysis by county and state election officials determined that the mistake was because of human error — a failure to update the software in some voting machines to account for new ballot lines for local issues had thrown the machine count off, with votes for Mr. Trump attributed to Mr. Biden.

After several attempts at correcting the count using paper ballots, including a hand recount released last December, the numbers basically flipped, with Mr. Trump outpolling Mr. Biden by more than 3,000 votes in Antrim County. Mr. Trump lost Michigan by some 154,000 votes.

Judge Kevin A. Elsenheimer of the 13th Circuit Court, a former Republican legislator in Michigan, granted the motion on Tuesday by the combined state and county legal team for a summary dismissal on fairly narrow technical grounds, saying the legal requirement for voters to request an audit had already been met.

The statewide vote audit demanded by Mr. Bailey and his lawyer had already been completed by Jocelyn Benson, the Michigan secretary of state, earlier in the year, he said. The ruling did not address the issue of possible manipulation.

Ms. Benson had said two audits confirmed the accuracy and integrity of the vote, with a random sample of ballots in the second one mirroring the machine count.

In a statement on Tuesday, Ms. Benson said that the dismissal of the “last of the lawsuits” seeking to further the “big lie” confirmed that the election was fair and secure.

Dana Nessel, the Michigan attorney general, said in a statement that she hoped the ruling would be a “nail in the coffin” for any remaining conspiracy theories surrounding the outcome of the presidential election.

Mr. DePerno did not respond to a telephone call and an email seeking comment, but he is expected to appeal.

The case continues to roil the waters in Antrim County, with public discussion of it taking up many hours of recent county commission meetings. Democrats have generally expressed support for the county’s explanation while Republicans demand the county clerk, a Republican, be dismissed.

County officials have fretted aloud that they would have to replace all the voting machines because a significant number of voters had lost faith in them, and at their last meeting in early May decided to summon their lawyer for a briefing.

“Is everybody OK with just a quick update and not 8,700 questions for four hours?” pleaded Terry VanAlstine, the chairman of the board of commissioners.

Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

The United States Capitol Police confirmed on Tuesday that it was conducting a criminal investigation related to a subpoena to Twitter for information about a pseudonymous account dedicated to mocking Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California.

The investigation is examining a threat made online and is still open, said a spokesman for the police force, which protects members of Congress, adding that he was unable to say more.

Little is known publicly about the case, and it is not clear whether the user of the parody Twitter account, @NunesAlt, remains under any scrutiny as part of that ongoing inquiry.

The disclosure by the Capitol Police came a day after the Justice Department unsealed court filings that disclosed that prosecutors had obtained a grand jury subpoena on Nov. 24, while President Donald J. Trump was still in office, demanding that Twitter provide identifying information about @NunesAlt.

A person familiar with the matter told The New York Times on Monday that the Biden Justice Department had withdrawn the subpoena after Twitter challenged it. On Tuesday, the department unsealed another court filing confirming that it had done so. The filing showed that prosecutors told Twitter they had dropped the subpoena on March 17.

Twitter routinely cooperates with grand-jury subpoenas. But in this case, it saw the user as engaged in political commentary protected by the First Amendment and raised the specter that the Trump-era Justice Department had abused its power to help an ally of the president.

In the filing, Twitter noted that Mr. Nunes and his lawyer had previously filed several lawsuits trying to identify people who had criticized him on social media — including the user of the @NunesAlt parody account, which calls itself Mr. Nunes’s mother and posts memes mocking him.

When Twitter pressed prosecutors for the basis of the subpoena, they said it was for a threat investigation but declined to point to anything specific @NunesAlt had posted that was threatening, the unsealed documents show. The user of that account has said that he or she made no threat.

Credit…Sergio Flores for The New York Times

In a federal shelter in Dallas, migrant children sleep in a windowless convention center room under fluorescent lights that never turn off.

At another shelter on a military base in El Paso, teenagers pile onto bunk cots, and some say they have gone days without bathing.

And at a shelter in Erie, Pa., problems began emerging within days of its creation: “Fire safety system is a big concern,” an internal report noted, and lice is “a big issue and seems to be increasing.”

Early this year, children crossing the southwestern border in record numbers were crammed into Customs and Border Protection’s jail-like detention facilities. They slept side by side on mats with foil blankets, almost always far longer than the legal limit of 72 hours.

Republicans declared it a crisis. Democrats and immigration groups denounced the conditions, which erupted into an international embarrassment for President Biden, who had campaigned on a return to compassion in the immigration system.

The administration responded by rapidly setting up temporary, emergency shelters, including some that could house thousands of children. But the next crisis is coming into view.

There is broad agreement that the emergency shelters, run by the Health and Human Services Department’s Office of Refugee Resettlement, are an improvement over the Border Patrol facilities. But interviews with children’s advocates and a review of weeks of internal reports obtained by The New York Times paint a picture of a shelter system with wildly varying conditions, some of which are far below the standard of care that the Biden administration has promised.



‘The Future of the Auto Industry Is Electric,’ Biden Says

President Biden promoted his infrastructure plan on Tuesday while visiting the Michigan factory where Ford will produce its first electric Ford F-150 pickup truck. Transitioning to electric vehicles is a key part of Mr. Biden’s $4 trillion economic agenda.

The future of the industry is electric. There’s no turning back, and as Rory says, “The American auto industry is at a crossroads.” The real question is whether it will lead or will fall behind in the race to the future, or whether we’ll build these vehicles and the batteries that go in them here in the United States or rely on other countries? Or whether the jobs to build these vehicles and batteries are good-paying union jobs with benefits, jobs that will sustain and grow the middle class. The rest of the world is moving fast. They’re moving ahead. They’re not waiting for the United States of America. Government, labor industry working together have to step up. And we have a playbook that will work. We’re going to set a new pace for electric vehicles. That means reversing the previous administration’s short-sighted rollback of vehicle emissions and efficiency standards, setting strong, clear targets where we need to go. It means passing the American Jobs Plan to do three things: One, transform our infrastructure. We’re going to put Americans to work modernizing our roads, our highways, our ports, our airports, rails and transit systems. That includes putting I.B.E.W. members and the union workers to work, installing 50,000 charging stations along our roads and highways. Two, we’re going to boost our manufacturing capacity. That’s why the American Jobs Plan invests in new and retooled union facilities, grants to kickstart new battery and parts production, loans and tax credits to boost manufacturing of these clean vehicles. It also makes the largest investment in research and development in generations. That’s going to help innovate, manufacture and build supply chains for batteries and semiconductors and small computer chips that make electric trucks and cars go.

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President Biden promoted his infrastructure plan on Tuesday while visiting the Michigan factory where Ford will produce its first electric Ford F-150 pickup truck. Transitioning to electric vehicles is a key part of Mr. Biden’s $4 trillion economic agenda.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Biden had toured a vehicle factory and delivered a policy speech, but he was not going to leave Michigan without taking a new electric pickup truck out for a spin.

He raced around a test track in the electric version of Ford’s iconic F-150 pickup, showing off the features he and his administration say could help to sell Americans on a low-emission, electric-car future that stretches from suburban driveways to rural back roads.

“This sucker’s quick,” Mr. Biden told reporters through an open window of the prototype truck, before hitting the gas.

But the transition he is championing, from gas guzzlers to plug-in powerhouses, will be anything but swift. Mr. Biden and Republicans in Congress are at odds over the president’s $4 trillion economic agenda.

In remarks on Tuesday at the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, Mr. Biden called for spending hundreds of billions of dollars for domestic manufacturing, electric vehicle deployment and research into emerging technologies like advanced batteries.

“My name is Joe Biden,” the president said at the start of his remarks, “and I’m a car guy.”

In a state that helped deliver the White House to Mr. Biden last year, after going for former President Donald J. Trump in 2016, the president pitched the idea that a transition to electric vehicles can position the United States to beat out China in the global automotive market, while creating high-paying union jobs. He did so flanked by trucks from the best-selling vehicle line in the country.

“The American auto industry is at a crossroads and the real question is whether we’ll lead or fall behind in the race to the future,” he said. “Or whether we’ll build these vehicles and the batteries that go in them here in the United States or rely on other countries, or whether the jobs to build these vehicles and batteries are good-paying union jobs with benefits, jobs that will sustain and grow the middle class.”

In Washington, where two of Mr. Biden’s cabinet secretaries met with Senate Republicans in an effort to broker a bipartisan deal on infrastructure spending, conservatives continued to pump the brakes on the president’s electric-vehicle ambitions.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The arrival of an electric F-150 is an important milestone in the auto industry’s transition to E.V.s. So far, only Tesla has sold electric models in high volume, but Ford’s F-Series trucks make up the top-selling vehicle line in the United States. Ford typically sells about 900,000 F-Series vehicles a year.

Earlier this year, Ford began selling the Mustang Mach E, a battery-powered sport-utility vehicle styled to resemble the company’s famous sports car.

“We’re not just electrifying fringe vehicles,” the company’s chairman, William C. Ford Jr., said. “The Mustang and the F-150 are the heart of what Ford is, so this is a signal about how serious we are about electrification. This really showcases where the industry can go and should go.”

Credit…Pool photo by Chip Somodevilla

MIAMI — Representative Val B. Demings, Democrat of Florida, intends to run for the Senate next year, two people with knowledge of her plans and the party’s strategy on Senate races said Tuesday. Her entry into the race gives Democrats a high-profile challenger against Senator Marco Rubio, the incumbent Republican.

Ms. Demings is expected to formally announce her candidacy in the coming weeks, according to one of her advisers. Her plans were first reported by Politico.

Her impending campaign comes as Florida Democrats, battered from mounting electoral losses there since 2016 and by former President Donald J. Trump’s comfortable win in the state last year, jostle over how to best take on Mr. Rubio and Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, who also faces re-election next year.

Ms. Demings, a former police chief who represents a district in Orlando, had been weighing whether to run for Senate or for governor. Mr. DeSantis is a top target for Democrats because if he wins re-election, he will be considered an early favorite for the Republican presidential nomination in the 2024 election. Early signals suggested Ms. Demings was leaning toward the governor race: When Representative Charlie Crist declared his Democratic candidacy against Mr. DeSantis this month, her team released a polished biographical web video on the same day.

But Mr. DeSantis is a formidable foe whose political committee raised nearly $14 million in April, an intimidating sum for his would-be challengers. Besides Mr. Crist, Democrats also expect Nikki Fried, the Florida agriculture commissioner, to run for governor. (She has teased an announcement for June 1.)

Ms. Demings ultimately favored a Senate run because she could continue the legislative work she has done in the House but make a bigger difference, said her adviser, who requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

In the House, Ms. Demings made a name for herself as an impeachment manager during Mr. Trump’s first trial last year. She was also a contender to be selected as Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s vice-presidential choice last summer.

Ms. Demings could find herself running against familiar faces: Among the Democrats also considering Senate runs are two from the Orlando area, Representative Stephanie Murphy and former Representative Alan Grayson.

“It’s become clear to me that the only thing Marco Rubio cares about is Marco Rubio, so I think he needs to retire or be retired,” Ms. Murphy, who has been on a tour of the state, said in Tallahassee on Monday night, according to The Tallahassee Democrat newspaper.

In a statement, a spokesman for Mr. Rubio said Democrats “are tripping over themselves” to find a candidate. “While Democrats are flailing to find their next candidate to advance their radical agenda, Senator Rubio is focused on delivering wins for the people of Florida,” the statement said.

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