1/ Ukraine President Zelensky invoked Pearl Harbor and the Sept. 11 terror attacks as he pleaded with the U.S. Congress for more help, telling lawmakers “we need you right now […] I call on you to do more.” The Ukrainian leader urged the U.S. to establish a no-fly zone over his country – a proposal that the Biden administration and NATO allies have rejected — and the delivery of advanced antimissile defense systems. “This is a terror that Europe has not seen, has not seen for 80 years and we are asking for a reply, for an answer to this terror from the whole world,” Zelensky said. At the conclusion of his remarks, Zelensky urged Biden to do more, saying: “You are the leader of your great nation. I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.” Following Zelensky’s address to Congress, Putin accused the West of trying to “cancel Russia.” (Associated Press / CNN / NBC News / CNBC / Washington Post / Politico / New York Times)
2/ Biden called Putin a “war criminal” and said he will commit $800 million more in military aid to Ukraine. The new funding comes from the $13.6 billion aid package Biden signed into law Tuesday and the total amount of funding allocated this week to Ukraine to more than $1 billion. The new aid package includes 800 anti-aircraft missiles, 9,000 anti-armor systems, 7,000 small arms, like machine guns, shotguns and grenade launchers, 20 million rounds of ammunition, body armor, and drones. “This could be a long and difficult battle. But the American people will be steadfast in our support of the people of Ukraine in the face of Putin’s immoral, unethical attacks on civilian populations,” Biden said. “We are united in our abhorrence of Putin’s depraved onslaught. And we’re going to continue to have their backs as they fight for their freedom, their democracy, their very survival.” The Kremlin, meanwhile, called Biden’s rhetoric “unacceptable and unforgivable.” (CNN / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Politico / NBC News / Washington Post / Bloomberg / The Guardian)
3/ The International Court of Justice ordered Russia to “immediately suspend” its military operations in Ukraine, saying the Kremlin justified its invasion on the false pretext that Ukraine was committing genocide against Russian-speakers in the east of the country. The ruling is largely symbolic despite being legally binding because Moscow is not expected to comply with the ruling. Countries who refuse to abide by court orders can be referred to the U.N. Security Council, where Russia holds veto power. The vote was 13-2, with judges from Russia and China dissenting. Officials from Ukraine and Russia, meanwhile, said they have made progress on a tentative 15-point peace plan. The proposed deal includes a ceasefire and Russian withdrawal if Ukraine declares neutrality and agrees to not join NATO. (ABC News / Financial Times / Washington Post / The Guardian / Wall Street Journal / New York Times)
4/ The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter percentage point – the first increase since December 2018. Policymakers also signaled six additional similarly sized rate hikes this year to rein in the highest inflation in 40 years. Policymakers expect inflation to remain elevated, ending 2022 at 4.3% – well above the Fed’s 2% goal – before coming down to 2.3% in 2024. Based on the Fed’s median projections, rates are expected to rise to about 2.8% by the end of 2023. (Associated Press / CNBC / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Washington Post)
5/ The Republican National Committee sued its own email vendor in an effort to stop it from complying with a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee for data on RNC and Trump campaign fundraising practices. Last week, the RNC sued the House committee, complaining about the Salesforce subpoena’s breadth. The subpoena calls for Salesforce to produce “all performance metrics and analytics related to email campaigns by or on behalf of Donald Trump for President, Inc., The Republican National Committee, or the Trump Make America Great Again Committee” for the period between Nov. 3, 2020 and Jan. 6, 2021. Salesforce, meanwhile, said it will begin producing documents to the committee imminently unless a court intervenes. Separately, the committee said it does not plan to subpoena to members of Congress who allegedly have information regarding the events leading up to and surrounding the attack on the Capitol. (CNN / Politico / Axios / ABC News)
6/ The Senate confirmed Shalanda Young as director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, making her the first Black woman to hold the Cabinet-level position. Young was confirmed in a bipartisan 61-36 vote after serving as acting director for the past year. (NBC News / CNN)
7/ The Senate approved legislation to make daylight saving time permanent starting next year. If passed in the House and signed by Biden, Americans would never again have to change their clocks twice a year. At least 18 states have passed laws to permanently switch to daylight saving time, though federal law must first change to allow it. (NPR / Axios / NBC News)
poll/ 69% of Americans favor sending U.S. troops to support European allies as a deterrent to keep Russia from invading those countries. 69% of Americans are also concerned that the conflict will lead to the use of nuclear weapons, while 30% are not worried. (Monmouth University)
poll/ 35% of Americans approve of the U.S. “taking military action even if it risks a nuclear conflict with Russia,” while 62% say they’re opposed to military action in this scenario. Overall, 47% of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of the Russian invasion, while 39% disapprove and 13% say they are not sure. (Pew Research Center)
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