- Bill to investigate 6 January riot passed House Wednesday
- House Democrats pass Capitol security bill over progressive anger
- Bernie Sanders brings resolution to halt arms sales to Israel
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have arrived in the East Room for the signing of the anti-Asian American hate crimes bill.
The vice-president spoke first, thanking lawmakers of both parties for getting the legislation to the president’s desk today.
Joe Biden spoke to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi today about the violence in Gaza, the White House said.
“The two leaders discussed efforts to achieve a ceasefire that will bring an end to the current hostilities in Israel and Gaza,” the White House said in a readout of the call.
Joe Biden will soon sign the anti-Asian American hate crimes bill into law, and many lawmakers are at the White House to witness the bill-signing.
Reporters noted this was the first time in months that a White House event actually looked somewhat normal, with lawmakers going maskless after the CDC said fully vaccinated individuals could skip masks in most settings.
For the first time in a long time, the East Room looks...normal. Lawmakers and guests are milling about, taking pictures and shaking hands with no masks. President Biden is expected to sign the Asian-American hate crimes bill shortly. pic.twitter.com/Y4dXNxeF0u
More from the AP regarding the violence in Gaza:
The White House says that reports of a move toward a cease-fire between Israel and the militant Hamas group that rules the Gaza Strip are “clearly encouraging” but cautioned that a truce has yet to be agreed on.
As the US opens up and lifts pandemic restrictions, Psaki also answered several questions about how it will handle coronavirus issues across the world.
– Psaki said the US plans to distribute vaccines to countries in need, but has not released a plan yet on where they will go. She said the Biden administration is trying to it “in a way that’s fair and has a regional balance.”
At the White House presser, Psaki also fielded questions about two major pipelines. She defended the Biden administration’s waiving of sanctions on the Russian company behind the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 and its German chief executive saying that it had geopolitical implications, and touting the US relationship with Germany.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken opted to waive the sanctions saying earlier they “would negatively impact US relations with Germany, the EU and other European allies and partners,” said the State Department report, which was obtained by NBC News.
Psaki, however, said the Russian pipeline decision was different than Biden’s blocking of the Keystone XL pipeline. “We’ve continued to convey we think it’s a bad idea, a bad plan,” she said, pointing to the various scientific reports about its environmental impact.
The White House press conference with Jen Psaki is underway. Psaki started the presser with a focus on jobs. She pointed out that this week the unemployment claims are lower than they’ve been for months, and that there have been 500,000 new jobs per month under Joe Biden’s presidency thus far.
But the presser was largely focused on the the ongoing conflict in Gaza, which has claimed over 200 Palestinian lives, and 10 in Israel.
Psaki retained on focus on Biden’s 80+ conversations with global leaders in an attempt to deescalate the violence. “We’ve seen reports of a move toward potential ceasefire,” she said, but noted that it was too early to know whether the strikes will end.
When asked about the progressive Democrat move to block more weapons trade to Israel, Psaki doubled down on the country’s “long abiding security and strategic relationship” with Israel.
Here’s where the day stands so far:
The House has just wrapped up its final votes for the month of May. The lower chamber is not expected to take another vote until Monday, June 14.
Capitol Hill reporters spotted House members racing out of the chamber to catch flights back to their home districts.
The scent of jet fumes is thick. Just witness a House member run out of the Capitol and mutter: “Oh no I’m gonna miss a flight.” ✈️ ✈️ ✈️
The House has very narrowly passed a bill to provide $1.9 billion in funding to bolster Capitol security in response to the January 6 insurrection.
The final vote was 213 to 212, with three progressive members -- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Jamaal Bowman of New York -- voting “present” on the legislation.
The House passed H.R. 3237 - Emergency Security Supplemental to Respond to January 6th Appropriations Act, 2021 by a vote of 213-212- 3 present. https://t.co/2CbPwvf9LL
Two more House progressives -- Cori Bush of Missouri and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts -- have voted no on the Capitol security bill.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez voted present, joining Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Jamaal Bowman of New York.
The House is now voting on the bill to spend $1.9 billion to bolster Capitol security, in response to the January 6 insurrection.
The House is voting NOW on passage of H.R. 3237 - Emergency Security Supplemental to Respond to January 6th Appropriations Act, 2021 (Sponsored by @rosadelauro / Appropriations Committee).
Congressman Greg Pence, the brother of former Vice-President Mike Pence, explained why he voted against the bill to form a bipartisan commission to study the January 6 insurrection.
“I think the whole thing is to spend the summer impeaching, again, Donald Trump. That’s all we’re doing. It’s a dog-and-pony show. ... It’s another impeachment,” the Republican congressman told HuffPost.
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer has put the House-passed bill to form a bipartisan commission to study the January 6 insurrection on the legislative calendar.
Schumer said the Senate will take action on the bill “very soon”.
Sen. Chuck Schumer: "Even now, five months to the day after he left office, the Republican Party is still so terrified of Donald Trump that they are apparently willing to abandon the truth and the safety of our democracy on into the future." pic.twitter.com/ObIBOmj5KK
House speaker Nancy Pelosi defended her refusal to alter the mask requirement for members, even though the CDC has said fully vaccinated individuals can go without masks in most settings.
The Democratic speaker said too many House members are unvaccinated to justify relaxing the mask guidance, an argument that the attending physician of the Capitol has echoed.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is asked about Republican calls to eliminate mask mandate on the House floor.
She responds: “Until [members of Congress] are vaccinated, we cannot have meetings without masks.” pic.twitter.com/Uh8tJ9wSbx
House speaker Nancy Pelosi applauded the 35 Republicans who supported the bill to form a 9/11-style commission to study the Capitol insurrection, which passed the lower chamber yesterday.
“We’re very pleased with the number of Republicans who voted for truth and justice,” the Democratic speaker said.
Pelosi says her message to her "Republican friends" is: "Take back your party. This is the Grand Old Party, the party that's done so much for our country"
She says there's "courage that needs to be recognized" by Republicans like Liz Cheney who denounced lies about the election pic.twitter.com/MSekrNxnCW
House speaker Nancy Pelosi is now holding her weekly press conference with reporters on Capitol Hill.
The Democratic speaker opened her remarks by applauding the House for passing the anti-Asian American hate crimes bill on Tuesday.
Hate has no place in America – and I look forward to making that clear this afternoon by signing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law.
The House is currently debating a bill to invest $1.9 billion in bolstering Capitol security.
The bill is a direct response to the January 6 insurrection, when rioters were able to gain access to the Capitol as lawmakers certified Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential race.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi will soon hold her weekly press conference with reporters on Capitol Hill.
The Democratic speaker will likely be asked about yesterday’s passage of a bill to form a bipartisan commission to study the January 6 insurrection.
The Guardian’s Nina Lakhani reports:
Legislation to cancel utility debts for millions of low-income households and bail out struggling utility companies is to be introduced in the US Senate on Thursday.
Senator Bernie Sanders has argued for the necessity of his resolution opposing a US sale of weapons to Israel, which he is expected to introduce today.
“I believe that the United States must help lead the way to a peaceful and prosperous future for both Israelis and Palestinians,” the progressive senator said on Twitter in response to a story about his planned resolution.
I believe that the United States must help lead the way to a peaceful and prosperous future for both Israelis and Palestinians. We need to take a hard look at whether the sale of these weapons is actually helping do that, or whether it is simply fueling conflict.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will convene his security cabinet in a couple of hours to discuss a possible ceasefire in Gaza, according to a correspondent at Walla News.
BREAKING: Netanyahu to convene the security cabinet at 7PM Jerusalem time to discuss the Gaza operation and the possibility of a ceasefire
The Guardian’s Oliver Holmes and Julian Borger report:
Israel and Palestinian militants halted their fire for several hours early on Thursday as efforts to reach a truce appeared to gather momentum, a day after Joe Biden called publicly for progress towards a ceasefire.
Greetings from Washington, live blog readers.
Progressive senator Bernie Sanders plans to introduce a resolution today disapproving of the US selling $735 million of weapons to Israel, according to multiple reports.
The resolution aims to halt the planned sale to Israel by the Biden administration of JDAMs, or Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and Small Diameter Bombs, as the worst hostilities in years continue between Israel and Hamas. The resolution needs only a simple majority to pass the Senate; but if it were to be vetoed by President Joe Biden, it would need a two-thirds majority in both chambers to take effect.
US White House says it believes Israel is in a position to wind down operations
Israel’s security cabinet has met amid reports that the government was considering halting its bombardment of Gaza, as international pressure to end the bloodshed gathered momentum.
The country’s public broadcaster, Kan, reported that the cabinet, headed by the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, would vote on a proposed “unilateral ceasefire” to go into effect within 24 hours. Israeli officials did not immediately confirm the report.Continue reading...
Joe Biden’s approach to this conflict is as expected. But the views of his party and the public are changing
One of the grimmest aspects of the conflict that has unfolded over recent days is its sheer familiarity, especially to those living through it. Even the youngest have faced this violence too many times before: the Norwegian Refugee Council reported that 11 of the children killed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza over the past week were participating in its psychosocial programme to help them deal with trauma. In all, 228 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have died, at least 63 of them children, while 12 people in Israel, including two children, were killed by rockets fired by Palestinian militant groups. Both parties disregard the lives of civilians. But it is overwhelmingly Palestinian children who are dying, losing parents or siblings, and whose homes, schools and health services are being hit.
A lull in the violence on Wednesday night offered some hope, with reports that Hamas and Israeli military sources were talking of a possible ceasefire. Both parties appear to be looking for an exit, though it could be some way off, and plenty could go wrong in the meantime. Joe Biden has just strengthened his language, telling Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in a phone call that he “expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire”. This too is familiar: the US beginning by talking only of Israel’s right to defend itself, and blocking efforts to exert pressure at the UN, but talking tougher once a resolution looks more plausible (whether to use limited leverage wisely or, less generously, to look like it has influence).Continue reading...
Support has been unprecedented and shows ‘there is no going back’, organisers say
Pro-Palestinian protests are being organised across Australia for the second weekend running, as activists look to step up their efforts in light of escalating violence in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
A wide range of groups are holding events in solidarity with Palestinians, including in Sydney, Melbourne, Wollongong, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Tasmania.Continue reading...
Analysis: flare-up regarded by some as example of domestic politics driving violent escalation
As expectations of a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian fighters in Gaza increase, the longtime foes are poised to turn their attention away from military action and on to constructing competing narratives of victory.
Already, the groundwork is being laid. Unnamed Israeli defence officials are being quoted in local media as saying they are satisfied with the damage inflicted. And a militant source in Gaza said: “For us, the battle achieved its goals.”Continue reading...
Antisemitic incidents in London on the same weekend as protests underline the need for an honest reckoning
Last Sunday saw one of the most dramatic antisemitic incidents in the UK in recent years. A convoy of cars, flying Palestinian flags, drove through Jewish neighbourhoods in north London and their occupants were filmed shouting antisemitic and misogynistic threats (aimed at Jews, not just Israelis).
An upsurge in violence in Israel-Palestine is always accompanied by an upsurge in antisemitic incidents in the Jewish diaspora, including in the UK. As well as the convoy incident, we have also seen a number of others, including graffiti on a messianic Jewish synagogue in Norwich.
Keith Kahn-Harris is a sociologist and author of Strange Hate: Antisemitism, Racism and the Limits of DiversityContinue reading...
This ancient city has been turned into a battleground, and the Israeli police are doing nothing to ease tensions
Jaffa is one of the oldest cities in the world. It was the metropolis of Palestine, until it was conquered by Israel in 1948 – most of its Palestinian population then became refugees, and the city was absorbed into Tel Aviv one year later.
For decades the city was simply seen as the backyard of Tel Aviv. But in recent years, Israeli Jews like me started discovering its charms, and a process of gentrification began pushing poor Palestinians out of the city. This process creates many tensions, and is enabled by the fact that most Israeli Jews see Jaffa as a haven of coexistence, where they can eat hummus and other Palestinian foods in peace.
Asaf Ronel has written for Haaretz newspaper since 2006Continue reading...
As the days pass, it gets harder to stay in touch. My friends send me photos of their children sleeping under tables, covering their ears and eyes against death
I haven’t seen my younger brother, Abdallah, in person for more than four years. It takes a few minutes to end our video calls these days. With a shaky voice and a reluctant smile, he blinks away his tears to reassure me he is strong, despite the constant explosions that rock his home. When I ask if there is anything I can do, he answers: “Can you postpone nightfall?” I conceal my anxiety as I say “Goodbye!” and “Take care!” again and again. I prolong the conversation because I am terrified this could be the last time I speak to him.
Two days later, 5am in Perth, midnight in Gaza, I message him frantically. I’ve learned over the past few days that this is about the time Israeli bombing intensifies. Bombs raze buildings to the ground while residents are trying to sleep inside. I urge him and my other younger brother to move to where my older brother is staying in Khan Younis, in the southern part of Gaza which seems to be hit less frequently. I think if they stick together under one roof then they can console each other as the bombs fall.Continue reading...
- Republicans were urged to support the proposal and 35 voted in favor
- Biden speaks to Netanyahu about Gaza conflict
- McConnell announces opposition to Capitol attack commission bill
- Sign up to receive First Thing – our daily briefing by email
– Joan E Greve and Maanvi Singh
A group of anonymous Capitol Police officers expressed “profound disappointment” in House minority leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell over their opposition to creating the commission.
“It is inconceivable that some of the Members we protect, would downplay the events of January 6th. Member safety was dependent upon the heroic actions of the USCP,” they said in a letter.
NEWS: MEMBERS of the U.S. Capitol Police have issued a statement to members of Congress expressing "profound disappointment" with McConnell and McCarthy's positions on the Jan. 6 commission, citing the "trauma" that officers endured that day. pic.twitter.com/CRweVhIAnD
Before the vote to establish a commission on the Capitol attack, the House defeated an effort by minority leader Kevin McCarthy to end the mask mandate in the chamber.
Several Republican lawmakers have been refusing to wear masks. Nancy Pelosi has maintained that the mask mandate should remain in place, as it’s unclear that all the lawmakers and their staff have been vaccinated. Several Republicans have publicly rejected the vaccine or refused to disclose whether or not they had gotten it.
The House voted 252-175 to establish a commission investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol. Among those who voted in favor of establishing the commission were 35 Republicans.
John Katko, the Republican ranking member of the House homeland security committee helped write the bill to establish the commission, had urged his fellow Republicans to support the proposal.
Republicans in Congress are rebelling against the mask requirement on the House chamber, which remains in place due to Covid-19 safety concerns from Democrats, who hold the majority.
During votes on Tuesday, several Republican lawmakers refused to wear masks as they stood in the chamber and encouraged other members to join them.
White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan said he met with Israel’s Meir Ben-Shabbat and Egypt, as the Biden administration urges de-escalation.
I spoke with Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat and the Government of Egypt again today about the ongoing crisis. The United States is engaged in intensive diplomacy and our efforts will continue.
For nearly a century she was denied a voice by a culture of silence. Finally, at the age of 107, Viola Fletcher got a national stage on Wednesday to bear witness to America’s deep history of racial violence.
Fletcher is the oldest living survivor of a massacre that took place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on 31 May and 1 June 1921 when a white mob attacked the city’s “Black Wall Street”, killing an estimated 300 African Americans while robbing and burning more than 1,200 businesses, homes and churches.
That’s it from me today. My west coast colleague, Maanvi Singh, will take over the blog for the next few hours.
Here’s where the day stands so far:
Although most House Republicans are expected to oppose the January 6 commission bill, the GOP members who are participating in the floor debate have largely spoken in favor of the legislation, a New York Times reporter noted.
House Republicans are going to vote against the Jan. 6 commission but not seeing a lot standing up during the floor debate to publicly argue against it.
John Katko, the Republican ranking member of the House homeland security committee who helped craft the bill to form a bipartisan commission to study the January 6 insurrection, urged his fellow Republicans to support the proposal.
“I strongly believe this is a fair and necessary legislation,” Katko said in a House floor speech. “I encourage all members, Republicans and Democrats alike, to put down their swords for once, just for once and support this bill.”
The House is now beginning up to one hour of debate on the bipartisan bill to form a 9/11-style commission to study the Capitol insurrection.
The House is beginning up to one hour of debate on H.R. 3233 - National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex Act (Sponsored by @BennieGThompson / Homeland Security Committee.)
The family of US Capitol Police Officer Howard “Howie” Liebengood has put out a statement in support of the bipartisan bill to form a commission to study the January 6 insurrection.
Liebengood died by suicide days after the insurrection, making him one of two US Capitol Police officers who died in the immediate wake of the attack.
U.S. Capitol Police Officer Howie Liebengood would still be with us if not for the January 6 attack.
Here is a new statement from his family, who I'm proud to represent, in support of the January 6 commission: pic.twitter.com/oScbWm4Rzd
House speaker Nancy Pelosi held a press conference to emphasize her support for the bipartisan bill to create a 9/11-style commission to study the Capitol insurrection.
The Democratic speaker noted that Republican congressman John Katko secured many of his party’s requested changes to the legislation, yet House minority leader Kevin McCarthy is still not supporting it.
Speaker Pelosi on Republican opposition to bipartisan Jan. 6th commission: "It sounds like they are afraid of the truth and that's most unfortunate, but hopefully they'll get used to the idea that the American people want us to find the truth." https://t.co/MHd3o5VNJF pic.twitter.com/nEoOTNdfmu
The US mission to the UN pushed back against a French proposal for a Security Council resolution on the violence in Gaza.
When asked about the French proposal today, a US spokesperson told Reuters, “We’ve been clear and consistent that we are focused on intensive diplomatic efforts underway to bring an end to the violence and that we will not support actions that we believe undermine efforts to de-escalate.”
Coral Murphy Marcos reports for the Guardian:
The St Louis lawyer who pointed a rifle at BLM protesters outside his home is running for the US Senate in Missouri.
Joe Biden will award his first Medal of Honor on Friday, as South Korean President Moon Jae-in visits the White House.
“On May 21, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., will award the Medal of Honor to Colonel Ralph Puckett, Jr., United States Army, Retired, for conspicuous gallantry during the Korean War. President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea will join this ceremony,” the White House said in a new statement.
According to a new book, in conversations with advisers and donors during the Trump administration and the 2020 election, Barack Obama called Donald Trump a “madman”, a “racist, sexist pig”, “that fucking lunatic” and a “corrupt motherfucker”.
More often: ‘I didn’t think it would be this bad.’ Sometimes: ‘I didn’t think we’d have a racist, sexist pig.’ Depending on the outrage of the day … a passing ‘that fucking lunatic’ with a shake of his head.”
Some Republican lawmakers are admitting that they do not support the creation of a commission to study the Capitol insurrection because they worry the panel’s findings could hurt them in next year’s midterms.
“I want our midterm message to be on the kinds of things that the American people are dealing with: That’s jobs and wages and the economy and national security, safe streets and strong borders -- not relitigating the 2020 elections,” Senate Republican whip John Thune told CNN.
Donald Trump has responded to reports today that the attorney general’s office in New York has opened a criminal investigation into his business activities and those of other Trump family members.
The attorney general, Letitia James, had been conducting a civil inquiry into the Trump Organization and, according to the Washington Post, in April informed the former president’s lawyers that the investigation had expanded.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to dismiss Joe Biden’s calls for a de-escalation of the violence in Gaza, as Israel and Hamas continue to exchange attacks.
Netanyahu applauded the efforts of Israeli forces after a visit to the country’s military headquarters earlier today.
Here’s where the day stands so far:
Mary Tuma reports for the Guardian from Austin, Texas:
Today, the Texas Republican governor, Greg Abbott, signed into law one of the most extreme six-week abortion bans in the US, despite strong opposition from the medical and legal communities, who warn the legislation could topple the state’s court system and already fragile reproductive healthcare network.
Joe Biden closed his remarks at the Coast Guard commencement by telling the graduates that the country needs them.
The president said members of the youngest generation, such as the graduating cadets, make him optimistic about America’s future.
Joe Biden told the Coast Guard cadets that they will be graduating into a changing world.
“We’re at a significant inflection point in world history,” the president said at the commencement ceremony.
Joe Biden is now delivering the keynote address at the US Coast Guard Academy’s 140th commencement exercises in Connecticut.
The president applauded the cadets’ commitment and perseverance, noting they chose a “more difficult path” than many of their high school classmates.
"This past year there can be no doubt the class of '21 is ready for whatever its mission may be," Pres. Biden says delivering the keynote address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. https://t.co/BydPADz8Ea pic.twitter.com/GaBEv5IUlh
It is also worth noting that there were 10 congressional investigations into the 2012 attack on US government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, as an NBC News editor points out.
In case you were wondering as McConnell makes the case that the two existing congressional investigations into the Jan. 6 attacks are sufficient and nothing new could be learned by a bipartisan commission, the number of congressional investigations conducted about Benghazi: 10
It’s worth comparing Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell’s comments today to what he said about the Capitol insurrection in January.
McConnell voted against convicting Donald Trump for inciting the insurrection, but he made clear that he held the former president directly responsible for the violence of January 6.
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has announced that he will oppose the bipartisan bill to form a September 11-style commission to study the Capitol insurrection when it comes up for a Senate vote.
“After careful consideration, I’ve made the decision to oppose the House Democrats’ slanted and unbalanced proposal for another commission to study the events of January 6,” McConnell said on the Senate floor moments ago.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: “I’ve made the decision to oppose the House Democrats’ slanted and unbalanced proposal for another commission to study the events of January the 6th.” pic.twitter.com/DwoNRrxzPb
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer denounced House Republicans voting against the bipartisan bill to form a commission to study the Capitol insurrection.
“Shame on the Republicans for choosing the ‘big lie’ over the truth -- not all Republicans, but the majority who seem to be doing it,” Schumer said on the Senate floor moments ago.
.@SenSchumer slams GOP over Jan 6 commission:
“Shame on the Republicans for choosing the Big Lie over the truth … Shame on them for defending the mob over our Capitol Police officers, and shame on the House Republican leadership for punishing Republicans who tell the truth …” pic.twitter.com/eKs47oHKAh
A 107-year-old woman, the oldest living survivor of the Tulsa race massacre, has received a standing ovation for her testimony to a congressional committee.
Viola Fletcher told the House of Representatives’ judiciary subcommittee that she was visiting Washington for the first time in her life. Wearing an aquamarine jacket, glasses and headphones, she read steadily from a prepared statement.
WATCH: Complete statement from 107-year-old Viola Fletcher, the oldest living survivor of the Tulsa Race Massacre: "I'm here seeking justice and I'm asking my country to acknowledge what happened in Tulsa in 1921."
Full video here: https://t.co/zsDBRKWjCK pic.twitter.com/hJFv4GY3mt
More than 200 people, the vast majority of them Palestinian, have been killed in the past week as Israeli forces and Hamas exchanged attacks in Gaza.
“Even if the airstrikes and the rockets stop, the Israeli-Palestinian crisis has entered a new stage,” the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent, Oliver Holmes, says.
Joe Biden’s phone call with Benjamin Netanyahu came as the Israeli prime minister pushed back against demands for an immediate end to the violence in Gaza.
“We don’t stand with a timer,” Netanyahu said at a briefing with foreign ambassadors this morning, per Walla News correspondent Barak Ravid.
BREAKING: Netanyahu says in a briefing to foreign ambassadors: “We don’t stand with a timer. We want to achieve the goals of the operation. Previous operations lasted a long time so it is not possible to set a time frame on the operation”
Deputy White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre held a short press gaggle aboard Air Force One moments ago.
Jean-Pierre reiterated the readout from Joe Biden’s call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today, during which the US president expressed his expectation for an immediate de-escalation and pathway to ceasefire in Gaza.
The Guardian’s Martin Chulov and Julian Borger and agencies report:
Egypt has urged a brokered end to the fighting between Israel and militants in Gaza, and France has called for a UN security council resolution on the violence, as international pressure for a ceasefire intensifies.
Joe Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today as Israeli forces and Hamas continued to exchange attacks in Gaza.
“The two leaders had a detailed discussion on the state of events in Gaza, Israel’s progress in degrading the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist elements, and ongoing diplomatic efforts by regional governments and the United States,” the White House said in a readout of the call.
Although most House Republicans are expected to vote against the January 6 commission bill, as many as 50 members of the GOP caucus may support the legislation, according to Punchbowl News.
We hear that anywhere between 20 to 50 Republicans could vote for this commission, with the total very fluid. Republicans are concerned about a “jailbreak,” in which a flood of lawmakers back the legislation en masse.
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer has pledged to put the January 6 commission bill on the Senate floor for a vote, despite Republican opposition.
“I will put the January 6 Commission legislation on the floor of the Senate for a vote, period,” the Democratic leader said. “Republicans can let their constituents know, are they on the side of truth or do they want to cover up for the insurrectionists and for Donald Trump?”
CHUCK SCHUMER: “I will put the Jan. 6 commission legislation on the floor of the Senate for a vote, period. Republicans can let their constituents know: Are they on the side of truth or do they want to cover up for the insurrectionists and for Donald Trump?" pic.twitter.com/NXusryVlOL
The Guardian’s Martin Pengelly, Coral Murphy Marcos and agencies report:
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy has long said the 6 January commission should also investigate leftwing groups that protested against police violence after the murder of George Floyd.
Greetings from Washington, live blog readers.
Later today, the House is expected to pass a bill that would establish a September 11-style commission to study the Capitol insurrection.Continue reading...
Joe Biden takes tougher line in phone call with Benjamin Netanyahu, but Israel and Hamas deny truce is imminent
Joe Biden has told Benjamin Netanyahu that he expects “a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire” between Israel and militants in Gaza, in a notable toughening of the US president’s language on the conflict.
The White House said that in a phone call on Wednesday, “the two leaders had a detailed discussion on the state of events in Gaza, Israel’s progress in degrading the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist elements, and ongoing diplomatic efforts by regional governments and the United States.”Continue reading...