Jul 13, 2018

Republicans allow vote on Dem bill to abolish ICE

"Abolish ICE" protests have happened around the country. Photo: Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Republicans are allowing a vote on a Democratic bill to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to show the country "that it will not happen on the House Republican majority's watch," a senior GOP aide tells Axios.

Why it matters: Calling to abolish ICE has become Dems' rallying cry since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her primary. But with this vote, Republicans can use it as an issue to energize their base ahead of the November election.

Be smart: This is a base issue for both parties, and, to its core, the issue isn't even really about immigration reform. "There’s no incentive for legislative compromise because both sides see cultural and political advantage with keeping the rhetoric up on immigration," said Brent McGoldrick, CEO of Republican research firm Deep Root Analytics.

Yes, but: The hot-button issue of immigration is dividing Democrats more than uniting them, and holding an official vote on the House floor will force Dem members to go on the record with where they stand. "The liberal wing of the party is eating their own," the GOP source added.

  • CNN reports House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters that the goal of bringing an ICE bill to the floor for a vote is to simply "have a debate about it." It's not yet known when the vote will happen.

Go deeper: Top Democrats see danger on the party's calls to abolish ICE.

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John Kelly defends James Mattis against Trump attacks

John Kelly in the White House in July 2017. Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly defended James Mattis on Thursday after President Trump attacked the former defense secretary as "the world's most overrated general" and claimed on Twitter that he was fired.

What he's saying: “The president did not fire him. He did not ask for his resignation,” Kelly told the Washington Post in an interview. “The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened or is confused."

Barr claims "no correlation" between removing protesters and Trump's church photo op

Attorney General Bill Barr said at a press conference Thursday that there was "no correlation" between his decision to order police to forcibly remove protesters from Lafayette Park and President Trump's subsequent visit to St. John's Episcopal Church earlier this week.

Driving the news: Barr was asked to respond to comments from Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said Tuesday that he "did not know a photo op was happening" and that he does everything he can to "try and stay out of situations that may appear political."

Updates: Cities move to end curfews for George Floyd protests

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several cities are ending curfews after the protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people led to fewer arrests and less violence Wednesday night.

The latest: Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are the latest to end nightly curfews. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Wednesday night that "peaceful protests can continue without a curfew, while San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted that the city's curfew would end at 5 a.m. Thursday.