U.S. Justice Department to appeal Trump special master order

U.S. House members raise doubts about Manchin environmental permitting deal

White House requests $47 billion in emergency funding for Ukraine, vaccines and more

Image: AdobeStock

The Biden administration is asking Congress for emergency funding to support Ukraine’s military, national COVID and monkeypox responses and to help communities affected by natural disasters.

The current fiscal year ends Sept. 30 and Congress has not passed a funding measure for next year, so a short-term bill would be needed to keep the government open at current levels, White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young wrote in a blog post on Friday. The White House wants Congress to add $47.1 billion in emergency funding in four key areas.

“With one month until the end of the fiscal year, it’s clear that Congress will first need to pass a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the Federal government running and provide the time needed to reach an agreement on full-year funding bills,” she wrote.

“As part of the CR, we are also calling on Congress to provide funding to meet four critical needs: support for Ukraine, COVID-19, monkeypox, and natural disaster recovery.”

The administration asked for $18.4 billion for the Health and Human Services Department to respond to the COVID pandemic, including $9.1 billion for vaccines effective against variants, testing programs and therapeutics like monoclonal antibodies.

The funding would be necessary to replenish testing stockpiles that are not currently sufficient to respond to a potential fall surge, an administration official told reporters on a Friday background call.

Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked previous requests from the administration for more COVID funding. The administration says that has hurt its response to the pandemic.

“We requested that Congress provide supplemental COVID-19 funding and repeatedly warned that without congressional action, we would be forced to make difficult trade-offs and pull existing funding from critical efforts to meet the most pressing needs,” Young wrote. “That is precisely what has happened.”

A lack of funding forced the administration to stop sending free at-home COVID tests, she wrote. Friday is the last day to request a free test.

Other HHS funding would go to researching next-generation vaccines and therapeutics.

The White House also requested $4 billion for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development to support international efforts to respond to the virus.

The request includes $3.9 billion for HHS to respond to the monkeypox outbreak, including $1.6 billion for vaccine and therapeutics procurement and manufacturing. The request would send $600 million to overseas responses. Read more

Republicans in Congress line up behind Trump after he says FBI searched Mar-a-Lago

Secret Service and Palm Beach police in front of the home of former President Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago. (Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)

Republicans in Congress fumed Tuesday in reaction to former President Donald Trump’s Monday evening statement that the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, his home in Palm Beach, Florida.

Democrats had little to say Tuesday about the apparent search, though some defended the execution of justice regardless of a person’s political power. The massive publicity about the search competed with Democrats’ celebration as President Joe Biden at the White House signed into law major legislation aimed at improving semiconductor manufacturing.

A White House official said the White House had “no notice of the reported action” and deferred to the Justice Department for any further information.

Trump’s GOP allies questioned the prudence of the search, which the FBI and Department of Justice had not confirmed by Tuesday afternoon. Trump did not release a copy of a search warrant, although he would have been given one when a search began.

“These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” Trump said Monday in a statement.

The Justice Department did not respond to a request seeking comment. But news reports citing people familiar with the search indicated a federal judge would have authorized it in a warrant indicating probable cause that a crime had been committed, and that evidence would be found at the residence.

Calls for Garland impeachment

Trump and Republican officials aligned with him speculated that the action was an act of political persecution targeting Biden’s rival in the 2020 — and possibly 2024 — election, with some going as far as calling for Attorney General Merrick Garland to be impeached over the matter.

“The raid by Joe Biden’s FBI on the home of a former president who is also Biden’s chief political opponent is an unprecedented assault on democratic norms and the rule of law. Biden has taken our republic into dangerous waters,” U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley tweeted.

“At a minimum, Garland must resign or be impeached,” the Missouri Republican added. “The search warrant must be published. [FBI Director Christopher] Wray must be removed. And the FBI reformed top to bottom.”

Hawley has closely associated himself with the former president’s debunked claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him and raised his fist in the air in a sign of solidarity with pro-Trump demonstrators hours before they charged the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Read more

U.S. Senate passes major health, tax and climate bill in boost for Democrats