- - -  THIS WEEK: FEBRUARY 2, 2018  - - -

Hill Headlines

GOP Policy Retreat: Republicans are meeting this week to discuss their policy priorities for the year. Democrats will have separate House and Senate retreats in the near future. Speaker of the House, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI-1), and other House Republicans expressed support for reforming welfare programs and President Trump called on members of Congress to pass a solution addressing Dreamers and other immigration-related issues.

State of the Union: President Trump delivered his first State of the Union address, touting positive economic news during his first year and outlining his agenda for the next year, including immigration reforms that would limit legal immigration and increase border security in exchange for a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers.

Legislative Updates

Government Surveillance Controversy: Republicans intend to release a memo by Rep. Nunes (R-CA-22), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, alleging abuse of surveillance powers by the FBI and Justice Department during the Obama administration and bias within these organizations against President Trump.
Studying Auto Insurance Discrimination: Rep. Takano (D-CA-41) filed H.R. 4485, the FAIR RATES Act, which would require the Federal Insurance office to study disparities in auto insurance rates based on zip code. Such research could reveal trends of racial discrimination.
Permanent Tax Cuts for Americans Act: Rep. Davis (R-IL-13) introduced H.R. 4486, which would make certain individual tax cuts in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, such as an expansion of the child tax credit, permanent. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as signed in 2017, these individual tax cuts are set to expire in 2025. 

STOP School Violence Act: Rep. Rutherford (R-FL-4) introduced H.R. 4909, creating federal grants for schools to implement violence prevention programs, particularly with regard to gun violence.

Immigration Innovation Act: Sen. Hatch (R-UT) and Sen. Flake (R-AZ) filed S. 2344, which would expand employment visas and green card access for high-skilled immigrant workers. Fees from these visas and green card applications would be used to support STEM education and training for American workers.

Ensuring Full Participation in the Census Act: Rep. Norton (D-DC-At Large) filed H.R. 4906, to prohibit the U.S. Census from including questions about immigration status and national origin in its questionnaire. Census data is used to determine representation such as the number of house districts in a state, and allocation of spending in certain federal programs.

Upcoming Events

We're headed to New York City on February 9th to do a Congressional advocacy training with the NYU Muslim Students Association! The training is free to attend with an RSVP - reserve your seat now!

Further Reading

The 2018 SOTU: Bipartisan Rhetoric Masks Serious Policy Concerns | Poligon Education Fund | January 31, 2018

Trump’s rhetoric is having a devastating impact on Muslim and South Asian communities | ThinkProgress | February 1, 2018

Why so many members of Congress are retiring | Vox | February 1, 2018

Hill Buzz

On President Trump’s First State of the Union Address:

“The president was right to talk about [the economy] and to take some credit for the direction America is heading in. We’re growing again - it’s important.” - Sen. McConnell (R-KY)

“President Trump...if you’re going to pat yourself on the back, give a shout out to Barack Obama.” - Sen. Schumer (D-NY)

On President Trump’s Immigration Plan:

“My preference would be that we deal with the Dreamer population and border security at this point. The other issues are extremely complex and I think require more time.” - Sen. Collins (R-ME)

“[The] plan would put the administration's entire hardline immigration agenda - including massive cuts to legal immigration - on the backs of [Dreamers].” - Sen. Durbin (D-IL)

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