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Tag: house

Republicans Face Uphill Battle in Halting President’s Immigration Plan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A Republican plan to effectively wipe out President Obama’s new immigration initiatives doesn’t appear to have enough votes, Reuters reports

While the House appears to have the votes to defund the president’s controversial plans, the Senate would need at six Democrats and every Republican to support the GOP plan.

That’s not going to happen, a Senate Democratic leadership aide told Reuters.

Whatever the case, the president has pledged to veto any measure that would disrupt his immigration plans.

Republicans said that would be reckless.

“I know there’s a lot of consensus on our side that the last thing we need to do is to do something to jeopardize the security of our own citizens,” said Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee.

ATF Criticized for Plan to Require Gun Owners to Identify Their Ethnicity on Records

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If the ATF gets its way, new gun owners will have to identify their ethnicity on firearm records.

But lawmakers in the House have introduced a bill to eliminate that controversial requirement, The Hill reports.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., demanded answers.

“The right of law-abiding citizens to own firearms is an individual right guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” Blunt wrote in a letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) over the weekend. “The constitutional right of a citizen to own a firearm has nothing to do with race or ethnicity.”

He added: “It is disconcerting that the U.S. government is gathering this type of data on citizens when there is no connection between purchasing a firearm and an individual’s race or ethnicity. Any measure that may interfere with a citizen’s ability to exercise his or her constitutional right to purchase a firearm needs to be questioned.”

 

FBI to Hire 1,000 People by Oct. 1 But Still Far from Filling 2,500 Vacancies

James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey said the bureau plans to hire 1,000 people by Oct. 1 – a move meant to fill some of the 2,500 vacancies.

“I’m looking to hire 1,000 people to start to fill those almost 2,500 vacancies that we have – hundreds of special agents and intelligence analysts to restock that magic of the FBI, which is our talent,” Comey said.

Comey blamed the shortage of employees on the sequester.

“Everywhere around the country, I heard from my folks about the difficulties they were encountering with vacancies, with limitations on gas, with the abolition of training, with Quantico being a ghost town,” Comey said. “And thanks to this committee and other members of the Senate and the House, that changed in late January when the budget was passed.”

Breaking News: House Votes to Holder Atty. General Holder in Contempt

doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In an election year, where politicians in Washington eat and breath partisan politics, the House voted Thursday to hold Atty. General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt. He becomes the first Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress.

The Republican led contempt action was in response to allegations that Holder had failed to produce documents relating to the botched ATF Fast and Furious operation that encouraged Arizona gun dealer to sell to middlemen, all with the hopes of tracing the weapons to the Mexican cartels.

The Washington Post reported that the vote was 255 to 67.

What happens now?

The House will send the matter to the D.C. U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen, who will have to decide whether to file criminal charges against Holder, who is his boss.

In a statement, according to the Post, Holder said the vote “is the regrettable culmination of what became a misguided – and politically motivated – investigation during an election year.” Holder added that the Republicans leading the investigation “have focused on politics over public safety.”

To read more click here.

Atty. General Holder to Testify on Fast and Furious

Atty. Gen. Holder on the Hill/ttw photo via C-Span

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Is it Groundhog Day — as in the Bill Murray film?

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will once again testify on Feb. 2 before Congress where he’s gotten a grilling in the past several months on ATF’s controversial gun walking operation “Fast and Furious.”

Rep. Darrell Issa’s office fired off a press release announcing the appearance, and indicated it’s the first one for Holder that will be exclusively focus on  Fast and Furious. In previous appearances, he’s also addressed other issues.

This is the third time Holder will have testified before congressional panels since November.

Holder will appear before Issa’s Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“The Department of Justice’s conduct in the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious has been nothing short of shameful,” said Issa in a statement.

“From its initial denials that nothing improper occurred, to efforts to silence whistleblowers who wanted to tell Congress what really happened, to its continuing refusal to discuss or share documents related to this cover-up, the Justice Department has fought tooth and nail to hide the full truth about what occurred and what senior officials knew. Attorney General Holder must explain or reverse course on decisions that appear to put the careers of political appointees ahead of the need for accountability and the Department’s integrity.”

To read more click here.

 

Lawyer Says Justice Dept. Dropping Probe of Ex-House Leader Tom DeLay

Ex-Rep. Tom DeLay

Ex-Rep. Tom DeLay

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — It doesn’t look like the Justice Department will be filing any criminal charges against former House leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex).

Mike Allen of Politico reports that the Justice Department is dropping its six-year probe into Delay and his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Allen attributed his information to DeLay’s lead attorney Richard Cullen.

“The federal investigation of Tom DeLay is over and there will be no charges,” Cullen told Allen. “This is the so-called Abramoff investigation run by the Public Integrity section of DOJ. There have been a series of convictions and guilty pleas since 2005. A campaign-related charge against him continues in Texas.

“In 2005, we voluntarily produced to the prosecutors over 1,000 emails and documents from the DeLay office dating back to 1997. Several members of Congress objected to producing official government records under Speech or Debate Clause concerns. DeLay took the opposite position, ordering all his staff to answer all questions. He turned over more than 1,000 documents, and several of his aides gave interviews and grand jury testimony.”

DeLay still faces state charges in Texas of money laundering.

House Passes Bill Reducing Sentencing Disparity With Crack Cocaine

file photo/dea

file photo/dea

By Glynnesha Taylor
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The House on Wednesday passed legislation drastically reducing the sentencing disparity between crack and powdered cocaine — a longtime disparity critics saw as unfairly targeting African Americans.

Previously, under the 1986 law, a person selling crack got the same sentence as someone selling 100 times the amount of powdered cocaine. The ratio will now go to 18 to 1.

The old bill became law while crack-cocaine was spinning out of control and savaging urban areas. But critics said it amounted to giving harsher sentences to African Americans who sold crack and lesser sentences to whites who were selling more of the powder cocaine.

The bill now goes before President Obama for his signature.

Read more »

House Votes to Impeach New Orleans Fed Judge Thomas Porteous

Judge Thomas Porteous

Judge Thomas Porteous

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — It comes as no surprise that U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous of New Orleans is in big big trouble.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously Thursday to impeach him, the Associated Press reported. The news service reported that lawmakers felt he avoided criminal charges only because the statute of limitations had expired.

The Senate now conducts a trial on charges of high crimes and misdemeanors. A two-thirds vote is required to convict.

He has been accused of “taking cash from lawyers and gifts from a bail bondsman, lying to the Senate and the FBI to win confirmation and making false statements in his personal bankruptcy proceedings to hide financial problems and gambling debts,” according to AP.