congressional-affairs

Court’s Gerrymandering Punt Looks to Land in North Carolina
Current House map was drawn by partisan greed, its author says. Is that unconstitutional?

Gerrymandering activists gather on the steps of the Supreme Court on March 28 as the court prepares to hear the a Maryland partisan gerrymandering case. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When it sidestepped an opening to decide the future of partisan gerrymandering this week, the Supreme Court may have turned a tobacco grower and farm equipment dealer into one of the most important people in American politics.

The farmer and John Deere salesman, 47-year-old David Lewis, is also an influential state legislator who represents the rural geographic center of North Carolina — the state that will now be Ground Zero in the three-decadeslong debate over whether electoral boundaries can ever be drawn with so much partisan motivation that they’re unconstitutional.

House Immigration Compromise Faces Dim Prospects Amid Conservative Opposition
No compelling case for Freedom Caucus members to vote for it, Meadows says

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is among the conservatives opposed to a compromise immigration bill that President Donald Trump has endorsed and that the House is expected to vote on this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Republican immigration bill negotiated in recent weeks by cross sections of the House GOP Conference faces dim prospects for passage after several conservatives indicated opposition to the measure Tuesday.

House Republican leaders invited President Donald Trump to the Capitol on Tuesday evening to try to sell the legislation to the conference. And while Trump said he supports the compromise measure — along with one by House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte that most conservatives in the conference prefer — it does not appear to have swayed enough conservatives to ensure the bill’s passage.

‘Trump Show’ Makes Tour Stop in Capitol Basement
President calls out Mark Sanford, opts against sticking to immigration

Speaker Paul D. Ryan escorts President Donald Trump to the House Republicans’ meeting Tuesday in the Capitol basement. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans might have gone into their Tuesday evening meeting with President Donald Trump expecting a discussion about immigration policy, but what they got was an episode of what might be dubbed “The Trump Show.”

The president did discuss dueling immigration bills crafted by members of the GOP conference. And he urged them to send him a bill that closes what his team dubs “loopholes” that he claims compelled his administration to institute a zero-tolerance program that prosecutes all adult migrants who try to enter the United States illegally, a misdemeanor, even if they arrive with minor children.

With Immigration Controversy as Backdrop, GOP Senate Candidates Blast Democrats
Candidates in Missouri, West Virginia and Pennsylvania criticize Democratic bill to address separation policy

Patrick Morrisey, who is running against Sen. Joe Manchin III, is using the current immigration controversy to blast his Democratic opponent. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While senators in both parties said Tuesday they want to solve the crisis of parents and children being separated before immigration cases are adjudicated, some Republican Senate candidates are focusing on criticizing Democratic incumbents who have signed on to a legislative fix.

At least three Senate nominees have come out on the attack against a proposal led by Judiciary ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California that would bar parents and children from being separated by the Homeland Security Department except in unusual cases, such as when the parent does not have custodial rights.

Analysis: Trump Repeats False Claim on Dems, Family Separation
Cummings to GOP: “We need you to stand up for these children”

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in the Capitol Rotunda on Feb. 28. Despite evidence to the contrary, the president continues to repeat falsehoods about his administration’s immigration policy that separates migrant children from parents, Bennett writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday repeated his false claim that Democrats are solely responsible for his decision to separate migrant children from their parents when they attempt to illegally enter the United States.

“As a result of Democratic-supported loopholes in our federal laws, most illegal immigrant families and minors from Central America … cannot be detained together or released together, only released,” he said during remarks at a small-business conference in Washington, adding that the “crippling loopholes … cause family separation that we don’t want.”

Democratic Senators Ask If CFPB Nominee Worked on Immigration Policy Separating Children and Parents
Kathy Kraninger’s role at OMB involves oversight of DHS and Justice

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wants to know if President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the CFPB was involved in drafting the new immigration enforcement policy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Did President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau approve the administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy that has led to a wave of families being separated near the Southern border?

That is the question posed by Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts to Kathy Kraninger, the program associate director at the Office of Management and Budget whose job includes policy implementation oversight for both the Justice Department and Homeland Security Department, according to the senators.

Steve King Defends Child Detention Centers
Says kids were playing soccer and the facility was air-conditioned when he visited in 2014

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, defended child detention facilities on the border. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Steve King defended the detention facilities where child migrants are being held at the border after being separated from their parents.

The Iowa congressman was asked by TMZ about Democrats calling detention facilities “concentration camps” and said he had been down to one of the facilities in 2014 that was a retrofitted warehouse.

Burgess Heckled At Town Hall About Children at the Border
Responds by blaming countries that migrants are leaving

Republican Rep. Michael Burgess gave multiple non-answer responses when asked about the separation of children and their parents at the border at a town hall in his North Texas district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Michael Burgess was confronted by constituents in a town hall meeting in his North Texas district Monday about the Trump administration’s policy of separating child migrants from their parents at the border.

Speaking at Denton High School, constituents asked him about his stance on undocumented immigrants being separated from their children while they await prosecution, NBC5 reported.

5 Things to Watch in House Immigration Debate This Week
Trump, leadership, conservatives, moderates, and the Senate are all key players to watch in this GOP exercise

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, was involved in negotiating the GOP’s compromise immigration bill but he has not committed to support it. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans this week will vote for the first time in their running eight-year majority on the divisive issue of legalizing certain undocumented immigrants.

The House is expected to hold Thursday votes on two immigration bills that address the legal status of so-called Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, as well as border security and enforcement.

Trump Heads to Hill After Sowing Confusion on Immigration
President, Democrats in war of words over family separation policy

President Donald Trump will huddle with House Republicans on Tuesday afternoon to discuss two immigration overhaul bills. After signaling his opposition last week, he says he supports both. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Senior White House officials say Democrats enraged by the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families should negotiate with Donald Trump. Yet when the president heads to Capitol Hill Tuesday afternoon, he will see only Republican faces.

White House aides want to use the meeting to allow the president, in his own words, to clear up confusion he sowed in the House GOP conference late last week over its dueling immigration bills. He is expected to endorse both measures, with senior administration officials contending both would address the migrant separation issue.