Homeland Security

Durbin and Graham Are Still DREAMing
Lawmakers unveil updated legislation to grant legal status to certain immigrants

Sens. Lindsey Graham and Richard J. Durbin held a news conference to discuss the bipartisan “Dream Act of 2017" in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Lindsey Graham thinks that despite all the campaign rhetoric, President Donald Trump might be the one to build consensus among Republicans on immigration.

Graham said that unlike either Barack Obama or George W. Bush, Trump might be able to reach elements who are the most fearful of immigrants.

House Floor Will be Busy Next Week
Still no plans to delay start of summer recess afterward

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said to expect late night votes on the “minibus” appropriations package next week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House plans on being plenty busy next week before the beginning of its late summer recess, with late-night votes expected on a “minibus” appropriations package of four spending bills but no word yet on whether it might consider a contentious budget resolution or a package of sanctions on Russia, Iran and possibly North Korea. 

During their Thursday colloquy on the House floor, Minority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., asked Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to explain the process under which the consolidated “minibus” appropriations bill would be considered.

Democrats Eyeing Maine Natives to Unseat Bruce Poliquin
GOP sophomore starts with incumbency and financial advantage

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin has twice defeated Democrat Emily Cain, but if he seeks re-election in 2018, he’ll face a new challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Bruce Poliquin initially looked like a ripe target last cycle.

A freshman Republican, he was sitting in a longtime Democratic district former President Barack Obama comfortably carried twice. 

Why Republicans Exempted Their Own Insurance From Obamacare Rollback
The unusual nature of staff and member health benefits

Sen. Ted Cruz has written a bill that would strike an exemption for senators’ health care. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate budget rules are giving opponents of the rollback of the 2010 health care law an easy way to attack Republicans for hypocrisy.

The Senate GOP may not really want to immunize their own member and staff health plans from their health care policy changes, but because they are seeking to bring their bill to the floor under the expedited budget reconciliation process, they have little choice.

Transgender Activist, Vampire Novelist Running Against Rutherford
Monica DePaul calls conservative Republicans ‘cartoon supervillains’

Credit: Campaign Facebook page.

Monica DePaul, a University of North Florida adjunct English professor, author of vampire novels, and transgender activist, hopes to unseat Republican Rep. John Rutherford to represent Florida’s 4th District. 

DePaul, who volunteered for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and was elected a pledged delegate for him last year. She advocated for the successful expansion of Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance to protect LGBT people.

DOE Must Improve Its Cyber Defenses, Say House Appropriators

The Energy Department is the lead agency for combating cyber threats to the electric grid, but House appropriators fret it is not doing enough for that effort. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Department of Energy is the lead agency for combating cyber threats to the electric grid, but House appropriators are expressing concern that it is not doing enough to prevent hacking of its own operations, according to the House Appropriations’ full committee report on its fiscal 2018 Energy-Water spending bill.

The committee’s $37.6 billion draft bill would direct DOE, within 180 days of enactment, to create a cybersecurity implementation plan with the aim of strengthening DOE’s “cyber posture,” according to the report released Tuesday.

Congress Unnerved by Energy Grid Hack

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., has been concerned about the energy grid's vulnerabilities for some time, and has been warning the administration against budget cuts to cybersecurity agencies. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For months, Sen. Maria Cantwell has been warning in letters to the Trump administration and colleagues that Congress needs to do more to keep the nation's energy supply safe from cyberattacks. Now it appears she has a widespread attack to bolster her admonitions.

Reports from Bloomberg and The New York Times last week indicated that Russian-backed hacking groups may be responsible for recent targeted cyberattacks to nuclear power plants and grid operation system manufacturers, threatening the electric grid and the economy it supports.

Podcast: Trump's Travel Ban Tests Family Ties
The Week Ahead, Episode 60

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 29: A protester faces off with a supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump during a demonstration against the immigration ban that was imposed by President Trump at Los Angeles International Airport on January 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Thousands of protesters gathered outside of the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport to denounce the travel ban imposed by President Trump. Protests are taking place at airports across the country. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

CQ Roll Call reporters Dean DeChiaro and Gopal Ratnam explain the latest on President Donald Trump's travel ban, which went into partial effect June 29 following a Supreme Court decision. They explain who is now allowed into the United States and who is not and discuss the legal and policy debates to come.

 

House-Passed Immigration Bills Have Murky Future in Senate
60-vote threshold puts passage in doubt

House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, left, and Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly arrive to address immigration legislation at a news conference in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A pair of enforcement bills targeting “sanctuary” cities and undocumented immigrants with prior deportations easily passed the House on Thursday, but they face an uphill climb in the Senate.

The bills are the first major pieces of immigration legislation taken up by the Republican-led Congress since President Donald Trump took office. Unlike former President Barack Obama, who had threatened to veto such measures, Trump has said he would sign both bills.

Defending Against a Cyberattack on Democracy
Campaigns and operatives taking prevention into their own hands

A woman with her daughter casts her vote in North Las Vegas, Nevada, on Election Day last fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congressional campaigns rocked by Russian interference in the 2016 elections are trying to make sure that it never happens again.

Campaigns and elections are top targets for future cyberattacks. So campaign committees and campaigns themselves are taking steps to bolster security staff and training.