Feb 15, 2018

WH to senators: Drop support for bipartisan immigration bill

Photo: Win McNamee / Getty

The White House is actively trying to stamp out any momentum behind the bipartisan Rounds-King immigration bill. Shortly after President Trump's veto threat, a White House official told reporters on a call Thursday afternoon that senators had been asked to remove their sponsorship from the bill, saying it's possible that they were "simply grievously misinformed about the bill’s outrageous contents."

Why it matters: Even if the Senate manages to get 60 votes on this bill, the White House is making it extra clear that Trump will not sign it into law. Trump tweeted this afternoon that the bill would be a "total catastrophe."

  • Where it stands: Trump has only expressed support for the Grassley bill in the Senate and the Goodlatte bill in the House. "If Dems are actually serious about DACA, they should support the Grassley bill," he said in his tweet.
  • What it does: The bipartisan bill would provide a pathway to citizenship for the "Dreamers," adults who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, gives $25 billion toward border security and prohibits Dreamers from sponsoring their parents for citizenship.
  • The problem: The official claimed that the bill would significantly increase the legalized immigrant population, wouldn't fund the additional immigration officers that the Department of Homeland Security has requested, and "handcuffs" border agents and ICE officers. "We can't tell ICE officers to stand down until someone gets hurt," the official said.
  • Out for blood: The White House official specifically berated GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham for his response to the Department of Homeland Security's letter condemning the bipartisan bill, calling him "an obstacle to getting immigration done" and "an obstacle to Dreamers." Referring to both the Graham-Durbin and the Rounds-King bills, the official said, "Graham’s presence on those bills is the problem."
  • The other side: Earlier today in a press conference, Graham blamed the White House's veto threat on senior adviser Stephen Miller's influence: "Stephen Miller’s never going to run this show here and get you a successful outcome.”

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 5,405,029 — Total deaths: 344,997 — Total recoveries — 2,168,408Map.
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  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
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Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans sue California over mail-out ballot plan

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a February news conference in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump accused Democrats of trying "Rig" November's general election as Republican groups filed a lawsuit against California Sunday in an attempt to stop Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) from mailing ballots to all registered voters.

Driving the news: Newsom signed an executive order this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic ensuring that all registered voters in the state receive a mail-in ballot.

Federal judge strikes down Florida law requiring felons to pay fines before voting

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: oe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Sunday ruled that a Florida law requiring convicted felons to pay all court fines and fees before registering to vote is unconstitutional.

Why it matters: The ruling, which will likely be appealed by state Republicans, would clear the way for hundreds of thousands of ex-felons in Florida to register to vote ahead of November's election.