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Rep. Carlos Curbelo. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo lambasted the Department of Health and Human Services on Friday after being denied entry into a government facility holding migrant children, despite originally being approved for the visit, the Daily Beast reports.

"[I]f they're confident in the work that they're doing, they should welcome us in. It was highly disappointing and I think they're claiming that they have a lot of work and getting a lot of requests. I don't feel sorry for them. That's what we pay them to do...We fund these facilities. We fund the salaries of everyone who works at these facilities."
— Rep. Curbelo, per the Beast

The details: Per the Beast, Curbelo — who was also a vocal supporter of Scott Pruitt's resignation on Thursday — made a formal request to HHS more than two weeks ago to visit the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, a facility in his southern Florida district.

  • Friday was agreed upon as the day for his visit, the Beast reports. The night before his visit, Curbelo was told that HHS couldn't send a staffer to the facility to give him a tour, despite there being HHS officials based in south Florida.

Go deeper

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.

Progressives pressure Schumer to end filibuster

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

A progressive coalition is pressuring Chuck Schumer on his home turf by running a digital billboard in Times Square urging the new majority leader to end the Senate filibuster.

Why it matters: Schumer is up for re-election in 2o22 and could face a challenger, and he's also spearheading his party's broader effort to hold onto its narrow congressional majorities.

4 hours ago - Health

U.S. surpasses 25 million COVID cases

A mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 22 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S has confirmed more than 25 million coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data updated on Sunday.

The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.