Biden stands by Putin removal comment but insists he’s not changing policy
After contentious nomination hearings that saw Republican senators harangue her about critical race theory and her record sentencing sexual offenders who targeted children, Ketanji Brown Jackson has picked up a crucial supporter: Maine Senator Susan Collins, who has become the first Republican to announce she will vote to confirm Joe Biden’s first Supreme Court nominee.
The news all but guarantees Ms Jackson’s confirmation. She has already secured the support of West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, who was thought to be the likeliest of his party’s 50 senators to withhold his support.
Meanwhile, Mr Biden has unveiled his budget proposal for 2023. It calls for lower federal deficits, more money for law enforcement, and greater funding for education, public health, and housing. Included is a proposal for a minimum tax on the super-rich that could hit Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos to the tune of $50bn and $35bn respectively.
And more than a century after such legislation was first introduced, President Joe Biden has signed into law a bill to make lynching a federal hate crime, condemning the “pure terror to the lie that not everyone belongs in America, not everyone is created equal “
ICYMI: Biden signs law making lynching a federal hate crime
Joe Biden yesterday signed a bill that makes lynching a federal hate crime, a measure that has been waiting to pass into law for more than a century.
Named for Emmett Till, the Black teenager whose brutal 1955 murder helped galvanise the civil rights movement, the bill faced only seven “no” votes in the House of Representatives and passed the Senate by unanimous consent.
“From the bullets in the back of Ahmaud Arbery, to countless acts of violence, countless victims both known and unknown… racial hate is not an old problem, it’s a persistent problem,” Mr Biden said at the signing ceremony. “Hate never goes away. It only hides, it hides under the rocks. Given just a little bit of oxygen it comes roaring back out, screaming. What stops it is all of us, not a few.”
Andrew Naughtie30 March 2022 13:39
Susan Collins to vote for Ketanji Brown Jackson
In a development that all but assures Joe Biden’s first Supreme Court nominee will be confirmed, Maine Republican Susan Collins has said she will vote for Ketanji Brown Jackson when the vote to put her on the bench comes to the Senate floor.
Ms Brown Jackson has already secured the support of Joe Manchin, the Democratic senator who was thought the most likely to withhold his backing.
Eric Garcia has the news:
Andrew Naughtie30 March 2022 13:17
Analysis: How Joe Biden can bridge the gap on police funding
Joe Biden’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year includes more than $3bn for law enforcement, making good on the president’s promise at the State of the Union that he would fund, not defund, the police. The move raises the prospect of a serious clash with the vocal and organized “defund” wing of the Democratic Party, but as Eric Garcia writes, the gap may not be unbridgeable.
Andrew Naughtie30 March 2022 12:45
ICYMI: Russia ‘failed to take Kyiv’, Ukraine’s capital was ‘key objective’, Pentagon says
Russian forces have failed in their mission to encircle and capture Kyiv, leading to Moscow’s announcement that military action around the Ukrainian capital would be scaled back, the US Department of Defense said on Tuesday.
Pentagon and John Kirby made clear during his remarks at a daily press briefing that Russian forces, and concurred with a reporter’s assertion that the Russian military had suffered a “defeat” on the outskirts of Kyiv.
“I said as much in my opening statement. They failed to take Kyiv,” Mr Kirby told reporters.
Andrew Naughtie30 March 2022 12:15
Was Biden’s Putin “gaffe” really a mistake?
Roll Call’s John T. Bennett – late of The Independent – writes that it is the White House, not Joe Biden, who made a mess of the president’s speech in Poland this weekend, specifically by trying to “walk back” his declaration that Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power”.
Andrew Naughtie30 March 2022 11:45
Biden’s Covid-19 approval relatively healthy – by global standards
Joe Biden’s overall approval ratings may not be in good shape these days, but on another measure, he is apparently doing relatively well. According to a poll from Morning Consult, the president enjoys a higher approval rating than many of his counterparts in other countries when it comes to handling the Covid-19 crisis.
He is performing better than leaders in Brazil, the UK, Australia and Spain, and even France’s Emmanuel Macron – though he lags far behind India’s Narendra Modi and Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
That said, his rating of 41 per cent approval to 50 per cent disapproval is obviously not much good in an absolute sense – and that it looks good by global standards says a lot about how governments have been damaged by the pandemic.
Andrew Naughtie30 March 2022 11:09
Al Sharpton on anti-lynching legislation
Speaking on MSNBC last night, veteran civil rights leader Al Sharpton gave his view on the significance of the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act, which Joe Biden signed into law yesterday.
“I was talking to the president and the vice president after the signing,” he said, “and to think that we are just getting this signed… to think that we had to get to 2022 to make lynching a federal crime, it is a bittersweet day”.
Andrew Naughtie30 March 2022 10:27
Trump dominates the GOP field, leading Biden and Harris in poll for 2024 matchup
Former President Donald Trump would win the 2024 election were it held today, a new poll published this week in The Hill found.
The 45th president, who faces widespread blame for spreading false claims about the last presidential election that led to a riot at the US Capitol, slightly leads Joe Biden in a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll published on Monday. Mr Trump would have the support of 47 per cent of voters while 41 per cent would back Mr Biden. The gap between the two was well within the 12-point margin that represents the current share of undecided voters.
Read John Bowden’s full report
Shweta Sharma30 March 2022 09:30
US issues new travel warning for Russia, saying Americans may be targeted
The US State Department has issued a new travel advisory warning all its citizens against traveling to Russia, saying Americans could be targeted with “harassment” by government security officials in the country.
This could include “detention and the arbitrary enforcement of local law” said the department, adding that there was also a risk Americans’ mobility may be affected by “limited flights into and out of Russia”.
Read full report by Namita Singh
Shweta Sharma30 March 2022 08:45
Two former US officials assisting in probe of Trump ally Clark – report
Two former top US justice department officials are assisting a Washington legal body’s ethics probe of their former colleague Jeffrey Bossert Clark, who allegedly tried to help overturn his 2020 election loss, two sources told Reuters.
Jeffrey Rosen, who served as acting attorney general, and Richard Donoghue, his former acting deputy, have given interviews to the District of Columbia Office of Disciplinary Counsel in recent days, they said.
The office that is investigating possible misconduct by Washington lawyers is probing whether Mr Clark violated ethics rules that prohibit lawyers from engaging in “dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation” when he asked the two officials to send a letter with false statements.
Shweta Sharma30 March 2022 07:46