South Dakota

Kristi Noem to NRA: If Dallas Burns You, Come to South Dakota
Dallas city official concerned about marches, protests against pro-gun group

Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., said she would welcome the NRA to her home state to hold its annual convention. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Kristi Noem of South Dakota would be thrilled if the National Rifle Association moved its convention from Dallas to somewhere in her home state.

The gun lobbying giant and political machine plans to hold its annual convention in Dallas in May. Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway has expressed concern over the NRA’s presence in a city that saw five police officers slain by a sniper in 2016 and bore witness to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.

Four Up, Four Down on Senate Immigration Proposals
Bipartisan, Democratic, Republican amendments all blocked

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., right, and Senate minority leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., were not able to convince enough senators on the other side of their respective aisles to advance any of the immigration proposals. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate voted down all four immigration proposals in front of it on Thursday, failing to cut off debate on each one of them and leaving the chamber at a loss on how to proceed, eventually, on the high-profile issue.

First up was a motion to cut off debate on a proposal from Arizona Republican John McCain and Delaware Democrat Chris Coons to provide conditional permanent residence to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program if they meet certain qualifications, and would authorize $110 million annually, for fiscal 2018 through fiscal 2022, for grants for border security activities in states with international or maritime borders.

Nunes Memo Could Weaken FISA, Congressional Panels
Officials worry about compromising sources, chilling intelligence officials

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has pushed releasing a committee-drafted memo despite reservations from the FBI and Justice Department. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Releasing a four-page memo authored by aides to House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., alleging abuse of surveillance power by the FBI could ultimately weaken the process by which U.S. intelligence agencies seek secret court orders to conduct surveillance on foreigners, lawmakers and former intelligence professionals say.

Moreover, releasing the memo could erode the trust between the intelligence community and the congressional intelligence panels, these officials say.

Republican Retreat Heavy on Boasting, Short on Strategy
Divisions within ranks threaten progress on immigration, government spending

Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and South Dakota Sen. John Thune conduct a news conference at the media center during the House and Senate Republican retreat at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Republicans leave the Greenbrier resort on Friday buoyed by their reflections of the accomplishments of the past year. But they also depart with little consensus on how to address the long to-do list awaiting them in Washington, D.C.

Much of the public portion of the GOP retreat was spent touting the recent tax overhaul, cuts to federal regulations, a record number of judicial appointments and an optimistic economic forecast. But the silence on contentious lingering issues such as health care, government spending and immigration was deafening.

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.

More States Jump on Medicaid Work Requirements Bandwagon

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, has signaled openness to approving work requirements for Medicaid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A growing number of mostly Republican-led states are rushing to follow Kentucky’s lead in requiring thousands of people on Medicaid to work or lose health coverage.

The governors of South Dakota, Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina have said in recent weeks that they plan to pursue work requirements for their Medicaid programs, following the Trump administration’s release of guidelines for the concept in January.

Trump Presses McConnell On White House Immigration Plan
President wants his framework as basis of coming floor debate, votes

Hundreds of immigration advocates and supporters attend a rally and march to Trump Tower in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program also known as DACA in August. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday will formally ask Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to use the White House’s immigration overhaul framework as the legislative vehicle he introduces during a coming floor debate on the issue.

“Nearly seven in 10 Americans support an immigration reform package that includes a permanent solution on [the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program], secures the border, ends chain migration, and cancels the visa lottery. These are the four pillars of the White House framework — a plan that will finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century,” Trump will say at the GOP retreat in West Virginia, according to excerpts of his speech released by the White House.

GOP Leaders Confident There Won’t Be a Second Shutdown
Optimism comes despite current opposition from House conservatives and defense hawks

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., talks with reporters at the media center during the House and Senate Republican retreat on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Republican leaders are confident they can avert another government shutdown next week but provided no clear update on whether a deal on the spending caps or immigration could be reached in the near-term.

Congress has yet to pass a long-term spending bill for fiscal year 2018, relying on a series of short-term continuing resolutions to keep the government open. House and Senate leaders from both parties are negotiating a possible two-year spending deal, but optimism about an agreement being close has degraded.

Republicans Remain Hopeful on Infrastructure, but Funding Still an Open Question
‘Congress will have a say’ in infrastructure framework, Thune says

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., talks with reporters after he and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., conducted a news conference at the media center during the House and Senate Republican retreat on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Infrastructure is set to be a major topic of discussion at the GOP retreat, but how to fund a package that could total as much as $1.5 trillion remains an open question that Republican lawmakers must grapple with.

Republican leaders said they will rely significantly on funding commitments from private industry to help offset the cost of the yet to be released package. But funding within the bill — possibly upwards of a quarter of the total money — are also expected to be directed specifically to those regions that can’t bring in enough outside capital to pay for certain projects involving roads, bridges and broadband internet.

Reality Check: Trump’s State of the Union Vision Blurred By Congress
‘The state of our union is strong because our people are strong,’ president says

President Donald Trump applauds during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, as Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Paul D. Ryan look on. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In his first State of the Union address, President Donald Trump described an ambitious vision of Democratic members joining him and Republicans in overhauling immigration policy and rebuilding the country’s aging infrastructure. Reality, however, shows how difficult it all will be.

Trump, after a year of harsh comments and tweets about Democrats, struck a new tone Tuesday — at least for one night — by describing a country in which “all of us” should come “together, as one team, one people, and one American family.” The president who has yet to pass major legislation with a single Democratic vote said he wants “both parties to come together.”