Chad’s Morning Brief: House Votes to Overturn Obama Immigration Actions, Ohio Man Arrested for Plotting an ISIS-Inspired Attack on Capitol, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for January 15, 2015.
Immigration Heads to the Senate
According to FOX News, the House voted yesterday to fund the Department of Homeland Security but also to overturn the executive actions that President Obama announced last year regarding immigration.
The House voted 236-191 to approve the legislation, which funds the Homeland Security Department through the rest of the budget year to the tune of $40 billion. But as part of that bill, Republicans added provisions to gut the president's immigration directives.
Despite deep Democratic opposition, the House voted 237-190 on an amendment to undo the actions Obama announced in November that provide temporary deportation relief, and offer work permits, to some 4 million illegal immigrants.
Another amendment would cancel Obama's 2012 policy that's granted work permits and stays of deportation to more than 600,000 immigrants who arrived in the U.S. illegally as kids. That measure passed more narrowly, 218-209, as more than two dozen Republicans joined Democrats in opposition.
Republicans say Obama's moves amounted to an unconstitutional overreach that must be stopped.
"We do not take this action lightly, but simply there is no alternative," House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday. "It's not a dispute between the parties or even between the branches of our government. This executive overreach is an affront to the rule of law and to the Constitution itself."
But as the White House threatened a veto, Democratic leaders claimed the GOP provisions would hurt immigrant families -- and ultimately hurt Republicans politically.
"The amendments ... that the Republicans are tacking onto the bill, or at least trying to tack onto the bill, to keep the Department of Homeland Security open are inconsistent with our nation's values and its history. They would tear families apart," House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said.
Even with Republicans in control of the Senate the bill faces tough chances there, especially because House GOP leaders decided to satisfy demands from conservative members by including a vote to undo the 2012 policy that deals with younger immigrants known as "Dreamers." The amendment, which is opposed by some of the more moderate Republicans in the House, would ultimately expose those young people to deportation.
Security-minded lawmakers on both sides of the aisle also are worried about using the DHS funding bill to wage the immigration fight, saying security funding should not be put at risk, particularly in the wake of the Paris terror attacks. Current DHS funding expires at the end of next month.
In the Senate, Republicans would have to rally a 60-vote majority to advance the legislation, and they have only 54 members.
With even some Republicans voicing reservations, the Senate may have to strip out the immigration provisions and send a straight DHS funding bill back to the House, as the Feb. 27 deadline looms.
This, then, could set up another fight between GOP leadership and the conservative reaches of the party.
One senior House GOP aide told Fox News, "I don't know how this one ends."
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, in a written statement, said the bill would not pass the Senate. "Republicans have only been in control for a week and already they are picking an unnecessary political fight that risks shutting down the Department of Homeland Security and endangering our security," he said, urging Republicans to pass a "clean" funding bill.
Some House Republicans acknowledged that the Senate is likely to reject their approach.
"They're not going to pass this bill," Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., said in predicting the Senate outcome.
Obama has threatened to veto the House bill, and Democrats roundly denounced it, even as immigrant advocates warned Republicans they risked alienating Latino voters who will be crucial to the 2016 presidential election.
Good for the House, now it's up the Senate to do the right thing.
According to the Washington Times, an Ohio man plotted to bomb the U.S. Capitol in an ISIS-inspired attack.
An Ohio man plotted to attack the U.S. Capitol using pipe bombs and rifles, saying he wanted to launch his own jihad after failing to get approval from Islamic terrorist leaders overseas, the FBI charged in a criminal complaint Wednesday.
Christopher Cornell had saved money, researched government buildings in Washington, laid plans to travel to the capital to carry out his attack and on Wednesday bought two M-15 semiautomatic rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition, prompting police to move in and arrest him.
Mr. Cornell tweeted under an account by the name of Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, drawing the attention of an FBI informant.
“Christopher Cornell specifically planned that he and [the informant] would build, plant and detonate pipe bombs at and near the U.S. Capitol, then use firearms to shoot and kill employees and officials in the U.S. Capitol,” FBI Special Agent T.A. Staderman said in a criminal complaint filed in the case.
Mr. Cornell purchased firearms Wednesday and federal authorities arrested him after, officials said.
The FBI and Homeland Security issued a memo notifying law enforcement agencies across the country of the case.
“The alleged activities of Cornell highlight the continued interest of US-based violent extremists to support designated foreign terrorist organizations overseas, such as [Islamic State], by committing terrorist acts in the United States,” it read.
“Terrorist group members and supporters will almost certainly continue to use social media platforms to disseminate English language violent extremist messages,” the memo reportedly read.
Thank goodness the FBI was on top of this. I worry about what 2015 could bring to the United States when it comes to Terrorist attacks.
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