Stories about
Richard Shelby


Richard Craig Shelby (born May 6, 1934) is an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator from Alabama. First elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, he is the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, succeeding Thad Cochran. He previously served as Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.

NBC 7 San Diego

Published  2 months ago

The public housing development where Zeituni Onyango, 56, a native of Kenya, has since January resided stands on Flaherty Way in Boston. Getty Images/Darren McCollester Untold thousands of illegal immigrants live in public housing at a time when hundreds of thousands of citizens and legal residents are stuck waiting years for a spot. Illegal immigrants make up a tiny portion of the 7.1 million people in federal housing, according to government statistics. But authorities may be unaware of thousands more,

Washington Examiner

Published  2 months ago

Republicans are pushing back on reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., beat President Trump in the latest budget shutdown fight, claiming that Congress approved historic funding levels for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol, added miles to the border wall, and erased the cap on criminal illegal immigrants that can be jailed.

Insiders who worked on the deal said that compared to going along with a spending continuing resolution, the GOP scored several wins, though it did not reach the $5.7 billion funding Trump wanted for the wall.

“I know the conventional wisdom is that he lost on the wall in this package. But he gained … under impossible conditions,” said one insider on background.

While a country mile away from being able to declare it a victory, the number of wins the GOP won in the three weeks of negotiations were sizable, said insiders.

What’s more, Trump and GOP negotiators led by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and his team blocked several moves by Pelosi and other Democrats to fill the deal with anti-wall moves like lowering spending for ICE and slashing the number of “detention beds” to hold criminal illegal immigrants.

“Pelosi lost. She knew her position on detentions beds was unsustainable and only playing to her fringe. She also said no new miles for the wall,” said the source. “She had to step back from all positions.”

Compared to a simple continuing resolution, or CR, with nothing extra beyond current spending levels set in fiscal 2018, Trump gained extra funding for the wall. A CR would have provided $500 million, said the source, but Trump received $1.375 billion. That is “triple” the number of miles in the fiscal 2018 budget and “nearly three times as much as would have been available under a CR,” said the source.

On detention beds, the number increased 13 percent over fiscal 2018. And when another $750 million in transfer and reprogramming authority is added in, it represents a 44 percent increase, said the source.

What’s more, the bill provides historic funding levels for ICE and Customs and Border Protection, a rejection of liberal efforts to kill the agencies. It was a 7 percent budget increase for a combined $21.5 billion.

The Gateway Pundit

Published  2 months ago

Congressional negotiators announced on Monday night they have a border wall funding agreement they believe President Trump will sign into law. The agreement was announced by a group of lawmakers led by Republican Sen. Richard Shelby and Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey, after a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday FOX News announced Democrats slipped […]

Breitbart

Published  2 months ago

Democratic leaders directed their deputies on the 2019 border security panel to hide their negotiating victories from President Donald Trump.

The Gateway Pundit

Published  2 months ago

Congressional negotiators announced on Monday night they have a border wall funding agreement they believe President Trump will sign into law. The agreement was announced by a group of lawmakers led by Republican Sen. Richard Shelby and Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey, after a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday FOX News announced Democrats slipped […]

Breitbart

Published  2 months ago

A Republican-Democrat border deal keeps current rates of Catch and Release of illegal aliens, border crossers, and adults who have trafficked children across the U.S.-Mexico border at around the same level as this previous year.

As Breitbart News reported, the Republican and Democrat lawmakers’ deal includes about $1.3 billion in border wall funding — a fraction of the $5.7 billion that President Trump had requested — that can only be used in certain areas of the southern border and must be the bollard fencing that the Bush and Obama administrations previously deployed. The funding will add 55 miles of new barriers at the border.

Additionally, the deal keeps the amount of detention space that federal immigration officials need to detain illegal aliens and border crossers at about current levels. As of today, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is only funded for about 40,250 beds in detention centers.

Due to the massive number of illegal aliens in the U.S. — around 12 to 22 million — and roughly 1,300 new border crossers coming to the country every day, ICE officials have had to routinely exceed this 40,250 bed limit.

Trump requested Republicans last year, when they held the House and Senate, to fund additional detention space. GOP lawmakers, though, refused.

The Republican-Democrat deal, by keeping detention space at essentially the same level, allows for the Catch and Release program — whereby illegal aliens and border crossers are released into the interior of the country due to a lack of space — to remain at the same pace as in 2018.

ICE officials have said that since December 2018, federal immigration officials have had to release about 4,000 adults and the children they trafficked across the border into the interior of the country. Every month, the federal officials are encountering about 13,000 adults and children at the southern border. In the process, officials said about 3,000 are being released into the U.S. every month.

In total for 2018, ICE released 180,000 illegal aliens and border crossers into the interior of the U.S., though officials said the mass release is not all due to a lack of detention space. Some of the releases are due to the medical conditions of the detainee or because a judge has ordered the detainee be released.

Breitbart News has chronicled the Trump administration’s continuing release of illegal aliens and border crossers into the country. For example, at the end of 2018, the administration released more than 2,000 border crossers and their children into the interior of the U.S. over the course of just a couple weeks.

These illegal aliens and border crossers are driven into the interior of the country and dropped off en masse at bus stops. Some are required to wear ankle bracelets. Experts have told Breitbart News that the ankle monitors, though, are ineffective and that newly released detainees simply remove the bracelet once out of ICE custody.

The conference committee was formed after Trump reopened the federal government following a shutdown without securing any funding for the border wall. Members of the committee include:

Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, Texas Rep. Kay Granger, Tennesee Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, Georgia Rep. Tom Graves, and Mississippi Rep. Steven Palazzo, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin, Montana Sen. Jon Tester, New York Rep. Nita Lowey, California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, North Carolina Rep. David Price, California Rep. Barbara Lee, Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, and California Rep. Pete Aguilar.

The committee was formed to work on a funding package for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with a deadline of February 15, a funding route that experts have said the president never had to take.

Defense Department officials have reiterated that Trump does not need approval from Congress and, also, does not have to declare a national emergency to begin construction of the border wall. Instead, the president could have invoked 10 United States Code § 284, which authorizes the U.S. military to build barriers at the southern border, a Pentagon official has testified to Congress.

Illegal immigration at the southern border is expected to reach levels that have not been seen since President George W. Bush if reforms are not implemented this year. Researchers project, at current rates, there will be more than 600,000 illegal aliens apprehended at the border this year. In December 2018, there were about 51,000 border crossers apprehended and 52,000 apprehended in November 2018. This is a two-month border crosser population that exceeds the total population of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.

The Washington Times

Published  2 months ago

President Trump may not have been happy with it, but congressional Republicans said he actually made out pretty well in the new spending deal emerging on Capitol Hill, with at least a

The Gateway Pundit

Published  2 months ago

Congressional negotiators announced on Monday night they have a border wall funding agreement they believe President Trump will sign into law.

#DEVELOPING #NOW

Negotiators in #Congress say they have reached agreement in principle to fund government, avoiding another partial government shutdownhttps://t.co/DlstoqI4NI

— FOX26Houston (@FOX26Houston) February 12, 2019

FOX 26 reported:

The emerging agreement was announced by a group of lawmakers, including Republican Sen. Richard Shelby and Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey, after a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill.

The talks had cratered over the weekend because of Democratic demands to limit immigrant detentions by federal authorities, but lawmakers apparently broke through that impasse Monday evening.

Now they will need the support of President Donald Trump, whose signature will be needed ahead of the deadline at midnight Friday.

Fox News

Published  2 months ago

Congressional negotiators revealed Monday evening that they've reached "an agreement in principle" on border security funding that includes more than $1.3 billion for physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

When asked if they had an agreement that President Trump would approve, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told reporters: "We think so. We hope so." Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, declined to give details of the deal but said a final text could be released by Wednesday.

Lawmakers have until 11:59 p.m. Friday to get the agreement through both houses of Congress and signed by Trump before several Cabinet-level departments shut down and hundreds of thousands of federal workers are furloughed in what would be the second partial government shutdown this year.

Sources tell Fox News the $1.3 billion can only be used for new wall construction that would cover approximately 55 miles of territory in the Rio Grande Valley.

The White House had requested $5.7 billion for the border wall and the administration had dangled the possibility that Trump would declare a national emergency and divert money from the federal budget for wall construction, but that move would certainly be challenged in Congress as well as in the courts.

Talks almost collapsed over the weekend after Democrats pushed to reduce funding for detention beds to curb what they see as unnecessarily harsh enforcement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A House Democratic aide told The Associated Press that Republicans already had agreed to funding cuts that would require ICE to ramp down the number of detention beds to a range of 34,000-38,500 by the end of the year. ICE currently detains about 49,000 immigrants on average per day.

But a proposal to cap at 16,500 the number of detainees caught in areas away from the border — a limit Democrats say is aimed at preventing overreach by the agency — ran into its own Republican wall.

Shelby told reporters Monday night that the bed issue had been worked out, but declined to give details. "We think it's going to work," he said. "We had some hard negotiations."

Sources told Fox News that the agreement provides enough money for 42,774 adult and 2,500 child beds with the goal of reducing that number to approximately 40,250 by the end of September. However, the White House has the ability to shift some money in the bill without a congressional blessing in order to provide more money for the wall or more detention beds. With that in mind, sources tell Fox News the total number of beds could go as high as 52,000, though there is no technical limitation on that number.

According to ICE figures, 66 percent of the nearly 159,000 immigrants it reported detaining last year were previously convicted of crimes. In 2016 under President Obama, around 110,000 immigrants were detained and 86 percent had criminal records.

At the White House on Monday afternoon, Trump softened his rhetoric on the wall but ratcheted it up when alluding to the detention beds issue.

"We can call it anything. We'll call it barriers, we'll call it whatever they want," the president said. "But now it turns out not only don't they want to give us money for a wall, they don't want to give us the space to detain murderers, criminals, drug dealers, human smugglers."

Fox News' Chad Pergram Mike Emanuel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

WayneDupree.com

Published  2 months ago

Hogan Gidley, White House deputy press secretary, told Fox News he wasn’t sure if Pres. Trump would support this compromised negotiation to avert another government shutdown. Let me say; there will be a lot of disappointed Trump supporters if this is signed.

On Monday night, lawmakers part of this compromise committee leaked out small details about a possible bill that would avert another government shutdown this Friday by including $1.375 billion for the border barrier. This is less than the Senate $1.6 billion offered late last year and way less than the $5.7 billion passed by the House and accepted by President Trump.

McConnell and the Senate offered 1.6 billion in October 2018 so this 1.3 billion is less than that AND Democrats get detention beds dropped.

Who's negotiating for Republicans again? https://t.co/mtYCsz4Qy7

“We’re not sure yet, to be quite honest,” Gidley said during an interview on Fox News when asked if the deal was something Trump would approve.

He added that it’s “very difficult to comment” without seeing the details of the agreement.

“I’m not really ready to focus on what could be in there,” Gidley said. “I would like to focus on what is actually in there. We haven’t seen that yet. We’ve heard some rumors and we’ve heard some reports. We’ve seen some reporting on exactly what could or could not be in there.”

“It’s not consistent with what we’re hearing coming out of the conference committee,” he added. “So until we actually see it, it is very difficult to comment on it.”

“We don’t know what’s in the document,” Hogan Gidley says, referring to compromise border security deal.

Gidley says he hasn’t talked to Trump yet today after president’s 2:30a arrival back at White House after Texas rally, but Mulvaney told staff: need to hear nuances of deal. pic.twitter.com/OOKbkSM0y4

I don’t care if Senators Richard Shelby, Patrick Leahy, and House Representatives Nita Lowey and Kay Granger came out with white doves and walking on water singing praises on this compromise, it’s a bad deal. Democrats seem to have once again been able to swindle Republicans on the specifics to get what they want and giving Trump a piece of junk to sign.

I will admit the final details are not out yet, but from what they have released, I am not sure I want to hear the rest.

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wbay

Published  2 months ago

A bipartisan group of lawmakers announced an emerging agreement -- in principle -- breaking an impasse over border protection and immigration.

The Gateway Pundit

Published  2 months ago

Congressional negotiators announced on Monday night they have a border wall funding agreement they believe President Trump will sign into law. #DEVELOPING #NOW Negotiators in #Congress say they have reached agreement in principle to fund government, avoiding another partial government shutdownhttps://t.co/DlstoqI4NI — FOX26Houston (@FOX26Houston) February 12, 2019 Sean Hannity weighed in on the resolution on […]

Fox News

Published  2 months ago

President Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally Monday night in El Paso, Texas — just as possible 2020 contender and former U.S. Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke leads a border wall protest roughly a half-mile away.

Trump's event, to be held at the El Paso County Coliseum for his first "Make America Great Again Rally" of the year, will touch on border security, as the town sits along the U.S.-Mexico border.

EL PASO BRISTLES AT TRUMP'S CLAIM THAT WALL MADE CITY SAFE

The president announced his rally on Tuesday night during his second State of the Union address, in which he alleged El Paso is now one of the nation's safest cities because of a "powerful barrier" that was put in place — a claim that others disputed.

O'Rourke, meanwhile, will be protesting such a wall with his one-mile march, that will conclude with a speech critical of Trump's push for billions in federal funding for a border wall.

The continued push for funding comes days before the government funding deadline. If funding isn't approved — a battle which sparked the nation's longest government shutdown in history — the government will face a second partial shutdown on Friday.

The White House last month agreed to a temporary spending bill to end the 35-day partial shutdown, although Trump said at the time that the move was not a "concession" and that he would not relent on his demands for a wall.

Earlier Monday, negotiators in Congress announced that they had reached an agreement in principle to fund the government and avoid another partial government shutdown. The emerging agreement was announced by a group of lawmakers, including Republican Sen. Richard Shelby and Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey, after a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill.

The talks had cratered over the weekend because of Democratic demands to limit immigrant detentions by federal authorities, but lawmakers apparently broke through that impasse Monday evening

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Fox News

Published  2 months ago

Congressional negotiators revealed Monday evening that they've reached "an agreement in principle" on border security funding and other issues that could avert a second partial government shutdown this year.

When asked if they had an agreement that President Trump would approve, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told reporters: "I think so."

This is a developing story; check back for more updates.

Breitbart

Published  2 months ago

A Republican-Democrat border security deal that is expected to be offered to President Trump funds about $1.3 billion for a United States-Mexico border wall and includes no increase in detention space to control increasing illegal immigration at the border.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have announced that they have reached a deal on border wall funding to avoid a government shutdown. The deal, according to details by the Washington Post, includes about $1.3 billion in border wall funding — a fraction of the $5.7 billion that Trump had requested from Republicans and Democrats.

This funding is set to provide about 55 miles of new border wall along the roughly 2,000-mile long southern border. Much like the 2018 omnibus spending, which prevented Trump from building a border wall out of new materials, the deal is set to tack on stipulations as to what the barrier can be made from and where it can be placed.

Additionally, the deal keeps detention space for federal immigration officials to detain illegal aliens and border crossers at the same levels that have been funded over the last two years. The deal includes about 40,250 beds for immigration detention facilities, about 11,500 fewer beds than Trump had requested.

The conference committee was formed after Trump reopened the federal government following a shutdown without securing any funding for the border wall. Members of the committee include:

Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, Texas Rep. Kay Granger, Tennesee Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, Georgia Rep. Tom Graves, and Mississippi Rep. Steven Palazzo, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin, Montana Sen. Jon Tester, New York Rep. Nita Lowey, California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, North Carolina Rep. David Price, California Rep. Barbara Lee, Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, and California Rep. Pete Aguilar.

The committee was formed to work on a funding package for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with a deadline of February 15, a funding route that experts have said the president never had to take.

Defense Department officials have reiterated that Trump does not need approval from Congress and, also, does not have to declare a national emergency to begin construction of the border wall. Instead, the president could have invoked 10 United States Code § 284, which authorizes the U.S. military to build barriers at the southern border, a Pentagon official has testified to Congress.

In the meantime, illegal immigration at the southern border is expected to reach levels that have not been seen since President George W. Bush. Researchers project, at current rates, there will be more than 600,000 illegal aliens apprehended at the border this year. In December 2018, there were about 51,000 border crossers apprehended.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.

dailycaller

Published  2 months ago

America’s sheriffs are warning Congress to stop a proposed backroom deal that would institute a ceiling on the number of illegal immigrants that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can detain.

According to letters sent to House and Senate lawmakers on Friday, the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) and the Major Country Sheriffs of America claim that if ICE is forced to release detainees, over 8,300 criminal illegals will be sent to the streets and potentially lost to the administrative and judicial systems.

The letters were obtained by The Daily Caller Sunday after contacting the NSA.

The brokered agreement would mandate that ICE can hold no more than 16,500 people at a time. The negotiations began last December as part of the talks surrounding the partial government shutdown. Discussions resumed after the reopening of the federal government and are reportedly ongoing with another shutdown potentially looming. (RELATED: Raid Leads To More Than 100 ICE Arrests In New York)

“Capping the number of detention beds utilized by ICE not only jeopardizes the integrity of the immigration system, but would cripple ICE’s ability to detain criminal aliens and other aliens who pose a risk to public safety or are a flight risk,” the letters read. One letter was sent to Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, while a second identical letter was sent to Texas Republican Rep. Kay Granger and New York Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey.

The letter warned, “Any legislation that reduces ICE’s detention capacity would hinder its ability to perform its national security and public safety missions, but also impact local law enforcement’s ability to protect the communities they serve. In order to meet the cap being tentatively proposed by Congress, ICE would be compelled to release thousands of aliens from custody.” (RELATED: Report: ICE Drops Off Illegal Aliens On The Streets Of Texas)

The correspondence noted, “Over 90 percent of ICE’s arrests are aliens who have a criminal conviction, have been arrested for a criminal, or have been previously removed. Placing a cap on ICE detention beds will undermine the efficacy of the immigration system and reduce the number of aliens who are removed from the United States.”

AP News

Published  2 months ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on government negotiations over border security (all times local): 8:30 p.m. Negotiators in Congress say they have reached an agreement in principle to fund the government and avoid another partial government shutdown. The emerging agreement was announced by a group of lawmakers, including Republican Sen. Richard Shelby and Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey, after a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill. The talks had cratered over the weekend because of Democratic demands to limit immigrant detentions by federal authorities, but lawmakers apparently broke through that impasse Monday evening. Now they will need the support of President Donald Trump, whose signature will be needed ahead of the deadline at midnight Friday. If lawmakers don't act, hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be furloughed for a second time this year.

www.theepochtimes.com

Published  2 months ago

President Donald Trump plans to supplement any border wall funding agreed upon by Congress with monies from other areas of the budget to build the wall.

Breitbart

Published  2 months ago

Five million Latin Americans plan to migrate to the United States in the next 12 months, and an estimated 42 million more say they want to enter the country.

Those statistics were in a report from Jim Clifton, the chairman and CEO at Gallup:

Forty-two million seekers of citizenship or asylum are watching to determine exactly when and how is the best time to make the move. This suggests that open borders could potentially attract 42 million Latin Americans. A full 5 million who are planning to move in the next 12 months say they are moving to the U.S.

The poll came as Democrats began using their new political clout to try to widen the catch-and-release loopholes in President Donald Trump’s border defenses.

Breitbart News reported:

Democrats say the DHS does not need so many detention beds but instead can release and track migrants or resident illegals by using “Alternatives to Detention,” such as monitors strapped to migrants’ ankles.

Democrats also argue that migrants who bring children should not be detained. If that rule is adopted by Congress, all migrants who bring children to the border would be quickly released into the U.S. jobs market.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokeswoman Katie Waldman rejected the Democrats’ proposals, saying in a statement:

Without the necessary detention authority and sufficient funding for family beds to enable ICE to detain family units when they are ordered removed, ICE will still only be able to remove a very small percentage of family units, thereby increasing the pull factors and further contributing to the border crisis. For example last year, only one percent of all removals were on ATD, at a cost of $72,000 per removal.

“Most U.S. citizens like me just want to know the plan,” Clifton concluded. “What is the 10-year plan? How many, exactly whom and what skills will they bring? What do we want? Answer these questions, and the current discussion can be resolved.”

The Republicans on the DHS funding panel include Sens. Richard Shelby (AL), Shelley Moore Capito (WV), John Hoeven (ND), and Roy Blunt (MO), as well as Reps. Kay Granger (TX), Chuck Fleischmann (TN), Tom Graves (GA), and Steven Palazzo (MS).

The Democrats on the panel are Sens. Patrick Leahy (VT), Richard Durbin (IL), and Jon Tester (MT), along with Reps. Nita Lowey (NY), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA), David Price (NC), Barbara Lee (CA), Henry Cuellar (TX), and Pete Aguilar (CA).

SARAH PALIN

Published  2 months ago

Nearly 3,000 sheriffs from across the country are joining together and warning lawmakers in Washington that maybe they don’t know what is best when it comes to immigration and its costs on local communities.

These sheriffs are collectively warning House and Senate negotiators to reject the current immigration deal they are negotiating as it would allow for the release of over 8,300 criminal immigrants back onto the streets.

“This dangerous congressional proposal not only jeopardizes the risk of our national security, but hinders our law enforcement officers from effectively enforcing and upholding the law and protecting their communities,” the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Major County Sheriffs of America said in a letter to the D.C. lawmakers, as the Washington Examiner reports.

The deal is a bad one, the sheriffs explain in the letter, as it also does not include any money for the construction of a new border wall. It also caps the number of immigrants the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement can detain.

From the Washington Examiner:

According to reports, the emerging deal does not include the money President Trump wants for a physical wall, and it does not include the number of beds Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it needs to house illegal immigrants arrested inside the United States.

Most of those arrested inside the U.S. have criminal records, convictions and have been deported before. The sheriffs suggested that those released often never return for court dates.

“Capping the number of detention beds utilized by ICE not only jeopardizes the integrity of the immigration system, but would cripple ICE’s ability to detain criminal aliens and other aliens who pose a risk to public safety or are a flight risk,” said the two letters signed by Sheriff John Layton, president of the National Sheriffs’ Association, Sheriff Grady Judd, president of the Major County Sheriffs of America, and Sheriff Mike Bouchard, vice president of governmental affairs for Major County Sheriffs of America.

According to the report, the letter from the sheriffs’ associations was addressed to Republican Senator Richard Shelby, Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy, Republican Congresswoman Kay Granger, and Democrat Congresswoman Nita Lowey.

Read the letter below:

“Any legislation that reduces ICE’s detention capacity would hinder its ability to perform its national security and public safety missions, but also impact local law enforcement’s ability to protect the communities they serve. In order to meet the cap being tentatively proposed by Congress, ICE would be compelled to release thousands of aliens from custody. To achieve the 16,500 adult average detainee population (ADP) caps for the remaining 7 months of the fiscal year, a net reduction of 9,264 adults by the end of this fiscal year would be required.

“Approximately 72 percent of ICE’s current detention population is subject to mandatory detention due to the alien having certain convictions or having committed certain acts. Over 90 percent of ICE’s arrests are aliens who have a criminal conviction, have been arrested for a criminal offense, or have been previously removed. Placing a cap on ICE detention beds will undermine the efficacy of the immigration system and reduce the number of aliens who are removed from the United States.”

dailycaller

Published  2 months ago

America’s sheriffs are warning Congress to stop a proposed backroom deal that would institute a ceiling on the number of illegal immigrants that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can detain.

According to letters sent to House and Senate lawmakers on Friday, the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) and the Major Country Sheriffs of America claim that if ICE is forced to release detainees, over 8,300 criminal illegals will be sent to the streets and potentially lost to the administrative and judicial systems.

The letters were obtained by The Daily Caller Sunday after contacting the NSA.

The brokered agreement would mandate that ICE can hold no more than 16,500 people at a time. The negotiations began last December as part of the talks surrounding the partial government shutdown. Discussions resumed after the reopening of the federal government and are reportedly ongoing with another shutdown potentially looming. (RELATED: Raid Leads To More Than 100 ICE Arrests In New York)

“Capping the number of detention beds utilized by ICE not only jeopardizes the integrity of the immigration system, but would cripple ICE’s ability to detain criminal aliens and other aliens who pose a risk to public safety or are a flight risk,” the letters read. One letter was sent to Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, while a second identical letter was sent to Texas Republican Rep. Kay Granger and New York Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey.

The letter warned, “Any legislation that reduces ICE’s detention capacity would hinder its ability to perform its national security and public safety missions, but also impact local law enforcement’s ability to protect the communities they serve. In order to meet the cap being tentatively proposed by Congress, ICE would be compelled to release thousands of aliens from custody.” (RELATED: Report: ICE Drops Off Illegal Aliens On The Streets Of Texas)

The correspondence noted, “Over 90 percent of ICE’s arrests are aliens who have a criminal conviction, have been arrested for a criminal, or have been previously removed. Placing a cap on ICE detention beds will undermine the efficacy of the immigration system and reduce the number of aliens who are removed from the United States.”

Breitbart

Published  2 months ago

Democratic legislators are using the budget/wall negotiations to reopen catch-and-release loopholes which have been narrowed since 2016.

Washington Examiner

Published  2 months ago

Juan Carlos LLorca/AP

Some 3,000 sheriffs from around the country are urging lawmakers and administration officials crafting an immigration packages to drop a proposed cap on the number of illegals aliens ICE can hold, warning it will free over 8,300 criminal immigrants and endanger the public.

In a letter to House and Senate negotiators, the National Sheriffs’ Association and Major County Sheriffs of America said, “This dangerous congressional proposal not only jeopardizes the risk of our national security, but hinders our law enforcement officers from effectively enforcing and upholding the law and protecting their communities.”

The letters were provided to Secrets.

According to reports, the emerging deal does not include the money President Trump wants for a physical wall and it does not include the number of beds Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it needs to house illegal immigrants arrested inside the United States.

Most of those arrested inside the U.S. have criminal records, convictions and have been deported before. The sheriffs suggested that those released often never return for court dates.

“Capping the number of detention beds utilized by ICE not only jeopardizes the integrity of the immigration system, but would cripple ICE’s ability to detain criminal aliens and other aliens who pose a risk to public safety or are a flight risk,” said the two letters signed by Sheriff John Layton, president of the National Sheriffs’ Association, Sheriff Grady Judd, president of the Major County Sheriffs of America, and Sheriff Mike Bouchard, vice president of governmental affairs for Major County Sheriffs of America.

The legislation puts a cap on those ICE can hold at an average of 16,500.

If passed, that would require ICE to release over 9,000, said the sheriffs, and they estimated that at least 90 percent are criminals.

The negotiations are ending soon in order to get legislation passed before a mid-February deadline that must be met to avoid another partial government shutdown.

In their letter to Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey and Republican Rep. Kay Granger, the association presented their key fears.

They wrote:

“Any legislation that reduces ICE’s detention capacity would hinder its ability to perform its national security and public safety missions, but also impact local law enforcement’s ability to protect the communities they serve. In order to meet the cap being tentatively proposed by Congress, ICE would be compelled to release thousands of aliens from custody. To achieve the 16,500 adult average detainee population (ADP) caps for the remaining 7 months of the fiscal year, a net reduction of 9,264 adults by the end of this fiscal year would be required.

“Approximately 72 percent of ICE’s current detention population is subject to mandatory detention due to the alien having certain convictions or having committed certain acts. Over 90 percent of ICE’s arrests are aliens who have a criminal conviction, have been arrested for a criminal offense, or have been previously removed. Placing a cap on ICE detention beds will undermine the efficacy of the immigration system and reduce the number of aliens who are removed from the United States.”

Breitbart

Published  2 months ago

A Republican-Democrat House and Senate committee is planning to offer President Trump a border security package that could include less than a quarter of the $5.7 billion for a U.S.-Mexico border wall he originally requested.

Capitol Hill sources tell the media that a conference committee of Republicans and Democrats is preparing to unveil a border security funding plan that gives only about $1.3 to $2 billion to Trump for construction of his proposed wall on the southern border to stop wage-crushing illegal immigration.

The New York Times reports:

On Capitol Hill, House and Senate conferees were nearing an agreement that could offer the president between $1.3 billion and around $2 billion in funding for border security, a range, still subject to change, that could include some physical barriers and result in a deal as early as Monday. Talk of a wall has given way to “bollard fencing” and strategic placements. [Emphasis added]

This $1.3 to $2 billion would be the total spending for border security, meaning the funding for the proposed border wall would be a figure potentially less than $1.3 billion.

Despite previously committing that he would not accept anything less than $5 billion in funding for a border wall in a border security package, Trump is now telling lawmakers and aides that he is open to accepting just $2 billion for the wall, sources told the New York Times:

Mr. Trump has told allies he would grudgingly accept a figure of around $2 billion, but House Democrats remain publicly opposed to spending that much on physical barriers. It is still not clear how much of the final allocation would go for new fencing, according to three people briefed on the negotiations. [Emphasis added]

Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, told senators at a party lunch and in private conversations over the past few days that Mr. Trump had told him, “I can live with $2 billion,” according to a Senate aide who witnessed one of the exchanges. [Emphasis added]

The conference committee was formed after Trump reopened the federal government following a shutdown without securing any funding for the border wall. Members of the committee include:

Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, Texas Rep. Kay Granger, Tennesee Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, Georgia Rep. Tom Graves, and Mississippi Rep. Steven Palazzo, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin, Montana Sen. Jon Tester, New York Rep. Nita Lowey, California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, North Carolina Rep. David Price, California Rep. Barbara Lee, Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, and California Rep. Pete Aguilar.

The committee was formed to work on a funding package for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with a deadline of February 15, a funding route that experts have said the president never had to take.

Defense Department officials have reiterated that Trump does not need approval from Congress and, also, does not have to declare a national emergency to begin construction of the border wall. Instead, the president could have invoked 10 United States Code § 284, which authorizes the U.S. military to build barriers at the southern border, a Pentagon official has testified to Congress.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) has urged Trump to invoke these executive powers to immediately begin building the border wall.

“I think what [Trump] needs to do now is Title 10 gives him authority to you know where there’s an active drug corridor … that the Department of Defense can access money and build a fence, I think he needs to do that … I think that needs to happen,” Biggs said last month.

Total construction of the proposed southern border wall would cost about $25 billion, far from the funding the GOP-Democrat committee is expected to offer. At the current rate, securing about $1.3 to $2 billion for the border wall would fund less than 205 miles of wall construction on the roughly 2,000-mile long U.S.-Mexico border.

While Congress and Trump haggle dally over border wall funding, mass illegal immigration has continued at the southern border. Border apprehension data from December 2018 reveal that the number of adults traveling to the southern border with children has skyrocketed by 280 percent compared to the same time last year.

Illegal immigration at the border, for December 2018, has increased 81 percent compared to this same month the year before. Additionally, between January 25 and February 15 — the period that Trump has given Congress to work on a border security package — there is likely to be anywhere between 30,000 to 44,000 illegal border crossings based on previous DHS totals. This is about 1,300 to 2,000 illegal crossings a day at the southern border.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.

The Washington Times

Published  2 months ago

A briefer from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement stood outside the closed-door meeting Wednesday while negotiators working on a homeland-security spending deal heard from border experts, who ma

Dan Bongino

Published  2 months ago

House and Senate lawmakers are nearing a deal to fund border security, including “new technology, additional border patrol agents, and likely some kind of fencing in certain areas along the southern border,” according to the Washington Examiner.

The Examiner notes that there is no mention of a border wall in the deal “per orders of Democratic leaders who vehemently oppose it.”

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) said yesterday, “I gave a report on meeting with the president and I thought things were on the positive trajectory as far as maybe concluding the funding,” Shelby said. “But we are not there yet.”

Shelby said Thursday afternoon that the next 72 hours would be critical if Democrats and Republicans are to reach a long-sought deal on border security that would also allow passage of seven spending bills and ensure full government funding by a Feb. 15 deadline.

“We’ve got serious negotiations going on,” Shelby said.

The main sticking point is how much money to provide for border barriers and what those barriers will look like.

For the full story, click HERE.

POLITICO

Published  2 months ago

The president's theories about how the storm-wracked island is using disaster relief money could have dire consequences for its residents.

LifeNews.com

Published  3 months ago

The Senate will vote Thursday on a pro-life bill that would permanently ban taxpayer funding of abortions.

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, and James Lankford, R-Okla., introduced the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2019,” S. 109. The measure would establish a permanent, government-wide prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion.

Similar policies, such as the Hyde Amendment, currently require annual passage and do not apply to Obamacare.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture on the bill and the Senate will vote on ending debate Thursday. Senate Democrats, who almost all support abortion, are expected to filibuster the legislation. This would be the first time the bill has received a vote in the U.S. Senate.

The legislation establishes a permanent, government-wide prohibition on federal funding for abortion, prohibits federal subsidies in the form of Obamacare tax credits for health plans that include abortion, and strengthens disclosure requirements for plans that include abortion.

The sponsored of the pro-life bill talked about the importance of permanently banning abortion funding.

“Millions of Americans oppose the use of federal dollars to support abortion,” Wicker said. “As thousands gather in our nation’s capital this week to March for Life, it is well-past time Congress passed a comprehensive solution to the patchwork of regulations prohibiting federal funding for abortion services. Our legislation would create a permanent, government-wide prohibition on abortion funding so that not one taxpayer dollar goes toward the destruction of innocent human life.”

“Millions of Americans do not want to use their hard-earned money to cover abortion services,” said Roberts. “Currently, under Obamacare, many Americans unknowingly pay for abortion services covered under their health care plan. Our bill will permanently prohibit any taxpayer dollar from being used to pay for abortions and protect the rights for consumers to choose an insurance plan that is in line with their beliefs and values.”

“Regardless of Americans’ beliefs on the issue of life, one thing remains clear: the federal government does not need to help fund abortions,” said Lankford. “The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act ensures that Americans who strongly disagree with abortions are not forced to pay for them with their federal tax dollars. We must continue to take steps to move our nation and our culture closer to holding all human lives sacred regardless of a person’s size or degree of dependency. This bill brings us closer to that goal. As the Chairman of the Senate Values Action Team, I am proud to join my colleagues to continue to value life at all stages and ensure our nation also protects women and their important healthcare needs. We can and should do both.”

REACH PRO-LIFE PEOPLE WORLDWIDE! Advertise with LifeNews to reach hundreds of thousands of pro-life readers every week. Contact us today.

In addition to establishing a government-wide ban on federal funding for abortion, the legislation would:

Prohibit funding for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion with funds authorized or appropriated by Federal law;

Prohibit abortion in federal health facilities (such as DOD and VA hospitals) and ensure that no federal employee provides abortion services in the course of their employment;

Make permanent the provisions of the DC Hyde Amendment, or the Dornan Amendment, which clarifies that the federal provisions regarding abortion funding also apply to the government of the District of Columbia;

Ensure that elective abortion is not deductible for tax purposes by amending Section 213 of the Internal Revenue Code; and

Ensure that Affordable Care Act premium assistance subsidies provided in the form of refundable advanceable tax credits are not used to pay for health insurance plans that include abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother.

The legislation also includes a provision championed by Sen. Roberts requiring that all plans offered by Obamacare exchanges disclose whether a plan includes coverage of elective abortion procedures, as well as the abortion surcharge embedded into abortion-covering plans.

In addition to Wicker, Roberts, and Lankford, S. 109 is co-sponsored by 32 other senators including: John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Steve Daines, R-Mont., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., James Inhofe, R-Okla., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., John Kennedy, R-La., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Jerry Moran, R-Kan., David Perdue, R-Ga., James Risch, R-Idaho, Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., John Thune, R-S.D., Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Todd Young, R-Ind., John Hoeven, R-N.D., Tim Scott, R-S.C., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Ben Sasse, R-Neb., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C.

AP News

Published  3 months ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the government mired in shutdown week four, President Donald Trump rejected a short-term legislative fix and dug in for more combat, declaring he would "never ever back down." Trump rejected a suggestion to reopen the government for several weeks while negotiations would continue with Democrats over his demands for $5.7 billion for a long, impregnable wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The president also edged further away from the idea of trying to declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress. "I'm not looking to call a national emergency," Trump said Monday. "This is so simple we shouldn't have to."

Washington Examiner

Published  3 months ago

Senate lawmakers have formed a new bipartisan “gang” to try to resolve the impasse over border wall funding that has caused the longest government shutdown in history.

Breitbart

Published  3 months ago

Thirty-two Republican Senators are sponsoring national reciprocity legislation for law-abiding citizens traveling outside their home state with a concealed handgun.

The legislation is titled, Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, and was introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). The 31 co-sponsors are John Barrasso (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Hoeven (R-ND), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John Kennedy (R-LA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), David Perdue (R-GA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jim Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), John Thune (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

Breitbart News has a press release on the legislation in which Cornyn is quoted saying:

This bill focuses on two of our country’s most fundamental constitutional protections– the Second Amendment’s right of citizens to keep and bear arms and the Tenth Amendment’s right of states to make laws best-suited for their residents. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this important legislation for law-abiding gun owners nationwide.

The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act “allows law-abiding citizens to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while they are traveling or temporarily living away from home.” It does this by allowing “individuals with concealed carry privileges in their home state to conceal carry in any other states that also allow concealed carry.”

The Act explicitly “treats state-issued concealed carry permits like drivers’ licenses,” making them valid throughout the country as citizens travel from one state to the next.

On September 18, 2015, Breitbart News reported President Trump’s contention that concealed carry licenses should be treated like driver’s licenses and recognized throughout the country. He said:

The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.

On January 3, 2019, Breitbart News reported that Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) introduced national reciprocity legislation in the House. He introduced similar legislation on January 3, 2017, and it passed in the House but companion national reciprocity legislation was not given a vote in the Senate.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

Rantt

Published  3 months ago

While Americans celebrated the birth of American democracy, Republican lawmakers cozied up to the Russians who are actively working to undermine it

POLITICO

Published  3 months ago

The Senate majority leader isn’t playing the role of deal-maker as he has in previous fights.

Fox News

Published  3 months ago

As the fight over the federal government shutdown entered the new year, President Trump on Tuesday expressed his desire to “make a deal” with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi over funding for his border wall.

“Border Security and the Wall ‘thing’ and Shutdown is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker!” Trump tweeted. “Let’s make a deal?”

Pelosi is poised to become speaker of the House when Democrats officially take back control of the chamber on Thursday. Trump’s comments come amid the news that House Democrats plan to introduce a legislative package to re-open the government on Thursday – though it is unclear whether Trump or Republicans in the Senate will go along with it.

Fox News has learned there is a briefing at the White House on Wednesday for the top two leaders of each party from each chamber for the new Congress to discuss the impasse.

The House Democratic plan will include one bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through Feb. 8, with $1.3 billion for border security. It doesn't include money for the president's desired wall on the border.

Whether the Republican-led Senate, under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will consider the bills — or if Trump would sign either into law — was unclear. McConnell spokesman Donald Stewart said Senate Republicans won't not take action without Trump's backing.

"It's simple: The Senate is not going to send something to the president that he won't sign," Stewart said.

Even if only symbolic, the passage of the bills in the House would put fresh pressure on the president.

Republicans and Democrats have been at a standstill over President Trump's demands for $5 billion to fund the border wall. Earlier Tuesday, the president ripped into Democrats for insisting they won’t fund a border wall.

“One thing has now been proven,” Trump tweeted. “The Democrats do not care about Open Borders and all of the crime and drugs that Open Borders bring!”

Negotiations over the partial government shutdown stalled over the holidays.

“Our negotiations are at an impasse at the moment,” Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said on CBS’ "Face the Nation" on Sunday. “I wish it were not so.”

Funding for a slew of federal agencies lapsed at midnight on Dec. 22 – just days before Christmas -- after Congress and the White House failed to pass a spending package. Nine of 15 Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies have closed, affecting about a quarter of the federal government.

With no resolution in sight, the shutdown is forcing hundreds of thousands of federal workers and contractors to stay home or work without pay. Museums and galleries popular with visitors and locals in the nation's capital will close starting midweek if the partial shutdown of the federal government drags on.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

AP News

Published  3 months ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nancy Pelosi often quotes Abraham Lincoln saying public sentiment is everything. It's a theory that will be put to the test when the new House Democratic majority gavels in this week and votes to end the government shutdown without money for President Donald Trump's border wall with Mexico. The high-stakes move to reopen the government will be the first big battle between Trump and Pelosi as Democrats come into control ready to reassert the power of the legislative branch and confront the White House.

Breitbart

Published  4 months ago

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on Wednesday that he plans to introduce a short-term spending bill that would fund the government through February.

McConnell said Wednesday he plans to introduce the bill that would fund the government through February 8, which would avert a potential partial government shutdown. A short-term spending bill would punt a potential fight over border wall funding to early next year.

“Later this morning I’ll introduce a continuing resolution that will ensure continuous funding for the federal government,” McConnell said. “The measure will provide the resources necessary to continue normal operations through February the 8th.”

The Kentucky Republican said that President Donald Trump will not relent on the issue of border wall funding.

McConnell said, “There will be important unfinished business in front of us, and we’ll owe it to the American people to finally tackle it.”

The legislation comes as President Trump relented on his recent demands that Congress ensure $5 billion in border wall funding in the December spending bill and would accept less border wall and border security funding.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Wednesday that Trump would “certainly” look at a short-term funding solution, otherwise known as a continuing resolution (CR).

A CR funding the government through February would set up a government spending and border wall funding fight early in the new congressional term, especially as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will likely take the gavel as the new Speaker of the House.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) said late Tuesday night that they have started drafting a short-term CR to fund the government through February.

The report arises as McConnell said on Tuesday that he does not believe that the government will shut down and that the White House has been “extremely flexible” on the border wall funding issue.

On Tuesday, McConnell previously offered Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) a spending bill that would that would include $1.6 billion for homeland security spending as well as $1 billion in spending for Trump’s immigration agenda.

President Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning that “one way or the other,” he will secure funding for his promised border wall.

“In our Country, so much money has been poured down the drain, for so many years, but when it comes to Border Security and the Military, the Democrats fight to the death,” Trump tweeted. “We won on the Military, which is being completely rebuilt. One way or the other, we will win on the Wall!”

In our Country, so much money has been poured down the drain, for so many years, but when it comes to Border Security and the Military, the Democrats fight to the death. We won on the Military, which is being completely rebuilt. One way or the other, we will win on the Wall!

The Washington Times

Published  4 months ago

Republicans are desperate to avoid the partial government shutdown President Trump is cheerleading for — but also want to deliver a final win to the White House to fund the border wall and flex

Washington Examiner

Published  4 months ago

President Trump’s threat to shut down the government over border wall money left lawmakers scrambling on Tuesday for a deal to fund the remaining 25 percent of the government before a Dec. 21 deadline.

“We’ve got ten days. I think something will break between now and then but I could be wrong,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala. He spoke soon after Trump, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi made it clear in a public feud at the White House that a deal was nowhere in sight.

“There are a lot of proposals floating around," Shelby said. "A lot of them are just thoughts today."

Senate Minority Leader Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Pelosi, D-Calif., said they told the president they could agree to extend temporary funding for the Department of Homeland Security until next year, when House Democrats are in the majority. Their only other option was a deal that keeps border security funding at $1.6 billion, which is below the $5 billion Trump wants to complete a wall along the Mexican border.

But Trump told Pelosi and Schumer he’d be "proud" to shut down portions of the government and take the blame if he can't get $5 billion.

During a closed-door lunch with Republicans Tuesday afternoon, Vice President Mike Pence described the meeting between Trump and the Democrats as “memorable.” But it also creates a real puzzle for lawmakers who want to figure out a deal over the next 10 days and go home.

“Does it cause a wider breach or does it cause some people to go home and say we’ve got to get this done?” Shelby wondered about Trump's open battle with Democrats. “Sometimes an impasse brings us together, sometimes it drives us apart.”

The impasse leaves Republicans with few options. If no deal emerges, they could pass a temporary spending bill, but there is no guarantee the president would sign it. And if Trump refused to sign it, a supermajority in both Republican-held chambers would be needed to override his veto.

“I would think it would be difficult for a Republican majority to override a Republican president and probably unwarranted,” Shelby said about that idea.

Republican leaders have always been eager to avoid a shutdown or any threat of one, even if Trump is willing to take the blame.

“I hope that’s not where we end up,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “One thing I think is pretty clear no matter who precipitates the government shutdown, the American people don't like it and I hope that will be avoided and that both sides will understand that's not a great way to end what has, in my view, been the most successful Congress right-of-center in decades.”

Some red-state Republicans backed Trump’s shutdown comments, arguing the American public wants border security and a wall can provide it by stopping the influx of illegal immigrants pouring across.

“If you talk to the people in my state, they want border security,” Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., told the Washington Examiner. “They know it’s a national security issue. The president has been serious about this. It’s time to get that done.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called Trump’s funding request “imminently reasonable” and said Democrats’ “arrogance toward Trump needs to come to an end.”

[Related: Lindsey Graham cheers Trump after Oval Office fight with Democrats]

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., said he is opposed to shutting down the government, but said Democrats need to recognize that Trump won't give up the fight this time.

“I don’t think the president is bluffing,” Kennedy said. “It’s up to the Democrats to understand that illegal immigration is illegal.”

A shutdown is likely to rattle the nerves of many Republicans. The party is still spooked by the 2013 government shutdown triggered by House conservatives who were trying to defund Obamacare.

Polls following that shutdown showed the public overwhelmingly blamed Republicans, although the party then picked up 13 House seats in November and took over the Senate majority. Still, GOP leaders don't seem to like that option.

“Shutting down the government doesn’t solve any problems, all it does is delay confronting the same problem that you shut the government down for,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas. “My experience has been that shutdowns don’t help anybody.”

WSJ

Published  4 months ago

Although GOP leaders continued to say they hoped to avoid a shutdown, the path to preventing one had not yet emerged Tuesday. Congress has already passed five bills authorizing spending through the end of this fiscal year, Sept. 30, 2019, but a package of seven others, including one funding the Department of Homeland Security, will expire at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 8.

Mr. Trump has threatened to shut down the government by refusing to sign a spending package that doesn’t include $5 billion for the border wall. Democrats, although willing to support more money for tighter border security, have said they oppose $5 billion for construction of a physical wall.

“The $1.6 billion for border security negotiated by Democrats and Republicans is our position. We believe that is the right way to go,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) told reporters Tuesday.

Lawmakers said that they had ironed out nearly all of the major disagreements on the seven expiring bills, except for the clash over the border wall.

“The big obstacle right now in the debate is all around funding the wall,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R., Ala.) told reporters Tuesday.

The two chambers have staked out different positions on wall funding, reflecting their different political environments. Spending bills need 60 votes to clear procedural hurdles in the Senate, where Republicans currently hold 51 seats. In the House, Republicans only need a majority to pass legislation, but immigration has been a divisive issue among the GOP for years, and they could lose centrist Republicans on a spending bill that would construct a border wall.

The House bill authorizing Homeland Security Department funding would direct $5 billion for the border wall, while the Senate version set aside $1.6 billion.

One idea under discussion among Republicans is to divvy up the $5 billion over two years, according to GOP lawmakers and aides. While this session of Congress couldn’t bind next year’s House, which will be under Democratic control starting in January, the GOP calculus is that once funding is in current law, it becomes harder to remove. Republicans, for example, have largely come up short in their efforts to strip federal funding for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

“The president is interested in $5 billion—how do we get there? You can configure it in different ways,” Mr. Shelby said.

But House and Senate Democrats poured cold water on the $5 billion sum for the border wall.

“We’ve already put together our proposal in the Senate package,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.), who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee. “It has a lot of border security money in it.”

House Democrats view the idea of splitting the $5 billion over two years as essentially the same as the $5 billion proposed over one year in the House Homeland Security Department spending bill, according to a House Democratic aide.

The White House said Tuesday that the spending fight was one of the issues discussed by Mr. Trump and House GOP leaders.

Write to Kristina Peterson at kristina.peterson@wsj.com

The Gateway Pundit

Published  4 months ago

President Donald Trump told reporters on Thanksgiving morning that he may shut down the US government in December over funding for the border wall. The lameduck session will be his last chance before the 2020 election to fund the wall. Democrats know this. Reporter: Is government going to shut down because of the wall in […]

Washington Examiner

Published  7 months ago

Andrew Harnik/AP

President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan have teamed up this summer to do something that hasn’t happened in two decades — write and pass department spending bills instead of lumping everything into a massive package.

The House and Senate are moving at a brisk pace to pass the appropriations bills, with the Senate leading, approving nine of 12.

What’s more, the Trump administration has pushed through key priorities on wall and Pentagon spending, as well as curbing wasteful programs, though still ending up with a more expensive budget than they wanted by over $50 billion.

And while Congress has taken the votes, many on Capitol Hill are giving Trump and his team the credit for breaking the 20-year log jam. They cite his refusal to sign another massive “omnibus” spending bill that ignored his priorities, even if it means shutting down the government.

“This is all driven by the president,” said a key congressional insider. “It’s a win for the president. For 20 years this system has been busted.”

Nobody is as pleased as McConnell. Last week he said that the passage of department spending packages was a huge achievement, “given how completely fouled up the government funding process has been for 20 years, 20 years.”

Smiling, he added, “This is about omnibus prevention, about actually demonstrating to the American people that we can do what we’re supposed to do.”

He also urged Americans to pay attention to the breakthrough on an issue that is critical to Washington budget geeks, but few others. “It is an important step forward and ought to reassure the American people that Congress is in good hands,” said McConnell, under pressure to keep the Senate in GOP control in the fall elections.

Some said that was a reference to the projections that voters will put Democrats in charge of the House, making Rep. Nancy Pelosi speaker. “That would mean it’s back to gridlock across the board,” warned a Republican congressional aide.

Shifting from a huge spending bill, usually passed at the last minute, to separate department packages, is change Trump hopes to repeat. “I don’t think we can understate how big of a culture change this is,” said a senior administration official.

Trump’s former top congressional lobbyist, Marc Short, said the change was bolstered by new Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby and gave the spending-writing authority to lawmakers closer to the issues than party leaders.

“It’s a big deal,” he said. “It’s the way it should be,” he added.

With a month left in the federal fiscal year, the administration and Congress plan to keep their foot on the appropriations pedal. If they come up short, administration officials expect Trump to sign a short-term “continuing resolution” if it appears final passage of the spending bills is near.

And already they are looking to begin the process next year and hope to add in more Trump priorities and budget cuts.

“We do recognize that we made progress and we’re excited about that, but there’s more work to do,” said a senior administration official. “After the election,” said the official, “we need to get our priorities. If you’re going to spend higher than our budget it needs to be things we want to spend money on, namely the wall and border security.”

DC Dirty Laundry

Published  7 months ago

The Most Treasonous Thing John Brennan Ever Did...

POLITICO

Published  8 months ago

Some Republican senators are panning President Donald Trump’s move to yank former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance, warning about the precedent it will set for national security.

Even as much of the GOP either backs the president or professed ignorance of Trump’s decision to revoke Brennan’s clearance and threaten future action against other critics, Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) said they disagreed with the move. Collins, a member of the Intelligence Committee, criticized Brennan as “far too political” but said that unless he disclosed classified information she didn’t “see the grounds" for revoking his security clearance.

“It’s unwise. Because generally, recently retired intelligence officials have a lot to contribute to the analysis that is being done,” Collins told reporters.

“Without having some kind of tangible reasons for doing so, which there may be that I’m not aware of, I don’t like it at all. It just feels like sort of a … banana republic kind of thing,” said Corker, the retiring Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, repeating the "banana republic" line two more times in an exasperated tone. “I don’t like it.”

In a statement read by his press secretary, Trump said that he made his decision because of Brennan’s “unfounded and outrageous allegations” about the administration made in the media. But even senators that back up Trump on his authority to make security clearance decisions said there was little evidence he was doing so other than as payback for Brennan’s public criticism.

“It’s clear that’s how it got on the president’s radar screen,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), another Intelligence Committee member. He added that it was “entirely appropriate” for Trump to take action against Brennan.

But Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said it wasn’t enough for Brennan to be simply targeted as a critic: “That’s not a reason.” Hatch suggested more "serious accusations" would be required to cut off Brennan's intelligence access.

And some members of both parties warned that Trump’s move could have national security implications. Former top intelligence officials are used frequently as resources for current national security teams as they navigate domestic and international crises.

“I have to see the basis for it. I think there are plenty examples of officials from administrations in both parties who have that clearance. And I think it’s a good thing to get counsel and advice,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

And with Trump mulling action against the clearances of more than a half-dozen other current former officials, some senators are worried about precedent that the president is setting.

“It was almost, in effect ... a Nixonian enemies list,” said Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee. “It is not the way our national security and intelligence has worked for decades, where we ask Intelligence professionals to speak truth to power.”

Warner said he needs to talk to Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) about if there is any action Congress can or should take. But he doubted whether the GOP would be willing to challenge Trump on the matter.

Indeed, it was clear that the bulk of the party is siding with Trump in a tit-for-tat with a former CIA director that few Republicans voted for in 2013.

“I’m not a big fan of Mr. Brennan. I think he has cheapened the status of our national security intelligentsia in this country,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.).

“I have wondered for years and years why people … are in civilian life, they’ve been in civilian life, and they still have all these clearances. Maybe they need them for a year of transition. But in perpetuity? That’s more than being generous,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a former Intelligence chairman.

Elana Schor contributed to this report.

Daily Intelligencer

Published  9 months ago

Last year, the Trump administration insisted that its regressive tax cuts were so important, it was worth adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt to ensure their passage. Now, the White House is warning Congress that the United States cannot afford to add $1.6 billion to the deficit to expand health-care options for veterans.

In a letter Monday, the Trump administration demanded that lawmakers fund a popular veterans’ health-care program — which allows former troops to spend public funds on private doctors and hospitals — with cuts to other parts of the budget. Democrats, and some top Senate Republicans, prefer to raise the current caps on discretionary spending instead.

The case for the latter option is straightforward. Congressional spending falls into two categories: mandatory (funding for programs like Social Security, which increases automatically as more Americans qualify for benefits) and discretionary (spending that Congress must actively renew). When Congress passed its omnibus budget bill back in March, the private veterans’ health-care program was on the mandatory side of the ledger. Thus, although lawmakers knew that federal spending on the program was going to increase, they didn’t have to account for its cost when setting a discretionary budget.

But last month, president Trump signed a law that reorganized veterans’ health care, and shifted funding for the private program into the discretionary column. This did not significantly increase the overall cost of domestic spending — but it did lift the price tag on the discretionary budget above previously set caps. Which is to say: It produced a budget shortfall that wasn’t a product of changes in fiscal reality, so much as in accounting practices.

Thus, Democrats and Senate Republicans like Alabama’s Richard Shelby have favored just lifting the caps. After all, lawmakers already need to resolve a host of other contentious budgetary issues between now and October, if they are to avoid a shutdown on midterms’ eve. Relitigating funding levels for various domestic programs — which Congress had found consensus on just months ago — is not a fight that most lawmakers want to have.

And it’s hard to see why the White House does. The administration’s desire to repent for its sins against fiscal responsibility is understandable enough (even if their gesture is roughly akin to a serial arsonist buying a single brownie from a local fire department’s bake sale). But why they would want to center their performance of deficit hawkery on the issue of veterans’ health care is baffling.

Yes, their official position is that the program must be funded with reductions in other appropriations. But the administration has already established that it believes corporate tax cuts are so important, they’re worth enacting at any fiscal cost. Given that context, it shouldn’t be difficult for Democrats to paint the White House’s current hard line on deficits as a tacit admission that it sees caring for America’s retired troops as less important than increasing corporate America’s allowance.

True Pundit

Published  10 months ago

President Trump threatened during a meeting with GOP senators and White House officials to shut down the government over full funding for his border wall, according to multiple reports.

Politico reported Tuesday that Trump is uninterested in the Senate’s plan to provide $1.6 billion on Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Instead, according to the news outlet, he wants the full $25 billion for the project funded all at once.

Trump told meeting attendees on Monday that he will shut down the government in September if he does not receive the full funding, Politico reported.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who attended Monday’s meeting, said he considers the $1.6 billion in funding a minimum that could increase during negotiations.

“He’s focused on border security. And like all presidents, he wants it done now. But we’re part of the legislative process, it’s slower and deliberate,” Shelby told Politico. – READ MORE

POLITICO

Published  10 months ago

Senate Republicans privately acknowledge that they’re unlikely to pass a funding bill that will satisfy the president.

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