Homeland Security

Michael Flynn Gets Another Chance From Intelligence Committee
Panel seems ready to hold him in contempt of Congress

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., want to give Michael Flynn one more chance to cooperate with their probe. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Intelligence Committee is giving former national security adviser Michael Flynn another chance to produce documents about his interactions with Russian officials, even as the panel’s leaders are sending signals that they are unafraid to hold him in contempt of Congress.

The committee leadership has now sent a letter questioning the claim by Flynn and his lawyers that he can use the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination to avoid producing documents subpoenaed by the panel.

Trump’s Cyber Executive Order is More Study than Action
‘Sounds good, but where is the budget?’

(Kiran Foster/Flickr CC BY 2.0)

President Donald Trump’s executive order on cybersecurity this month tracks the recommendations of a presidential commission that late last year urged federal agency heads to identify and fix weaknesses in the government’s information technology systems. 

But cybersecurity experts say it’s less the action many are looking for and more of an indication that the government is still studying the problem.

Controversial Sheriff Says He’s Taking Homeland Security Post
‘It’s going to be a huge learning curve for me’

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke appears on stage of the Quicken Loans Arena after speaking on first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 18, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who has been a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, said Wednesday he’s taking a job at the Homeland Security Department.

Clarke, whose name has been previously floated for administration jobs, told WISN-AM that he’s taking a job at DHS that involves liaising with state and local law enforcement agencies. The post does not require Senate confirmation.

Lawmakers’ Safety Exemption for Old Steamboat Alarms Coast Guard
Fire risk to passengers high, according to document

A bill exempting the Delta Queen steamboat from a fire safety law has come under strong criticism. (Doug Strickland/Chattanooga Times Free Press/AP file photo)

The Senate voted overwhelmingly last month to permit a 90-year-old stern-wheel steamboat named the Delta Queen to travel the Mississippi River as an overnight cruise ship for up to 174 passengers.

Relaunching the now-idle boat would rekindle a connection to the region’s history and inject millions of tourist dollars and hundreds of jobs into states up and down the river, supporters of the measure said.

Congressional Review Act Gets a Workout
Window for expedited nixing of regulations closes, maybe

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is among lawmakers who would be interested in expanding the scope of the Congressional Review Act beyond its generally understood reach. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On May 11, Republicans in Congress had a little celebration for the end of more than a dozen Obama-era regulations, with member after member coming to the Senate floor heaping praise on a once-obscure law known as the Congressional Review Act.

Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma could barely contain himself: “I’m almost speechless when I think about the success. You know, we went 20 years taking up one CRA and then we end up passing 14 of them — all but one. It’s a huge success record.”

Looming Questions, Few Answers, About Who Will Replace Comey
Ouster of FBI director prompts flurry of speculation about replacement

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has denied speculation that he is in the running to replace ousted FBI Director James B. Comey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The ouster of FBI Director James B. Comey prompted a flurry of speculation Wednesday about who could be named as his replacement.

Projections for potential candidates included Trump confidantes, Capitol Hill insiders and career investigators. But there were no clear answers about who might fill the post.

Take Five: Val B. Demings
Florida Democrat on lessons learned from her 27 years in law enforcement

Florida Rep. Val B. Demings recalls instantly falling in love with police work when she first joined the Orlando Police Department. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman Rep. Val B. Demings, 60, a Florida Democrat, talks about being the first woman to be Orlando’s police chief, lessons from running the department, and her Harley.

Q: What has surprised you so far in your time in Congress?

Hurricane Prep Tour Arrives Before FEMA Administrator Does
Trump wants a former Alabama emergency manager in the post

Bob Fenton is the acting FEMA administrator. (Niels Lesniewski/CQ Roll Call)

ARLINGTON, Va. — When the hurricane hunters and other federal officials came together Tuesday to promote emergency preparedness, there was no Senate-confirmed director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be found.

The acting administrator is Bob Fenton, a longtime FEMA official who has been running the show since January and is the regional administrator for Region IX, based in the West.

Get Ready for the Senate’s Obamacare Repeal Slog
Unlike the House, the Senate needs to wait for CBO

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer says the House-passed bill will likely run afoul of Senate rules. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BY JOE WILLIAMS AND NIELS LESNIEWSKI

Don’t expect quick Senate action on the Republican bill to repeal large portions of the 2010 health law.

Opinion: It’s Huge — Few Presidents Have Praised Authoritarians as Much as Trump
But administration has little to say about police shootings

President Donald Trump may be trying to make a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, while the Russian leader looks the other way when atrocities are committed by his allies in Syria — and when political opponents, journalists and whistle-blowers suffer suspicious deaths in his own country, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Adam Berry/Getty Images)

So what does a criminal look like, exactly? On the campaign trail, Donald Trump featured the moving stories of the grieving relatives of those who had been killed by criminals who were in the U.S. illegally. In a promise kept, the Department of Homeland Security has introduced the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office, or VOICE, housed within Immigration and Customs Enforcement. DHS Secretary John Kelly said: “They are casualties of crimes that should never have taken place — because the people who victimized them often times should never have been in the country.”

While Kelly assured this effort will aid victims of crime who also are undocumented, it comes as ICE has shifted its priorities when picking up the undocumented for deportation, sometimes going to courthouses and hospitals while immigrant activists protest that this prevents those in need from seeking help.