Illinois

Kelly: Homeland Isn't Targeting Law-Abiding ‘Dreamers’
“By definition, they’re no longer DACA if they have a violation”

Gen. John F. Kelly, USMC (Ret.), testifies during the Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on his confirmation to be Secretary of Homeland Security on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Homeland Security Department is not seeking to deport undocumented young people enrolled in an Obama administration program who have not violated the terms of their protected status, Secretary John F. Kelly told Senate Democrats on Wednesday.

The status of these young people, known as Dreamers, who were brought to the United States by their undocumented immigrant parents has been a subject of concern since President Donald Trump promised during his campaign to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and deport millions of people living in the country illegally. 

Schock’s Attorneys Claim FBI Broke the Law
Former staffer helped the feds build corruption case against former congressman

Lawyers for former Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., claim that his constitutional rights were violated when a former staffer worked as an informant for the FBI. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Disgraced former Rep. Aaron Schock’s legal team claims that a staffer working as an informant for the FBI broke the law.

The staffer provided emails, credit card receipts, and other documents that helped the feds make a case against Schock, Fox News reported,but Schock’s lawyers say this violated his constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure.

Abortion Opponents Look for a Home in Democratic Party
Some Democrats think a bigger tent gives party best chance in 2018

Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur has voted against recent GOP restrictions on abortion but thinks her party should have a big tent on the issue. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For supporters of abortion rights, the Democratic Party has become the only real option.

But as the party struggles to make inroads in red states, where its economic message may resonate more than its social values, some Democrats think there needs to be more flexibility on that issue.

Defense Supplemental Request Overstated By $5.2 Billion
Pentagon asks for money, twice

President Donald Trump has requested money to be added to his defense supplemtnal bill that is already in the bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Trump administration wants Congress to add $30 billion to its fiscal 2017 Defense spending bill, but about $5.2 billion of the proposed addition is already in the bill, according to a Senate committee.

CQ Roll Call disclosed on March 20 that the administration’s $30 billion supplemental request for the Pentagon contained more than $3 billion in ship and aircraft programs that were already in the House-Senate agreement (HR 1301) that the House passed earlier this month and that awaits Senate action.

Word on the Hill: How Involved Are You?
What the week ahead looks like

When staffers aren’t busy with their bosses, there are clubs for them. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’ve covered several congressional staff associations in Heard on the Hill and a bunch of them got together last week to tout their groups.

The Staff Association Fair on Friday was similar to a college activities fair and allowed staffers to learn about the many different options for them to get involved.

Lawmakers Predict GOP Bill Will Be 2018 Campaign Issue
Republicans may still be tethered to a bill that was never put to a vote

Former National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference where Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced the vote for leadership’s health care plan had been canceled. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated March 25

Republicans won’t have a recorded vote on leadership’s health care plan but that doesn’t mean their position on it won’t be used against them in campaign ads in 2018. 

Pentagon Leaders Say Soft Power Central to ISIS Strategy
Mattis, Dunford pitch appropriators on supplemental funding proposal

Defense Secretary James Mattis says soft power is key to defeating terrorists abroad. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pentagon leaders on Wednesday stressed the importance of diplomacy in the fight against the Islamic State but sidestepped questions from Senate appropriators about the Trump administration’s proposed 29 percent cut to the State Department and other foreign operations accounts in fiscal 2018.

Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford pitched lawmakers on the military’s $30 billion request for supplemental funding for fiscal 2017, as well as the planned $54 billion boost to defense accounts proposed for next year, arguing that military readiness has been depleted after 16 years of war.

Nuclear Option Looms as Supreme Court Hearings Wrap Up
Senators ready to blame opposing party for any upending of Senate rules

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch testifies on the second day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings wrapping up, senators will soon confront whether his nomination will upend Senate rules.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not yet said  whether he would move to change Senate rules that currently require 60 votes to end debate on Gorsuch’s nomination. If eight members of the Democratic caucus do not join the 52 Republicans to move the nomination forward, McConnell could move to change the rules, lowering the threshold to a simple majority.

Vulnerable Senate Democrats Stand Firm in Opposing GOP Health Care Plan
Senators in tight races are making a moral argument against the bill

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III talks with constituents during a town hall meeting in Martinsburg, W.Va., last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Senate Democrats up for re-election in Republican-leaning states are united in opposition to the GOP health care plan.

For them, overhauling the health care system is not just about policy. It’s a matter of right and wrong.

Bennet Faces Colorado Blitz on Supreme Court Nominee
Colorado Democrat could help GOP move Neil Gorsuch’s nomination

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet introduced Judge Neil Gorsuch at his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Michael Bennet is facing pressure to support his home state’s Supreme Court nominee not just from Republicans, but also from one of Colorado’s most popular figures, Denver Broncos great John Elway.

Shortly before the Colorado Democrat was set to introduce Judge Neil Gorsuch at his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Monday, the appellate judge’s publicity team released a letter that the revered former quarterback and current Broncos’ general manager sent to the committee in favor of Gorsuch’s nomination.