Homeland Security

Full-Year CR Threatens Military Training, Hawks Say
Thornberry: “All but one deploying Army unit will cease training after July 15th”

House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, participates in House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's media availability with the Chairman's Task Force on Counterterrorism and Homeland Security in the Capitol on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The U.S. armed forces will see training severely curtailed if the continuing resolution funding the federal government is extended for the rest of the fiscal year, a leading lawmaker warned Wednesday.

Texas Republican Mac Thornberry, chairman of House Armed Services, said at a press breakfast that he has asked the military services what the effect would be of a full-year CR. He said he had not heard from all of them but offered a few startling examples.

Trump Budget Slashes Nondefense Spending to Boost Pentagon
Plan calls for eliminating Legal Services Corporation, National Endowment for the Arts, and others

Copies of President Donald Trump’s overview of budget priorities for fiscal year 2018, titled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.” are put on display at the Government Publishing Office in Washington on Thursday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday unveiled the first portion of his fiscal 2018 budget request, a discretionary spending plan that includes new funds for a major military buildup and severe cuts to federal agencies certain to be strongly resisted by lawmakers on both sides. 

Among the hardest hit agencies under Trump’s “skinny” budget proposal are the State Department and the EPA, which would see a 28 percent and 31 percent reduction from enacted levels, respectively.

Trump’s Travel Order Opens Door to Targeting More Countries
Order also mandates data collection on honor killings in the U.S.

A passenger from a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight from Jeddah arrives at Dulles International Airport on Jan. 29 to demonstrators protesting President Donald Trump’s first executive order on immigration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Pool file photo)

President Donald Trump’s modified executive order on travel and refugees creates requirements for a stream of reports that could lead to more countries being targeted for visa restrictions and a new effort to tally the prevalence of honor killings in the United States.

Trump’s order takes effect Thursday and will stop the issuance of new U.S. visas to nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for three months. It also halts the arrival of refugees for four months while the State, Homeland Security and Justice departments review and tighten entry procedures for foreigners.

Word on the Hill: Cortez Masto and Latina Staffers
Tea party rally and award for Biden

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, center, front row, and the staffers. (Courtesy Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto's office)

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., met with Latina Senate staffers on Monday for a roundtable discussion on the importance of women and students of color getting access to internships and employment opportunities on Capitol Hill.

They also discussed obstacles women face in a Senate office and brainstormed other ways to address issues pertaining to a lack of diversity.

McCaul Worries Immigration Rhetoric Hurting Border Economies
Represents a district along the U.S.-Mexico border

House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said he wants to make sure trade policies doesn't hurt local economies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul wants to make sure that rhetoric surrounding Mexico and immigration does not hurt border region economies.

McCaul, who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, spoke with NPR about concerns from local elected officials and businesspeople that President Donald Trump’s talk about the border has reduced tax revenue in McAllen.

More States Join Legal Challenge to Trump Travel Ban
Washington joined by Massachusetts, Minnesota New York and Oregon

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Thursday announced the state will fight President Donald Trump’s new executive order on immigration.  (Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

More states are joining the legal challenge to President Donald Trump’s new travel restrictions on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.

Washington, which was the first state to sue over Trump’s original executive order, said it would renew its challenge and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said New York asked to join its effort, The Associated Press reported.

Senators Ask White House: Where Are the Nominees?
Vice President assures GOP lawmakers names are coming

Rod Rosenstein, nominee for deputy attorney general, and Rachel L. Brand, nominee for associate attorney general, faced the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican senators are eager to continue pushing through President Donald Trump’s executive branch nominees, but they are increasingly concerned about the slow pace of nominations being sent to the Capitol for the people who will be tasked with much of the nitty-gritty work of government. 

“I continue to ask for additional names to come forward, and I’m assured that they will be soon,” Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso said Tuesday.

Word on the Hill: Hotdish Time
West Virginia, baseball and women

Last year's hotdish made by Minnesota Sen. Al Franken was titled "The Most Beautiful Hotdish in the World," in honor of Prince. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Minnesota tradition of eating “hotdish” and listening to Al Franken’s jokes is here again.

Franken is hosting the seventh annual Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition, and will be joined by Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Reps. Collin C. Peterson, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Tim Walz, Rick Nolan, Erik Paulsen, Tom Emmer and Jason Lewis.

Democrats Ask Secret Service About Background Checks at Mar-a-Lago
Also want president to release White House visitor logs

Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and seven other Senate Democrats say President Donald Trump’s conduct of official business at his private properties “appears to be unprecedented in recent times.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Several Senate Democrats want to know if the Secret Service is running background checks on visitors to President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

The eight Democrats led by Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island are asking Secret Service Deputy Director William J. Callahan about the procedures in place at Trump properties when the president is there and apparently conducting business.

Trump Signs Revised Travel Ban
Iraq removed from Muslim-majority countries affected

President Donald Trump stops and waves to supporters from his vehicle near his Mar-a-Lago resort on Saturday. Trump spent part of the weekend at his Florida home. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump signed a new executive order Monday that restricts U.S. entry of nationals from six Muslim-majority countries for three months and suspends refugees for four months while the Homeland Security, State and Justice departments tighten vetting procedures. 

The new order will go into effect at midnight on March 16 and will apply to nationals of Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen who don’t already have a valid U.S. visa to enter the country.