Richard J Durbin

Tech Lobbyists Join Fight Over DACA and Immigration
Company execs lambast decision to rescind Obama-era program

Immigration rights demonstrators march from the White House to the Trump Hotel and the Justice Department to oppose President Trump's decision to end the DACA program for "dreamers" on Sept. 5. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Tech industry giants are beginning to mobilize their deep K Street networks to pressure lawmakers as Congress tries to address the legal status of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children.

A week after the sector’s top brass, such as Microsoft President Brad Smith, lambasted the Trump administration’s decision to rescind an Obama-era program for those young undocumented immigrants, tech industry lobbyists are looking for a way to turn their bosses’ words into a strategy on Capitol Hill.

Senate Set to Pass Defense Authorization Measure

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, left, seen here with Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, expressed regret the chamber could not agree on how to bring up all the amendments senators wanted to vote on. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With the Senate’s 2018 defense authorization bill passing a procedural hurdle Thursday, the chamber is expected to vote on final passage of the massive military policy bill Monday.

The Senate voted 84-9 to invoke cloture and limit debate on a substitute version of the bill that includes 104 amendments.

Photos of the Week: Schumer, Pelosi Center Stage, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Taxes
The week of Sept. 11 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., attend a news conference on Thursday on the Child Care for Working Families Act, which focuses on affordable early learning and care. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The week of Sept. 11 is coming to a close, and it was another eventful one. President Donald Trump dined on Wednesday with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, after which there was a debate about whether a deal was reached on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and border security.

“Hamilton” actor and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda was spotted several times on the Hill this week as he lobbied for arts funding. And discussions of a tax overhaul continued this week as it became clear the GOP wants to avoid another health care-like debacle

Mitch McConnell’s Myanmar Balancing Act
Senate majority leader defends Suu Kyi but calls for end to violence against Rohingya

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of Myanmar, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., at the Capitol last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday the violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar must end, while seeking to blunt criticism of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, his longtime ally and friend.

“In my view publicly condemning Aung San Suu Kyi, the best hope for democratic reform in Burma, is simply not constructive,” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor.

Drama Awaits Senate Debate on Pentagon Policy
No lack of substantive, high-profile issues for defense authorization measure

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and ranking member Jack Reed, D-R.I., will manage a sprawling floor debate on the Pentagon policy bill starting this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate will take up the massive Pentagon policy bill this week, providing a stage for high-profile debate on simmering national security issues ranging from transgender troops to the growing North Korea nuclear threat.

Senators have already filed hundreds of amendments to the defense bill, among them language to allow transgender people to serve openly in the military, establish a North Korea strategy, limit arms sales to U.S. allies, define U.S. objectives in Afghanistan and block the creation of a new military service.

Photos of the Week: DACA Protests, Harvey Relief and Leadership Smiles and Frowns
The week of Sept. 5 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal returns to a meeting with Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, and the Senate Judiciary staff on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress returned from its August recess to a short but dramatic week. President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced his decision to end a program that shielded from deportation undocumented individuals who were brought to the United States as children. Protests erupted around the nation, including in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Also this week, Congress considered a Hurricane Harvey relief package, which made headlines Wednesday afternoon after Trump struck a deal with Democratic leaders to attach certain provisions to that measure.

Donald Trump Jr. Talks to Senate Investigators
But details beyond opening statement remain private for now

Reporters hold up their smart phones to try to catch a photo of Donald Trump Jr., as he returns to a meeting with the Senate Judiciary staff on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump Jr. spent about five hours Thursday answering questions from Senate Judiciary Committee staff about a meeting he set up between his father’s presidential campaign and a Russian lawyer, but the details beyond his opening statement remain private for now.

Several senators attended the closed-door, voluntary interview with the president’s son, part of the committee’s probe into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Only Senate staffers asked questions, however, and the committee will have to vote at a later time on whether to make the transcript public.

Analysis: Trump Hits Congress With Immigration Quandary
Administration’s decision on DACA could derail work on other items

Demonstrators march from the White House down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Trump International Hotel and the Justice Department on Tuesday to oppose President Donald Trump's decision to phase out the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Republican legislative agenda for the remainder of the year was thrown into question Tuesday after the Trump administration announced its decision to gradually wind down an Obama-era program affecting undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

The White House essentially put Congress on a six-month clock to advance a comprehensive immigration overhaul, an achievement that has so far been unreachable for many years due to the complexity of the issue and vast differences of opinions.

Battle Lines Forming on DACA Fix
Differences emerge on what an immigration bill should include

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said the status of DACA beneficiaries was one of many immigration issues Congress has failed to adequately address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 9:27 p.m. | Congressional Republicans and Democrats were quick to promise legislative action to protect children of undocumented immigrants after the Trump administration announced Tuesday it would end an Obama-era program that sheltered them from deportation. But lawmakers did not agree on what a bill should include.

The battle lines have already started taking shape, with lawmakers divided in three main camps: those who want to swiftly pass stand-alone legislation to provide children of undocumented immigrants with permanent legal status under certain conditions; those who want Congress to address the issue in a comprehensive overhaul of the immigration system; and those who want something in between.

Trump Ends DACA Immigration Program — With a Twist
President calls on members to help him find a legislative fix

Immigration rights activists rally in Dupont Circle in Washington before their May Day march to the White House to voice opposition to President Donald Trump's immigration policies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 11:24 a.m. President Donald Trump, answering pleas from his base but again breaking with many congressional Republicans, on Tuesday ended Barack Obama’s program that shielded from deportation individuals who came to the United States with their parents before their 16th birthday.

“The policy was implemented unilaterally,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday while making the formal announcement, referring to then-President Barack Obama implementing the program via an executive order. Sessions called the Obama-era program “unconstitutional.”