Border Control

The many ways members of Congress can make a stink
Yes, they can donate pay, but they can also get arrested or wear hoodies

Members including, from left, Reps. Luis V. Gutierrez, D-Ill., Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., John Lewis, D-Ga., Judy Chu, D-Calif., Al Green, D-Texas, Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., and others march to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection offices last June in protest of the Trump administration’s policy of separating parents and children at the border. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The border wall blitz, brought to you by Donald Trump and Mike Pence
Dramatic week ends with president touting barrier of ‘steel that has concrete inside’

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive to the Capitol to on Wednesday to urge Senate Republicans to hold the line on his proposed southern border wall and a record-tying partial government shutdown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Eager to shift public opinion in favor of taxpayers funding a southern border wall as part of any legislation to reopen a quarter of the federal government, the White House has deployed its top guns, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, on a public relations blitz.

Several polls show about half of Americans blame the president for the shutdown, while around 35 percent blame Democrats. What’s more, Trump’s approval rating has dipped during the 21-day funding lapse that has left 800,000 federal workers furloughed and without paychecks Friday for the first time. Even a survey by Rassmussen Reports — typically more friendly to conservatives like the president — found most Republicans who responded see a wall as effective but not an emergency.

Raiding military budget for wall would contradict previous Trump administration statements
Mulvaney complained last year of key military projects being underfunded

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter flies over a piece of border fence on Nov. 7 in Mission, Texas. (John Moore/Getty Images file photo)

If President Donald Trump uses emergency powers to tap the military’s construction budget to bankroll a border wall, it would contradict his administration’s previous statements that the so-called milcon programs need more money, not less.

While the president signed into law last September legislation that allocated about $8.1 billion for military construction projects in fiscal 2019, that figure was nearly $800 million less than Trump proposed. And it was almost $1.5 billion less than the military services had wanted at that time.

Trump will address the country Tuesday, visit U.S.-Mexico border Thursday
The president is expected to deliver remarks about border security and the partial government shutdown

President Donald Trump walks from the South Lawn to Marine One on his way to Joint Base Andrews with First Lady Melania Trump Friday July 27, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump will address the country at 9 p.m. Tuesday about border security and the partial government shutdown, two days before he will travel to the southern border.

President Trump’s Tuesday evening border security-shutdown remarks will be in the Oval Office, White House Communications Director Bill Shine said Monday. It's the first time he has held a prime-time address from the iconic room.

Trump’s use of border agents for wall pitch raises legal, ethical questions
Episode is latest example of president’s near-daily busting of Washington norms

Vice President of National Border Patrol Council Hector Garza speaks as President Donald Trump and NBPC Vice President Art Del Cueto, right, listen during a surprise visit to the White House briefing room on day 13 of a partial government shutdown. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump was meeting privately with U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Oval Office Thursday when he suddenly told them, “Let’s go out, see the press.” His idea was for them to explain to reporters “the importance of the wall.” But the spectacle that ensued raises legal and ethical questions.

Experts said the president’s use of the officers in what amounted to a border barrier infomercial on afternoon cable television likely did not run astray of a 1939 law that bars most federal employees from conducting political activities while in their official roles. But they indicated other federal laws and guidelines might have been breached in just the latest example of the 45th president’s insistence on making a splash almost daily and eviscerating Washington norms that have been followed by Republican and Democratic presidents alike for decades.

Bonds and Blockchain: These Republicans Want to Crowdfund the Wall
‘An alternative way to safely invest in border security’

Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., has proposed using Treasury bonds to finance an expansion of the Southern border wall. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

With the government on the brink of a shutdown due to a demand by the White House for $5 billion in taxpayer funds to lengthen the barrier along the Mexican border, a Mississippi congressman has introduced legislation to fund an expansion of the wall through savings bonds.

Republican Rep. Steven Palazzo proposed leveraging special U.S. Treasuries called “border bonds” to finance an expansion of the Southern border wall on Monday, the Sun Herald reported.

Top Oversight Democrat Wants Hearing on Trump ‘Wasting’ DHS Funds
Agency paid consulting firm nearly $14 million to hire two border patrol agents

Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly has called for a public hearing on the Trump administration’s reported wasteful spending on border security. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The second-highest ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is calling for a public hearing on the Trump administration’s reported wasteful spending on border security.

The inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security found that a staffing plan green-lighted by the president has been marred by wasted resources and overlapping responsibilities among employees and contractors.

Immigration Experts: Tear Gas Has Been Used at the Border for Years, But Never on Children
Obama administration introduced gas then reformed polices; Trump administration now uses it more than ever

Immigration experts say the tear gassing of a caravan of asylum seekers represents an unprecedented ramp up in the already rough treatment of migrants at the border. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The use of tear gas by U.S. authorities on asylum-seekers including small children Sunday builds on a legacy of excessive force at the Southern border, but also represents a reversal of reforms made during former President Barack Obama’s second term toward more humane policies, according to data released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection this week and immigrant rights experts.

Reports of parents and children choking as they ran to escape tear gas at the Mexican border, including a photo of a Honduran mother fleeing the toxic clouds of gas with her twin daughters in each hand, have provoked widespread outrage in recent days.

Welcome to the Marvel Political Universe
Presidential and midterm elections are now surrounded by lead-in elections

Girls dressed as characters from “Thor,” pose during an event near the Capitol reflecting pool hosted by Awesome Con in 2014. The U.S. election system is starting to take on aspects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a constant churn of smaller narratives setting up bigger chapters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The American election system has become its own version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Presidential elections every four years used to be the tentpole movie that everyone went to see. Midterms, off-year special elections, primaries — those were for the real political geeks out there. Not anymore. 

The Coincidence of Bomb Recipients, Trump and Far-Right Rhetoric
White House ducks questions about president’s win-at-all-costs polarizing approach

Then-President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally with 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on July 5, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | The recipients of explosive devices sent this week have so far shared a commonality: harsh criticism by President Donald Trump and far-right followers.

But White House officials were in no mood Wednesday to entertain the notion that the president’s descriptions of Democrats as “evil” and news organizations as the “enemy of the people” might have helped lead a bomber to build devices and mail them to Democratic mega-donor George Soros, former President Barack Obama, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and CNN. A building in Miami that houses an office for former Democratic National Committee head Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was also evacuated Wednesday.