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Congress slides into a government shutdown, as Democrats derail temporary budget in Senate

  • 12:16 am Saturday, January 20th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

In a high stakes game of legislative chicken, the U.S. Senate on Friday night blocked a House-passed bill to fund operations of the federal government for the next four weeks, as most Democrats joined with a handful of Republicans to filibuster the spending measure, demanding faster action on immigration matters, driving the Congress toward the first federal government shutdown since 2013.

The vote was 50 to 49 – 60 votes were needed.

“It’s irresponsible,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “The government may be shutting down, but the Senate is not,” as he vowed to keep voting and pursuing a spending [More]

Revised Trump travel and refugee order to go before U.S. Supreme Court

  • 2:15 pm Friday, January 19th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday announced that it would hear argument on the third version of President Donald Trump’s travel and refugee plan, which would limit visits to the United States by people from certain Muslim-majority nations, and slow down the number of refugees accepted into the country.

Arguments will take place in April, with a ruling expected by the end of June, instantly making this into one of the more important cases of the High Court’s term.

“We look forward to the Court’s review of this important case,” said lawyer Neal Katyal, who has represented the state of Hawaii in [More]

At odds on immigration and spending, Congress stares at a Friday night government shutdown

  • 11:07 pm Thursday, January 18th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

Unable to bridge the partisan divide on immigration, federal spending levels and more, Republicans and Democrats in the Congress were on the verge of letting funding for the government lapse at midnight on Friday night, as members of both parties eagerly pointed the finger of blame at each other for the spending impasse, which could trigger the first federal shutdown in over four years.

“That would be a mistake,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). “Government shutdowns do not make sense.”

That Republican argument carried the day in the House, as lawmakers voted mainly along party lines Thursday evening in favor of a [More]

House Republicans overcome differences, approve 4-week funding bill for Uncle Sam; Senate action uncertain

  • 7:37 pm Thursday, January 18th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

After a full day of uncertainty, the House of Representatives on Thursday evening approved a plan to fund the federal government until February 16, sending the measure to the Senate, where the bill is likely to be derailed by strong opposition from Democrats and a few Republicans, as they call for deals on overall spending levels for 2018 and a bipartisan agreement on DACA and the future of illegal immigrant “Dreamers.”

“Now it’s on the Senate,” said Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA). “They need to do their job; we’ve done our job.”

“The right thing for the Senate to do would be to [More]

Trump, GOP leaders take aim at Senate Democrats in government funding fight

  • 12:23 pm Thursday, January 18th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

The political finger pointing over government spending dramatically accelerated Thursday in Washington, a day before funding runs out for the federal government, as top Republicans joined with President Trump in an effort to blame Democrats for any government shutdown, accusing Democrats of trying to use talks over extra money for the military to win unrelated provisions on immigration.

In swift succession over a half hour period, the President, the Speaker of the House, and the Senate Majority Leader were all on television, pointing the finger straight at Democrats in the Senate.

“If the Senate Democrats want to shut the government down,” Speaker [More]

Trump to help Pennsylvania GOP candidate for Congress amid Republican election year worries

  • 10:16 pm Wednesday, January 17th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

Making his first foray on to the campaign trail in 2018, President Donald Trump goes to southwestern Pennsylvania on Thursday to show his support for a GOP candidate running for Congress, as Republicans have encountered some troubling signs in this mid-term election year, struggling with an election playing field that seems tilted against their party.

With his visit to the Pittsburgh area, Mr. Trump will highlight the candidacy of Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone, who is trying to win a March 13 special election for Congress, in a U.S. House district that voted for the President by 19 points in November [More]

Miscellaneous Congress: From Catty Whacks to Pimientos to Surfboard Camera Mounts and Hair-Slides

  • 11:26 am Wednesday, January 17th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

My father taught me a great lesson many years ago about the Congress, to always be on the lookout for bills that were labeled “technical corrections” or “miscellaneous,” because there was a good chance you might find something interesting – if you took the time to dig into the bill.

So, when the “Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act of 2018,” popped up on the House schedule for this week, and was approved Tuesday on a unanimous vote, I had to take a look.

My curiosity was quickly rewarded, as the second section of the bill was about tariff schedule changes for “Frozen, Boiled [More]

DACA deal on sidelines as GOP floats new short term funding plan to avoid shutdown

  • 11:09 pm Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

Waving off a push by Democrats to force action this week on a compromise over the future of illegal immigrant “Dreamers,” Republicans in Congress said they wanted to wait for further negotiations on DACA, as House GOP leaders unveiled a short term funding plan that would keep the federal government running into mid-February, but that measure faced resistance from some more conservative Republicans.

“There is no reason why Congress should hold government funding hostage over the issues of illegal immigration,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said a resolution on DACA could wait until February or March.

But even without DACA [More]

Senators spar over Trump’s words while trying to save DACA negotiations

  • 1:05 pm Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

Still battling over what President Donald Trump did – or didn’t – say during a tense White House immigration meeting last week with lawmakers, Senators used a hearing with the Homeland Security Secretary on Tuesday to publicly appeal for compromise on DACA and a series of politically difficult immigration issues, as one Republican urged the President to “close this deal.”

“This has turned into a S-show,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), as Graham blamed aides at the White House “who have an irrational view on immigration” for the current impasse.

“If the President is watching, I’m still in the phone book,” Graham [More]

Congress faces tricky political week as shutdown fight looms

  • 9:10 pm Monday, January 15th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

With a temporary funding plan for Uncle Sam set to run out Friday night, there was no clear path forward as yet for Congress and the White House, as the President and Democrats remained on a collision course over efforts to secure a deal on spending levels for the 2018 federal budget, as well as an agreement on the status of certain illegal immigrants brought here as children, raising the possibility of a government shutdown at the end of the week.

After arriving back at the White House on Monday night, President Donald Trump re-tweeted four of his own Twitter posts [More]

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