US Domestic News Roundup: US Senate forges ahead on Ukraine, Israel aid as 'Putin is watching; Trump-backing US Senate Republicans souring on longtime leader McConnell and more
Austin, 70, later transferred the duties of his office to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, Pentagon Press Secretary Major General Pat Ryder said in a statement. Biden's reelection campaign joins TikTok in push for young voters U.S. President Joe Biden's reelection campaign joined short-form video app TikTok on Sunday, using the NFL's Super Bowl to kick off its new account to reach young voters ahead of the presidential election in November.
Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
US Senate forges ahead on Ukraine, Israel aid as 'Putin is watching'
The U.S. Senate on Monday will attempt to steer a $95.34 billion package containing aid for Ukraine and Israel to passage this week following months of delays, even as it lacked any guarantee that the House of Representatives will support the measure. On Sunday, the bill got a boost when the Senate voted 67-27 to move it past an important procedural hurdle. Also over the weekend, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer set a course for passage by Wednesday.
Biden calls on snack companies to stop 'shrinkflation" rip-offs
U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday called on snack companies to stop shrinkflation, which is when businesses cut product sizes but keep prices the same, describing the practice as "a rip-off." "Some companies are trying to pull a fast one by shrinking the products little by little and hoping you won't notice," Biden said in a video posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, ahead of Super Bowl LVIII.
Off-duty cops stop female shooter at Joel Osteen's Houston megachurch
Two off-duty law enforcement officers in Houston took down a woman who opened fire on Sunday at Lakewood Church, one of the largest evangelical churches in the U.S. led by televangelist Joel Osteen, police said. A woman in her early 30s entered the megachurch shortly before 2 p.m. local time (2000 GMT), armed with a long rifle and accompanied by a child around 5 years old, and began firing, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner told reporters on Sunday.
Factbox-Court fights could tip control of US House in November elections
Legal battles over redistricting could lead to new congressional maps for the 2024 election in more than half a dozen U.S. states, potentially flipping control of the U.S. House of Representatives, which currently has a 219-212 Republican majority with four vacancies. The narrow Republican majority could shrink even further on Tuesday, when voters in New York's 3rd Congressional District will choose a replacement for Republican U.S. Representative George Santos, who was indicted on federal fraud charges and expelled from the House in December.
NFL-Chiefs beat Niners in Sin City Super Bowl overtime thriller
Patrick Mahomes threw a touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman in overtime to give the Kansas City Chiefs a 25-22 win over the San Francisco 49ers in a 'Sin City' Super Bowl thriller on Sunday, cementing their status as an NFL dynasty. The blockbuster finish in Las Vegas was worthy of the biggest show on the Strip, as the Chiefs won a third Super Bowl in five years and became the NFL's first repeat champions since the New England Patriots in February 2005.
US Defense Secretary Austin admitted to critical care, hospital says
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was admitted to a critical care unit in Washington on Sunday for treatment of "symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue", officials of Walter Reed Military Medical Center said. Austin, 70, later transferred the duties of his office to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, Pentagon Press Secretary Major General Pat Ryder said in a statement.
Biden's reelection campaign joins TikTok in push for young voters
U.S. President Joe Biden's reelection campaign joined short-form video app TikTok on Sunday, using the NFL's Super Bowl to kick off its new account to reach young voters ahead of the presidential election in November. The campaign's launch on TikTok is notable given that the app, which is owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, is under review in the U.S. for potential national security concerns. Some U.S. lawmakers have long called for the app to be banned over concerns that the Chinese government could access user data or influence what people see on the app.
Former Trump, Bush officials urge Congress to reverse Biden's LNG pause
Dozens of former officials from the past two Republican U.S. administrations on Monday urged Congress to reverse the Biden administration's pause on approvals of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, saying the shipments promote global stability. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, paused approvals of exports of pending and future LNG projects to big markets in Asia and Europe late last month in order to review the environmental and economic impacts of the booming business. Biden acted after pressure from environmentalists concerned about greenhouse gas emissions during the lifecycle of the LNG industry and pollution from LNG plants near vulnerable communities.
Trump-backing US Senate Republicans souring on longtime leader McConnell
Top U.S. Senate Republican Mitch McConnell's negotiations with Democrats to try to secure more Ukraine aid has drawn mounting attacks from hardliners within his party that some lawmakers say is a direct result of Donald Trump's rising influence. The Kentucky Republican, the chamber's longest-serving party leader at 81, has faced more heat from hardliners since Trump, the party's likely presidential nominee, torpedoed a bipartisan deal McConnell backed that aimed to stem the flow of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border and provide aid to Ukraine and Israel.
Republicans blast Trump over threat to abandon NATO allies
Some of former President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans on Sunday lashed out at him for saying he would not want to protect NATO members from a future attack by Russia if those countries' contributions to the defense alliance were lagging. "This is why I've been saying for a long time that he's unfit to be president of the United States," former Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" program.
(With inputs from agencies.)