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September 3, 2015

Posts in "Immigration"

August 11, 2015

The Bipartisan Working Group’s Elusive Target

Clockwise from left, Reps. David Joyce, R-Ohio, Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, Daniel Webster, R-Fla., Lou Barletta, R-Pa., Mark Amodei, R-Nev., Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., Scott Peters, D-Calif., Peter Welch, D-Vt., and John Carney, D-Del., attend a Bipartisan Working Group (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Clockwise from left, Reps. Joyce, Renacci, Webster, Barletta, Amodei, Maloney, Peters, Welch and Carney attend a BPWG meeting. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

About a dozen House Republicans and Democrats sat around a table on a recent early morning, eating doughnuts and discussing the highway bill.

The Highway Trust Fund’s July 31 expiration date was near, party leaders seemed resigned to advance yet another stopgap extension and the assembled rank-and-file lawmakers wondered whether they could fully unite around a strategy to force passage of long-term legislation. Full story

July 21, 2015

Texas Congresswoman to Trump: Have You No Decency?

Granger is leading a GOP task force to make recommendations on the child migrant border surge (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Granger, R-Texas, ripped into Donald Trump for disparaging remarks about Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Kay Granger has a reputation for telling it like she thinks it is, from colleagues who have “no business being in Congress” to fellow Texas Republicans who are “misbehaving” — but she usually does it quietly, preferring behind-the-scenes nudges to soundbite-ready shoves.

But when it comes to Donald Trump, she’s not pulling punches. Full story

June 16, 2015

Diaz-Balart Gumming Up Obama’s Cuba Thaw Plans

House Republican Conference

Diaz-Balart prefers a low-key style of legislating through the appropriations process (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart is not a quiet man. The gregarious Florida Republican, known for sudden eruptions of laughter and dramatic gesticulations, is hard to miss in a crowd. But when it comes to legislating, the seven-term lawmaker blends in, working methodically, usually behind the scenes, to put his stamp on policy.

That’s how the son of Cuban exiles has become one of the Obama administration’s biggest obstacles to normalizing relations with the communist nation 90 miles south of Florida. Full story

June 9, 2015

‘Fast-Track’ Trade Fight Nears Crucial House Vote

Reps. Tom Price, R-S.C., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the chairman and ranking member of the House Budget Committee, the first panel to preside over an OCO fight in 2015.  (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Reps. Tom Price and Chris Van Hollen, the chairman and ranking member of the House Budget Committee, the first panel to preside over an OCO fight in 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Backers of “fast-track” legislation in both parties have enough confidence in Trade Promotion Authority’s likelihood of passing the House to talk about a possible vote later this week.

But enough uncertainty remains that Republican leaders haven’t yet added the bill — which would clear the way for President Barack Obama to move forward on a 12-nation Pacific trade deal — to this week’s floor schedule. Full story

May 27, 2015

Democrats Urge End to Detention of Immigrant Families

Immigration reform activists chant as leave the office of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, after protesting GOP attacks on DACA and DAPA on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. Protesters planned on staging take overs of 40 Congressional offices as part of the protest. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Immigration activists rally outside congressional offices earlier this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With thousands of undocumented immigrants still seeking asylum from Central American countries, 136 House Democrats sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson Wednesday calling on the Obama administration to end family detention.

After the massive influx of unaccompanied minors and mothers with children last summer, the DHS renewed the mass detention of immigrant families — individuals who had previously not been held while waiting for immigration courts to process their asylum claims. But with many of those families still awaiting final decisions on whether they can stay in the United States, Democrats are expressing concern over the “jail-like facilities.”

Full story

May 14, 2015

Pro-Immigration Provision Stripped From Defense Bill

Brooks' amendment prevailed Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Brooks’ amendment prevailed Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A bipartisan coalition came close Thursday to protecting immigration-related language in the fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act — but not close enough.

A 221-202 vote on an amendment, offered by Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., stripped a provision in the underlying bill encouraging the Pentagon to study options for enlisting undocumented immigrants into the military in exchange for a pathway to legal status.

All 182 Democrats voted “no,” joined by 20 Republicans. Full story

May 13, 2015

Latest GOP Immigration Showdown Headed to Floor? (Updated)

Gallego, D-Ariz., attends a meeting of the House Armed Services Committee in Rayburn, January 14, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Gallego’s pro-immigration language in the defense spending bill could imperil the passage of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:14 p.m. | The question of whether undocumented immigrants should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military — a thorny debate that has split Republicans in the House — is headed for a risky floor vote.

A vote stripping out pro-immigration language on the issue, which is currently tucked into the fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, is welcomed by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who have clamored for a return to “regular order.”

But backers of the defense spending bill, especially GOP leaders, worry a divisive immigration debate could derail passage of the overall defense spending bill. Full story

May 8, 2015

Partnership-Minded Ryan Pushing, Promoting Pacific-Trade Deal

House Ways and Means chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., speaks with Roll Call in the House Ways and Means Committee room in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, April 30, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll

Ryan isn’t afraid to forge political partnerships. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“I find it a little sad that you feel like this is even a story,” Rep. Paul D. Ryan said recently, mid-conversation with CQ Roll Call. “Because it shouldn’t have to be.”

The Wisconsin Republican had just been asked about the sometimes surprising political alliances he’s forged, both inside his own party and across the aisle.

Ryan, who at 45 still radiates the boy-next-door quality that helped land him on the 2012 national GOP ticket alongside Mitt Romney, credits his Midwestern roots for his genial approach to coalition-building — whether it’s working with Democrats on a budget or enlisting a tea party warrior such as Sen. Ted Cruz to talk up a trade deal. Full story

May 6, 2015

Conservatives Set for Immigration Fight on Defense Bill

Gallego, D-Ariz., gestures to other freshman members as they arrive early on the House steps for the House Democratic Caucus media event "to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Pr

Gallego’s amendment supporting the rights of undocumented immigrants to serve in the military has been targeted by House conservatives. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Last week, the House Armed Services Committee voted 33-30 for an amendment to the fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act that would encourage the Pentagon to affirm undocumented immigrants should be permitted to serve in the military.

This week, more than two dozen conservative House Republicans are threatening to derail the must-pass legislation unless that language is removed. Full story

May 1, 2015

Immigration Fight Could Return to House This Month

immigration news

Denham will try again to include in this year’s defense bill a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants who serve in the armed forces. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy opened his Friday memo to House members regarding May’s legislative agenda by quoting Steve Jobs and praising Republicans for the victories they’ve overseen in the first 100 days of the 114th Congress.

But GOP success stories may be overshadowed later this month when Republicans again face one of the most politically dangerous and unforgiving issues for the party: immigration. Full story

April 16, 2015

Homeland Security Morale Woes Blamed on Immigration Policies (Video)

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 17: Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., speaks during the House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi hearing on "Implementation of the Accountability Review Board Recommendations" on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Gowdy said the president’s immigration policies have a lot to do with low morale at the Department of Homeland Security. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two Republican House members, both former prosecutors, said at a Capitol Hill hearing Thursday that White House immigration policies are contributing to low morale at Homeland Security.

The comments came as Reps. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and Ken Buck of Colorado questioned federal officials at a House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations hearing titled “The Worst Places to Work in the Federal Government.” Full story

April 1, 2015

Immigration Advocates Rush to Menendez’s Defense

Bob Menendez

Fellow immigration overhaul advocates remain behind Menendez. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two longtime allies released statements of support within minutes of the announcement of New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez’s 14-count federal indictment Wednesday.

Illinois Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, a fellow Democrat, and America’s Voice Executive Director Frank Sharry both praised the Garden State senator’s character and his work on issues important to the immigrant community. Full story

March 22, 2015

Conservatives: Cruz Candidacy Puts Key Issues on Table

Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during the International Association of Fire Fighters Presidential Forum at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 10, 2015. The day featured addresses by potential presidential candidates. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz speaks during the International Association of Fire Fighters Presidential Forum. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8:55 p.m. | What seemed inevitable is now, almost, official: Ted Cruz is running for president. Because of course he is.

The Texas senator’s expected announcement Monday is being greeted enthusiastically by a specific brand of GOP conservative — a group that includes many of the House lawmakers who’ve made a habit recently of semi-secret meetings with Cruz.

For those members, a Cruz candidacy likely means a higher profile for the values and legislative solutions they hold dear.

Full story

March 10, 2015

Boehner Survives, Conservatives Cope: Ongoing Saga of the 114th (Updated)

Updated 11:19 a.m. | It was an unconditional, unmitigated cave. In the battle to defund President Barack Obama’s immigration action, Democrats won. Republicans lost. So why does Speaker John A. Boehner’s job look as secure now as it did a month ago? And why aren’t conservatives more outraged?

“To be honest with you,” Rep. Paul Gosar told CQ Roll Call, “not all of it is his fault.” Full story

March 9, 2015

Retribution: King Says Boehner Canceled Trip After Immigration Fight

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner canceled a foreign trip by Rep. Steve King in retribution for his opposition to Boehner’s cave on “clean” Department of Homeland Security funding, according to the Iowa Republican.

Full story

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