Jamie Dupree – news965 

Congress punts for one week on immigration fight

  • 10:56 pm Friday, February 27th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree

After a day of drama that featured yet another rebellion by Republicans in the House, Congress agreed to fund homeland defense operations for another week, no closer to a resolution of the political fight over President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

“It’s the eleventh hour, and we must act,” said Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), as the House accepted a lifeline from the Senate, which had approved a one week budget extension for the Department of Homeland Security, hours after a three week funding measure had been defeated in the House.

“This has been a day of confusion,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal Allard [More]

Republicans delay immigration showdown

  • 8:29 pm Thursday, February 26th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree

Moving to avoid a partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security, Republican leaders decided to give themselves extra time, opting to move ahead with a three week extension of the budget for the Department of Homeland Security, delaying a budget showdown over President Obama’s executive actions on immigration until March 19.

“We cannot let the President get away with unconstitutional activity,” said Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), as GOP lawmakers vented their frustration over their effort to block the President’s immigration changes.

“We are going to hold the line to defend the Constitution, and we are going to defend the country with [More]

Busy signals for taxpayers at IRS

  • 8:55 pm Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree

The nation’s taxpayer advocate reported to Congress on Tuesday that less than half of all phone calls to the Internal Revenue Service are being answered so far in 2015, raising questions about how taxpayers can get needed tax guidance and information from the agency on a wide variety of tax issues.

“From January 1 through February 14, the IRS answered only 43 percent of the calls it received from taxpayers seeking to speak with a customer service representative,” said Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olsen, who said the average time on hold this year is 28 minutes.

“By comparison, 77 percent of taxpayers got [More]

GOP struggles on immigration, DHS funding

  • 9:06 pm Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree

With Democrats using a filibuster to stop a House-passed bill that both funds the Department of Homeland Security and blocks the President’s executive actions on immigration, Senate GOP leaders moved to split the plan into two bills, but the idea was swiftly rejected by key conservative Republicans.

“Leadership’s current plan – to pass clean DHS funding and separate legislation barring executive amnesty – is a mistake,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

At first, Cruz had refused to comment following a closed door meeting of Senate Republicans, which reportedly featured sparring between different GOP factions.

Others were also circumspect about what was next.

“There’s a [More]

Feds ask judge to lift hold on immigration actions

  • 12:18 pm Monday, February 23rd, 2015 by Jamie Dupree

The Obama Administration today asked a federal judge in Texas to end his temporary injunction against the President’s executive actions on immigration, arguing to leave that in place would cause “irreparable harm” to the United States Government.

“Allowing the preliminary injunction to remain in place pending appeal would also harm the interests of the public and of third parties, who will be deprived of the significant law enforcement and humanitarian benefits,” the Department of Justice argued in its request for an emergency stay.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice, Brian Fallon, said if the Texas judge does nothing by Wednesday, then [More]

Legal battle to begin on immigration actions

  • 9:12 pm Sunday, February 22nd, 2015 by Jamie Dupree

As the Obama Administration prepares to ask for an emergency stay of a federal judge’s ruling which blocked the start of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, Congress returns to work with the Department of Homeland Security slated to run out of money on Friday.

“I hope it doesn’t go to the deadline,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who joined other Democrats in lambasting Republicans over the possible shutdown of DHS.

“This is the same people that shutdown the government a year ago,” Brown told me before Congress left on a ten day break.

The Justice Department is expected to take the first [More]

IRS eases one Obama health law penalty

  • 7:55 pm Thursday, February 19th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree

While the Obama Administration was busy trumpeting the latest enrollment numbers for health insurance this week, the feds also moved to ease the pain on some small businesses by giving limited relief on a penalty related to the Obama health law that most people probably had no idea existed.

“ACA penalty relief for small employers,” was the bland title of the IRS publication issued this week that zeroes in on small businesses (under 50 workers) which give money to employees to help cover the cost of health insurance.

Under the Obama health law, small businesses that do not offer insurance plans could [More]

No White House guess on immigration delay

  • 6:51 am Thursday, February 19th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree

Still formulating a legal response to a federal judge’s ruling that blocked the implementation of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, the White House on Wednesday was offering reporters no guess on how long that delay might last – or when the Obama Administration would be in court to challenge it.

“Our legal strategy going forward is something that’s going to be determined by the Department of Justice,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

“But that strategy will certainly include an appeal of this ruling because we don’t believe that it’s a fair, accurate reading of the law,” as [More]

Feds delay implementation of immigration actions

  • 2:11 pm Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree

Hours after a federal judge in Texas put a temporary hold on the President’s recent executive actions on immigration, the Obama Administration reluctantly delayed the start of its implementation work, which had been scheduled to start on February 18.

“I strongly disagree with Judge Hanen’s decision,” said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, even as he acknowledged that the feds must comply with the temporary injunction issued late on Tuesday night.

“Accordingly, the Department of Homeland Security will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA tomorrow, February 18, as originally planned,” Johnson added in a statement, as he defended [More]

Federal judge blocks Obama immigration actions

  • 7:20 am Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree

A federal judge in Texas has issued a temporary injunction against the recent immigration actions of President Obama, giving a group of states some extra time to pursue their argument that the move to defer the deportation of millions of people in the United States illegally was unconstitutional.

In an extended explanation of his order, Judge Andrew Hanen, made clear he sees the President’s actions as more than just executive tinkering with current law.

“It represents a massive change in immigration practice, and will have a significant effect on, not only illegally-present immigrants, but also the nation’s entire immigration scheme and the [More]