This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending May 26

Week Ending May 26

NCLR denounces Trump’s slash and burn budget: This week, the administration released its budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018.  The proposed budget eliminates $1.7 trillion in funding that provides basic living standards to millions of Americans, gutting key programs and assistance that help families afford food, housing and health care. At the same time, the administration is asking for an increase of  $4.5 billion (in addition to the existing $19 billion in immigration enforcement each year) to implement the President’s Executive Orders that expand a deportation force that has ripped families and communities apart. In a press release, NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía stated, “With this budget, the administration is proposing taking food off the tables of American families, taking health coverage from those who need it most, and relegating education to the bottom of the priorities list, all while helping the wealthy get wealthier and unnecessarily directing billions more to mass deportations designed to split families apart and leave millions of citizen children destitute.”

NCLR releases new report on financial inclusion: This week NCLR released a new report, Small Dollars for Big Change: Immigrant Financial Inclusion and Access to Credit, which explores the linkages between immigration legal services and financial products to finance fees for applications such as DACA, family petitions, and naturalization. The report highlights potential solutions to help immigrants who are ready to adjust their status but need help financing the process with small-dollar credit options. The report discusses innovative solutions for increasing immigrant financial inclusion and promising approaches to expand the availability of small-dollar credit products that are mainstream and affordable instead of predatory.

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Trump’s Budget: A Slash-and-Burn Approach that Will Hurt Americans

Today the president released his first full budget proposal for the fiscal year 2018, and it’s as bad as we expected. Included in the plan are drastic cuts to many of the most successful assistance programs that have helped working and middle-class families move ahead during tough economic times. It would cut $1.7 trillion in funding that provides a lifeline to millions of Americans, and it would gut key programs that help families afford food, housing, and health care.

A budget is a moral document that should reflect our values. The Trump Budget is an assault on children and working families.

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The Trump Budget: Padding the Wallets of the Wealthy at Your Expense

By Amelia Collins, Policy Analyst, NCLR

Photo: peasap

Next Tuesday, the Trump administration is expected to release its full fiscal year 2018 (FY18) budget request, which will be a blueprint for funding levels for federal programs. Many of those programs, like nutrition assistance for families, affordable housing initiatives, early childhood education opportunities, and Medicaid and Social Security, help millions of Americans.

If the “skinny budget” Trump released in March is any indication, the full Trump budget will gut programs that provide basic living standards for millions of low-income Americans to pay for tax cuts for millionaires, to increase defense spending, and to ramp up immigration enforcement by funding an unnecessary wall and a deportation force.

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Weekly Washington Outlook — February 8, 2016

U.S. Capitol 

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

House:

On Tuesday, the House will vote on legislation under suspension of the rules:

  • R. 3016– Veterans Employment, Education, and Healthcare Improvement Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Brad Wenstrup / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
  • R. 3106– Construction Reform Act of 2016, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
  • R. 2360– Career-Ready Student Veterans Act (Sponsored by Rep. Mark Takano / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
  • R. 3262– To provide for the conveyance of land of the Illiana Health Care System of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Danville, Illinois (Sponsored by Rep. John Shimkus / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
  • R. 4056– To Authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to convey to the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs all right, title, and interest of the United States to the property known as “The Community Living Center” at the Lake Baldwin Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic, Orlando, Florida, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. John Mica / Veterans’ Affairs)
  • R. 677– American Heroes COLA Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ralph Abraham / Veterans’ Affairs)
  • R. 4437– To extend the deadline for the submittal of the final report required by the Commission on Care (Sponsored by Rep.Jeff Miller / Veterans’ Affairs)
  • R. 3234– VA Medical Center Recovery Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Martha Roby / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
  • R. 2915– Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act (Sponsored by Rep. Julia Brownley / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
  • R. 3036– 9/11 Memorial Act (Sponsored by Rep. Tom MacArthur / Natural Resources Committee)
  • R. 890– To correct the boundaries of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System Unit P16 (Sponsored by Rep. Curt Clawson / Natural Resources Committee)
  • R. 3894– To amend title 10, United States Code, to require the prompt notification of State Child Protective Services by military and civilian personnel of the Department of Defense required by law to report suspected instances of child abuse and neglect (Sponsored by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard / Armed Services Committee)

On Wednesday, the House will consider the following:

  • R. 3293– Scientific Research in the National Interest Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith / Science, Space, and Technology Committee)
  • R. 3442– Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2015 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Kenny Marchant / Ways and Means Committee)

 The balance of the week, the House will consider the following:

  • R. 2017– Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers / Energy and Commerce Committee)

Senate:

On Monday, the Senate will consider the nomination of Rebecca Ebinger to be U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Iowa.

On Tuesday and the balance of the week, the Senate will resume consideration of S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act, as well as additional economic sanctions for North Korea in response to the country’s latest long-range missile test.

White House:

On Monday, the president will host President Sergio Mattarella of Italy at the White House. During their meeting, the leaders will discuss shared efforts to counter ISIL and the global refugee crisis. They will also exchange views on economic developments in Europe and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

On Tuesday, President Obama will attend meetings at the White House.

On Wednesday, nine years after he announced his candidacy for president, the president will return to the place where his political career began by traveling to Springfield, Ill. In the evening, the president will travel to the San Jose, Calif. area.

On Thursday, President Obama will attend a DSCC event and a DNC event. Later in the day, the president will travel to the Los Angeles area to tape an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and attend DNC events.

On Friday, President Obama will travel to the Palm Springs, Calif. area. On Monday, February 15th and Tuesday, February 16th, the president will host a summit with leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, Calif. to continue important conversations about the Asia-Pacific region. Following the conclusion of the summit, President Obama will return to Washington.

Also this Week:

Budget – The president will release his final budget on Tuesday. While Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan is not scheduled to testify, a number of Administration officials will appear on Capitol Hill with their requests. Among these, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will testify Thursday before the House Appropriations Committee’s Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee on Thursday. He will also appear before the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday. Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell will make her budget request to the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. In addition, Secretary Burwell will testify before the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will appear before the same Committee on Thursday.

Monetary Policy – Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen is scheduled to testify on Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee, as well as Thursday before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. She will answer questions about her semiannual monetary report to Congress.

Immigration – The House Judiciary Committee will convene Thursday to hear about the EB-5 Regional Center Program. The EB-5 program enables certain immigrants to obtain green cards, provided they meet standards for commercial investment within the United States. Elsewhere, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee holds a hearing previously postponed on Wednesday on Canada’s fast-track refugee plan and security implications for the United States

Financial Services – The House Financial Services Housing and Insurance Subcommittee has a hearing scheduled Thursday focusing on the “health” of the Federal Housing Administration. Additionally, on Thursday the House Financial Services Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit will hold a hearing to discuss new potential regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), including those on payday loans.

Nutrition – The House will vote on legislation this week (H.R. 2017) that gives restaurants flexibility to comply with Food and Drug Administration regulations on the display of nutritional information.  The vote on this legislation comes as the House Education and Workforce Committee considers how to move forward with a child nutrition reauthorization.  The Senate has put forward a bipartisan reauthorization that is awaiting a floor vote.

Weekly Washington Outlook — March 9, 2015

Photo: Harris Walker, Creative Commons

Photo: Harris Walker, Creative Commons

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

House:

The House is in recess, returning the week of March 16.

Senate:

On Monday evening, the Senate will vote on a series of executive nominations.  Later in the week, the Majority Leader will bring up a bill related to human trafficking from Senator Cornyn (R-Texas).  It is possible the Senate could also confirm Loretta Lynch’s nomination to be attorney general this week.

White House:

On Monday, the president will deliver remarks at the National League of Cities annual Congressional City Conference in Washington, DC. In the afternoon, President Obama will host European Council President Donald Tusk at the White House. The President and President Tusk will discuss a range of issues, including the situation in Ukraine, Russia, economic growth, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), energy security, climate, and countering violent extremism and terrorism.

On Tuesday, the president will travel to Atlanta to deliver remarks at Georgia Tech. He will also attend a DNC event.

On Wednesday, President Obama will attend meetings at the White House.

On Thursday, the president will travel to the Los Angeles area to attend a DNC event.

On Friday, President Obama will attend meetings at the White House.

Also this Week:

Immigration – After last week’s procedural vote on Senator Collins’ bill to block and defund the President’s immigration actions, it is unlikely the Senate will take another vote on this in the next few weeks.

Human Trafficking – This week, the Senate will vote on a bipartisan bill sponsored by Senators Cornyn (R-Texas), Wyden (D-Ore.), Kirk (R-Ill.), and Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the “Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.”  The measure was approved unanimously in the Senate Judiciary Committee and is designed to empower law enforcement to crack down on traffickers and provide additional restitution for victims.  Senate staff members believe it is unlikely that this bill will be amended on the Senate floor to include language related to unaccompanied children or the President’s immigration executive actions.

Budget – Next week is budget week!  When the House returns, Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) is scheduled to release his budget resolution on Tuesday, March 17.  Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) has scheduled a two-day mark-up on his version of a budget beginning Wednesday, March 18. The bipartisan budget agreement for the last two fiscal years negotiated by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senator Patti Murray (D-Wash.) will lapse at the end of this year.  The reconciliation process between the House and Senate budget, expected in the Spring, could include spending cuts long sought by Republicans. It is also likely anti-immigrant amendments related to tax, health, benefit, and other issues could come up in this process.

Debt Limit – The debt limit will once again technically be reached on Sunday, March 15.  Beginning on March 13, the Treasury is expected to use extraordinary measures to prevent default while Congressional Leadership determines how to raise or suspend the statutory limit.  Over the weekend, Majority Leader McConnell said he did not intend to risk a potential default over political brinksmanship.

Nominations – Majority Leader McConnell allegedly plans to bring Loretta Lynch’s nomination to be attorney general to the Senate floor as soon as this week.  He is seeking a time agreement to schedule debate and votes.  Last week, Senate Democrats sent a letter asking for swift confirmation and accusing Republicans of holding this up over the President’s executive actions on immigration.

Education – The Senate HELP Committee is continuing bipartisan negotiations to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (last reauthorized as No Child Left Behind).  After rumors an agreement had been reached last week on a core piece of the bill, the accountability system, it seems any announcement has been postponed until later this month or early April.  In the House, there is some speculation that the Student Success Act could be brought back to the floor next week.  This partisan reauthorization of the law had to be pulled from consideration at the end of February due to lack of support.