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Deal to avert government shutdown held up over border security deadlock – US politics live


Deal to avert shutdown held up over border security deadlock

A dispute over border security funding threatens to force a shutdown of swaths of the federal government, with lawmakers racing to reach a deal on long-term spending legislation to meet a Friday deadline.

Disagreements over immigration at the US-Mexico border have stymied the talks, the Washington Post reported, while part of the dispute is that Democrats are pressing for more funding for pay equity for the transportation security administration (TSA) while Republicans want more funding for US immigration and customs enforcement’s (ICE) detention and enforcement efforts, the Hill reported.

GOP negotiators were prepared to offer the homeland security department roughly the same level of funding for the rest of the 2024 fiscal year, but due to inflation, that would represent a significant funding cut in real terms.

On Sunday, the White House accused Republicans of “playing politics” with appropriations for the homeland security department, telling Politico that the GOP want to “sow chaos on the border ahead of November” after rejecting an offer from Democrats for an extra $1.56bn in funding for border security.

Key events

The latest poll by Politico/Ipsos also found that half of respondents believe that Donald Trump is guilty of the alleged crimes charged in Manhattan, which concerns the former president’s alleged falsification of business records in connection with a hush money payment to the adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Although many respondents said a conviction in Manhattan would have no impact on their likelihood to support Trump for president, among those who said that a conviction would matter, by a more than two-to-one margin, they said it would make them less likely to support Trump.

Americans overwhelmingly reject Trump’s presidential immunity claim in new poll

A large majority of Americans surveyed in a new poll reject Donald Trump’s argument that presidents should be immune from criminal prosecution for crimes committed while in office.

The Politico/Ipsos poll, released today, found that 70% of respondents rejected this position, including 48% of Republicans. Only 11% of respondents agreed with Trump’s position that presidents should have criminal immunity for conduct while in office.

It comes after the supreme court decided late last month to take up the claim that Trump has absolute immunity from prosecution in the criminal case over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

The survey found that about half of the country does not trust the supreme court to issue a fair and nonpartisan ruling on the question of whether Trump is immune from prosecution. The court’s public standing has taken a major hit since Trump and his Republican allies installed a conservative supermajority in the court that, most notably, overturned Roe v Wade.

The rift over the war in Gaza between Israel and the US, its closest ally, broadened over the weekend when prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, of treating his country like a “banana republic”.

Netanyahu’s comments to CNN on Sunday came after a speech by Schumer from the floor of the US Senate, in which he publicly broke with Netanyahu over his handling of the war and called for new elections in Israel.

Netanyahu suggested that Schumer, who is the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in the US, was trying to topple his government and said his call for an election was “totally inappropriate,” adding:

That’s something the Israeli public does on its own. We are not a banana republic.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, 12 March 2024. Photograph: Craig Hudson/Reuters

Joe Biden has publicly said that Schumer made “a good speech” that reflected many Americans’ concerns, although the president himself has not announced any changes in his administration’s policy towards Israel.

Deal to avert shutdown held up over border security deadlock

A dispute over border security funding threatens to force a shutdown of swaths of the federal government, with lawmakers racing to reach a deal on long-term spending legislation to meet a Friday deadline.

Disagreements over immigration at the US-Mexico border have stymied the talks, the Washington Post reported, while part of the dispute is that Democrats are pressing for more funding for pay equity for the transportation security administration (TSA) while Republicans want more funding for US immigration and customs enforcement’s (ICE) detention and enforcement efforts, the Hill reported.

GOP negotiators were prepared to offer the homeland security department roughly the same level of funding for the rest of the 2024 fiscal year, but due to inflation, that would represent a significant funding cut in real terms.

On Sunday, the White House accused Republicans of “playing politics” with appropriations for the homeland security department, telling Politico that the GOP want to “sow chaos on the border ahead of November” after rejecting an offer from Democrats for an extra $1.56bn in funding for border security.

Nick Robins-Early

The supreme court will hear oral arguments on Monday in Murthy v Missouri, a case with the potential to radically redefine how the US government interacts with social media companies.

Central to the case is whether the White House violated free speech protections during the Covid-19 pandemic, when government officials requested that Twitter, Facebook and other social networks remove misinformation about the coronavirus.

The lawsuit accuses the government of “coercing” tech platforms to change their policies, block content and suspend users. The complaint was filed by attorneys general in Louisiana and Missouri as well as rightwing individuals such as the conspiracy theory site founder Jim Hoft. If the courts decide in their favor, the White House would be blocked from contacting social media companies, as happened when a lower court sided with the plaintiffs.

The Biden administration has argued that officials did not coerce or threaten social media platforms. It also argues that federal agencies have routinely communicated with social media platforms about terrorist group organizing or foreign influence campaigns, which has prompted tech companies to voluntarily enforce their own policies that ban such content.

The suit is the culmination of years of a Republican-backed legal campaign arguing that efforts by federal agencies and Joe Biden’s White House to reduce misinformation online constitute censorship.

Here’s what you need to know about the case.

Congress scrambles to avert shutdown as deadline looms

Congress is once again running up on yet another critical government funding deadline, as lawmakers scramble to avert a shutdown by midnight on Friday, when funding runs out for six big annual spending bills that cover some 70% of all federal discretionary spending. As recently as Friday, negotiators were nearing an agreement to complete a spending bill but disagreements over funding for the department of homeland security have since derailed the talks.

Meanwhile, the US supreme court is expected to hear oral arguments over whether the White House violated free speech protections during the Covid-19 pandemic, when government officials requested that Twitter, Facebook and other social networks remove misinformation about the coronavirus. The case of Murthy v Missouri – the culmination of years of a Republican-backed legal campaign – has the potential to radically redefine how the US government interacts with social media companies.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

  • 11.30am. Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden and Kamala Harris will speak at a Women’s History Month reception.

  • 1.30pm. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and national security adviser Jake Sullivan will brief.

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