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The hallmark moment of John A. Boehner’s nearly five-year run as speaker came Thursday, as the leader of the House Republican Conference, a Catholic, welcomed the pope to the Capitol. By the next morning, the embattled Boehner would announce his resignation to his colleagues in a closed-door meeting, sparking a whirlwind day on the Hill as his tumultuous reign over a fractured party had at last expired.
“Just yesterday we witnessed the awesome sight of Pope Francis addressing the greatest legislative body in the world — and I hope we will all heed his call to live by the Golden Rule. But last night, I started to think about this,” Boehner recounted at a 1 p.m. news conference Friday. “And this morning, I woke up and I said my prayers, as I always do, and I decided, you know, today’s the day I’m going to do this.” Full story
Updated 2:44 p.m. | As congressional Republicans continue to slam the White House for overreaching on immigration and promising to veto Iran sanctions, House Democrats traveled to Cuba in celebration of another Obama administrative initiative much-derided by the GOP: the recent normalization of ties between the United States and the long-marginalized country.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and eight colleagues were in Havana Tuesday to meet with government officials, Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino, local community leaders and American representatives from the U.S. Interests Section. Full story
Speaker John A. Boehner’s list of invitees to Tuesday night’s State of the Union address includes two prominent Cuban dissidents, Jorge Luis García Pérez (known as Antúnez) and Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera.
Pérez is a leader of the Cuban resistance movement who was jailed for 17 years for publicly denouncing the Castro regime. He was released in 2007. Full story
The 113th Congress began with an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws seeming likely, if not inevitable.
But despite an overwhelming bipartisan Senate vote to send a broad measure to the House, the issue died by the time Congress adjourned.
Here’s how it happened.
PHILADELPHIA — House Republicans won’t shut down the government in September, Heritage Action is “constructive at the end of the day” and a person can write a book without necessarily running for president.
Those were some of the points Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., hit home during an exclusive interview with CQ Roll Call Wednesday afternoon from the ornate Union League Building in downtown Philadelphia.
The House Budget Committee chairman and 2012 vice presidential nominee was in the city to kick-off a 10-day national tour promoting his new book, which hit the stands Tuesday.
“The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea” is part-memoir, part-sweeping policy proposal, and Ryan will be spending some of the waning days of August recess touting it in Wisconsin, Chicago, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas and California.
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Gov. Brian Sandoval has cut a lower, less-partisan profile than many Republican chiefs executive.
But as a Hispanic Republican and the relatively popular leader of a Western swing state that sided with President Barack Obama last November, Sandoval might be uniquely qualified to offer his party political advice as it seeks to recover in the wake of the disappointing 2012 elections.
In part two of our discussion pulled from my wide-ranging interview conducted earlier this week in the governor’s private office in Nevada’s historic Capitol, Sandoval sounded off on how efforts to change U.S. immigration law might affect the GOP nationally, and what he really thought when 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney talked about “self deportation” as an immigration policy.
The governor revealed some of his thinking about the political landscape at home ahead of the 2014 and 2016 elections and discussed how the actions of the Congress and the White House, or lack thereof, have affected his ability to help Nevada recover from an economic downturn that was felt more acutely in the Silver State than perhaps any other state in the nation.
And we closed the interview with a short segment on Sandoval’s choice of footwear — and discovered a Capitol Hill connection.
Q. Over time, will the Senate immigration reform proposal help the image of the GOP with different ethnic demographics?
CARSON CITY, Nev. — From his spacious office in the Silver State’s historic Capitol, Gov. Brian Sandoval keeps one eye focused on Washington, D.C., as he attempts to mitigate the political and economic minefield that has become the implementation of Obamacare.
The first-term Republican governor opposed the Affordable Care Act and joined the lawsuit challenging the legality of President Barack Obama’s landmark health care law. But after the Supreme Court upheld the statute, he moved ahead with the creation of a state health insurance exchange, deciding he would rather have Nevada shape its citizens’ access to care under the law rather than have federal bureaucrats do it 3,000 miles away.
But that doesn’t mean Sandoval, who is up for re-election in 2014 and has been mentioned as a GOP vice-presidential candidate, is happy with the law’s implications for Nevada’s arduous recovery from what was arguably an economic depression brought on by the 2008 real estate collapse. Nor is the governor pleased with the Obama administration’s slow and uncertain pace for writing the regulations that will dictate how states are supposed to operate under the new health care regime.
In part one of my broad interview with Sandoval: our discussion about Obamacare and his thoughts on an immigration overhaul. As a Hispanic Republican and a former federal judge who both presided over citizenship ceremonies and prosecuted undocumented immigrants for breaking immigration laws, Sandoval shared his unique perspectives on the matter and the bill that is currently winding its way through the Senate.
Q. Let’s talk about the Affordable Care Act. We know about the old debate, but now there’s the new debate about implementation. Is the implementation process making it harder for Nevada businesses to expand, or for other businesses that want to expand into Nevada, is the uncertainty around the Affordable Care Act making things difficult?
As the Senate immigration bill moves toward a markup in the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Marco Rubio is signaling the changes he supports as he works to make the legislation more palatable to conservatives.
The Florida Republican is a key architect of the “gang of eight” proposal, and his continued backing is crucial to its prospects. A Rubio aide on Wednesday provided CQ Roll Call with a “sampling” of the kinds of amendments to the bill that the senator will urge the Judiciary Committee to approve. About 300 amendments have been filed in committee.
Changes Rubio would support include:
At least one tea party skeptic of the immigration overhaul bill created by the “gang of eight” emerged from a private Tuesday meeting with Sen. Marco Rubio encouraged that the Florida Republican is committed to adjusting the legislation in a way that would make it palatable to conservatives.
Niger Innis, of TheTeaParty.net expressed deep reservations with the Senate bill before the gathering, which featured about 30 conservative supporters and skeptics of the comprehensive rewrite package. In a statement provided to this blog before the meeting, Innis referred to the bill as “more Schumer than Rubio,” in reference to New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, one of four Democrats in the gang of eight. Innis also made a point of expressing suspicion about the legislation’s pathway to citizenship component, which he called “amnesty.”
But Wednesday morning, Innis sounded a slightly different tune after hearing Rubio’s remarks about where the legislation is headed and the changes he is committed to pushing. Although Innis did not change his mind about the group’s legislation in its current form — and made clear that activist members of TheTeaParty.net are unlikely to support the proposal — he signaled that his grass-roots organization is poised to back Rubio’s immigration effort if he can push the changes to the bill that he has said he wants.
Conservatives exiting a private meeting with Sen. Marco Rubio to discuss immigration reform predicted that legislation pending before Congress would move significantly to the right as it proceeds toward President Barack Obama’s desk.
The Florida Republican, a key architect of the Senate bill, called the gathering to update conservative supporters and skeptics of a comprehensive immigration overhaul. Rubio also invited feedback and recommendations to strengthen the package in his bid to build support among the conservative grass roots and GOP lawmakers.
More than one who attended the meeting said changes are probably needed to strengthen the border security measures — and to counter conservative fears that neither this White House, nor future administrations, will follow through on the legislation’s security directives.
“Whatever bill makes it to the president’s desk will be different than the one that we see now, and I think it will move significantly to the right,” said Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst with the libertarian Cato Institute and one of 30 who attended the late Tuesday afternoon meeting.
An individual present at the meeting described the hour-plus exchange as mostly positive, adding that about 30 people attended, including representatives of tea party groups. When asked if Rubio’s staff provided any refreshments, a few who were present said that plenty of water bottles were provided, a sly reference to the senator’s State of the Union rebuttal, when he paused mid-speech to a big gulp of bottled water. A partial list of those who were present is included after the jump.
At least one conservative organization attending a Tuesday afternoon meeting to discuss immigration reform with Sen. Marco Rubio is opposed to the “gang of eight” bill.
TheTeaParty.Net is a grass-roots organization on the guest list of about two dozen grass-roots conservative leaders invited to discuss the Senate immigration overhaul with the Florida Republican. The group released a statement ahead of the meeting making clear that it opposes the legislation in its current form.
In the statement, TheTeaParty.Net Chief Strategist Niger Innis makes clear that the group is open to hearing from Rubio out of respect for his conservative bona fides. But at this point, the group views the proposal as “more Schumer than Rubio” — a reference to Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of the gang — because of the path to citizenship component, which the organization refers to as amnesty.
See TheTeaParty.Net’s statement after the jump.
Sen. Marco Rubio is scheduled to meet Tuesday with about two dozen grass-roots conservative leaders to discuss an immigration rewrite.
The late afternoon gathering, set for the Florida Republican’s Capitol Hill office, is closed to the press. Rubio is also scheduled to participate in a tele-townhall meeting Tuesday to promote the immigration overhaul bill from the Senate “gang of eight.” That event, set for the evening, was organized by the Hispanic Leadership Network, which is affiliated with the Republican-friendly American Action Network.
According to a Republican who plans to attend the Tuesday afternoon meeting in Rubio’s office, most of those invited, though not necessarily all, are supporters of the Senate immigration bill. Senate hearings on the group’s legislation are set to continue this week.
As the immigration overhaul process accelerates in Congress, expect specific constituencies with a stake in the outcome to begin signaling their demands for support — as well as grounds for joining the opposition.
The latest to speak out was a collection of leading advocacy organizations for individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual. In a joint statement released Wednesday afternoon, these groups reiterated support for comprehensive changes to federal immigration law, but they made clear they could oppose legislation that they feel discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation. The following was issued by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLAAD, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, United We Dream and Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project: Full story
House immigration negotiators are scheduled to meet Wednesday evening for the first time since the Boston terrorist attacks and their aftermath, and sources expect the group to discuss the criticism leveled at the Senate’s overhaul bill.
Last week, House Republicans negotiating an immigration overhaul reacted positively to the Senate “gang of eight” moving first to release their bill. They said it would allow the bipartisan House working group to react to any problems found in the Senate legislation and address them in their bill before it is unveiled.
And in fact, a Republican aide familiar with the House immigration negotiations said group members have taken note of the pushback the Senate bill has received in regard to the legislation’s border security “triggers.” House “gang of eight” members have watched as Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, has fielded repeated challenges from conservatives about the effectiveness of such triggers, particularly as it relates to the path to citizenship provided for in the bill. Full story
Supporters of an immigration overhaul moved Friday to discredit claims that the Boston Marathon bombings undermine the case for comprehensive changes.
The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, published a blog post in the afternoon arguing that passage of a Senate bill that would strengthen border security but also provide a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrant residents would enhance national security and only help in the effort to prevent future terrorist attacks. The bombings were allegedly committed by ethnic Chechen immigrants, one of whom became a U.S. citizen last year.
“Details about the Boston bombers are surfacing by the minute, but many opponents of immigration reform are already using it as an excuse to oppose reform. There is no reason to assume that continuing the status quo immigration policy will prevent future terrorist attacks,” Cato Immigration Policy Analyst Alex Nowrasteh wrote. “Legalizing the peaceful and otherwise law-abiding unauthorized immigrants here will allow law enforcement to focus on legitimate national security and crime threats.”