With just three days left before the federal government runs out of money, congressional Democrats are divided over whether to risk a shutdown in order to force Republicans to sign on to a bipartisan immigration deal this week.
It’s the same quandary the party faced last month and twice before that. Only now, the stakes are higher and Republicans appear to be handing them some leverage.
At issue is whether to support a measure to keep the government running absent a deal to grant legal protections for the undocumented immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children. Last month, Democrats punted on the matter. And with a March deadline looming for the formal end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—which protected an estimated 800,000 DREAMers from deportation—they are now facing impassioned demands from their base to take advantage of one of their few remaining pressure points.
“[President Donald Trump] said to the Republican Congress, fix it. Remember that? That’s what he said. Fix it. And it is their job to fix it. So, no, I will not be voting for any [short-term extension] that does not provide legal status to the DREAMers and a path toward citizenship,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told reporters at the Capitol.
But that sentiment is not shared universally across the party, with some lawmakers wary that Democrats would both cede the moral high ground and invite the blame.
“Historically, it’s Republicans that shut the government down and Democrats don’t want to play that,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a progressive Democrat who is up for re-election in a state Trump won in 2016. “Every time the government shuts down or always shuts down, it’s the Tea-Party talking points and it’s threatening to shut the government down, it’s threatening to not pay our bills, threatening default—it’s what they do. Democrats absolutely don’t want to shut the government down.”
The party’s slate of aspiring 2020 presidential candidates—notably Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)—has encouraged their colleagues to adopt a more united front. And they’ve been joined by more progressive members of the party.
“There’s no reason we can’t get this done. There is one compromise that can get the votes, and it’s just up to [Republican leaders] whether they want to schedule it or not,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) said, referring to the bipartisan compromise brokered last week. “And the reason they don’t want to schedule it is not because it can’t get the votes, but because it can. And they would have to do a bipartisan deal, which they are still allergic to.”
More news/video/tweets/etc. in the comments.
New York City is seeking to lead the assault on both climate change and the Trump administration with a plan to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue the world’s most powerful oil companies over their contribution to dangerous global warming.
City officials have set a goal of divesting New York’s $189bn pension funds from fossil fuel companies within five years in what they say would be “among the most significant divestment efforts in the world to date”. Currently, New York City’s five pension funds have about $5bn in fossil fuel investments. New York state has already announced it is exploring how to divest from fossil fuels.
“New York City is standing up for future generations by becoming the first major US city to divest our pension funds from fossil fuels,” said Bill de Blasio, New York’s mayor.
“At the same time, we’re bringing the fight against climate change straight to the fossil fuel companies that knew about its effects and intentionally misled the public to protect their profits. As climate change continues to worsen, it’s up to the fossil fuel companies whose greed put us in this position to shoulder the cost of making New York safer and more resilient.”
De Blasio said that the city is taking the five fossil fuel firms – BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell – to federal court due to their contribution to climate change.
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) January 11, 2018
More news/videos/tweets/etc. in the comments.
A judge has blocked Donald Trump from ending an Obama-era program that shielded from deportation children brought to the United States illegally by their parents.
US district judge William Alsup ruled in San Francisco on Tuesday that the program must “maintain the Daca program on a nationwide basis” while litigation over Trump’s decision unfolds.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) program has allowed nearly 800,000 immigrants to work and go to school in the US without fear of deportation since it was authorised by former president Barack Obama in 2012.
In his ruling, Alsup wrote that previous recipients of Daca protections who failed to register by the deadline must be allowed to renew their status in the program. However, he said the federal government did not have to process new applications from people who had never before received protection under the program.
Nearly 22,000 Daca recipients did not successfully apply to renew their eligibility, according to a study by the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning thinktank in Washington. The researchers estimate that on average 122 Daca recipients per day will lose their legal protections in the 181 days between 5 September 2017 and 5 March.
“In terminating Daca, the administrative record failed to address the 689,800 young people who had come to rely on Daca to live and to work in this country,” Alsup wrote.
“These individuals had submitted substantial personal identifying information to the government, paid hefty fees and planned their lives according to the dictates of Daca. The administrative record includes no consideration to the disruption a rescission would have on the lives of Daca recipients, let alone their families, employers and employees, schools and communities.”
We must not hold the lives of 800,000 young Dreamers hostage in order to fund a wall that the overwhelming majority of Americans oppose. Sadly, it appears that is exactly what Donald Trump wants. pic.twitter.com/hFpQ1pZByM
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 9, 2018
More news/video/tweets/etc. in the comments, including:
*US to loosen nuclear weapons constraints and develop more ‘usable’ warheads
*’No One Should Be Fooled’: Warren Rips Trump’s HHS Pick Over Desire to Gut Medicaid
*Welcome to 2018: Another “Non-War Year” in Oblivious America
*For Zephyr Teachout, Losing an Election Was Just the Start of a New Fight
*Trump Administration Waives Punishment For Convicted Banks, Including Deutsche — Which Trump Owes Millions
*Pipepeline news, Water Protector Updates & More
It’s on Republicans to stop a shutdown by Bernie Sanders
I do not know why President Trump and the Republican Party — which controls the White House, the Senate and the House — are so willing to shut down the government. Maybe they think it will be good for them politically. Maybe they believe the chaos created by a government shutdown would be a welcome distraction from the ongoing Russia investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Whatever the motives of the Republican leadership, one thing is clear: A government shutdown would be disastrous for the American people.
A shutdown would harm tens of millions of working-class families who would be unable to access vital services. It would disrupt the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal employees who would not receive the paychecks they expected. It would endanger members of the U.S. military who are putting their lives on the line defending our nation.
As the middle class continues to shrink, cuts to non-defense spending would cause even worse economic pain to working families, the elderly, children, the sick and the most vulnerable. Meanwhile, as Trump and the Republicans demand an unbelievable $100 billion increase in military spending over the next two years, the Defense Department has been inoculated from budget cuts over the past several years because of the Overseas Contingency Operations loophole — a special account not subject to spending caps established by Congress in 2011.
Providing parity in these budget negotiations means, among other things, fully funding — without offsets — the Children’s Health Insurance Program for 9 million kids and community health centers for 27 million Americans. It means increased funding for the Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration so they can provide guaranteed benefits to seniors and veterans who have earned them. It means keeping our obligations to more than 1.5 million workers and retirees who are about to lose a large part of the pensions they were promised. It means addressing the crisis of student debt, expanding child care, improving our crumbling infrastructure in rural America and protecting our national parks. It means providing help in the national struggle against opioid and heroin addiction.
The American people are increasingly disgusted with a government that protects the interests of the wealthy and the powerful, while ignoring the needs of the vulnerable. The U.S. government must do more than provide huge tax breaks to billionaires, callously deport young people, greatly expand military spending, end net neutrality, deny the reality of climate change and threaten to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education and nutrition programs. We must pass a budget agreement that addresses the needs of Americans and not just billionaire campaign contributors.
More news/video/tweets/etc. in the comments.
Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders took aim at President Donald Trump’s proposal to spend $18 billion over the next decade to extend a border wall with Mexico.
“The American people, in fact, do not want to spend billions of dollars on a wall which Trump told us would be paid for by the Mexican government, which, of course, is not going to be paid for by” Mexico, Sanders told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on This Week Sunday.
Stephanopoulos also asked Sanders about his views of Trump’s fitness for office in light of allegations in an explosive new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
The senator, who ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, said what bothers him most about Trump is that he promised during the campaign to fight for working people, but “he governs now as a representative of the billionaire class.”
“Tax breaks for the wealthy, cutting people off of health insurance, ignoring the needs of children, not dealing with the prescription drug crisis in the country that he said he would deal with,” Sanders said. “I worry about him being a pathological liar. Those are some of the concerns I have.”
More news/video/tweets/etc. in the comments.
While tax experts continue to exclaim with horror as they sift through the “legislative monstrosity” Republicans rammed through the Senate last week, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday hosted a Facebook live event aimed at detailing the next steps in the fight against both the GOP’s tax plan and the party’s broader economic agenda.
One of the most significant battles ahead, Sanders and Warren note, will be over Republican efforts to pivot from “tax reform” to the pursuit of devastating cuts to safety net programs that low-income and middle class families rely upon to put food on the table and afford life-saving medical care.
“Literally minutes after they passed this disastrous [tax] bill in the Senate, the discussion escalates. Of course they’re going to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid,” Sanders said. “And you know why? This is shocking: the deficit is too big.”
“That’s right,” Warren added, calling the Republican tax plan a “pay off” to right-wing billionaire donors. “They want to run up the deficit and then say a high debt is the reason they’ve gotta cut all the things for working people.”
More news/videos/tweets/etc. in the comments, including:
*Bernie & Ben Rally In Baltimore
*Hundreds Arrested in Peaceful Protest as Thousands March Demanding ‘Clean’ Dream Act
*Opposite of Peace as Trump Accused of ‘Kicking Hornet’s Nest’ in Middle East
*Two Months After Nation’s Deadliest Mass Shooting, GOP House Passes ‘Dangerous’ Bill to Undermine Local Gun Control Laws
*‘We’re fighting for our way of life’: Republican tax bill presents grave threat to Alaska’s tribal groups
*Pipeline updates, Water Protector news & More
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is ripping the Trump administration for ending a key Obama-era immigration program aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children.
“Trump’s decision to end the DACA program … is the cruelest and most ugly presidential act in the modern history of this country. I cannot think of one single act that is uglier and more cruel,” Sanders said from the Senate floor.
Sanders added that the decision, announced this week by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is an “abomination.”
Senate Democrats have taken over the Senate floor on Wednesday to protest the decision to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Democrats are demanding a stand-alone vote on the DREAM Act. Similar to DACA it would allow people brought to the United States illegally as children to continue to live and work freely in the country.
Sanders added that Congress should pass the DREAM Act “as soon as possible.”
More news/video/etc. in the comments, including:
*Hurricane Harvey fallout as Irma is incoming
*Kathie Allen: Addiction threatened my family, and I’m running to help others in crisis
*Democrats: Reichert’s departure makes 8th District ’eminently winnable’
*Cathy Myers gets a writeup & plenty more.
There are several commentaries that defend the new immigration bill by favorably comparing it to the Canadian ”points system” for immigration which prioritizes younger more educated workers and those with skills deemed to be in demand. I agree there are advantages to a points system, for one, it takes a more holistic view of immigrants. For example, the Canadian system awards points for family, including siblings in Canada, under the assumption (largely correct) that such a support network helps new immigrants successfully navigate the economy and society. But, lets not delude ourselves. The proponents of these bills don’t want to set up a … Continue reading →
Stephen Miller (Santa Monica native, Duke grad and self-appointed defender of African-American workers) led a press conference on immigration today where he tried the standard Republican trick of playing the victim. You can watch the entire exchange at C-Span. Miller at one point said Jim Acosta was exhibiting cosmopolitan bias by quoting Emma Lazarus’s poem “Give me your tired your poor…” That should probably be transcribed as (((cosmopolitan))) bias, but same difference. Miller was at the presser because the administration is pushing a bill introduced byTom Cotton (R-AK) and David Perdue (R-GA) to reduce by 50%, the number of immigrant visas available each year. That’s … Continue reading →
Good morning fellow progressives…looks like a decision will be made in North Dakota court today regarding Dakota Access Pipeline’s right to bull doze Native American burial sites and Lakota Sacred sites in their bid to complete a 4 state oil pipeline. The proposed pipeline will cross Iowa, North and South Dakota and Illinois, eventually connecting up with a pipeline that runs to the Gulf where most of the oil will be exported. Meanwhile Republican ND Governor Jack Dalrymple has called out the National Guard to protect the multi-millionaire owned DAPL oil pipeline. On Thursday, September 8, North Dakota Gov. Jack … Continue reading →
Presente.org The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) just split 4-4 on one of the biggest cases for immigrant communities in U.S. history, threatening the safety and unity of millions of families across the country. But our work and our fighting back is not over. Now, more than ever, we need to renew our commitment to justice until all immigrants receive the dignity and fair treatment we deserve. Please sign here. Tell President Obama: Act on the Supreme Court’s decision now! Unless the Obama Administration acts now, more than 4 million immigrants – our neighbors, friends, mothers, and children – will continue to be … Continue reading →