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Friday, July 20, 2018

A government lawyer acknowledged Monday that the Trump administration will miss its first court-imposed deadline to reunite about 100 immigrant children under age 5 with their parents. Department of Justice attorney Sarah Fabian said during a court hearing that federal authorities reunited two families and expect to reunite an additional 59 by Tuesday’s deadline. She said the other cases are more complicated, including parents who have been deported or are in prison facing criminal charges, and would require more time to complete reunions. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, who ordered the administration to reunite families separated as part of President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, said he will hold another hearing Tuesday morning to get an update on the remaining cases. He said he was encouraged to see “real progress” in the complicated reunification process after a busy weekend when officials from multiple federal agencies tried to sync up parents and children who are spread across the country. STORY FROM LENDINGTREE Crush your mortgage interest with a 15 yr fixed “Tomorrow is the deadline. I do recognize that there are some groups of parents who are going to fall into a category where it’s impossible to reunite by tomorrow,” he said. “I am very encouraged by the progress. I’m optimistic.” Lee Gelernt, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney who leads a lawsuit against the federal government, sounded more skeptical. When asked by the judge if he believed the government was in full compliance of the court order, Gelernt said there was much more work to be done. “Let me put it this way: I think the government in the last 48 hours has taken significant steps,” he said. “We just don’t know how much effort the government has made to find released parents. I don’t think there’s been full compliance.” U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, based in San Diego. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, based in San Diego. (Photo: U.S. District Court) The difficulty in reuniting the first 100 children shows the challenge that lies ahead as the Trump administration braces for another deadline in two weeks to reunite nearly 3,000 older children – up to age 17 – with their parents. The process is complicated because of all the different situations that emerged over the weekend. The government initially identified 102 children under age 5 who needed to be reunited but removed three children from that list because investigations into their cases revealed that those children came with adults who were not their parents, Fabian said. Twelve parents were found to be in federal and state custody on criminal charges, making a reunification impossible since the government can’t transfer minors to state and local prisons to protect the well-being of the child. Nine parents were deported, and the government established contact with only four of them, Fabian said. Four children had been scheduled to be released from government custody to relatives who weren’t their parents, leading the government to question whether to allow that process to be completed or to redirect the child back to a parent. Gelernt said he understood many of the hurdles but urged the judge to force the government to scrap its time-consuming investigation into every single case and start a 48-hour clock to reunify families that remain separated by Tuesday. Sabraw said he would decide that during Tuesday’s hearing. Fabian said one of the silver linings of the busy weekend is that her office worked closely with its challengers at the ACLU to share information on each child’s case, to ensure that representatives from immigration advocacy groups and volunteer organizations could be present during each reunification. Gelernt said they’re doing that to help the parents, who are often released from custody with no money and nowhere to go. Fabian said that coordination has led to a more formalized process between government agencies and with the immigrants’ lawyers that should make reunifications go more smoothly in the coming weeks. “I think this process over the weekend helped us see what information, and in what form, is the most useful to share,” she said. “I’d like to make that as efficient a process as possible.” -

Monday, July 9, 2018

Trump denies US opposition to WHO breastfeeding resolution -

Monday, July 9, 2018

Havana plane crash leaves more than 100 dead -

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr bloc wins Iraq elections -

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: ‘We need to do more than just pray for the victims and their families’ -

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Donald Trump says he will meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore -

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Trump tells FBI: ‘I have your back 100%’ -

Friday, December 15, 2017

Mueller requests emails from Trump campaign data firm: report -

Friday, December 15, 2017

GOP changes child tax credit in bid to win Rubio’s vote -

Friday, December 15, 2017

Trump Jr. is berated for tweet about ‘Obama’s FCC’ chair, net ‘neutality’ -

Friday, December 15, 2017

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry on 19 May 2018 -

Friday, December 15, 2017

Walt Disney buys Murdoch’s Fox for $52.4bn -

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Roy Moore says Alabama election ‘tainted’ by outside groups -

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Eric Holder warns GOP: ‘Any attempt to remove Bob Mueller will not be tolerated’ -

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Former British prime minister: Trump attacks on press are ‘dangerous’ -

Thursday, December 14, 2017

China says war must not be allowed on Korean peninsula -

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Megyn Kelly left Fox News in part due to O’Reilly: report -

Saturday, April 15, 2017

North Korea warns against U.S. ‘hysteria’ as it marks founder’s birth -

Friday, April 14, 2017

British spies were first to spot Trump team’s links with Russia -

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Obama unveils $4.1T election-year budget proposal

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By Sarah Ferris and Jordan Fabian – 02/09/16 11:00 AM EST

President Obama on Tuesday unveiled the last budget of his presidency, a $4.1 trillion plan that reflects his desire to set the agenda for his final months in office and beyond.

The proposal, Obama’s costliest to date, includes a litany of long-shot progressive ideas that have little chance of becoming law in the Republican-controlled Congress. Leaders of the House and Senate budget panels have already said they will not even give the document a hearing.

Obama’s final budget is also a political document unveiled on the same day as the New Hampshire primary. The White House hopes it will fire up Democrats ahead of this fall’s pivotal elections.But timing of the budget’s release means the it could receive little attention, highlighting the difficulty of breaking through in an election year.

“It’s easy to adopt the conventional wisdom that a president’s final budget will be ignored. I think the conventional wisdom is wrong,” a senior administration official told reporters on Tuesday.

The 182-page wish list includes longtime goals such as cutting carbon pollution, universal preschool and criminal justice reform as well as billions of dollars in new investments in cybersecurity and clean energy.

It would also step up the policing of Wall Street, with $1.8 billion to double the budgets of market watchdogs in the Securities and Exchange Commission, and create new grants to entice the 19 states that haven’t to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

“The budget is a roadmap to a future that embodies America’s values and aspirations: a future of opportunity and security for all of our families; a rising standard of living; and a sustainable, peaceful planet for our kids,” Obama wrote in his budget message to Congress.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), however, dismissed the budget request as a nonstarter on Capitol Hill.

“This isn’t even a budget so much as it is a progressive manual for growing the federal government at the expense of hardworking Americans,” he said in a statement. “We need to tackle our fiscal problems before they tackle us.”

It’s the first budget blueprint from Obama after a deal with former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) last fall that set him free of the painful caps on discretionary spending. Obama’s budget calls for an end the mandatory spending limits starting in 2018 while sticking to the discretionary caps for 2017.

Vowing to focus on “the decades to come,” Obama laid out a $150 billion boost in national “research and development” in areas from biomedical research to space exploration. The funding would be a 6 percent increase from 2016.

This year’s budget calls for the biggest commitments yet to strengthen cybersecurity and fight climate change, which Obama said would reflect “the kind of country we want to pass on to our children and grandchildren.”

Obama’s plans for “clean transportation infrastructure” alone would cost $320 billion, with another $11 billion in clean energy — an increase of more than 25 percent over last year’s proposal. The $19 billion requested for cybersecurity is a 35 percent jump from 2016.

The ambitious budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 would be paid for by about $550 billion worth of tax increases, as well as a tax of $10 per barrel of oil that is one of the proposal’s most controversial pieces. The oil tax is projected to bring in about $320 billion.

At the heart of Obama’s national security funding request is “destroying” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The administration proposes $11 billion to support both the Department of State and Department of Defense in countering the terrorist group while supporting “a political solution” to ending the Syrian civil war.

The budget would supply $59 billion for the overseas contingency operations war fund, a number virtually unchanged from last year that is certain to draw criticism from Republican lawmakers who have called for more funding. Over 10 years, that fund would be reduced by more than $600 billion.

Administration officials say the plan would cut the deficit by $2.9 trillion over the next decade, with $955 billion in savings coming from new taxes increases on the nation’s highest-earning individuals and closing loopholes. Other savings come from the president’s healthcare law — nearly all from changes to Medicare — and sweeping reform of the immigration system, which failed in Congress.

The administration would also save about $50 billion through massive cuts to the nation’s crop insurance program and the elimination of a half-dozen oil, coal and gas tax credits.

Obama is also looking to boost his commitment abroad, with new spending to support the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, Afghanistan’s military transition, Europe’s efforts to hold back Russian aggression, Central America’s migrant crisis and democracy in Africa.

A senior administration official said Tuesday the blueprint shows that Obama “isn’t going to shy away” from pushing bold proposals in his final 11 months in office.

While the official conceded many of the ideas will not be enacted this year, he said the budget is “laying the groundwork and putting out solutions for the long term.”

Obama will huddle with Democratic leaders in Congress Tuesday afternoon to rally support for his budget request and figure out how to present it to the public.

Major pillars of the administration’s budget, like the oil tax and a $1 billion initiative to accelerate cancer research, had already been announced.

Although Republicans have essentially declared the plan dead on arrival, Congress can still advance certain parts it supports, including funding for cancer research, fighting opioid addiction and expanding the earned income tax credit to childless adults.

“This budget offers a range of proposals where there is bipartisan support for taking action,” the official said.

Several Republicans have pledged to support increases in biomedical research spending, and Ryan has said he would support an expansion of the earned income tax credit to encourage low-income Americans to seek jobs.

Obama and Boehner already agreed to a total of $1.1 trillion in discretionary spending as part of last fall’s deal, which also eliminated the across-the-board spending cuts, known as sequestration, created by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

That two-year deal includes about $50 billion equally split between defense and domestic programs and $16 billion in an emergency war fund.

Source: The Hill

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