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NORTHWEST NEWS

Controversial Washington Lawmaker Spreads Views Across West

Republican Rep. Matt Shea was suspended from the Republican caucus in the wake of a December report that found he was involved in anti-government activities and several lawmakers have called on him to resign, something he says he will not do

2020 Census Begins in Remote Toksook Bay, Alaska

Census takers begin counting remainder of 220 remote Alaska villages as part of national headcount

St. Andrew Parish Presents 2020 Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards

The awards are given to people whose service embodies the values of Dr. King, who used nonviolence, civil disobedience, and Christian teaching to advance the cause of civil rights in America

The Skanner in Step With Changing Times

Celebrating a history of service

NEWS BRIEFS

Shari's Restaurants Celebrate National Pie Day

Receive a free slice of pie with any entrée purchase at participating Shari's locations from 4 p.m. till 10 p.m. on Thursday, Jan....

Nashville Airport Store Seeks Works by African American Authors

The store, a namesake project of Mrs. Rosetta Miller-Perry and The Tennessee Tribune, will open March 2020 ...

Annual “Salute to Greatness” Luncheon Celebrating Students, Community & Civic Leaders

Keynote Speaker: Ms. Rukaiyah Adams, Chair of Oregon Investment Council & Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust....

Grant High School Students to Read Their Own Work at Broadway Books

Local author and writing instructor Joanna Rose will lead thegroup of young writers at the event to be held on Wednesday, January 22 ...

AG Rosenblum Announces $4 Million Settlement with CenturyLink

Since 2014, Oregon DOJ has received more than 1,200 consumer complaints about CenturyLink ...

Man convicted of murder in mother's death escapes custody

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon resident who was convicted of murder in the death of his mother in her Eugene home in 2004 has escaped from the supervision of the Psychiatric Security Review Board, officials said.The Register-Guard reports the review board sent a notice Thursday asking for the...

Coalition of states sue over rules governing 3D-printed guns

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorneys general in 20 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging a federal regulation that could allow blueprints for making guns on 3D printers to be posted on the internet. New York Attorney General Tish James, who helped lead the coalition...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

How Putting Purpose Into Your New Year’s Resolutions Can Bring Meaning and Results

Only 4% of people report following through on all of the resolutions they personally set ...

I Was Just Thinking… Mama in the Classroom

I wrote my first column in 1988 for a local newspaper about a beloved Dallas guidance counselor and teacher that most students called “Mama” ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Democrats struggle to build broad support on eve of voting

OSAGE, Iowa (AP) — As Joe Biden wrapped a bus tour of Iowa this week, the elderly crowd gathered at VFW Hall 7920 was a stark reminder of the former vice president's struggle to attract young people. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, needs to strengthen his standing with older voters. Elizabeth...

NFL initiative yields PSA on man killed by Dallas officer

DALLAS (AP) — A public service announcement honoring the life of a black man killed in his living room by a white Dallas police officer who said she mistook his apartment as her own debuted as part of an NFL initiative aiming to promote social justice and racial equality.The two-minute video...

Plea change set in African American church fire case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A suspect set for trial next month in a series of fires at African American churches in Louisiana is now scheduled for a change-of-plea hearing. Holden Matthews has pleaded not guilty to federal charges arising from the arson fires at south Louisiana churches. However, a...

ENTERTAINMENT

'NewsHour' host and debate moderator Jim Lehrer dies at 85

NEW YORK (AP) — Jim Lehrer, longtime host of the nightly PBS “NewsHour” whose serious, sober demeanor made him the choice to moderate 11 presidential debates between 1988 and 2012, has died, PBS said Thursday. He was 85.Lehrer died “peacefully in his sleep,”...

Brittany Howard looks past and forward ahead of the Grammys

NEW YORK (AP) — Leaving a successful band is never easy. For Brittany Howard, stepping away from the roots-rockers Alabama Shakes wasn't easy — but it was necessary.“Being on my own was really important to me creatively. It was a really big risk and it was a really big...

Review: Um, what? 'The Turning' is a muddled take on madness

It's really not a good sign when a movie ends with a bold, shocking flourish and much of the audience can be heard muttering through the credits: “Wait, um ... WHAT?”Not, “Ooh” or “Wow” or “Hmm" or "Interesting!” Nope, this is more like an...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

15-year-old Gauff upsets '19 champ Osaka at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Coco Gauff plays nothing like what her age — still just 15 — or...

Russian Auschwitz survivor: Only coincidence that I lived

MOSCOW (AP) — The 75 years since Yevgeny Kovalev was a teenage prisoner in Auschwitz have been marked by...

Book reveals 2 fathers linked by grief to 2015 Paris attacks

PARIS (AP) — Lola Salines happily accepted the last-minute concert ticket from a friend the night of Nov....

Thunberg brushes off mockery from US finance chief

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Climate activist Greta Thunberg on Friday brushed off criticism and mockery from...

Russian Auschwitz survivor: Only coincidence that I lived

MOSCOW (AP) — The 75 years since Yevgeny Kovalev was a teenage prisoner in Auschwitz have been marked by...

N Korea names sharp-tongued army figure as foreign minister

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has named a sharp-tongued former army officer with little foreign...

McMenamins
By Alan Silverleib and Tom Cohen CNN

Two weeks ago, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill on a 68-32 vote, with 14 Republicans joining the Democratic majority to send the measure drafted by a bipartisan "Gang of Eight" to the GOP-controlled House.

President Barack Obama pushed for the House to quickly take up the measure that would provide a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants living illegally in the country while bolstering security along the Mexican border.

The proposal also includes stronger worker eligibility verification standards and overall border entry-exit controls.

However, House Republicans made clear Wednesday they opposed the comprehensive approach of the Senate and intended to consider the issue in a series of bills that will take months to reach final votes.

In addition, the House GOP caucus was deeply divided on the question of eventual citizenship for undocumented immigrants, with some calling for a path to legal status while others opposed any kind of what they labeled amnesty for those who broke the law.

While House leaders warned the party faced political harm if it failed to act on immigration legislation, a vital issue for Hispanic Americans who comprise the nation's largest minority demographic, the piecemeal approach and divisions over the legalization issue portend a messy and uncertain future for the issue.

 

Here are five reasons why:

 

Bipartisanship necessary in Senate but not House.

A 60-vote majority is needed to push major legislation through the 100-member Senate, which means Senate Democrats and Republicans usually have to work together to get anything substantive accomplished.

The House, however, does not often require such a super-majority. As long as a simple majority sticks together, it can do virtually anything it pleases.

Mix that rule with increasing ideological orthodoxy and a decreasing willingness to compromise -- particularly within the conservative ranks of the majority House GOP -- and you have a recipe for stalemate with the Democratic-controlled Senate.

"Passing any version of the Gang of Eight's bill would be worse public policy than passing nothing," conservative pundits Bill Kristol and Rich Lowry argued Tuesday in National Review Online. "House Republicans can do the country a service by putting a stake through its heart."

In today's hyper-partisan political climate, doing nothing is the easiest path for House Republicans to take and even a bragging point for tea party conservatives who came to Washington to shake up the status quo.

While moderate House GOP leaders call for passing some kind of immigration legislation to avoid a potential political backlash, conservatives in the rank-and-file say such fears are unfounded as voters will reward Republicans for opposing what they call a bad Senate bill.

 

Republicans don't trust Obama on border security.

Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp might have said it best. The two-term conservative Republican tweeted Wednesday that "trusting Obama (with) border security is like trusting Bill Clinton (with) your daughter."

Ouch.

Virtually every congressional Republican says the Mexican border needs to be properly enforced before Democrats get their priority -- a path to citizenship for America's 11 million undocumented residents. Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, and John Hoeven, R-North Dakota, added billions for Mexican border security to the "Gang of Eight" bill.

For a lot of Republicans, though, the issue involves trust, not money. They remember the last major immigration reform effort, in 1986 under GOP President Ronald Reagan, that also called for tightened immigration controls while giving three million undocumented immigrants legal status.

They say the amnesty occurred but the tougher border controls didn't, leading to the much-worse situation today.

Now they don't trust Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to secure the border. They also claim Obama's recent decision to delay implementation of part of health care reform showed the administration can't be counted on to fully enforce any law.

By taking a piecemeal approach, House Republicans hope to secure the tougher border security they seek before acting on a separate plan that could provide legal status for at least some undocumented immigrants.

In short, pass a border security bill now, and then come back to the legalization issue once everyone agrees the border is sealed. Democrats reject such an approach.

 

The conundrum of citizenship/legalization

While the Senate measure provides a multi-year path to citizenship for most undocumented immigrants, House Republicans made clear Wednesday they remained split about 50-50 on the matter.

Reasons for opposing any kind of legalization range from punishing lawbreakers to political protectionism, with conservatives fearing that most immigrants given what they call amnesty and the eventual right to vote will lean Democratic.

However, the issue of legalizing immigrants is broad and complex, creating lots of uncertainty.

For example, the Senate bill would automatically give immigrants living illegally in the United States temporary legal status as "registered provisional immigrants." Only when certain border security steps had been taken could they apply for permanent residency, or green cards, as a step toward potential citizenship in process that would take more than a decade.

Many House Republicans made clear they don't want any kind of legal status for undocumented immigrants until the borders are secure. Even those open to legalization don't want it to include a path to full citizenship.

The labels and definitions of legal status will be a major sticking point in the continuing debate, but also could be a source of compromise.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia told Wednesday's GOP caucus meeting that children of undocumented immigrants brought illegally to America through no fault of their own should be provided a path to legal status, a position strongly favored by Democrats.

The backing of Cantor and other House Republicans for such a provision showed room for maneuvering exists.

After meeting with Obama at the White House on Thursday, GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona called on House Republicans to negotiate an immigration bill.

"We are ready to sit down with you and negotiate and bring this issue to a conclusion," said McCain, part of the bipartisan Senate "Gang of Eight."

 

Sweeping reform isn't popular with GOP in either chamber.

There may be more Senate GOP support for comprehensive immigration reform, but not that much. Only 14 of 46 GOP senators backed the "Gang of Eight" bill heralded in its creation as a triumph of bipartisanship in a sharply divided Congress. Why should House Republicans be more in favor?

Remember that all politics is still local -- especially in the House. Many House Republicans represent ruby red districts with few Hispanics, where any path to citizenship is unpopular and the big fear is a primary challenge from the right.

Which leads us to ...

 

The Hastert rule

House Speaker John Boehner has made clear that the House will only take up immigration reform that is backed by a majority of its Republican members. That is keeping with the maxim of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert that prevented votes on legislation that lacked strong support from the controlling party.

Democrats contend the Senate version would pass the House with a few dozen Republicans joining them to overcome opposition by most of the GOP caucus.

While it is unclear if that's true, permitting it to happen would antagonize many of Boehner's fellow Republicans.

"If the speaker allows a vote on any immigration bill that results in passage despite a majority of the Republican conference voting against it, then it will be interesting to see if he can muster the votes to get re-elected after the next election," Alabama GOP Rep. Mo Brooks recently told CNN.

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