Immigration

Podcast: Why Congress Has a Russia Problem
CQ on Congress, Episode 112

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at joint press conference after their summit in Helsinki, Finland. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Can You Tell August Recess (Kinda Sorta) Is Almost Here?
Messaging votes, floods in the Capitol, stinky gas and boatloads of cash

Rep. Steve Knight, R-Calif., leaves the House after the last votes of the week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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It’s almost time for the kinda-sorta August recess (with the House leaving after next week for a month, and the Senate, not so much) and that means there will be no shortage of messaging votes set up by Republican leaders so their members can head back to the hustings and brandish their votes before November’s midterm elections. 

House Schedule Before August Recess Is Set
McCarthy, Hoyer colloquy gets heated over ICE resolution

One more week until summer break! From left, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., gets a high five from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., as they walk down the House steps with Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., after the final votes of the week on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Here is the House Schedule for the Week of July 23, the last week the chamber is scheduled to be in session until after Labor Day.

During their weekly colloquy, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said that next week the House is expected to consider three or more measures under rules, including the Protect Medical Innovation Act, the Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans Act and the Restoring Access to Medication Act.

Gosar Criticized for Defending British Anti-Muslim Activist
Arizona congressman said British government is covering up ‘Muslim gangs who are raping British girls’

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., attended a rally in London last week supporting an imprisoned anti-Muslim activist. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Anti-hate groups are calling for elected officials to condemn the remarks of Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar for attending a rally in support of a British anti-Muslim activist.

Gosar attended a rally in London last weekend for Tommy Robinson, co-founder of the English Defence League who previously said most gang convictions are for Muslims.

Senate Democrats Question ICE Arrests of Spouses of U.S. Citizens
Cite examples of separations at USCIS offices

Sen. Robert Menendez has led a letter questioning immigration enforcement practices. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some Senate Democrats are alarmed by what may be a pattern of ICE making arrests when immigrants are conducting routine business at citizenship and immigration services offices.

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and the acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief Ronald Vitiello, a group of 10 Senate Democrats cited examples of married couples being separated at USCIS facilities when one partner may not have legal status but the other member of the couple is an American citizen.

Rep. Maxine Waters Warns Supporters Not to Confront Militia Group
Oath Keepers, an armed far-right group, plans to protest Waters for weeks in her California district

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., urged her supporters to stay away from the Oath Keepers, a far right armed group that is planning a protest at her Los Angeles office on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Maxine Waters of California warned her supporters not to be baited into a confrontation with a a far-right militia group planning a protest at her South-Central Los Angeles office Thursday.

The Oath Keepers, which claims 35,000 members who often dress in military gear and carry military-grade rifles at protests and events across the country, issued a “call to action” for Thursday to protest Waters’ “incitement of terrorism” and Democrats’ opposition to Republican immigration policies.

House Republicans Increase Messaging Votes Ahead of August Recess
GOP leaders prepare for break by seeking contrast with minority party

Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., sees value in some of the messaging votes the House will take up before the August recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House floor is seeing an uptick in messaging bills as Republicans prepare for a monthlong district work period in a midterm year when they are defending most of the seats in play.

Case in point was a resolution the House adopted Wednesday expressing support for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and rejecting calls to abolish the agency — a stance some progressive Democrats are pushing.

House Passes Pro-ICE Resolution With Most Democrats Not Taking a Stance
Messaging vote provokes accusations back and forth across the aisle

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., wants people to notice how Democrats voted on the ICE resolution . (By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Wednesday adopted a resolution expressing support for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and rejecting calls to abolish the agency with primarily Republican support as most Democrats voted “present.” The final vote was 244-35, with 133 Democrats voting present. 

Republicans readily acknowledged the vote was about putting Democrats on record as calls from left-wing members of the party have been dismissed by more moderate and establishment Democrats as unproductive. 

Democratic Leaders Urge ‘Present’ Vote on ICE Resolution
Republicans want to divide Democrats, but it might not work

Hundreds of women crowd the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building to protest Trump’s immigration policy on June 28. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats know Republicans are looking to divide their caucus by holding a vote Wednesday on a resolution that rejects calls to completely abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. They say they aren’t going to play the GOP’s political game.

Democratic leaders are not formally whipping for or against the resolution, but are urging their members to reject what they say is a political stunt by Republicans and vote “present,” according to a Democratic leadership aide.

Roskam Tells Trump to Speak to Putin More Like Reagan Would
GOP congressman says Trump was ‘very defensive’ in conversation about Helsinki news conference

Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., said he confronted President Donald Trump about his news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Peter Roskam said President Donald Trump delivered a “very defensive” response on Tuesday when he confronted the president about siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin at their joint news conference in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Roskam was at the White House for a meeting with Trump in which the president walked back his comments from Monday that he saw “no reason why it would be Russia” that interfered in the 2016 election, affirmed that he trusted his intelligence community’s assessment that it was Russia, and then immediately sought to undercut that assessment by saying there “could be other people also — a lot of people out there.”