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John Boehner to seek support for plan to avoid government shutdown

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House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner will try to sell fellow Republicans this week on a government spending bill that avoids a shutdown fight but allows the party to strike back at President Barack Obama’s immigration order.

Republicans have a lot riding on their handling of must-pass government funding. Having scored huge wins in Nov. 4 voting that handed them a majority in the Senate and gave them a bigger majority in the House, Republican leaders want to demonstrate that they can govern responsibly next year.

But many are still outraged that Obama bypassed Congress and is moving ahead unilaterally on immigration, granting what they claim is “amnesty” to people who came to the United States illegally.

House Republicans will meet on Tuesday after a 10-day Thanksgiving break to discuss their response, including a leading option for Boehner that would fund most government agencies through September 2015, with only a short-term extension for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

House Republican lawmakers and aides say this would give them a chance to use their stronger House and Senate majorities next year to pass explicit spending restrictions on some DHS agencies, to try to stop Obama’s immigration overhaul.

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“That’s an option. There are a lot of options. That’s one of them so we’ll see,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers told Reuters after a closed-door meeting of senior Republicans on Monday. Rogers is pressing for a full-year spending bill for all agencies.

Representative Marlin Stutzman, a Republican from Indiana, said he supports the idea of short-term funding for DHS because it would allow Republicans some leverage over Obama next year on immigration, while avoiding a shutdown fight.

“A short-term CR (continuing resolution) on DHS would give us flexibility,” he said. “I think we need to have some ability to go back to the table.”

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Senate Republicans are discussing similar proposals for a two-tier spending bill. Congress must pass a funding extension by Dec. 11 to avoid a government shutdown. Obama’s immigration order lifts the threat of deportation for some 4.7 million undocumented immigrants.

But opinions vary widely in Boehner’s Republican caucus, and he may have difficulty persuading conservatives who are demanding an immediate retaliatory vote against Obama’s order.

“I just want to make sure that we do our job and that is to make sure no funds can be spent for this illegal action,” said Representative Matt Salmon, a conservative from Arizona who is pushing for a full-year spending bill with language explicitly blocking the use of any funds to pay for Obama’s immigration order.

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Still others, such as Kansas conservative Tim Huelskamp, want a short-term funding extension for all agencies, so that Republicans have a stronger negotiating position with Obama when they control both chambers of Congress.

(Additional reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Tom Brown and Ken Wills)


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Trump’s racism is ‘disqualifying’ for him to remain as president: former White House lawyer

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Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal explained on MSNBC on Thursday why he viewed President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four women of color in Congress as disqualifying.

Anchor Brian Williams read a quote from Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.

"Half of the country is appalled but not really sure how to combat him; the other half is cheering, or at least averting its gaze. This is what a political civil war looks like, with words, for now, as weapons," Glasser wrote.

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Lawrence O’Donnell reports on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump

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Anchor Lawrence O'Donnell reported on the growing movement for the impeachment of President Donald Trump during Thursday evening's "The Last Word" on MSNBC.

"The House of Representatives conducted a symbolic vote on a hastily written impeachment resolution by Democratic Congressman Al Green in reaction to the president’s tweeted comments that the House of Representatives voted to condemn as racist," O'Donnell reported. "The impeachment resolution had nothing to do with the [Robert] Mueller investigation and referred only to the president being unfit for office because of the language that he has used recently about members of Congress and immigrants and asylum seekers."

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Video proves how far the Trump’s GOP has gone from the era of Ronald Reagan and HW Bush

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The immigration policies of Donald Trump’s presidency would have no room for his GOP predecessors Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush—who both embraced work visas, family unification, easy border crossings and a better relationship with Mexico.

That counterpoint can be seen in a very short video clip from the 1980 presidential election where Reagan and Bush—who became Reagan’s vice president for two terms before winning the presidency in 1988—were asked about immigration at a campaign debate in Texas. Their responses show just how far to the right the Republican Party’s current leader, President Trump, and voters who have not left the GOP to become self-described political independents, have moved on immigration.

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