Richard J Durbin

Democratic Leaders Request FBI Funding to Stop Russian Influence in Midterms
Also call for release of public report

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, right, and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer make their way to the Senate floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Key Democratic lawmakers urged Republican leadership Wednesday to include additional FBI funding in the fiscal 2018 spending bill to combat possible Russian interference in the upcoming midterm elections.

The request comes after the Justice Department charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies Friday over alleged attempts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

Rep. Rodney Davis Recalls Lessons From His Staffer Days
Illinois Republican was longtime projects director for Rep. John Shimkus

Rep. Rodney Davis talks about a picture of himself, fellow Illinois Rep. John Shimkus and former Vice President Dan Quayle, taken when Davis worked in Shimkus’ office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Rodney Davis was a staffer in fellow Republican Rep. John Shimkus’ Illinois office before running for Congress.

Davis, now 48, worked for Shimkus for 16 years.

Senate Poised for Immigration Votes With Uncertain Outcome
None of the proposals appear to have support of at least 60 senators

An immigration proposal by Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley has the support of President Donald Trump but faces strong opposition from Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate is likely to hold test votes Thursday on four immigration proposals, none of which has an obvious route to passage or a clear-cut coalition of lawmakers backing it.

Democrats emerging from a meeting late Wednesday were noncommittal about their support for a compromise reached by the so-called Common Sense Coalition, one of the four proposals likely to get a cloture vote when the chamber reconvenes Thursday. Sixty votes are needed to advance.

And They’re Off! Senate Finally Votes to Proceed on Immigration
Votes on amendments expected soon

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had some harsh words for his Democratic colleagues before the chamber approved the motion to proceed to immigration legislation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After two days of the equivalent of a legislative staring contest, the Senate has decided to move along toward immigration legislation. But this is just the beginning, and feelings are a little raw over how things have unfolded so far. 

The chamber approved, by voice vote Wednesday morning, a motion to proceed to the expected legislative vehicle for an immigration overhaul. 

Senators Latch Onto Olympic Snowboarder to Pump Immigration Agenda
Chloe Kim’s parents immigrated to U.S. from South Korea in 1982

Chloe Kim won a gold medal in the women’s snowboarding halfpipe in the Pyeongchang games. (TeamUSA.org)

Democratic senators and immigrant rights activists latched onto Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim’s Korean-American roots as they continue to push for immigration-friendly measures in Congress.

Kim, 17, whose parents moved to the United States in 1982 from South Korea, won the gold medal in the women’s snowboarding halfpipe competition in Pyeongchang.

Opinion: The ‘Dreamer’ Fight Could End in One of Three Ways
Senate has launched debate, House soon to follow

Supporters of so-called Dreamers, immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, protest outside the Capitol on Jan. 21. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It began more than 16 years ago with two senators, a Democrat and a Republican, offering heart-tugging stories about young constituents buffeted by immigration laws.

For Utah’s Orrin Hatch, it was the tale of a boy named Danny, who was brought to this country as a six-year-old by his mother who had crossed the border illegally. By the time Danny was 14, he was roaming the streets of Salt Lake City without supervision.

Senators Ponder How to Break Criminal Justice Logjam
With Trump not on board with bipartisan bill, “we’re stuck,” Grassley says

Chairman Charles E. Grassley and the Senate Judiciary Committee will mark up a bipartisan criminal justice bill next week, but the White House supports only one piece of it. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Judiciary Committee members grappled Thursday with the best strategy to overhaul the nation’s criminal justice system, since the leading bill has broad bipartisan support but the White House apparently backs only one part of it.

Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa set a markup next week for a bill that represents a hard-negotiated compromise — first struck in 2015 — that backers say would pass the Senate with a bipartisan supermajority if brought to the floor. It is expected to easily advance from the committee and could be a signature legislative accomplishment for the Senate.

Trump Likely Has Authority To Extend DACA Deadline, Experts Say
Competing camps within administration further complicate murky situation

Immigration rights demonstrators march in September from the White House to the Trump International Hotel and the Justice Department to oppose President Trump's decision to end the DACA program. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Legal experts dispute a claim from some senior Trump administration officials that President Donald Trump lacks the legal authority to extend his own deadline for ending an immigration program that protects nearly 700,00 people from deportation.

Senior White House and Cabinet officials in recent days have sent mixed messages about whether Trump could merely amend a September executive order that gave Congress until March 5 to legalize the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Senate Immigration Debate to Begin With Blank Slate
“The amendment process will be fair to all sides,” McConnell says

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised a “level playing field” for the immigration debate likely to take place next week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday he will kick off next week’s debate over the fate of 690,000 “Dreamers” with a shell bill that does not include immigration-related language.

The debate “will have an amendment process that will ensure a level playing field at the outset,” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor.

Republicans Divided on Minimum Needed for Immigration Deal
White House, conservatives pushing four pillars while others open to just two

Senate Republican Conference Chairman. John Thune, R-S.D., talks with reporters on Wednesday during the House and Senate Republican retreat at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Immigration negotiations are moving so slowly that congressional leaders haven’t even agreed on which policy areas must be addressed as part of a deal — a fissure that exists even within the Republican Party.

The White House and many House Republicans say that at a bare minimum, four pillars need to be addressed in any bill: border security, protections for “Dreamers” who will lose their legal status with the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, family-sponsored visas and the Diversity Visa lottery program.