Legislative Activity

Lawmakers React to Paris Attacks

The world reacted with sorrow and outrage following a series of attacks across Paris on Friday, November 13.  While the French continued to mourn the scores lost, the Hollande government stepped up airstrikes in Syria against ISIL, which claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Lawmakers quickly began to into question the Administration’s plans to allow 10,000 new Syrian refugees into the United States following reports that at least one of the Paris attackers may have traveled to France as part of the surge of migrants crossing into Europe.  House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-California) expressed concerns that U.S. intelligence officials would not be able to adequately screen those entering the United States.  Though the White House continued to insist the program remains on course and that applicants would be properly vetted, the Administration could face increased opposition from Congress in the coming days and weeks.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • November 17:  The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management and the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency will hold a joint hearing titled “Examining Ongoing Challenges at the U.S. Secret Service and their Government-Wide Implications.”
  • November 17:  The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing titled “Oversight of the United States Department of Justice” with Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
  • November 17:  The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security will hold a hearing titled “Assessing TSA’s Management and Implementation of the Screening Partnership Program.”
  • November 17: The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights, and Federal Courts will hold a hearing titled “The War on Police: How the Federal Government Undermines State and Local Law Enforcement.”
  • November 18: The House Homeland Security Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a joint hearing titled “The Rise of Radicalism: Growing Terrorist Sanctuaries and the Threat to the U.S. Homeland.”
  • November 19: The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security will hold a hearing titled “The Syrian Refugee Crisis and Its Impact on the Security of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.”
  • November 19: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the Committee’s human trafficking investigation.

Executive Branch Activity

Appeals Court Maintains Block on President’s Immigration Plans

On Monday, November 9, a federal appeals court issued a ruling that would continue to block implementation of President Obama’s proposed executive actions on immigration.  The New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with 26 states and upheld an injunction against President Obama’s proposals.  The injunction halts the creation of a new deferred deportation program for parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents announced by the President last November. It also calls on the Department of Homeland Security to stop expansion of the Obama Administration’s 2012 program deferring deportation for certain immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

The next day, the Obama Administration announced that it would seek Supreme Court review of the Fifth Circuit’s decision, teeing up potential consideration by the high court before the end of President Obama’s time in office.