News briefs | The State

Trump moves to quash hopes of Ukraine-border deal in Congress

Former president and likely Republican nominee Donald Trump is moving to quash any hopes of a bipartisan compromise on immigration and Ukraine as the Senate prepares for votes as early as next week on a possible deal.

Fresh off his win in the Iowa caucuses this week, Trump took to Truth Social to insist that any deal contain every conservative demand for border and immigration changes, an aggressive position meant to force House GOP leaders into rejecting any Senate compromise.

“I do not think we should do a Border Deal, at all, unless we get EVERYTHING needed to shut down the INVASION,” Trump wrote. “Also, I have no doubt that our wonderful Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, will only make a deal that is PERFECT ON THE BORDER.”

The border issue is one where President Joe Biden faces high disapproval compared with Trump, and striking a deal could help Biden politically. An ABC News/Ipsos poll out this week found just 18% of adults approved of Biden’s handling of border issues.

-Bloomberg News

DeSantis changes tune on mainstream media: ‘I should’ve gone on all the corporate shows’

After placing a distant second behind former President Donald Trump in the Iowa caucuses this week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he regrets his campaign’s media strategy going into the presidential election.

In a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, DeSantis was asked what errors he and his team made along the way during his presidential campaign. He pointed to their lack of involvement with the media.

“I came in not really doing as much media,” said DeSantis. “I should have just been blanketing. I should have gone on all the corporate shows. I should have gone on everything. I started doing that as we got into the end of the summer, and we did it. But we had an opportunity, I think, to come out of the gate and do that and reach a much broader folk.”

DeSantis went out of his way early in his campaign to avoid interviews with cable news networks and widely circulated publications, even choosing to launch his campaign for president in a glitch-marred appearance with Elon Musk on Twitter Spaces.

-Miami Herald

Long COVID advocates ask Congress to improve federal response

Long COVID patients and experts called on lawmakers Thursday to expand clinical trials and better educate doctors on what researchers currently know about the potentially debilitating chronic condition.

Protesters were carted out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee room after interrupting the hearing with calls to declare another federal “moonshot” initiative – referencing President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot program. The committee heard testimony from two panels, one of researchers and the second of patients and their families.

“We are living through the largest mass disabling event in modern history,” Angela Meriquez Vázquez, a long COVID patient from Los Angeles, testified to the committee.

The prevalence of long COVID is hard to quantify thanks to its varying symptoms, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the condition affected 7% of Americans in 2022. Women are more likely than men to report having the condition, as were people aged 35 through 49.

-CQ-Roll Call

Family of Israeli-American New Yorker held hostage by Hamas wants ceasefire

The family of a Long Island-raised Israeli-American man who is being held hostage by Hamas is pleading with those in power to help bring 22-year-old Omer Neutra back home.

Neutra’s parents sat down with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell after standing on the border with Hamas-run Gaza “so close to Omer,” his mother, Orna Neutra, said at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. It was there that they and the families of other hostages held a vigil to mark 100 days passed since Oct. 7, when Hamas attacked Israel and abducted nearly 240 people, including many civilians.

“We are pressing for action from anybody that we see,” his father, Ronen Neutra, told Mitchell. “Whether it’s the State Department or FBI or Israeli authorities.”

“It’s been too long, it’s too dangerous,” agreed Orna. Many hostages’ families are now pushing for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, which promptly responded to the attacks with an offensive.

-New York Daily News

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This story was originally published January 18, 2024, 8:21 PM.

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