Border Control

Senate Panel Unveils Draft Bill to Combat Opioid Addiction
HELP Committee expected to discuss legislation next week

The Senate HELP Committee, led by Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander and Washington’s Patty Murray, has already held six hearings on the opioid crisis so far this Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate health panel on Wednesday released a discussion draft intended to curb opioid addiction. The development comes as other House and Senate committees also prepare legislation.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee plans to discuss this legislation at an upcoming hearing on April 11. The panel has already held six hearings on the opioid crisis so far this Congress featuring representatives from agencies including the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as governors from states affected by the crisis.

Podcast: Trump Makes a Run for the Border
Political Theater, Episode 13

Two Border Patrol Agents on horseback ride along the U.S.-Mexican Border. "[The horses] can go places vehicles can't, they've been pretty darn effective" Agent Brian Kemmett said. President Donald Trump wants the National Guard to help the Border Patrol along the Southern border. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump's desire to have the National Guard help patrol the Southern border is not all that different from actions taken by former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, but that does not mean there are not areas of concern about the action. 

On the latest Political Theater Podcast, Megan Scully, national security editor at CQ, breaks down the history of such border deployments and why the United States has laws preventing the military from engaging in domestic law enforcement.

No Word From White House on Military Funding Border Wall, Hill Sources Say
White House hasn’t offered any plan, sources say, even if legal and political hurdles could be cleared

President Donald Trump talks with reporters as he inspects border wall prototypes on March in San Diego. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump’s notion of shifting money from the military to pay for his southern border wall appears stalled and likely dead, with congressional sources saying they haven’t heard a thing from the president’s aides.

Senior congressional aides and experts point to several legal hurdles Trump’s out-of-the-blue idea would have to clear. And even if they got over those, Democrats would have to sign off in a midterm election year. Both make the prospects of the president’s idea becoming reality very unlikely, aides and experts say.

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.

Opinion: Why a DACA Fix Next Year Would Come Too Late
It takes months for the government to ramp up a new program

Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, right, here with Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton, broke with his party this fall when he announced he wouldn’t support any bill funding the government beyond Dec. 31 until the DACA issue is resolved. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As Congress speeds toward its year-end pileup of “must pass” legislation, a legislative fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, remains in the balance. President Donald Trump insists it should not be tied to the annual appropriations scramble. But many Democrats — and a few Republicans — are calling for the issue to be addressed this year, with some threatening to withhold their votes to fund the government if legislation for so-called Dreamers is not attached.

Beyond the political posturing and jockeying for leverage, there is a pragmatic reason why any fix, if that is what both parties really want, should happen this year: it takes months for the government to ramp up a new program.

Senate’s Defense Spending Bill Shows Need for Budget Deal
Defense appropriators would bust budget caps

Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick J. Leahy is highlighting the urgency of a bipartisan budget agreement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s decision to release the four remaining fiscal 2018 spending bills last week — including a cap-busting defense measure — underscores the urgency to get a deal on the bigger picture.

If the Senate defense bill became law, arbitrary automatic cuts would take place in the middle of January, as Democratic Sens. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois pointed out in a Nov. 21 statement.

White House Rolls Out Immigration Bill Demands but Top Democrats Object
List of asks closely aligns with Trump’s ‘America First’ philosophy

Immigration rights activists rally in Dupont Circle in Washington on May 1. The White House rolled out its demands for a broad immigration bill on Sunday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Trump administration on Sunday evening unveiled a sweeping list of demands for immigration overhaul legislation that Congress is slated to take up by early next year. But senior Democrats are already signaling the White House’s demands could sink any such bill.

Senior White House and administration officials told reporters on a hastily arranged call that President Donald Trump wants an immigration bill he set in motion last month to include funding for his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, provisions aimed at cracking down on the flow of minors from Central and South America, a new merit-based legal immigration system and changes to the federal grant program for so-called “sanctuary cities.”

Ex-Leader of Anti-Immigration Group Named Agency Ombudsman
Former FAIR chief Kirchner to represent U.S. Immigration Service

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., has in the past objected to Julie Kirchner’s association with the Trump administration, arguing that “instead of offering workable solutions” to immigration issues, appointees like Kirchner “only offer blunt force.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Deflecting Blame, Trump Hits Emotional Schumer for Airport Chaos
White House contends ‘Republicans on Capitol Hill wrote’ refugee order

Protests erupted at Dulles International Airport and others around the country following President Donald Trump's executive order restricting travel from several Islamic countries. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Monday morning tried to deflect blame for weekend “problems” at U.S. airports by pointing the finger at Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer. Or, more precisely, his tears.

The chaotic start to Trump’s presidency continued over its second weekend as thousands protested in cities and at airports where individuals from seven countries covered by an order the new chief executive signed late Friday afternoon had been detained. The order blocks citizens and “nationals” from those Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

Protesters Greet Inauguration Guests, Clash With Police in Streets
People swarm Metro stations, event entrances and damage property in protest against Trump

Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire near 13th and Massachusetts Ave. Friday morning before Donald Trump was sworn in. (Matt Rhodes for CQ Roll Call)

Pockets of protests erupted throughout Washington, DC, Friday, at times threatening to overshadow the pomp of Donald Trump's inauguration and presenting a reminder of the stark divisions facing the 45th president.

Demonstrators arrived early, touting concern for issues including immigration, border control, labor and racism. Some attempted -- unsuccessfully -- to block the crowds that filed into the Capitol grounds before Trump was sworn in. In what appeared to be isolated outbursts of violence, other groups set small fires throughout the city, broke windows and clashed with police in the Franklin Square area.