- 9:56 pm Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
As Congressional negotiators unveiled a more than 1300 hundred page highway construction bill on Tuesday, a quick peek inside the plan showed that it contains provisions that are about much more than just building new roads and bridges across the United States.
For those who want to look at the entire bill, you can read the measure here.
If you read on, here are eight items from the finalized highway bill that caught my eye:
1. Renewal of the Export-Import Bank – More conservative Republicans had tried to get rid of this government agency, but there were simply too many [More]
- 11:08 pm Monday, November 30th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
A report on government waste from Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) singled out the Republican leader in the race for President, criticizing the federal government for handing out $40 million to Trump’s company in tax breaks for restoring a historic building not far from the White House.
“While the lucky guests of this palatial hotel will be awestruck by its glitz and glamour, taxpayers are unlikely to be amused that they helped foot the bill through a $40 million tax credit thanks to the National Historic Tax Credit,” Lankford’s report said.
Lankford’s report notes that Trump is investing $200 million to renovate the [More]
- 8:56 pm Sunday, November 29th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
After time at home for a Thanksgiving break, lawmakers in Congress get back to work in Washington, D.C. on Monday, facing a variety of budget decisions that could spark a political showdown before Christmas, and maybe even a government shutdown in less than two weeks.
Among the many issues that might surface on Capitol Hill:
1. Return of the Omnibus – The giant, year-end spending bill that everyone loves to hate will be back in a few days. House and Senate negotiators have been working for weeks to cram twelve spending bills into one giant package, as lawmakers again failed to [More]
- 2:41 pm Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
Expressing strong support for the French people in the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, President Obama said he agreed and French President Francois Hollande had agreed to said he had agreed to broader intelligence sharing for military action against the Islamic State, as the President said additional measures would be taken inside Syria.
“The question now is how can we accelerate it,” as President Obama said he had ordered the Pentagon to come up with new efforts against the Islamic State even before the Paris attacks.
“We intend to execute on those plans,” Mr. Obama said, though he did [More]
- 3:25 pm Monday, November 23rd, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
With the President back from his trip to Asia, the White House wasted no time on Monday in publicly rejecting a plan approved last week by the House that would set up more hurdles for Syrian refugees trying to enter the United States, as officials say it’s not the answer to fighting the Islamic State.
“I think we’ve made a pretty strong case about why what Congress did is not going to improve our national security,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
At a briefing for reporters, Earnest labeled the move a “piece of political rhetoric,” saying, “it won’t do anything [More]
- 4:45 pm Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
Several weeks after two senior VA officials took the Fifth Amendment and did not answer questions before Congress, lawmakers and veterans groups expressed outrage this weekend as the VA demoted the pair instead of firing them over charges that they wrongly used their positions for personal financial gain.
“This is an insult and disgrace to all veterans,” said Dale Barnett, the head of the American Legion.
“Any promises that VA officials make about accountability in the future need to be taken with a grain of salt,” Barnett added.
At issue were the actions of Diana Rubens and Kim Graves; investigators found the [More]
- 12:40 pm Friday, November 20th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
Just over a week after a divided appeals court panel refused to lift an injunction against President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, the Obama Administration has formally asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case, possibly setting up an election year legal clash on one of the most heated political issues in America.
In legal briefs filed on Friday with the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli argued the Executive Branch has the sole power and authority over immigration, and that the states should not be able to block the President from moving ahead with his policy changes.
“A divided court [More]
- 3:21 pm Thursday, November 19th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
Ignoring a veto threat by President Obama, the House voted on Thursday to add a series of extra checks for refugees from Syria and Iraq who are trying to enter the United States, as almost four dozen Democrats broke ranks with the White House to give the bill a veto-proof supermajority.
“Today the House put politics aside to help keep the American people safe,” said Speaker Paul Ryan after the vote, as 47 Democrats joined with the GOP to add extra checks by the FBI and U.S. Intelligence Community to check for terrorist links among those asking for refugee status.
“We must [More]
- 7:49 pm Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
In a further escalation of the partisan battle over the American response to terror attacks by the Islamic State, the White House on Wednesday issued a formal veto threat against a Republican plan to toughen security checks on Syrian refugees coming into the United States, arguing it would not provide any “meaningful additional security.”
“Given the lives at stake and the critical importance to our partners in the Middle East and Europe of American leadership in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis, if the President were presented with H.R. 4038, he would veto the bill,” read the veto threat.
The Republican [More]
- 6:54 am Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
GOP leaders in the House have rolled out a bill that would slow down the admission of Syrian refugees in the United States, mainly by adding in a series of national security checks, certifications and background investigations by both U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
The plan is to hold a vote on the “American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act” on Thursday, before lawmakers leave for a Thanksgiving break.
While top Republicans had talked about a “pause” in allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S., this plan would achieve that by adding extra layers of checks:
+ Each refugee would need a review by [More]