After claim that possible new Israel gov’t will damage relations with US, Sen. Menendez stays silent
A reported row over the inclusion of a controversial politician who could be part of a new Netanyahu government has led to friction between a prominent pro-Israel Democrat Senator and the former pm.foxnews.com
Trump's Ukraine impeachment shadows war, risks GOP response
Even the staunchest defense hawks in the Republican Party stood virtually united by Donald Trump’s side when the then-president was impeached in late 2019 after pressuring Ukraine’s leader for “a favor” and withholding $400 million in military aid.
China stages military exercises as US lawmakers visit Taiwan
China says its military has staged exercises to reinforce its threat to use force to bring Taiwan under its control, as U.S. lawmakers visiting Taiwan made a pointed and public declaration of support for the self-governing island democracy while issuing a warning to China.
Democrats blast Mexico's president for assailing judiciary
Democrats in Congress are sounding the alarm over what they claim is mounting evidence that Mexico’s chief prosecutor is assailing the nation’s independent judiciary and selectively targeting for prosecution opponents of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Biden administration border plan poses midterm danger for Democrats
In a preview of the midterm attacks Republicans plan to intensify this fall, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) attacked Biden over the border in a speech on the Senate floor. “They should not wait nearly two months before ending Title 42 in its entirety, but rather start doing so in phases.”The plan the White House is expected to adopt would not fully lift Title 42 until late May, which critics point out is roughly tantamount to another 60-day renewal. CBP has used Title 42 to carry out more than 1.7 million expulsions over the past 24 months, records show. “It’s an abomination that the Biden administration did not lift Title 42 a long time ago,” said former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro. The Biden administration’s dependency on Title 42 deepened as border crossings soared during the spring of 2021.washingtonpost.com
American freed from Venezuela says his ‘nightmare’ has ended
An American oil executive freed from custody in Venezuela says that even as he celebrates with his family the end of a long “nightmare,” he’s praying for the release of five colleagues who are still imprisoned and “deserve the same blessings.”.
Senate confirms big slate of Biden ambassadors to end 2021
The Senate has confirmed more than 30 ambassadors and other Biden administration nominees after Majority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed to schedule a vote on sanctions on the company behind the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany.
McCarthy calls on Pelosi to recall House over U.S. withdrawal in Afghanistan
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to recall members of the House to take action on the Afghanistan withdrawal. CBS News congressional reporter Zak Hudak joins CBSN's Elaine Quijano to discuss what McCarthy and other GOP members would like to see done.news.yahoo.com
Biden Raises Cap on Refugee Admissions After Outrage
Chip Somodevilla/GettyThe Biden administration will more than quadruple the cap on refugee admissions into the United States this fiscal year, President Joe Biden announced on Monday, after weeks of harsh criticism from human-rights advocates and Democratic allies for his decision to keep the cap at a record low.“Today, I am revising the United States’ annual refugee admissions cap to 62,500 for this fiscal year,” Biden said in a statement, adding that the administration’s goal is to raise the cap to 125,000 refugee admissions in the next fiscal year. The previous cap, implemented under the Trump administration, was at a mere 15,000 admissions.“It is important to take this action today to remove any lingering doubt in the minds of refugees around the world who have suffered so much, and who are anxiously waiting for their new lives to begin,” Biden said. “We are going to rebuild what has been broken and push hard to complete the rigorous screening process for those refugees already in the pipeline for admission.”The about-face comes after blistering attacks from Biden’s allies on Capitol Hill and in immigrant-rights circles following his announcement last month that he would maintain the Trump-era cap on refugees. Biden had initially promised to raise the cap for Fiscal Year 2021 to 62,500—the number announced on Monday—before backtracking, citing a now-waning rush of underage asylum-seekers at the U.S. southern border.That decision infuriated refugee advocates, who noted at the time that the system for refugee admissions and asylum admissions are completely separate. (Refugees apply for safe haven from war, famine, or government persecution while abroad, and undergo intense background checks before they are granted admission into the United States, while those seeking asylum can only do so when inside the United States, typically at a port of entry.)The Biden administration at the time blamed much of the outrage on the media, which did little to persuade supporters of undoing the Trump administration’s hostile legacy on immigration.“Failing to issue a new determination undermines your declared purpose to reverse your predecessor’s refugee policies,” Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote in a letter at the time. “As we face the largest global refugee crisis in history, with 29.6 million refugees worldwide, resettlement serves as a critical tool in providing protection to those fleeing persecution because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”News of Biden’s reversal was greeted positively by advocates for refugee reform.“President Biden has reaffirmed what so many Americans have long known—refugees are welcome here and are a blessing to our communities,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, a faith-based nonprofit that supports refugees once inside the United States. “The new admissions ceiling reflects our core values as a welcoming nation, and finally aligns public policy with the unprecedented global need of millions forced from their home by violence, war, and persecution.”Biden did, however, include a caveat in his announcement, noting “the sad truth” that the cap on refugee admissions is not a requirement—and the number of refugees admitted into the United States this fiscal year will likely fall far short of 62,500.“We are working quickly to undo the damage of the last four years,” Biden said. “It will take some time, but that work is already underway.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.news.yahoo.com
Democrats unveil broad immigration reform bill with citizenship path for 11 million
Advertisement“There are some in Congress, I’ll say from both parties, who argue against going big on immigration reform,” Menendez said. Personally, I couldn’t disagree more with both approaches.”Menendez cautioned that the approach is not all or nothing but, rather, emphasizing the goal of robust immigration reform. Citizenship Act moving forward today.”AdvertisementWhite House officials offered few new details to the outline they unveiled last month, when they said the bill was sent to Congress. Its centerpiece is an eight-year path to citizenship for the approximately 11 million immigrants in the United States without legal status, with a five-year wait for permanent legal status, often referred to as a green card, and three more years before citizenship is granted. “This is the White House signaling to the Hill, ‘We haven’t given up on comprehensive immigration reform,’” Suro said.latimes.com
Senate panel advances Trump pick to head Voice of America
WASHINGTON A bitterly divided Senate panel voted along party lines Thursday to advance President Donald Trumps choice to head the Voice of America and other U.S. government-funded international broadcasters that have been the subject of harsh criticism from the White House. After rejecting eight Democratic requests to postpone the move, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent Michael Packs nomination to the full Senate on a 12-10 vote. Democrats oppose the nomination of Pack, a former associate of Trump political adviser Steve Bannon, in part because of questions about his past business dealings. Recent criticism of VOA from Trump and the White House has intensified their concerns about his nomination. Yet, the uproar over Voice of America and its recent coverage of Chinas handling of the pandemic overshadowed the possible legal issues.
Pompeo denies retaliation but won't explain watchdog ouster
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press briefing at the State Department on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, in Washington. (Nicholas Kamm/Pool Photo via AP)WASHINGTON Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday adamantly denied that he recommended firing the State Departments independent watchdog in retaliation for investigations into Pompeo's conduct as Americas top diplomat. Pompeo accused the senator's office of being behind allegations that Linick's ouster was motivated by revenge. In October, Linick turned over documents to House investigators that he had received from a State Department counselor, T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, a close Pompeo associate. Pompeo did not respond to a question about whether the State Department would comply with the demand, an omission that Engel lamented in a statement.
Democrats: Fired watchdog was looking into Saudi arms sale
(Kevin Lamarque/Pool Photo via AP)WASHINGTON Congressional Democrats say the State Department watchdog fired by President Donald Trump last week was investigating possible impropriety in a massive arms sale to Saudi Arabia last year, adding new questions to the watchdogs abrupt dismissal. Democrats said Monday that ousted Inspector General Steve Linick was probing how the State Department pushed through a $7 billion Saudi arms sale over congressional objections. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it was alarming to see reports that the firing may have been in response to Linicks investigation into the Saudi arms deal. A finding of impropriety in the Saudi arms sales could be more serious. The law requires Congress to be notified of potential arms sales, giving the body the opportunity to block the sale.
Sen. Bob Menendez accuses Trump media agency nominee Michael Pack of possible self-dealing, illegal activity
The ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is telling the White House that President Donald Trump's nominee to lead a federal media organization could have been involved with self-dealing and illegal activity. The move by Menendez comes after Trump mentioned Pack during a recent tirade against lawmakers who haven't confirmed a number of his nominees to key positions. Pack is a conservative documentary filmmaker who once worked on two films with former White House chief strategist and 2016 Trump campaign boss Steve Bannon. Pack engaged in inappropriate or unlawful activity related to transactions between his business (Manifold Productions) and his non-profit (Public Media Lab)" and "whether Mr. Pack has yet to provide the Committee with the requested information or to engage in a good-faith and serious effort to do so," Menendez said.cnbc.com
Senators ask Apple CEO Tim Cook about the company's COVID-19 app privacy practices
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple, at the 2019 DreamForce conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Nov. 19, 2019. Four U.S. senators sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook on Friday asking questions about the company's COVID-19 app and how it handles personal data. The app includes a screening tool for for COVID-19 symptoms as well as up-to-date information from trusted sources about the coronavirus outbreak. 2 in the health and fitness category on Apple's App Store. Last week, many of the same senators plus Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown sent similar questions to Verily CEO Andrew Conrad about the Alphabet company's COVID-19 screening program.cnbc.com
I feel like I got played. Politics derails Armenian hopes for genocide recognition
It makes me angry.Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who has coauthored resolutions to recognize the Armenian genocide since 2006, requested the unanimous consent of the Senate on Wednesday to pass the latest attempt. The United States Congress cannot stand idly by and let the truth of genocide be silenced, he told fellow senators. But in the decades that followed, efforts in Congress to pass a resolution that singularly recognizes the Armenian killings as genocide has failed. Turkey has spent millions lobbying against recognition of the genocide, he said in an email. AdvertisementToday, scholars and historians widely agree that what happened to Armenians was a systematic killing and should be recognized as a genocide.latimes.com
New Jersey Sen. Menendez accused of taking bribes to help friend
Sen. Robert Menendez is due in federal court Thursday to face bribery and other charges. Menendez allegedly went to bat for Florida's Dr. Salomon Melgen on issues big and small in exchange for campaign contributions and extravagant gifts. Nancy Cordes reports.cbsnews.com
Paula Reid, CBS News Justice Department Reporter, discusses the indictment of New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez on federal corruption charges. He's accused of accepting nearly one million dollars worth of gifts and contributions in exchange for political favors that benefited a friend.cbsnews.com