Technology & Innovation

Pelosi Suggests Trump Trying to Get Wall Funding ‘For Nothing’
’Not a whole lot of reason’ for Democrats to negotiate on short-term DACA, she says

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says Democrats won’t agree to fund President Donald Trump’s border wall for nothing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If President Donald Trump was hoping Democrats would agree to fund his border wall proposal for a short-term extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program that is already being kept afloat by the courts, he will be disappointed. 

“Should we give a border wall for nothing? No, I don’t think so,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday. 

In Shift, White House Embraces Art of the Possible
GOP source: ‘You’re just not going to pass legislation in 2018’

President Donald Trump speaks at Republicans’ retreat in West Virginia on Feb. 1 as Speaker Paul D. Ryan and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise look on. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump and White House officials, with their modest response to school shootings and in other recent remarks, have shelved bold demands of Congress for asks rooted more in the art of the possible.

The president started 2018 by pushing members of both parties to swing for the fences on a sweeping immigration deal, even offering them political cover when he told them he would “take all the heat you want to give me.”

Members Caught Off Guard on News of DACA Fix On Omnibus

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., was among the members who thought the ball was in the administration's court adding a DACA fix to the omnibus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The White House has held some discussions with Congress about addressing immigration in the pending fiscal year 2018 spending bill, according to GOP senators and aides, but members are skeptical that such a provision will be included in the omnibus package.

Lawmakers in both parties have sought a solution to the situation surrounding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — which covers undocumented immigrants who come to the country as children. President Donald Trump targeted it for expiration on March 5, which has been halted by court actions. The chamber voted on a series of different DACA proposals in February, but none garnered the necessary 60 votes to advance.

Omnibus Unlikely to Defund 'Sanctuary' Cities
Senate appropriator says it would make it too difficult to pass

Sen. John Boozman said it was unlikely the Senate would move to defund sanctuary cities, as House conservatives are pushing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A top Senate appropriator said Tuesday the final omnibus spending bill would likely not include a provision to defund “sanctuary” cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., suggested in two posts on Twitter that Congress should withhold federal grants for sanctuary cities in the omnibus. His remarks follow the Trump administration’s decision to sue California over three state immigration laws, escalating a battle over sanctuary jurisdictions that began shortly after President Donald Trump took office.

Congress Could Split Payments to Broadcasters Over Two Years
Thune, Walden explore compensating spectrum moves over longer period of time

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., says members are exploring spreading out payments to broadcasters for spectrum moves from one year to two. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman John Thune says authorizers and appropriators are exploring whether to compensate broadcasters for giving up spectrum over two years rather than one, a change that could make it a more palatable item in spending bills.

The South Dakota Republican, who is also chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., are trying to secure about $1 billion to compensate broadcasters for giving up one part of the spectrum and move to another. But appropriators are balking at the sum.

Trump Intensifies War on California’s Immigrant ‘Sanctuaries’
So far, little to show for effort to crack down on illegal immigration

Protesters arrive at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles during a march on Feb. 28. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

The legal struggle over immigrant “sanctuaries” is escalating, and deep-blue California is ground zero.

“This is basically going to war,” Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown said after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week that the Trump administration is suing the state over three recently enacted laws limiting local and state law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration agents.

Opinion: Once Again on Immigration, a Victory for the All-Or-Nothings
With DACA tied up in the courts, the urgency for Congress to act is gone

The inability of President Donald Trump and Democrats to compromise on DACA and border security has given hard-liners on both sides of the immigration debate a win, Cardinal Brown writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When President Donald Trump travels to California later this month to view the prototype designs for a new border wall, perhaps he will take a moment to think about what could have been. Because as things stand, those eight 30-foot-long samples are the only walls likely to be built.

Trump could have had his wall. He had numerous opportunities to get it, dating all the way back to the “Chuck and Nancy” deal last fall. All he had to do was agree to something he says he wants — a permanent replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program he canceled in September.

Analysis: Trump Skips Tough Immigration Talk With Latinos
President addressed business group in his charmer-in-chief persona

President Donald Trump delivers remarks during the Latino Coalition’s Legislative Summit at the J.W. Marriott in Washington. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The crowd Donald Trump addressed Wednesday didn’t chant “build the wall!” And the president didn’t mention the border barrier idea that helped him get elected. Nor did he talk of Latino gangs, immigrant “rapists” and mass deportations.

Trump appeared something of a fish out of water as he stood at the familiar presidential podium before a backdrop featuring the logo of The Latino Coalition. After all, as a presidential candidate Trump railed against Latin American countries for sending drug pushers and “criminals” to the United States.

‘Go Push Those Democrats’ on DACA, Trump Tells Latino Group
President excludes mention of role in spiking bipartisan immigration bill

President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. He spoke to a Latino business group on Wednesday, criticizing Democrats. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump criticized Senate Democrats for holding up nominations for executive branch posts and blocking immigration and infrastructure legislation, calling their alleged tactics a “terrible thing.”

Trump, however, did not explain why his own White House staff helped defeat a bipartisan immigration bill nor defend the qualifications of any nominees Democrats have called poor fits for the jobs he wants them to take. Trump ran, in large part, as a successful businessman who would strike cross-party deals; so far, however, he has yet to do so while frequently blaming the opposition party.

Capitol Ink | Rest Area

Podcast: The Policy Fights That Could Upend Final 2018 Spending Bill
CQ Budget, Episode 50

Immigration rights activists demonstrate against President Trump's decision to end the DACA program for "dreamers". (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With half of fiscal year 2018 already behind them, lawmakers are struggling with a catch-all spending bill to fund the rest of the year, but controversial issues popping up — from gun control legislation to the border wall — could cripple talks, says CQ budget and appropriations reporter Ryan McCrimmon.

Show Notes:

Bipartisan Deal Opens Path to Reauthorizing FCC, Spectrum Sale
Walden, Pallone, Thune, Nelson all party to deal

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., left, and ranking member Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., helped make a deal on reauthorizing the FCC and forging a path for spectrum auctions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Key House and Senate members unveiled a bipartisan agreement Friday on a Federal Communications Commission reauthorization that would provide the agency with more than $330 million annually in fiscal years 2019 and 2020.

The agreement also resolves issues that were slowing spectrum auctions for wireless technology.

Border Wall Funds Elusive Without a Deal on ‘Dreamers’
Stalemate could affect negotiations over fiscal 2018 spending bill

Aurelia Lopez and her daughter Antonia look at construction of border wall prototypes in October in Tijuana, Mexico. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump may be headed for a Groundhog Day experience as his search for funding to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall enters its second year.

Trump is asking Congress for $1.6 billion in fiscal 2019 to construct 65 miles of new barriers in southern Texas, even though he is still without the $1.6 billion he requested for 2018. The White House also wants $18 billion over the next decade for construction.

DARPA Chief Touts Artificial Intelligence Efforts
Assertions push back on private sector worries about lagging behind

The head of the Pentagon's top research section says the United States is competitive when it comes to artificial intelligence research and development. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The United States is no laggard on investment and advances in artificial intelligence technologies, Steven Walker, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, told reporters on Thursday, disputing assertions by top U.S. technology executives that China was racing ahead.

“I think I’d put our AI, our country’s efforts, up against anybody,” Walker said at an event hosted by the Defense Writers Group. DARPA “helped create the field in the early 1960s” and since then has consistently invested in the three waves of artificial intelligence technologies, Walker said.

When Allies Attack: Friction Between Democrats, Immigration Advocates
Hard feelings about groups pressuring minority party

Demonstrators with United We Dream and others rally in the atrium of the Hart Building in January to call on Congress to pass the so-called DREAM Act to protect young immigrants from deportation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Friction lingers between Senate Democrats and progressive advocacy groups after the chamber failed to advance a bipartisan bill in February to protect the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers. 

Tensions came to a breaking point in the weeks before the Senate voted on several immigration-related proposals aimed at extending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, aides say. The rift was a long time in the making, as some Democratic lawmakers questioned the strategy that pro-immigration and progressive groups used to drive action over the past six months.