1/ Biden will travel to Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and show solidarity with the U.S. ally “in the face of Hamas’s brutal terrorist attack.” It’s the first time a U.S. president has visited Israel while it’s actively at war, and comes ahead of Israel’s expected ground offensive against Hamas in Gaza as international pressure builds over the humanitarian crisis – and rising civilian death toll – developing in the enclave. The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza – the only way out of Gaza – will reopen to humanitarian aid for Palestinian civilians currently under siege by Israeli forces. The corridor, however, remains closed – for now – for hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinian civilians hoping to leave the bombarded territory. Biden, meanwhile, deployed two aircraft carrier strike groups to the region to deter Iran and proxy militant groups from joining a wider regional war. (CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / NBC News / Politico / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)
2/ The U.S. secretly supplied Ukraine with long-range ATACMS missiles for the first time, which have been used to strike Russian military aircraft and ammunition depots in occupied Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian leaders had urged the U.S. to send ATACMS for more than a year, but the Biden administration feared that such a move could enrage Moscow and escalate U.S. involvement in the war. Biden green-lit the delivery last month, wanting to take the Russians by surprise. Some variants of the missiles have a maximum range of approximately 186 miles. (Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / CNN)
3/ The Supreme Court – again – allowed the federal government to ban “ghost guns” – unassembled and unmarked guns that can be bought online and then assembled into fully operative guns. In 2022, Biden announced a new federal rule to regulate homemade guns known as “ghost guns” more like regular guns, including requiring serial numbers and background checks for purchase. Gun manufacturers challenged the regulations in court and a federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction barring the rule from going into effect. Today’s Supreme Court ruling invalidates that lower court ruling and allows the regulations to remain in effect while the legal challenge plays out. (NPR / CNN / Associated Press / CBS News)
4/ Jim Jordan failed to win the House speakership in the first round of voting after 20 of his Republicans colleagues voted against him. Jordan plans to force another vote after falling 17 votes short of the 217 he needed, saying “whatever it takes to get a speaker today.” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries won 212 votes, while several Republican members voted for previous candidates for the job, including Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise, who already withdrew from the race. In January, McCarthy was elected House speaker after multiple days of negotiations and 15 rounds of voting only to be ousted nine months later. The House has been without a speaker for more than 13 days. Jordan was one of the 147 Republicans who voted to reject the 2020 election results in Pennsylvania and Arizona, and was a “significant player” in Trump’s attempts to use Congress to overturn the election on Jan. 6. Jordan is also a co-leader of the impeachment inquiry against Biden despite no evidence linking him to high crimes or misdemeanors. [Editor’s note: It’s entirely possibly that by the time you read this the House will have elected a speaker. It’s also entirely possible that the House will still be leaderless.] (CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / ABC News)
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