Patrick J Toomey

Omnibus Unlikely to Defund 'Sanctuary' Cities
Senate appropriator says it would make it too difficult to pass

Sen. John Boozman said it was unlikely the Senate would move to defund sanctuary cities, as House conservatives are pushing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A top Senate appropriator said Tuesday the final omnibus spending bill would likely not include a provision to defund “sanctuary” cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., suggested in two posts on Twitter that Congress should withhold federal grants for sanctuary cities in the omnibus. His remarks follow the Trump administration’s decision to sue California over three state immigration laws, escalating a battle over sanctuary jurisdictions that began shortly after President Donald Trump took office.

Trump Intensifies War on California’s Immigrant ‘Sanctuaries’
So far, little to show for effort to crack down on illegal immigration

Protesters arrive at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles during a march on Feb. 28. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

The legal struggle over immigrant “sanctuaries” is escalating, and deep-blue California is ground zero.

“This is basically going to war,” Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown said after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week that the Trump administration is suing the state over three recently enacted laws limiting local and state law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration agents.

Gun Debate Unfolds Outside of Senate Judiciary Panel’s Confines
Grassley uses White House meeting to brief Trump

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley used a meeting last week to explain to President Donald Trump the committee’s role in moving gun-related legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley used a White House meeting last week to explain to President Donald Trump the panel’s role in getting a consensus and moving legislation dealing with gun violence and school shootings.

But before the Iowa Republican could finish, Trump pivoted right back to negotiating provisions about age restrictions for gun purchases, a proposal championed by two senators who aren’t on the committee, Pennsylvania Republican Patrick J. Toomey and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin III.

Trump Made No Promises to NRA, Sanders Says
‘We all ... don’t want gun control,’ gun lobbyist said after Oval Office meeting

Washington-area students and supporters protest against gun violence with a lie-in outside of the White House last month. President Trump met with NRA officials on Thursday night as he searches for a solution to school shootings. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump made no promises to NRA leaders during a Thursday night meeting other than a vow to “continue to support the Second Amendment,” his top spokeswoman said Friday.

Trump’s campaign-trail description of himself as a staunch defender of Americans’ right to purchase and possess firearms “is not something that he’s backed away from,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at the White House.

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.

Senate Poised for Immigration Votes With Uncertain Outcome
None of the proposals appear to have support of at least 60 senators

An immigration proposal by Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley has the support of President Donald Trump but faces strong opposition from Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate is likely to hold test votes Thursday on four immigration proposals, none of which has an obvious route to passage or a clear-cut coalition of lawmakers backing it.

Democrats emerging from a meeting late Wednesday were noncommittal about their support for a compromise reached by the so-called Common Sense Coalition, one of the four proposals likely to get a cloture vote when the chamber reconvenes Thursday. Sixty votes are needed to advance.

And They’re Off! Senate Finally Votes to Proceed on Immigration
Votes on amendments expected soon

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had some harsh words for his Democratic colleagues before the chamber approved the motion to proceed to immigration legislation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After two days of the equivalent of a legislative staring contest, the Senate has decided to move along toward immigration legislation. But this is just the beginning, and feelings are a little raw over how things have unfolded so far. 

The chamber approved, by voice vote Wednesday morning, a motion to proceed to the expected legislative vehicle for an immigration overhaul. 

Immigration Debate Sputters at the Starting Line
While McConnell and Schumer disagree, second federal judge issues DACA injunction

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer were at an impasse Tuesday over how to structure the immigration debate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:13 p.m. | The Senate kicked off its long-awaited immigration debate Tuesday not with the flurry of bipartisan cooperation that some lawmakers had hoped for, but with a thud.

Before a single vote was cast to amend the shell bill serving as the vehicle for a potential deal, leaders of both parties were at an impasse over how to structure the debate, which is aimed at reaching a compromise to protect 690,000 “Dreamers” from deportation and meeting President Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement and border security goals.

GOP Frets as Trump Calls U.S. Stupid on Trade
Republicans warn president about setting off tariff battle

President Donald Trump signs a copy of the book ‘Let Trump Be Trump’ in the House chamber after his State of the Union address on January 30, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Several Republican lawmakers did Tuesday what few of their colleagues have since Donald Trump took office: They challenged one of the president’s core principles to his face.

Sen. Roy Blunt was among those who warned Trump against starting a trade war with other countries on which many U.S. companies buy goods and materials.

Philly Cheesesteaks at Stake
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania lawmakers place bets on Super Bowl

Top: Betting on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII are, from left, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey and Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III. Bottom: Betting on the Philadelphia Eagles are, from left, Sens. Patrick J. Toomey and Bob Casey and Rep. Brendan F. Boyle.

Lawmakers from New England and the Philadelphia area are gearing up for Super Bowl LII by making bets with one another. And there are a lot of cheesesteaks involved.

The Philadelphia Eagles play the New England Patriots on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and both teams’ fan bases cross multiple delegations.