- - -  THIS WEEK: FEBRUARY 16, 2018  - - -

Hill Headlines

Appeals Court Rules Against Muslim Ban 3.0: The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against President Trump’s third travel ban, finding that the ban was driven by anti-Muslim discrimination. The ban will remain in effect unless it is blocked by Congress or ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Read Poligon’s statement here.

Trump Budget Released: President Trump presented his budget plan, featuring sizeable cuts to programs such as affordable housing grants and college financial aid, and higher spending on border security and infrastructure. The proposal is about $56 billion less than the bipartisan deal Congress approved last week, which contains a higher defense spending increase and keeps funding for the arts, public media, and other programs defunded by the Trump budget.

Legislative Updates

Immigration Debate: This week the Senate began an open debate on immigration policy, with a focus on border security and finding a solution for DACA recipients whose status is expiring. Four immigration proposals were put forward, but none have received the necessary 60 votes to advance. The White House also came out strongly against more bipartisan plans and threatened to veto any proposal that passed the Senate.
Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act: S. 1917 was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with a 16-5 vote. The bipartisan bill would reduce the application of mandatory minimum sentencing and increase support for alternative sentencing (such as rehabilitation programs) and re-entry programs.
ADA Education and Reform Act: The House passed H.R. 620 by Rep. Poe (R-TX-2), which would require disabled individuals to, in cases of inaccessibility, provide businesses with a written complaint and give them 120 days to take action before filing a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Election Security Act: Rep. Thompson (D-MS-2) filed H.R. 5011, which would provide $1 billion in grants to improve security for voting technology used by local election officials and assist in the replacement of outdated voting machines.

Action Alert

Members of Congress are headed back to their home states next week. It’s a great opportunity to let your members know about the issues that matter most to you. Learn more about planning an office visit or attending a town hall meeting here.

Further Reading

Here are the congressional candidates who got the most NRA money in the 2016 campaign | CNBC | February 15, 2018

Trump's one piece of gun-related legislation undid restrictions aimed at mental illness | CNN | February 15, 2018

Congress introduces record number of bills to prevent people from taking industry to court | ThinkProgress | February 12, 2018

Hill Buzz

On the Trump Budget:

"We passed a two-year budget on Friday, so the Trump administration should have no illusions about its budget becoming law.” - Sen. Schumer (D-NY)

“This budget lays out a thoughtful, detailed, and responsible blueprint for achieving our shared agenda.” - Rep. Ryan (R-WI-1)

On the Bipartisan Immigration Proposals:

“My colleagues faced the impossible challenge of crafting a bill that could meet the White House’s unreasonable and ever-shifting demands. But regrettably this bill is simply not the answer.” - Sen. Harris (D-CA)

"The president, in my view, has gone more than halfway to meet the Democrats...if they're actually interested in finding a solution, it's time they take yes for an answer." - Sen. McConnell (R-KY)

On the Mass Shooting in Parkland, Florida:

“An AR-15 is not for hunting, it’s for killing...Let’s do what needs to be done and let’s get these assault weapons off our streets.” - Sen. Nelson (D-FL)

“It is a very difficult thing to stop...I’m not saying don’t focus on the gun part, but we also have to focus on the violence part.” - Sen. Rubio (R-FL)

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