WASHINGTON – Top conservative leaders, along with tea party activists from across the nation, have crafted a letter of opposition to the Senate’s bipartisan immigration overhaul.
The open letter to the Senate, which will be released Tuesday, marks the first large-scale attempt to halt the bill as it gains momentum with a key Senate committee vote expected this week.
Those signing the letter include influential conservative commentators – Erick Ericksen, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin and Michele Malkin – as well as tea party leaders and talk radio hosts from around the country.
"No matter how well-intentioned, the Schumer-Rubio bill suffers from fundamental design flaws that make it unsalvageable,” said the letter, referring to Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), key architects from the bipartisan group of eight senators that drafted the bill.
WASHINGTON — Top officials in the White House learned in April that an investigation of the IRS would probably end up showing that the agency targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny, the White House spokesman conceded Monday, contrary to earlier Obama administration statements.
But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said staffers didn’t tell President Obama the bombshell was coming and that the West Wing did nothing to interfere with the audit or the report before its release.
“The cardinal rule,” Carney said, “is that you do not intervene in an independent investigation, and you do not do anything that would give such an appearance. ... And that's the doctrine we followed.”
Since an Inspector General’s report on the matter was released last week, Republicans have been trying to figure out how long the Obama administration has known about the allegations -- and, in particular, whether the...
Senators have dispatched more than 100 amendments, turning back those that would derail the bipartisan compromise engineered by a group of eight senators and accepting others to potentially pick up broader support.
Convening for a fourth hearing Monday, the committee met for another day-long session, as rows of immigrants-rights activists and business representatives filled the Senate hearing room.
WASHINGTON -- The former top federal prosecutor in Arizona retaliated against the lead whistle blower in the Fast and Furious controversy by leaking an internal report that suggested he too once favored “walking guns” along the Southwest border and would be accessible to U.S. criminals and drug cartels in Mexico, the Department of Justice’s Inspector General’s office determined Monday.
Dennis K. Burke, who resigned in the wake of the Fast and Furious matter, conceded to Inspector General investigators that he leaked an internal memorandum to a television producer in which ATF Special Agent John Dodson discussed an earlier case involving gun-walking on the border. Burke told Inspector General investigators that he was “unabashed” about leaking the memo and did not feel he had done anything illegal.
However, he was sharply admonished by his supervisor, the deputy attorney general in Washington, prodded to resign over Fast and Furious, and quickly left...
WASHINGTON — Crossroads GPS, the behemoth conservative advocacy group behind some of the most robust attacks against President Obama’s administration, said Monday that it believes it is among the organizations subjected to special scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service.
WASHINGTON – A labor union that represents federal officers who vet immigration applications has decided to oppose the immigration overhaul winding through the Senate, saying provisions in the bill could lead to fraud.
The proposed legislation would “damage public safety and national security and should be opposed by lawmakers,” Kenneth Palinkas, president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, said Monday.
The union announced its opposition as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee spent a fourth day debating proposed amendments to the bipartisan bill.
Senators considered changes to provisions for granting asylum to refugees, increasing the number of judges and staff at immigration courts, and creating a pathway to legal status for millions of immigrants. The judiciary committee could vote on the bill as early as Wednesday.
The National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council represents about 12,...
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will revisit the issue of church-state separation and decide whether a town council can begin its monthly meetings with a prayer from a Christian pastor.
Thirty years ago, the court upheld a state legislature’s practice of beginning its session with a non-denominational prayer. The justices said that “to invoke Divine guidance on a public body entrusted with making laws” did not violate the 1st Amendment’s prohibition on an “establishment of religion.”
But since then, several lower courts have said that a city council or county board may violate the 1st Amendment if its opening prayers favor one religion only.
Last year, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled that the town of Greece, near Rochester, had crossed the line by inviting Christian pastors to deliver nearly every opening prayer. While the town’s policy does not favor one religion, the court said, its practice has been to favor...
WASHINGTON — A senior White House aide insisted Sunday that President Obama learned only from news reports that an IRS office had singled out dozens of tea party organizations and other conservative groups for questionable scrutiny, while Republicans vowed to investigate any White House involvement in the growing scandal.
White House senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer made the rounds of the Sunday talk shows to vigorously defend Obama over the IRS case, the attacks that killed four U.S. government employees in Benghazi, Libya, and a federal prosecutor’s seizure of the phone records of 20 phone lines belonging to the Associated Press or its reporters and editors.
Republican critics argue the cases reflect a president out of touch and a White House out of control during the 2012 election season, charges that have energized the GOP and that have put Obama on the defensive barely five months into his second term.
The president and his aides have condemned the IRS misbehavior,...
WASHINGTON — President Obama urged graduates of a celebrated historically black college Sunday to use their education to help others and to work for "something larger than yourself," citing the example of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
In the commencement address at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Obama urged graduates headed to law school to make sure they "defend the powerless" during their careers. He said new physicians should find ways to "heal folks in under-served communities," and business school graduates should consider "putting people to work, or transforming a neighborhood."
Morehouse opened after the Civil War and is the nation's only all-male historically black college. King graduated from the school in 1948, and Obama said King later used the skills and courage he learned there to become a moral beacon.
King, who entered college at age 15, “was an unknown, undersized, unassuming young freshman who lived at home with his parents. I think it’s...
WASHINGTON -- President Obama’s proposed mix of tax hikes and spending cuts would reduce future budget deficits more quickly than under current laws, according to a report issued Friday that could rekindle the dormant budget wars in Washington.
The outlook from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office comes as the government is set to reach its debt limit on Saturday, forcing the White House and Congress back to the negotiating table to work out a long-term budget plan that raises taxes, cuts spending -- or some combination of the two.
WASHINGTON — President Obama said Friday he wanted to put more Americans back to work by slashing the amount of time it takes to grant federal approval for big job-creating projects.
But Obama’s choice of venue for his remarks of a manufacturing company that makes mining and pumping equipment provided fodder for Republicans. They pointed out that its president had just the day before testified on Capitol Hill in support of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which the Obama administration has delayed for years.
Ellicott Dredges President Peter Bowe says the pipeline, designed to transport crude from oil sands deposits in Alberta, Canada, to the refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, would pour money into his business.
“For us, it’s all about jobs,” Bowe told members of the House Committee on Small Business on Thursday. The project will generate jobs “every year for decades to come, all related to the production of oil from the Alberta oil sands...