Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are working on legislation that would limit deportations if President-elect Donald Trump repeals President Obama’s executive orders on illegal immigration.
Democrats block Zika funding bill, blame GOP Congress is poised for an epic failure in its efforts to combat Zika before lawmakers leave Washington for a seven-week vacation — and it could come back to bite Republicans at the ballot box if there’s an outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus in the United States this summer.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor says the Supreme Court needs more diversity, amid the politically charged debate about filling a vacancy on the high court. "I … think there is a disadvantage from having (five) Catholics, three Jews, everyone from an Ivy League school," Sotomayor, the court's first Latina justice, said Friday at Brooklyn Law School. However, she did not mention by name Judge Merrick Garland, a white male with a Harvard Law School degree whom President Obama recently nominated to fill the vacancy of Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative voice on the court. Scalia died unexpectedly in January.
The costs of the five-year bill — named the Safer Officers and Safer Citizens Act of 2015 — would be offset by limiting administrative leave for federal employees to 20 days per year. But that offset is bound to cause some concerns from Democrats who have argued that federal workers have been unfairly targeted by Congress for years.
Fact is, there is no substantive reason to stop this nomination. But the Republican majority leader announced over the weekend that he was going to hold this nomination...until the bill....passes, whenever that may be. And so, Loretta Lynch, the first African-American woman nominated to be Attorney General, is asked to sit in the back of the bus when it comes to the Senate calendar. That is unfair. It's unjust. It's beneath the decorum and dignity of the United States Senate. This woman deserves fairness. She seeks to lead the Department of Justice, and the United States senate should be just in its treatment of her nomination. To think that we would jeopardize her opportunity to serve this nation, and to make history, is fundamentally unfair.
The goal, quite simply, is to begin passing bills that will clear both the House and the Senate and end up on President Barack Obama’s desk. Almost all of the bills Republicans will put on the floor passed the House last Congress, when Democrats held the majority in the Senate. The agenda was described by leadership aides who were not authorized to discuss the plan on the record.
UPDATED 7:15 pm EST That wasn't a long-shot vote. That was an exercise in punishment. The Senate has voted, and a productive and bipartisan measure has failed. Reid gave Landrieu a chance to vote "yea" on an energy bill, and Durbin made moves to insulate Democrats should anyone try to hold a member of his caucus accountable for an "anti-environment" vote. Reid's "strategy" on Keystone XL was designed to fail, and everyone---including Mary Landrieu---knew it. This may be the end of Landrieu's tenure in the Senate, but it's not the end of the road for Keystone. “Tonight, Senate Democrats once again stood in the way of a shovel-ready jobs project that would help thousands of Americans find work — a remarkable stance after an election in which the American people sent a clear message to Congress to approve serious policies like the Keystone XL Pipeline and get the Senate working again," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in a statement following the vote. "Unfortunately, many Senate Democrats failed to hear that message. But once the 114th Congress convenes, the Senate will act again on this important legislation, and I look forward to the new Republican majority taking up and passing the Keystone jobs bill early in the New Year.” Anyone who watched the C-SPAN feed during the vote noticed something interesting---the rest of her caucus avoided Landrieu like she was surrounded by a forcefield. Many pundits have enjoyed the "Reid is giving her a chance to redeem her candidacy" narrative, but let's not pretend this was anything more than Democrats going through the motions and then pulling the rug out from under yet another lost cause.
Landrieu has campaigned non-stop on her supposed 'clout.' What has that 'clout' done for Louisiana's energy economy? pic.twitter.com/ftxv4NLo11— Bill Cassidy (@BillCassidy) November 19, 2014
Gallup first asked this question in 1998, the year Republicans were moving toward impeaching President Bill Clinton for lying about his affair with a White House intern. That year, when Clinton's approval rating was 63%, more voters said their choice of candidate in the fall election would be made to show support rather than opposition to Clinton. Democrats had a strong showing in that fall's elections, gaining seats in the House of Representatives, bucking the historical pattern by which the president's party loses seats in Congress in midterm elections. In the next midterm election, voters by an even larger margin said their vote would be made to support rather than oppose President George W. Bush, who had a 66% approval rating at the time of the elections. These attitudes were consistent with the eventual outcome, as Republicans increased their majority in the House and gained majority control of the Senate.That's the shot; now here's the chaser: out of registered voters polled, 58% Republicans said that their vote would act as a message of opposition to Obama, while only 38% of Democrats polled said their vote would act as a message of support.
Tuesday brought both junior and senior Senators to the floor in opposition to the proposed amendment, putting Democrats on defense and causing waves on social media. One of the main concerns raised in Tuesday's floor speeches was the potential for government control over political speech to spiral, and cut off the flow of information entirely. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) got creative with his presentation, targeting Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and others who embrace parody and humor as part of their political commentary:
Senate Majority Whip Durbin says we should have taxpayer funded campaigns. Do you agree or disagree?— JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) September 8, 2014
Section 1. To advance democratic self-government and political equality, and to protect the integrity of government and the electoral process, Congress and the States may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections. Section 2. Congress and the States shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation, and may distinguish between natural persons and corporations or other artificial entities created by law, including by prohibiting such entities from spending money to influence elections. Section 3. Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress or the States the power to abridge the freedom of the press.In his first floor speech following the August recess, Majority Leader Reid made it clear that he's willing to once again prevent Republicans from having a voice in the Senate---ironic considering he's advocating the muzzling of voters via Congressional fiat:
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois has removed the controversial Facebook post that sparked a firestorm last week after he accused a then unnamed Republican of having said ‘I cannot even stand to look at you’ to the President during a shutdown negotiation meeting. That...
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