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Jamie Dupree's Washington Insider

Congress goes home for 10 day break with no deal on DACA, Dreamers

  • 4:00 am Friday, February 16th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

With the Senate failing to make any headway on how to deal with the status of illegal immigrant “Dreamers,” lawmakers in the Congress went home for a ten day break Thursday with no clear path forward on the politically difficult issue of immigration, with a deadline to deal with DACA set by the President less than three weeks away.

“It’s safe to say, this has been a disappointing week,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who repeatedly pointed the finger of blame over at Democrats for the lack of agreement in the Senate, as four different immigration plans were filibustered by [More]

NO DEAL: Senate hits immigration deadlock on DACA, Dreamers

  • 4:00 pm Thursday, February 15th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

Unable to find an acceptable middle ground on the politically explosive issue of immigration, and the future of well over a million illegal immigrant “Dreamers,” Senators of both parties on Thursday voted to filibuster a pair of plans from each side, as a high profile legislative effort achieved only failure.

“This is it. This is your last chance to vote for a path to citizenship,” said Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), just before the last of four votes, as the Senate failed to find a deal on DACA, with a March 5 deadline for action less than three weeks away.

“Our interest was [More]

After Florida school shooting, Democrats in Congress plead for action on gun violence

  • 12:55 pm Thursday, February 15th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

The mass shooting that killed 17 people Wednesday at a high school in Florida plunged Capitol Hill back into a debate over gun restrictions, as Democrats cried out for some type of legislative response, criticizing the response of President Donald Trump and GOP leaders in the Congress.

“Mr. President, are you listening?” said Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) on the House floor. “We need common sense gun safety legislation.”

It was a familiar political reaction in the House and Senate, as Democrats gave anguished speeches, rattled off a list of horrifying mass shootings, and asked when there would be some type of government [More]

VA chief faces call to resign after report questions why feds paid for his wife to go on 2017 trip to Europe

  • 2:18 pm Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

Veterans Secretary David Shulkin is facing increased scrutiny from Congress, after the Wednesday release of an internal watchdog report, which found Shulkin’s 9-day government trip to Europe in the summer of 2017 at times was more like a personal vacation, as investigators said Shulkin’s top aide misled ethics officials at the VA, which allowed his wife’s travel costs to be paid for by taxpayers.

The review accused Shulkin’s Chief of Staff, Viveca Wright Simpson, of altering two emails to ethics officials in order to have the VA authorize the travel costs of Shulkin’s wife, who joined him for the Europe trip.

The [More]

Senate Republicans unveil DACA/Dreamers plan with nearly $100 billion immigration price tag

  • 7:18 am Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

Pressing Democrats to accept an immigration plan along the lines of one endorsed by President Donald Trump, GOP Senators unveiled the details of their plan to address the future of illegal immigrant “Dreamers,” a 592 page, nearly $100 billion measure that focuses mainly on new efforts at border security, limits on family migration, and an end to the Diversity Visa Lottery program.

The new GOP plan includes $25 billion for a “Border Security Enforcement Fund,” $18 billion for ‘tactical infrastructure’ improvements by the Border Patrol, and $50 billion in foreign aid described as “financial assistance for foreign country [More]

Reading between the lines – Senate panel raises eyebrows on Russia investigation

  • 9:48 pm Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

As the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded a public hearing on Tuesday with top intelligence officials, the main headline was a warning for lawmakers that Russia was planning influence operations in 2018 to again stir trouble in the upcoming mid-terms elections in the United States.

But then, panel chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) gave his final remarks to end the hearing, sending a series of messages along the way, as he signaled that his panel would have a lot more to say about Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

“What was unsaid today is that the Special Counsel is not the only investigation [More]

Intelligence officials warn again that Russia will interfere in 2018, 2020 U.S. elections

  • 12:35 pm Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

Against the backdrop of an ongoing investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, and any possible ties to the Trump Campaign, top U.S. intelligence officials joined Tuesday on Capitol Hill to once more warn lawmakers that Moscow will try to again stir trouble with the 2018 and 2020 elections.

“Any elections that are coming up, we need to assume there might be interference with that, particularly from the Russians,” said Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence.

“There should be no doubt that Russia perceives that its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 U.S. [More]

GOP, Trump press for fast action on immigration plan as Senate starts work on DACA, Dreamers

  • 7:19 am Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

As the Senate voted 97-1 on Monday to move past the first procedural hurdle in the way of an immigration debate on the Senate floor, Republican Senators made clear they were not interested in a lengthy debate on DACA, as they pressed Democrats to simply accept a plan offered by President Donald Trump on illegal immigrant Dreamers, arguing no other measure would get through the U.S. House and garner the President’s support.

“The President’s framework is not an opening bid in negotiations, it is a best and final offer,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), as a group of GOP Senators – [More]

Trump 2019 budget proposal makes no headway on a balanced budget

  • 5:32 pm Monday, February 12th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

President Donald Trump on Monday sent Congress a $4.4 trillion budget proposal for 2019 which all but waves the white flag on efforts to hold down on federal deficits, as the White House is predicting that the deficit will hover just below $1 trillion in four of the next five years, estimating that Mr. Trump would see over $7 trillion added to the debt if he served two terms in office.

“In Washington, empty rhetoric about fiscal responsibility is about to be swept aside by the reality of trillion-dollar deficits,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who last week lectured his colleagues [More]

Trump sends $4.4 trillion budget to Congress featuring high yearly deficits

  • 11:52 am Monday, February 12th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

Moving away from Republican Party orthodoxy on fiscal matters, President Donald Trump on Monday sent Congress a budget plan for 2019 that makes little headway on reducing the federal deficit in coming years, as estimates from Mr. Trump’s own plan show the yearly deficit running close to $1 trillion in four of the next six years.

Numbers from the fine print of the Trump budget show deficits over $900 billion in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

The White House estimate for the budget deficit in the current 2018 fiscal year is $832 billion.

These figures do not take into account the two-year budget [More]