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Senate Republicans block funding bill that included aid for Ukraine and Israel

Senate GOP blocks aid to Ukraine and Israel

The Senate has blocked a supplemental funding bill that included financial aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan as well as provisions aimed at bolstering border security. The vote, which fell mostly along party lines, increases the likelihood that Congress will fail to approve more funding for Ukraine before the end of the year, as the White House has warned that Kyiv is desperately in need of more aid.

The vote was 49 to 51, as every Senate Republican opposed advancing the legislation. Sixty votes were needed to take up the bill. Republicans in both chambers of Congress had demanded stricter border regulations in exchange for their support, and they said the bill failed to meet their requirements.

The vote came one day after Senate Democrats formally unveiled the $111bn supplemental security bill, reflecting the funding request that Joe Biden issued in October to provide assistance to the US’s allies abroad.



Hunter Biden's lawyer says again that president's son will only testify publicly

Hunter Biden will only testify publicly

Hunter Biden, the president's son, is reiterating that his testimony before Congress will only be public.

In a letter to Rep. James Comer, the Kentucky Republican who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, Biden's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said the offer to testify publicly was in response to Comer's own remarks on at least three occasions. Comer previously rejected Biden's Nov. 28 offer to publicly testify before his panel, saying any testimony would have to be behind closed doors.

"As indicated in my November 28, 2023, letter, Mr. Biden has offered to appear at a hearing on the December 13, 2023, date you have reserved, or another date this month, to answer any question pertinent and relevant to the subject matter stated in your November 8, 2023, letter," Lowell wrote. "He is making this choice because the Committee has demonstrated time and again it uses closed-door sessions to manipulate, even distort, the facts and misinform the American public—a hearing would ensure transparency and truth in these proceedings."


Kevin McCarthy Says He Will Retire From Congress This Month

Kevin McCarthy will leave Congress

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is leaving Congress at the end of the month, he announced Wednesday in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

The announcement comes weeks after McCarthy was thrown out of the speakership in a historic vote led by hard-right members of his own party, abruptly ending his steady rise in the House.

“No matter the odds, or personal cost, we did the right thing. That may seem out of fashion in Washington these days, but delivering results for the American people is still celebrated across the country,” McCarthy wrote of his time in the House.


Mike Johnson Says Republicans Are Blurring Jan. 6 Footage To Protect Rioters From DOJ

Mike JohnsonHouse Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said Tuesday that Republicans are blurring faces in security footage from inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to protect rioters from prosecution.

“We have to blur some of the faces of persons who participated in the events of that day because we don’t want them to be retaliated against and to be charged by the DOJ,” Johnson said at a news conference.

The Department of Justice has long had access to the footage and has used it in some of the roughly 1,200 criminal cases against people linked to the riot, when hundreds pushed past police to storm the Capitol.

Johnson’s comment is a remarkable statement of sympathy for supporters of then-President Donald Trump who illegally entered a restricted federal building as part of a violent attack on Congress as it met to certify the Electoral College vote before Joe Biden’s inauguration.


Zelensky will brief senators Tuesday ahead of key vote on military aid

Zelensky to talk to Congress

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address senators at a classified briefing Tuesday via a secure video conference feed, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced.

Zelensky will brief senators on the state of the war in Ukraine and the need for another round of military aid a day before the Senate is scheduled to vote on proceeding to the legislative vehicle for a $106 billion emergency foreign aid package that includes more than $61 billion for Ukraine.


Sen. Bernie Sanders To Vote Against Military Aid To Israel

Bernie Sanders

In a break with President Joe Biden and Senate Democratic leadership, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced Monday evening that he would vote against a supplemental spending bill to provide emergency military aid to Israel and Ukraine.

Sanders, who drew left-wing ire in recent weeks for stopping short of endorsing a permanent cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, cited his concerns about the scale of Palestinian civilian deaths and displacement.

Sanders repeatedly invoked what he sees as illegal actions taken by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the most right-wing Israeli government in history.

“What the Netanyahu government is doing is immoral,” Sanders said in remarks on the Senate floor. “It is in violation of international law ― and the United States should not be complicit in those actions.”


Indicted Republican lawmaker George Santos expelled from US House

Santos expelledIndicted Republican George Santos' brief career in the U.S. House of Representatives came to an end on Friday, when fellow lawmakers voted to expel him over criminal corruption charges and accusations of misspending campaign money.

The House voted 311-114 to immediately remove the controversial freshman lawmaker, above the two-thirds majority required to oust one of its own.

Embattled by revelations of lies about his past and a federal criminal indictment, Santos, 35, became only the sixth member to be expelled from the House. He was the first to be kicked out without having fought for the Confederacy or being convicted of a crime.


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