Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Senate moving Homeland Security bill while House stalls

The Senate is moving forward on legislation to fund the Homeland Security Department, but the House is in limbo two days away from a partial agency shutdown as conservatives angrily reject the Senate plan. Many House Republicans say they aren’t ready to admit defeat and approve spending for the department without demanding concessions from President Barack Obama on immigration. They are pressuring House Speaker John Boehner to hold firm against that approach, even as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argues that it’s the best way out of the GOP’s dilemma. No other options are apparent, aside from a partial shutdown
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Can GOP find a way out of Homeland Security funding mess?

Divided Republicans are searching for a way out of an impasse over immigration that is threatening to shut down the Homeland Security Department within days. With the agency’s budget set to expire Friday at midnight without action by Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Monday he would split language overturning President Barack Obama’s contested immigration measures from the department’s funding bill. The move seemed aimed at pressuring Senate Democrats who have opposed the legislation because the immigration language is included. It also would allow Republicans who oppose Obama’s executive actions on immigration to register their opposition with a stand-alone
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Boehner admits Homeland Security shutdown possible

House Speaker John Boehner is raising the possibility that the Department of Homeland Security may shut down at month’s end because of a budget impasse, and he’s blaming Senate Democrats if that happens. Democrats responded by saying responsibility would fall on the Ohio Republican and the country would suffer from the needless closing of a vital part of government. The department is caught up in a fight over President Barack Obama’s immigration actions, with Feb. 27 as the date when the $40 billion budget would shut off. A House-passed bill would cover the department through Sept. 30, the end of
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Republicans running out of options

Congressional Republicans are running out of options to pass a Homeland Security funding bill that blocks President Barack Obama’s immigration orders, raising the threat of another showdown that could idle parts of a key government agency. With a Feb. 27 deadline looming, Republican House and Senate leaders have been unable to agree on a strategy to extend the spending authority of the agency charged with securing U.S. borders, airports and coastal waters. A House-passed version of the spending bill would de-fund Obama’s 2012 and 2014 executive orders lifting the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants. But Obama has
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Republicans find control more illusion than reality

A month into their newfound control of both chambers of Congress, it wasn’t supposed to be like this for Republicans. Instead of advancing a conservative agenda and showing voters they can govern, they are confronting the very real possibility of a shutdown of the Homeland Security Department later this month. That’s because they can’t overcome Senate Democrats’ stalling tactics in a dispute over immigration. “I suppose elections have consequences except in the United States Senate,” complained GOP Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, summing up the frustration for many House Republicans. “Tell me how it would be different if Harry
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Pressure increases for Oregon governor to resign

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber is showing no sign of walking away from a decades-long political career, even though he’s been abandoned by most of his party’s leadership amid influence-peddling allegations surrounding him and his fiancĂ©e. Three senior Democrats on Thursday told the four-term governor, who is under criminal investigation by the attorney general, it was time to step down. The woman who would succeed him described a “strange” meeting after the governor summoned her from Washington, then asked her why she’d come. Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek, both Democrats, said they met with Kitzhaber Thursday morning
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Boehner to Democrats: Get off their ‘ass’

House Speaker John Boehner challenged Senate Democrats Wednesday to “get off their ass” and pass a bill to fund the Homeland Security Department and restrict President Barack Obama’s executive moves on immigration. His comments seemed highly unlikely to change Senate Democrats’ behavior. But they underscored a worsening stalemate on Capitol Hill with funding for the Homeland Security Department set to expire Feb. 27. A day earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared the Senate “stuck” on the issue and said the next move was in the House’s court. Boehner rejected that, insisting the House has already done its job. He
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So, can we afford to let Homeland Security shut down?

Spending for the Department of Homeland Security hangs in the balance as Congress fights over immigration matters in the agency’s annual funding bill. Without action by Feb. 27, the department’s budget will shut off. To hear Democrats and many Republicans tell it, the result would be unacceptable risks to U.S. security at a time of grave threats worldwide. In reality, though, most people will see little change if the department’s money flow is halted, and some of the warnings of doom are as exaggerated as they are striking. “There are ghoulish, grim predators out there who would love to kill
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Resistance to giving Obama new war powers

Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress will face some resistance in a vote to authorize President Barack Obama’s war against Islamic State militants despite international outrage over video of militants beheading their captives and burning one alive. War authorizations are among the most difficult issues confronting members of Congress. Several Democrats will be reluctant to approve new war powers unless there is a clear deadline or some way to pay for the military operation. Some Republicans, strong foes of the president, will object to giving Obama the authority. Obama is poised in coming days to ask Congress for new authority
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The Pope will speak to Congress this fall

In a landmark event that could have many holding their breath, Pope Francis has agreed to address a joint meeting of Congress this fall. That sets the stage for an oration by an outspoken pontiff whose views on immigration and global warming clash with those of many Republicans who run the House and Senate. Francis will speak Sept. 24, marking the first time the head of the world’s Roman Catholics will address Congress. It will come during the first U.S. visit of Francis’ two-year-old papacy, a trip also expected to include a White House meeting with President Barack Obama, a
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