Morning Report — Senate border deal dies; Mayorkas impeachment fails


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Conservatives, especially those eager to plow a path for former President Trump and to hobble President Biden, faced mixed results Tuesday. 

After months of championing tougher security at the border amid waves of arriving migrants, Senate Republicans, who labored for months with some Democrats to come up with proposed fixes, conceded a shortage of backers for a newly unveiled measure. Trump called it a bad bill in an election year. The GOP-led House rejected it. But Biden had vowed to sign it if it reached his desk 

Left hanging in the Capitol: additional funding for Israel and Ukraine. The House GOP’s stand-alone measure for Israel failed Tuesday, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to force a vote on a clean foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific, Punchbowl News reports. 

The Hill: GOP delivers death blow to the border deal.  

Biden during a White House speech Tuesday blamed Trump for “weaponizing” the Senate border security agreement.  

Every day between now and November, the American people are going to know that the only reason the border is not secure is Donald Trump and his MAGA Republican friends,” the president said. 

Hoping to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas as a totem of what Republicans argue is a border crisis of Biden’s making, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) came up on the wrong side of Tuesday’s vote. The GOP effort to impeach a Cabinet member, which ate up months of Republican committee time and debate, failed narrowly, 214-216. Democrats and most senators had already dubbed it a political stunt.  

For different reasons, two Republicans with black eyes this morning are Johnson and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.). 

In an embarrassing setback in Nevada’s symbolic presidential primary Tuesday, Nikki Haley lost to “none of these candidates,” despite Trump’s absence from that ballot. The former president, who previously romped through the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, is expected to walk away Thursday with the Silver State’s delegates after voters participate in a separate caucus organized by the Republican National Committee. 

And speaking of the RNC, Chair Ronna McDaniel plans to step down after this month’s South Carolina primary and in the wake of criticism about the party’s financial footing and results for GOP candidates. Trump just days ago predicted “changes” ahead for leadership at the committee.  

His odds of becoming the Republican Party’s nominee and his edge over Biden in head-to-head polls are unchanged this week. But his legal entanglements took a new turn Tuesday when a three-judge appeals panel unanimously rejected his claim of immunity from prosecution for actions he took as president. The judges gave Trump a few days to appeal to the Supreme Court.  

In Nevada’s Democratic primary Tuesday, Biden trounced challengers to win the bulk of the 36 delegates in play, according to Decision Desk HQ and The Hill. ​​ 


3 THINGS TO KNOW TODAY:

This is why Americans are so down on a strong economy. Many feel their long-term financial security is vulnerable to wide-ranging social and political threats. 

Yearning for more live sports? ESPN, Fox Corp. and Warner Bros. Discovery announced Tuesday they will create a new streaming platform to be available to ESPN+, Hulu and Max subscribers. 

The Federal Aviation Administration will step up federal monitoring of Boeing during plane manufacturing because of quality control problems, the agency’s chief said Monday. The National Transportation Safety Board issued a report concluding that a door insert that blew off during an Alaska Airlines flight Jan. 5 was missing four bolts. 


LEADING THE DAY 

CONGRESS 

The House GOP’s effort to impeach Mayorkas failed in embarrassing fashion Tuesday as three Republicans joined Democrats in voting against what would have been the second-ever impeachment of a Cabinet official. The 214-216 vote marked a stunning loss for a GOP that has faced continual pressure from its right flank to impeach a Biden official (The Hill). 

The surprise appearance in the chamber of Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) — who arrived to cast his vote attired in blue scrubs and in a wheelchair after emergency surgery — all but guaranteed the GOP would come up short. Republicans entered the proceedings with two expected “no” votes, but a third House GOP lawmaker, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), also voted against impeachment. The vice chair of the GOP conference, Rep. Blake Moore (R-Utah), flipped his vote to “no” seconds before the vote closed, a procedural move that allows the conference to bring the legislation back to the floor. 

The Hill: Here are the House Republicans who voted against impeaching Mayorkas. 

Republican lawmakers quickly predicted they will bring it back up once House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), who is undergoing treatment for blood cancer, returns, perhaps next week (Politico and Punchbowl News).  

Not since 1876 has a Cabinet secretary faced impeachment charges, and Tuesday marked the first time a sitting secretary was being impeached. Secretary of War William Belknap resigned 148 years ago, just before Congress voted. 

Republicans had accused Mayorkas of “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law,” claiming he violated immigration laws by failing to detain a sufficient number of migrants, but immigration law experts determined Mayorkas did not violate any laws. 

A BIPARTISAN KIDS’ ONLINE SAFETY BILL making its way through the Senate faces scrutiny from a coalition of tech advocacy and human rights groups. The Hill’s Rebecca Klar and Brooke Migdon report that while kids’ online safety advocates tout the bill as a way to limit teens from being exposed to harmful content online, other tech advocacy and human rights groups warned the legislation could limit access to information about gender identity, sexuality and reproductive health to teens, especially those in marginalized communities.  


© The Associated Press / Evan Vucci | Then-President Trump during a rally protesting the Electoral College certification on Jan. 6, 2021. 

TRUMP WORLD 

Trump is not immune from prosecution for actions he took and decisions he made as president, a federal appeals panel unanimously ruled Tuesday. The judges directed any appeal to the Supreme Court to occur by Sunday, seeking to speed the process. The ruling’s design essentially forces Trump to file an emergency appeal within days if he wants to upend his trial schedule, part of a legal strategy to delay any potential conviction until after November’s election.  

Supreme Court justices on Thursday will hear oral arguments in a Colorado case that struck Trump from the ballot based on a clause dealing with insurrection included by the nation’s founding fathers in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution (The Hill). On Monday, Trump told the high court in a reply brief that states that barred him from 2024 ballots based on determinations he promoted insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, as president are “un-democratic.”  

CNN: Trump will not attend any Supreme Court arguments after turning his recent court appearances into campaign stops. 

The Washington Post: Meet the lawyers arguing Trump’s Supreme Court Colorado ballot case. 

SCOTUSblog: Dig into detailed reporting by Amy Howe: Challenges in Colorado and Maine to Trump’s ballot eligibility are currently pending in 11 other states. Trump warns that the efforts to keep him off the ballot “threaten to disenfranchise tens of millions of Americans” and “promise to unleash chaos and bedlam if other state courts and state officials follow Colorado’s lead.” 

As The Hill’s Niall Stanage writes in The Memo, if the Supreme Court affirms the decisions of the lower courts, Trump will likely have to go to trial against his nemesis — Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith — before Election Day. Smith is prosecuting Trump for four criminal offenses, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiring against the rights of voters.  


WHERE AND WHEN 

The House convenes at 9 a.m. 

The Senate will meet at noon.  

The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 10 a.m. Biden will fly to New York City to headline separate reelection fundraisers at 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. before returning to the White House tonight. 

Vice President Harris will travel to Leesburg, Va., to participate in a moderated conversation at 3 p.m. during the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Israel, where he will meet with officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog

First lady Jill Biden will be in Atlanta to speak at the Georgia Aquarium as part of Morehouse School of Medicine’s heart healthy luncheon for women. At 1:15 p.m., she’ll join local leaders as part of a discussion and listening session about women’s health research.


ZOOM IN 

© The Associated Press / Mark Schiefelbein | Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Qatar on Tuesday. 

INTERNATIONAL 

HAMAS HAS PROPOSED A CEASEFIRE PLAN that would end the fighting in Gaza for four-and-a-half months, during which all hostages would go free, Israel would withdraw its troops from the enclave and an agreement would be reached on an end to the war. The proposal — a response to an offer sent last week by Qatari and Egyptian mediators — comes in the biggest diplomatic push yet for an extended halt to the fighting (Reuters).  

The announcement comes as Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in Jerusalem on his fifth tour of the region since October last year following meetings in Qatar and Egypt. He will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog, among others, to discuss the response to the proposed deal (Al Jazeera). Israel takes a dim view of Hamas’s demand for a permanent cease-fire in exchange for the release of hostages. The militant group seeks an end to the war as part of the ongoing negotiations, in addition to the release of Palestinian security prisoners and the rebuilding of Gaza — non-starter conditions for Israel (The Times of Israel). 

Still, Qatar’s prime minister on Tuesday said he was optimistic a deal could soon be achieved. Biden, however, was more measured, telling reporters at the White House on Tuesday that while “there is some movement [on the hostage deal negotiations],” Hamas’s response “seems to be a little over the top” (The Hill and Axios) 

NBC News: What the U.S. recognizing a Palestinian state would mean. 

Forbes: More than 1 in 5 remaining Israeli hostages in Gaza are dead, a new report says. 

DESPITE LARGE-SCALE U.S. AIRSTRIKES against Iranian-backed militants across the Middle East, Iran is continuing to provide weapons and intelligence to its proxies, NBC News reports. Iran’s flow of arms and intelligence to its allies across the Middle East, who recently conducted a drone strike in Jordan that killed three American service members and wounded dozens of others, persists even as the administration maintains that Tehran does not want a wider war in the region. 

BBC: Two bomb explosions have killed at least 20 people in Pakistan on the eve of general elections that have been marred by violence and claims of poll-rigging. 


MORE IN POLITICS 

HALEY HAS BEEN RAKING IN CASH, a situation that could change in the wake of her significant losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada’s primary — plus the high hurdle she faces  in South Carolina against Trump later this month. Polls show her trailing the former president. 

Haley’s campaign announced Monday that she hauled in $16.5 million in January across her campaign committees, after raising $24 million in the fourth quarter last year. Trump had more in the bank at the end of the year, but he’s also spending heavily on legal fees. Yet even with the cash influx, The Hill’s Julia Mueller writes that strategists believe she needs a strong showing in the Palmetto State to back up her argument to stay in the race until Super Tuesday and beyond. 

“If she really wants to show staying power, she’s gonna have to come within 10 points of Donald Trump. If it’s 55-45, Haley stays there. But if it’s anything less than that, it’s gonna be hard for her to continue to raise money, and money is what you need in order to keep going,” said South Carolina-based Republican strategist Dave Wilson. “If she comes in 15 points or more behind Donald Trump in South Carolina, there are going to be a lot of people who are going to question: Is this the best investment of my money moving forward?” 

A LONG LIST OF FORMER TRUMP OFFICIALS has disavowed the former president or warned he is a threat to the country, including two former Defense secretaries, his former secretary of State, his former communications director, his former chief of staff and his former national security adviser, among others. Despite that, The Hill’s Brett Samuels reports, there is no shortage of Republican officials who are ready and willing to take on jobs in a second Trump administration. In an interview on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” Trump indicated he would put “some” of his former White House officials into his Cabinet in a second administration. 

“I mean, if somebody did a good job, I would do that, yes,” Trump said, arguing he would be better equipped to hire staff in his second go-around. 


2024 ROUNDUP:

A robocall that used an AI voice resembling Biden’s to advise New Hampshire voters against voting in the state’s presidential primary has been linked to a pair of Texas-based telecommunications companies. 

Meta said Tuesday it would ramp up its use of labels on artificial intelligence-generated images ahead of the November election but warned it doesn’t yet have the ability to easily detect audio and video made with AI.  

American businesses and trading partners are beginning to struggle with a familiar problem: Trump’s tariff threats. 

Democrats want Biden to take on his third-party and independent opponents amid concerns those challengers could undermine his reelection bid in November in a close race if Trump’s the GOP nominee. 

Can Biden stitch back together his 2020 coalition? He’s trying. 

Immigration concerns threaten to tank Democrats’ chances to flip the seat once held by ousted former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.). Republicans have sought to tie former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) to Biden’s immigration policies ahead of the special election next week. 


ELSEWHERE 

© The Associated Press / Marcio Jose Sanchez | A car in Los Angeles on Monday was buried in mud because of heavy rains and flooding this week. 

STATE WATCH 

Record-shattering rains poured over swaths of California, and the resulting atmospheric river continues to sweep through the state and move eastward. Rainfall totals as high as 10 inches or more brought widespread severe flash flooding and triggered more than 300 landslides within just the greater Los Angeles area. 

More than 130,000 California customers were without power as of Tuesday afternoon, and at least three people have been confirmed killed. While the worst of the storm had already affected most of the Golden State and flood watches were dropped in Northern and Central California, parts of Southern California still face significant rains (CNN and The Washington Post). 

Is there a guaranteed right to a safe climate or clean environment? A national coalition of environmental activists say yes, and they want to see more states put such language into their respective constitutions. Legislators in New Jersey, New Mexico and Hawaii will hold committee hearings this week on so-called green amendments — with California, Michigan and Connecticut waiting in the wings, reports The Hill’s Saul Elbein. 


OPINION 

If the U.S. hits Iran harder, be ready for blowback, by Hal Brands, columnist, Bloomberg Opinion. 

■ If it’s about the economy, Biden can win; if Father Time decides, it’s a different story, by Mick Mulvaney, opinion contributor, The Hill. 


THE CLOSER 

© The Associated Press / File photo | Sixty years ago today, The Beatles arrived for the first time in the U.S. and two days later performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” ushering in what became known as the British Invasion. 

And finally … Flashback: Sixty years ago today, the rock ‘n roll British Invasion began when The Beatles landed in New York City for their first visit to America.  

Reporters were less attentive to the music than the visuals: 3,000 mostly female “screaming teenagers” en masse in the Big Apple, all hyperventilating over the Fab Four, who sported haircuts the press compared to mushrooms and sheepdogs. Meanwhile, the band’s songs were selling a million copies before fans even heard the music.   

Yes, she loves you 

And you know you should be glad, ooh  

The New York Times was a tad dismissive: “Multiply Elvis Presley by four, subtract six years from his age, add British accents and a sharp sense of humor. The answer: It’s the Beatles (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah).” 

I’m a loser 

And I’m not what I appear to be 

What have I done to deserve such a fate? 

I realize I have left it too late  

The New York Daily News assembled some B&W Beatlemania photos of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr in New York in 1964 HERE. 

Many of the band’s memorable album covers are HERE. 

Yeah, you got that somethin’ 

I think you’ll understand 

When I say that somethin’ 

I want to hold your hand 


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