$840 Million of Border Crisis 'Emergency' Spending Bill Goes to Other Issues
Nearly a third of Senate Democrats’ version of President Barack Obama’s $3.7 billion emergency supplemental appropriations spending bill for the border crisis will be spent on other issues than the border crisis if it were to pass, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee announced on Wednesday.
An analysis of the spending in the emergency supplemental appropriations bill released by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) shows that $615 million of the president’s spending request would be for wildfire fighting, and $225 million of the bill is for spending on the Iron Dome in Israel.
“The supplemental includes $615 million in emergency firefighting funds requested for the Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service,” Mikulski’s Senate Appropriations Committee said in a release. It goes on:
These funds are needed to cover anticipated fire suppression funding shortfalls for the remainder of 2014. These funds will prevent the Forest Service from having to borrow money from other funds, such as fire prevention, timber and construction projects, or other programs. For the past two years, Congress has been forced to appropriate more than $1 billion to repay funds that were transferred from other programs to pay for firefighting shortfalls.
The bill includes $225 million in Department of Defense emergency supplemental funding for Israel to procure additional Iron Dome interceptors,” the committee added. “The ongoing crisis in Israel and Gaza has resulted in thousands of rockets being launched at Israeli cities and towns, and the Iron Dome missile defense system has proven highly effective at neutralizing these threats.
For what the Democrats and the president say will deal with the border crisis, Mikulski’s committee says that $1.1 billion of the money will go to the Department of Homeland Security, $124.5 million to the Department of Justice, $1.2 billion to the Department of Health and Human Services, and $300 million to the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The DHS money is meant for dealing with apprehending, detaining, and removing families and illegal aliens who don’t qualify for asylum—and helping people who do qualify through the process.
The DOJ money, Mikulksi’s team says, is for new judges and other legal costs like representation for the illegal aliens.
The HHS money is for handling the costs of housing and helping the illegal aliens while they’re in U.S. custody in various facilities across the country.
The USAID money is aimed at international law enforcement support, broadcasting services to send various messages into these foreign countries, and for various social services in those countries.
“The bill is a responsible solution,” Mikulski said in a Tuesday statement. “It provides a total of $3.57 billion to meet essential and immediate needs. The total amount of the President’s request will be needed. However, based on a review of what is needed in calendar year 2014 to meet needs at the border, the bill reduces the President’s request by $1 billion.”
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 03:15:00 GMT
Tea Party’s Joe Carr Looks to Ride Anti-Amnesty ‘Wave’ Past Lamar Alexander
Joe Carr remembers exactly where he was when he found out that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his race to the largely unknown political upstart David Brat.
As he finished up a meeting with a group of about 75 Tea Party supporters in Obion County, someone waved a smartphone and announced the startling news.
“The place went nuts… it exploded,” Carr said, pointing out that the event went long past 10:00 as supporters began discussing what was possible in his Republican primary challenge to Sen. Lamar Alexander.
“All of a sudden now the attention the attention turns to us; now it becomes ‘Yes we can.’ People were saying ‘Yes we can’ with hope; now we say ‘Yes we can’ with expectation, and it’s literally taken off since then,” he said.
Carr discussed his race with Breitbart News prior to Tuesday’s rally on his behalf with radio talk show host Laura Ingraham in Nashville.
As fate would have it, Carr already had a meeting with Ingraham scheduled in Washington, D.C., even before the Virginia surprise.
Ingraham, suddenly in the spotlight as a central figure for tackling Cantor’s support for immigration reform, indicated that she would be willing to support Carr’s unlikely challenge to Alexander.
It was certainly a bright moment for his campaign. And on Wednesday, Carr received the endorsement of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, arguably the most significant endorsement a primary challenger could receive.
Alexander’s team, meanwhile, has dribbled out a series of endorsements from former star Republicans, including former Sen. Fred Thompson, Gov. Mike Huckabee, and Speaker Newt Gingrich.
“If anyone who wants to pick a fight with Lamar Alexander for supposedly not being conservative enough, well, you might want to pick a fight with me first,” Huckabee declares in one of Alexander’s ads.
“Please, Mike, don’t embarrass yourself,” Carr scoffed during the interview. “He doesn’t want me fighting him; he’s not even from here.”
“These guys have been around since the Stone Age in Republican politics; of course they’re going to stick together,” Carr added.
For Carr, Ingraham’s rally was the last chance to make a big splash before the August 7 primary election. Early voting in the state already started last Friday.
Carr knows he faces tough odds against a more established, better funded candidate, but he is more excited about what’s possible.
“There’s a wave growing,” he said, as people filed into the hall. His campaign, he noted, was “spontaneous” and “organic,” making it harder to measure just how motivated his supporters are.
“When you look at Lamar’s Facebook page… you oughta go just for shits and grins, as we say,” he said, pointing out that it was swamped with comments from his supporters.
“There’s something moving in Tennessee,” he said, describing it as something outside of the conventional political model.
“Throw all the models out,” Carr said, predicting a high turnout in the competitive primary election. “There could be some surprises.”
Like Brat, Carr has spent most of his time focusing on Alexander’s record of supporting immigration reform, which the campaign sees as his Achilles heel.
“There’s no question it’s his greatest weakness, because it’s my greatest strength,” Carr said.
Carr has a record of battling illegal immigration on the state level.
Although Tennessee is not a border state, Carr cited up to a quarter of a million illegal immigrants living in the state, including 81,000 undocumented minors putting a burden on the state.
“It is a serious issue for Tennessee,” he said.
Carr points to tough reforms on illegal immigration that he personally worked on in the Tennessee House of Representatives. During his fights, Carr explained, he frequently found himself on the wrong side of the Republican establishment.
“It’s always the Republican leadership,” he said, pointing to the influence of the Chamber of Commerce and a series of big business lobbyists to help bring in more cheap labor.
He dismissed critics who suggest that Republicans lack compassion in the immigration reform debate.
“There’s nothing more compassionate than the law when it's equally and fairly applied to everybody without regard to race, creed, color, or national origin,” he said.
In response to Carr’s attacks, Alexander has stiffly defended his support for the Senate immigration reform bill—one of fourteen Republicans who voted in favor of it.
“I voted to double border security, to end perpetual amnesty, and create a legal immigration system, and if anybody’s got a better idea, they should suggest it,” Alexander said. In response to the flood of unaccompanied minors crossing the border, last week Alexander called for the National Guard to be sent to the border.
But Ingraham and Carr spent their rally on Tuesday skewering Alexander’s support for the bill—much to the delight of the crowd, who are increasingly attentive to the issue.
Dozens of signs outside the Nashville hotel read, “Say No To Amnesty Vote Joe Carr.”
In spite of his enthusiasm, Carr is facing some difficult hurdles in his campaign.
The state of Tennessee with a primary that has no runoff election, meaning that Alexander only has to earn a majority of the votes to win.
That might have saved Republicans like Chris McDaniel in Mississippi, who came up short in the election against Thad Cochran—only to lose in the runoff election. But in underdog elections, it can be an advantage, as demonstrated by Sen. Ted Cruz’s winning campaign against Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst.
Tennessee also has an open primary, meaning that any Democrat who wants to vote for Alexander can do so.
But Carr explains that if he loses, he’ll be comfortable with the verdict of the voters.
“We will not say that someone came in and cost us the race, we won’t do that, because that’s not the case,” he said. “If we fail we have no one to blame but ourselves.”
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:50:00 GMT
Arizona Gov: Feds Unsure of Identities of Illegal Immigrant 'Sponsors'
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said federal officials confirmed during a Tuesday conference call that illegal immigrant children are being released to adults or "sponsors" whose identities the federal government often cannot verify.
The Republican governor said she "was confirmed what I have long suspected" during the call – "the Obama administration has specifically chosen to avoid its due diligence and is releasing Unaccompanied Alien Children into the care and custody of so-called ‘sponsors’ -- individuals about whom the administration does not check immigration or deportation status."
According to a leaked Department of Homeland Security report that Breitbart Texas obtained, "fewer than 50% of the unaccompanied children have been discharged to a mother or father." The report found that "adult siblings," "aunts," "uncles," "grandparents," or "more distant relatives, family, or associates" make up the majority of adults who are picking up the "unaccompanied" children. And many adults have showed up repeatedly to claim various children.
“As a Governor, it’s beyond frustrating that, once again, this administration deliberately neglects its duty to act in a responsible manner and uphold the law," she said. "But as a mother, it’s unconscionable that federal officials willingly release children into the permanent custody of people of which little – if anything – is known."
Brewer called on President Barack Obama to "immediately correct this practice and expedite the removal of illegal aliens to their home country."
"The American people have had enough," Brewer said. "They demand immediate action to return illegal aliens – whether adults or minors – to their countries of origin and secure our border. I am confident voters will hold our elected officials accountable at the ballot box.”
Recent polling confirms that a majority of Americans agree with Brewer in wanting the illegal immigrant children sent back as quickly as possible. A Gallup poll even found that illegal immigration is now the "top problem" facing Americans.
Brewer said she and other governors were on the conference call with Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell, and two White House officials.
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:42:34 GMT
Sarah Palin Endorses Joe Carr for Senate Against Lamar Alexander
On Wednesday, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin endorsed conservative Tennessee state representative Joe Carr in his primary bid to oust incumbent Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN).
Carr has been hammering Alexander before the August 7th primary for voting for the Senate's Gang of Eight comprehensive amnesty bill even after he was warned by law enforcement officials that it would exacerbate the border crisis. Even Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) voted against the final bill.
Palin thanked Alexander for his service and then promptly said it is time for new leaders who will have the guts to tell the Obama administration, "no mas."
"Unfortunately, advocating and voting for amnesty, cash for clunkers, bailouts, raising the debt ceiling, and many controversial Obama administration nominees has marred the incumbent’s record," Palin wrote on her Facebook page. "It’s time for a change."
Palin's announcement comes a day after conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham, who powered Dave Brat to a shocking upset win over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) last month, campaigned for Brat in Tennessee on Tuesday evening.
“I am here, my friends, to help you retire the political equivalent of your old plaid sweater,” she said at the rally, as Breitbart News reported.
Palin said Carr, "a citizen legislator who brings his small business experience to bear in the Tennessee General Assembly," is "the new voice Tennessee needs in the U.S. Senate!"
"He’s stood up to those in his own party, fighting to enact some of the toughest illegal immigration legislation in the country and working to make Tennessee the 4th most business friendly state in the nation," she added. "Joe knows that government is most often the problem, not the solution, and he will work to reduce the size of our federal bureaucracy and always use the Constitution as his guide."
Palin also said it was disappointing and "pretty unbelievable" that Alexander has refused to debate Carr because "the good people of Tennessee deserve to hear from both these candidates to know who will be on their side and who will choose the Washington status quo."
"The conservative grassroots patriots in Tennessee have clearly spoken. When I visited there earlier this month, I was impressed by all the energy and momentum behind Joe Carr," she said. "Please join me in supporting him as the Volunteer State’s next Senator!"
Former South Carolina Senator and Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint has said that Palin's endorsement is the most important in a GOP primary.
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:23:00 GMT
Jeff Sessions: Boehner Group's Border Plan an 'Institutional Surrender' to Obama's 'Planned Illegality'
Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), an immigration hawk, shredded House Speaker John Boehner's working group border crisis recommendations in a Wednesday afternoon statement, calling Boehner’s plan an “institutional surrender to the planned illegality” of President Barack Obama.
“The border crisis is the direct and predictable result of the President’s sustained policies undermining America’s immigration laws,” Sessions said in his statement on the Boehner working group proposal.
The President’s continued determination to carry out this nullification remains the singular obstacle in the way of restoring lawfulness. It is therefore odd that the House working group did not mention President Obama even once in their released findings. Indeed, they made no mention of the President’s threat of sweeping new executive actions. Multiple reports indicate that these imminent actions are likely to take the form of administrative amnesty and work permits for 5-6 million illegal immigrants. Any attempt at improving the border situation would be rendered utterly void if the President follows through on his dramatic nullification acts. How can Congress ignore this brewing constitutional crisis? In fact, granting the President new funds without tackling these orders would be an institutional surrender to the planned illegality.
Sessions expressed disgust with how Boehner’s working group plan, drafted by Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), seems to allow any person who enters the United States illegally an asylum hearing.
“The document also appears to cement the idea that anyone who shows up unlawfully at our border is presumptively entitled to an asylum hearing in the United States,” Sessions said. “This cannot be so. We cannot allow unjustified claims of asylum to overwhelm our system. Also, because the working group does not explicitly demand a narrowing of the conditions for asylum, the end result of their plan may paradoxically be that more illegal immigrants are eventually granted asylum—enticing even greater numbers to arrive on the promise of speedy grants of lawful status.”
Sessions continued by noting that he has serious concerns with the border security provisions in the Boehner working group’s recommendations.
“The document calls for President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security to develop a ‘strategy’ and ‘plan’ to secure the border, which is less than what is actually required to do under current law,” Sessions said. “Meanwhile, it omits any discussion of restoring collapsed interior enforcement. If portions of this plan are as similar to the Gang of Eight bill as they appear to be, it could open the door to substantial legislative mischief in the Senate. With only days before Congress’ planned adjournment, a better strategy would be to focus on blocking the President’s threat of new executive actions—and insist that he enforce current laws—while these complex proposals are studied and revisited.”
Sessions also noted that he is upset that Boehner’s working group makes no mention of the effects this border crisis is having on American citizens, and instead seemingly focuses entirely on how to help the illegal aliens.
“Finally, it is curious that the proposal makes no mention of the needs of Americans. Yes, this is a humanitarian crisis,” Sessions said. “But it is also a legal crisis. And so too is it a crisis for the American people who have begged and pleaded for a lawful system of immigration that serves their interests, protects their jobs, and increases their wages. Republicans should not be timid or apologetic, but present a bold defense of the American people. The House GOP has so far been the last bulwark protecting working Americans; it would be tragic for that defense to buckle in the closing days of this Congress.”
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:21:43 GMT