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Biden chides Republicans, fails to mention border in remarks on spending bill

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Biden chides Republicans, fails to mention border in remarks on spending bill

President Biden failed to mention the U.S. southern border crisis as he chided House Republicans on Tuesday, calling on party leaders to put forward the bipartisan national security bill that was passed earlier in the day by the Senate with a 70-29 vote.

On Tuesday morning, the Senate passed a $95 billion national security supplemental package to assist Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific. What the package omitted, though, was any border security provisions.

When Biden approached reporters on Tuesday afternoon to give statements on the supplemental package, he bluntly told reporters he would not be taking questions in an effort to stay on track and not let anything get in the way of his statement – the president also said he would take questions tomorrow or the next day.

In his remarks, Biden urged House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., to immediately bring the bill to the floor, saying, “there’s no question that if the Senate bill was put on the floor in the House of Representatives, it would pass.”

SENATE PASSES CONTROVERSIAL FOREIGN AID BILL SENDING BILLIONS TO UKRAINE, ISRAEL AND TAIWAN

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President Biden speaks on the Senate’s recent passage of the National Security Supplemental Bill, which provides military aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 13, 2024, in Washington, DC. During his remarks Biden urged House Republicans and U.S. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) to move the legislation through the House of Representatives. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“I call on the speaker to let the full House speak its mind, and not allow a minority of the most extreme voices in the House to block this bill, even from being voted on,” Biden said, stressing how critical the bill was.

As the national debt soars above $34 trillion, calls to offset the spending with cuts in other places went unheeded.

The package includes $60 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, $9 billion in humanitarian assistance for Gaza and nearly $5 billion for the Indo-Pacific. It was put forward by Democrats after Republicans blocked the $118 billion package that included numerous border and immigration provisions, which were negotiated by a group of bipartisan senators and Biden officials.

U.S. NATIONAL DEBT TRACKER: SEE WHAT AMERICAN TAXPAYERS (YOU) OWE IN REAL TIME

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Police officers in Ukraine

In this photo provided by the National Police of Ukraine, a police officer and a rescue worker walk in front of a restaurant RIA Pizza destroyed by a Russian attack in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 27, 2023. (National Police of Ukraine via AP)

Biden said the bill sends military equipment to Ukraine, but is being spent in the U.S., where the weapons are being built.

“The way it works is we supply Ukraine with military equipment from our stockpiles, and now we spend our money replenishing those stockpiles,” he said. “So, our military has access to the stockpiles that are made right here in America by American workers.”

He went on to say the bill meets national security priorities in the Middle East, too, and provides support to troops serving in the region who defend against militia attacks backed by Iran.

SENATE REPUBLICANS PREPARE FOR LONG HAUL IN FIGHT OVER UKRAINE, ISRAEL AID

Houthi militants stomping on US, UK flags

Houthi fighters walk over British and U.S flags at a rally in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and the recent Houthi strikes on shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden on February 4, 2024, on the outskirts of Sana’a, Yemen. (Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images)

Also benefiting will be the Palestinian people, as the humanitarian aid included in the package will provide food, water and shelter, Biden noted.

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As for funding national security priorities in Asia, Biden said, the U.S. must not take its eye off national security challenges in the region while it focuses on conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine.

PENTAGON FINALLY RUNS OUT OF MONEY FOR UKRAINE, URGES 50 ALLIES TO CONTINUE SUPPORTING KYIV

US House Speaker Mike Johnson speaking

US House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, speaks during a news conference at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Biden said the U.S. is at a point in history where decisions made now will determine the course of action for decades to come and called on House Republicans to decide.

“Supporting this bill is standing up to Putin. Opposing it is playing into Putin’s hands. As I’ve said before, the stakes in this fight extend far beyond Ukraine,” Biden said. “For Republicans in Congress who think they can oppose funding for Ukraine and not be held accountable. History is watching. History is watching. History is watching. The failure to support Ukraine at this critical moment will never be forgotten.”

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In recent weeks, as negotiators were nearing a deal, Republicans became skeptical of the bipartisan talks, arguing that Biden already has the resources to address the situation at the border and does not need new legislation. Some Republicans have also suggested that they do not want to support the border bill and give Biden a political win in an election year.

Fox News Digital’s Landon Mion contributed to this report.

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Video: Trump Thanks Supreme Court for Overturning Colorado Ballot Ruling

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Video: Trump Thanks Supreme Court for Overturning Colorado Ballot Ruling

new video loaded: Trump Thanks Supreme Court for Overturning Colorado Ballot Ruling

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Trump Thanks Supreme Court for Overturning Colorado Ballot Ruling

The Supreme Court unanimously decided that states may not bar former President Donald J. Trump from running for another term.

I want to start by thanking the Supreme Court for its unanimous decision today. It was a very important decision, very well crafted, and I think it will go a long way toward bringing our country together, which our country needs. Essentially, you cannot take somebody out of a race because an opponent would like to have it that way. And it has nothing to do with the fact that it’s the leading candidate. Whether it was the leading candidate or a candidate that was well down on the totem pole, you cannot take somebody out of a race. I hope that the justices, because they’ll be working on some other cases, but one in particular: Presidents have to be given total immunity. They have to be allowed to do their job.

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Trump maintains grip on GOP nod with victory in North Dakota caucuses

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Trump maintains grip on GOP nod with victory in North Dakota caucuses

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Former President Donald Trump inched closer to becoming the Republican nominee for president with another primary victory Monday, this time with a win in the North Dakota caucuses.

Trump won North Dakota’s caucuses, finishing first in voting conducted at 12 caucus sites, according to an Associated Press call of the race shortly after polls closed Sunday, earning the former president 29 delegates. 

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The win continues Trump’s dominant streak in this year’s GOP primary races, marking the 9th win in 10 tries for the former president as he closes in on representing the Republican Party for a third time. 

The only contest Trump has lost so far was last weekend’s primary in Washington D.C.

TRUMP WINS THE MICHIGAN GOP PRIMARY, BRINGING HIM ONE STEP CLOSER TO SECURING REPUBLICAN NOMINATION

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he departs after speaking during the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2024, in Oxon Hill, Md., Feb. 24, 2024.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The win comes as Trump’s campaign has largely shifted its attention to the general election and an all-but-certain rematch of 2020’s matchup against President Biden, with the Trump campaign telling Fox News Digital before this week’s slate of contests that the primary race is “over.”

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“Republican voters have delivered resounding wins for President Trump in every single primary contest and this race is over,” a spokesperson for the campaign said. “Our focus is now on Joe Biden and the general election.”

Nikki Haley, left, and Donald Trump, right

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, left, will be the only remaining candidate challenging former President Donald Trump, right.

DC PRIMARY REPRESENTS HALEY’S BEST CHANCE YET TO BEAT TRUMP

The former president already had a commanding lead heading into this week, holding ten times as many delegates as Haley before earning 29 in Monday’s North Dakota win.

The loss marked another blow to Haley’s campaign, though the former South Carolina governor has vowed to stay in the race as long as there is a path to victory.

Nikki Haley

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks at a rally during the District of Columbias Republican presidential primary at the Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Friday, March 1, 2024. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

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That path will likely have to start appearing on Super Tuesday, where voters in 15 more states will head to the polls to determine who gets a share of 865 total delegates. While neither candidate can reach the needed 1,215 delegates to secure the nomination this week, continued dominance by Trump would give Haley a near impossible uphill climb. 

For its part, the Haley Campaign has invested heavily in a Super Tuesday turnaround, announcing a seven-figure ad buy earlier this month meant to target many of the states on the Tuesday slate.

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Column: For the second time in days, the Supreme Court helped make another Trump presidency possible

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Column: For the second time in days, the Supreme Court helped make another Trump presidency possible

The Supreme Court held Monday that a single state such as Colorado can’t prohibit Donald Trump from running for president as an insurrectionist under the 14th Amendment. It was the second time in less than a week that the court provided a crucial boost to the former president’s campaign to return to the White House.

The court’s strong inclination to restore Trump to the ballot was clear from the oral argument in the case last month, and indeed the justices reversed the Colorado Supreme Court unanimously. The “per curiam,” or “by the court,” opinion further emphasized that the court was speaking with a single voice.

But the justices were far from united on the rationale for reversal. There was a clear 5-4 split with two concurrences, one by the liberal justices — Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson — and the other by Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

The narrow, right-wing majority within the unanimous decision held that congressional legislation is needed to enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits elected officials who engage in insurrection from holding office again. This clearly restricts the amendment’s force going forward.

All four of the concurring justices parted from requiring a federal law to enforce Section 3. For them, it was sufficient that the Colorado decision would impose an inconsistent and intolerable patchwork in which a major presidential candidate appeared on the ballot in some states but not in others. As the court wrote, “Nothing in the Constitution requires that we endure such chaos.”

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The opinion signed by the three Democratic-appointed justices, though styled as a concurrence, was fairly sharp in its differences with the majority. Most pointedly, they quoted Justice Stephen G. Breyer’s dissent in Bush vs. Gore, the 2000 opinion that remains a bête noire for liberals: “What it does today, the Court should have left undone.”

Barrett similarly felt that her five fellow conservatives had overreached. But she sounded a conciliatory note, writing that “this is not the time to amplify disagreement with stridency.”

So although the court was able to come together as to the result, surely a priority for Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., its political divisions were evident just beneath the surface. It was no kumbaya moment.

In cases of this magnitude and political stakes, the court is better off when it’s unanimous or nearly so. Kagan and Jackson, who seemed to be leaning toward reversal at oral argument, and even Sotomayor, whose inclination was less clear, thereby stepped up in the service of the court’s institutional interest. Notwithstanding their fundamental differences with the majority, their concurrences permitted the court to conclude with a feel-good paragraph noting that “All nine Members of the Court agree with that result.” They were good soldiers and team players, which may engender goodwill with Roberts going forward.

Of course, with the rock-ribbed conservatives to the chief justice’s right, there may be scant prospect of similar goodwill. The court’s right has been in lockstep on ideologically divisive matters, and there’s no reason to expect that to change.

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Indeed, after last week’s decision to review the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ rejection of Trump’s claim of immunity from prosecution for Jan. 6, today’s decisive ruling is a second substantial victory for the president who appointed three of the justices.

Some observers speculated that the justices would view the two Trump cases, on immunity and the 14th Amendment, as a pair that they would split. Ruling for Trump on the Colorado case and against him on the Jan. 6 prosecution would communicate a sort of neutrality.

It’s difficult to see it that way now, though. Not that the court will hold that Trump is immune from the charges growing out of his perfidious attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 eleciton. The best he can hope for is a remand to the trial court and eventual loss on the merits of his immunity claim.

But the court last week gave Trump the invaluable gift of time, suspending the proceedings in Judge Tanya Chutkan’s U.S. District Court for at least several months, leaving serious doubt as to whether the case can be tried before the election.

If the polls are to be believed, a criminal conviction would likely persuade a significant number of voters to abandon Trump. That means the court’s decision to enter the fray and delay the case — when it could have let the D.C. Circuit’s thorough, bipartisan opinion stand — is probably the most important assist it could have given to Trump’s campaign.

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Moreover, while the court acted with some dispatch in the immunity case, it was nowhere near as quick as in other exigent cases. That includes the one it decided Monday, rushing to clarify the electoral landscape just in time for Colorado and other states to vote on Super Tuesday.

There’s plenty of room for debate as to why the court acted as it did in each case. But there’s no doubt about the impact. Should the country awaken on Nov. 6 to the horrifying prospect of a second Trump presidency, history will record that the Supreme Court played a critical role.

Harry Litman is the host of the “Talking Feds” podcast. @harrylitman

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