The SenateJudiciary Committee voted Monday to allow illegal immigrants who get legal status to begin collecting tax-welfare payments, as the panel spent a fourth day working through amendments to the massive immigration bill and party-line splits began to emerge.
In one major change, the committee voted 17-1 to make a third drunken-driving conviction a deportable offense for the newly legalized immigrants if at least one of those offenses occurs after they are approved for legal status.
But immigrant-rights groups called that a rollback of due-process rights for the immigrants and said a drunken-driving incident shouldn’t cost someone a chance at citizenship.
“We cannot and will not support hard-line proposals that take away discretion and limit an individual’s ability to pursue the pathway to citizenship,” said Paromita Shah, associate director of the National Lawyers Guild’s National Immigration Project.
Overall, the committee continued to maintain the delicate balance struck by the “Gang of Eight” senators who negotiated the 867-page bill: Quick legal status for illegal immigrants, but delaying citizenship rights until after the administration spends more money on border security, puts in place a new electronic verification system to check workers’ status, and enacts an entry-exit system to check visas at airports and seaports.
In previous days’ action, two Republican members of the Gang of Eight — Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona — joined with Democrats to block a series of GOP amendments to stiffen the bill’s security.
But on Monday, the two Republicans sided with their party colleagues on key questions on giving illegal immigrants public benefits.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) demanded information about conservative groups’ college-aged interns, prompting outrage from one of the country’s top conservative activist organizations and leading one former intern to wonder whether his family’s pizza parlor would be endangered.
The IRS requested, in an audit, the names of the conservative Leadership Institute’s 2008 interns, as well as specific information about their internship work and where the interns were employed in 2012, according to a document request the IRS sent to the Leadership Institute, dated February 14, 2012.
The IRS requested:
“Copies of applications for internships and summer programs; to include: lists of those selected for internships and students in 2008.
– In regards to such internships, please provide information regarding where the interns physically worked and how the placement was arranged.
– After completing internships and courses, where were the students and interns employed?”
The Arlington, Virginia-based Leadership Institute is a conservative activist training organization founded in 1979 by Virginia Republican National Committeeman Morton C. Blackwell, the youngest elected delegate to the 1964 Republican convention that nominated Barry Goldwater. The institute was audited in 2011. As The Daily Caller has reported, at least two different IRS offices made a concerted effort to obtain the group’s training materials.
The Leadership Institute’s audit, which was conducted by the IRS’ Baltimore office and which ended with no determination of wrongdoing but cost the conservative group $50,000 in legal fees, only covered the year 2008, leading employees to speculate that the IRS’ primary interest was figuring out how the group operates during a presidential election year.
Last year this headline looked like something straight out of Coast To Coast, Prison Planet or InfoWars.
In light of the recent revelations that the Obama Administration is indeed employing thuggish, tyrannical and brutal tactics that target American citizens that dare question the thin-skinned dictator-in-chief, does the headline seem so wacky?
The Senate on Monday opened debate on a $955 billion farm bill that would reduce federal spending by as much as $23 billion over the next 10 years by cutting funding for food stamps and eliminating some farm-support programs.
“This legislation will create jobs, cut taxpayer subsidies and reduce the deficit,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday.
The White House offered only conditional support for the bill, an indication that lawmakers will need to make changes to win the president’s signature.
The Obama administration in April called for a 3 percent reduction in the nation’s crop insurance program, saving $4.2 billion over 10 years. But farm state lawmakers rejected any proposed reduction to a program that pays 60 percent of a farmer’s cost of buying crop insurance. The Senate bill actually would increase spending on those programs and expand them to cotton and peanut growers.
The Obama administration wants to cut farm subsidies by $37.8 billion, but the Senate bill would reduce those by $24.4 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. To reduce spending further, senators propose making cuts Obama does not support, including reducing the food stamps program, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, by $4.1 billion over 10 years.
“The administration,” the White House said in a statement released Monday, “strongly supports the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, a cornerstone of our nation’s food assistance safety net, which is why it was not subject to cuts in the president’s budget. SNAP helps families put food on the table, while also benefitting farm and rural economies.”
Restoring funding for food stamps will likely be difficult for the administration. MORE
Democratic operative Ira Forman, who served as the National Jewish Democratic Council’s (NJDC) executive director before becoming President Obama’s Jewish point man on the 2012 reelection campaign, will become the administration’s Special Envoy on anti-Semitism, according to reports.
Forman is known among insiders for his temper and tendency to commit political blunders. Here are a few of Forman’s most notable accomplishments:
1. Forman helped assemble a list of anti-Israel pro-Obama rabbis.
As the Obama campaign’s director of Jewish outreach, Forman oversaw the creation of Rabbis for Obama, which included a group of more than 200 rabbis who support boycotts of the Jewish state and regularly criticize Israel.
Many of the rabbis were also supporters of the liberal fringe group J Street, while others “associated with groups that have been described by the Anti-Defamation League as ‘anti-Israel,’” the Washington Free Beacon reported at the time.
One of the pro-Obama rabbis had dinner date with anti-Semitic Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Another blamed the U.S. and Israel for the Sept. 11, 2001 terror, attacks.
Over 150 conservative leaders, groups sign letter opposing Gang of 8 bill
Over 150 conservative leaders, groups and grassroots activists have signed an open letter opposing the Senate immigration reform bill.
“We write to express our serious concerns regarding the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill, S. 744. We oppose this bill and urge you to vote against it when it comes to the Senate floor,” the letter to be released Tuesday and obtained by The Daily Caller reads. ”No matter how well intentioned, the Schumer-Rubio bill suffers from fundamental design flaws that make it unsalvageable. Many of us support various parts of the legislation, but the overall package is so unsatisfactory that the Senate would do better to start over from scratch.”
Signed by conservatives leaders and group representatives including radio host Laura Ingraham, Fox News personality Monica Crowley, Red State’s Erick Erickson, radio host Mark Levin, Hoover Institution’s Victor Davis Hanson, and The Daily Caller’s Mickey Kaus, the letter highlights a number of issues the signers have with the legislation including their concerns that the bill:
Is bloated and unwieldy along the lines of Obamacare or Dodd-Frank;
Cedes excessive control over immigration law to an administration that has repeatedly proven itself to be untrustworthy, even duplicitous;
Legalizes millions of illegal immigrants before securing the borders, thus ensuring future illegal immigration;
Rewards law breakers and punishes law enforcement, undermining the rule of law;
Hurts American job-seekers, especially those with less education;
Threatens to bankrupt our already strained entitlement system;
Expands government by creating new bureaucracies, authorizing new spending, and calling for endless regulations;
The Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General published a new report Monday that confirms former U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke leaked a document intended to smear Operation Fast and Furious scandal whistleblower John Dodson.
The DOJ IG said it found “Burke’s conduct in disclosing the Dodson memorandum to be inappropriate for a Department employee and wholly unbefitting a U.S. Attorney.”
“We are referring to OPR our finding that Burke violated Department policy in disclosing the Dodson memorandum to a member of the media for a determination of whether Burke’s conduct violated the Rules of Professional Conduct for the state bars in which Burke is a member,” the IG wrote.
Burke resigned from his post as U.S. Attorney over the incident in August 2011, the first major Department of Justice official to leave his or her post in the Fast and Furious scandal. He said after the fact, in interviews with congressional investigators, that he now views leaking the document as a “mistake.” MORE
First they came for Fox News, and they did not speak out—because they were not Fox News. Then they came for government whistleblowers, and they did not speak out—because they were not government whistleblowers. Then they came for the maker of a YouTube video, and—okay, we know how this story ends. But how did we get here?
Turns out it’s a fairly swift sojourn from a president pushing to “delegitimize” a news organization to threatening criminal prosecution for journalistic activity by a Fox News reporter, James Rosen, to spying on Associated Press reporters. In between, the Obama administration found time to relentlessly persecute government whistleblowers and publicly harass and condemn a private American citizen for expressing his constitutionally protected speech in the form of an anti-Islam YouTube video.
Where were the media when all this began happening? With a few exceptions, they were acting as quiet enablers.
Injured soldier outraged suspected shooter receives salary while his family financially struggles in recovery
The Department of Defense confirms to NBC 5 Investigates that accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan has now been paid more than $278,000 since the Nov. 5, 2009 shooting that left 13 dead 32 injured. The Army said under the Military Code of Justice, Hasan’s salary cannot be suspended unless he is proven guilty.
If Hasan had been a civilian defense department employee, NBC 5 Investigates has learned, the Army could have suspended his pay after just seven days.
Personnel rules for most civilian government workers allow for “indefinite suspensions” in cases “when the agency has reasonable cause to believe that the employee has committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment may be imposed.”
Meanwhile, more than three years later soldiers wounded in the mass shooting are fighting to receive the same pay and medical benefits given to those wounded in combat.
Retired Army Spc. Logan Burnett, a reservist who, in 2009, was soon to be deployed to Iraq, was shot three times when a gunman opened fire inside the Army Deployment Center.
“I honestly thought I was going to die in that building,” said Burnett. “Just blood everywhere and then the thought of — that’s my blood everywhere.” MORE