Democrats Say They Will Vote No on Their Own Abolish ICE Bill After GOP Plans to Bring It Up for a Vote

The three House Democrats behind legislation introduced Thursday to abolish U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced in a statement late Thursday that they would vote ‘no’ on their own bill if it is brought to the floor, accusing Republicans of planning to bring it up for a vote as a “political stunt.”

Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) said they would use the opportunity to debate immigration.

“We know Speaker Ryan is not serious about passing our ‘Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act,’ so members of Congress, advocacy groups, and impacted communities will not engage in this political stunt,” the three said. “If Speaker Ryan puts our bill on the floor, we plan to vote no and will instead use the opportunity to force an urgently needed and long-overdue conversation on the House floor.”

The bill would “convene a commission of experts to provide a roadmap for Congress to implement a humane immigration enforcement system that upholds the dignity of all individuals, which includes terminating the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) within one year of enactment.”

Abolishing ICE became a larger issue among Democrats this past month after Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's stunning primary victory over Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY). Ocasio-Cortez is calling to abolish ICE as part of her campaign platform. 

A recent poll shows that the majority of voters oppose abolishing ICE.

Republicans were reportedly planning to bring the legislation up for a vote later this month.

“Democrats have been trying to make July 4th about abolishing ICE which is a radical, extreme position that would lead to open borders and undermine America's national security,” House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) told The Hill Thursday. “I think it's the wrong approach. I think everyone ought to be on record about where they stand on that issue.”


House Democrat: ‘China declared trade war,’ not Trump

President Trump isn’t to blame for the outbreak of a trade war with China, a senior House Democrat argued Wednesday.

“We're now told that this is Trump's trade war,” Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., said during a Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing. “No, China declared trade war on the United States, 18 years ago.”

Sherman traced the economic clash back to 2000, when lawmakers formalized China’s privileged economic relationship by voting in favor of “permanent normal trade relations” with the Communist power. That legislation codified what previously had been known as “most-favored nation” status in trade with the U.S. And Sherman, who voted against the bill at the time, warned colleagues not to flip-flop on the policy out of hostility to Trump.

“Before Democrats get carried away with the desire to repudiate our position, remember that 65 percent of Democrats voted ‘no’ on MFN [most favored nation status] for China,” he said. “We should not abandon that position just because some Republicans and the White House have embraced it.”

That doesn't mean Sherman approves of Trump’s policies toward China, which he described as “timid, weak, haphazard, and unplanned.” A top Republican on the panel likewise raised doubts about the tariff policy, while echoing Sherman’s denunciation of China.

“Our hearing today turns on one of the only remaining areas of disagreement: Which tools should be used in response?” said Florida Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., who chairs the Asia-Pacific subcommittee. “Whether or not they are the right tool for the job, U.S. tariffs are based on longstanding wrongdoing from the Chinese side. China's tariffs are pure retaliation designed to do nothing more than inflict pain.”

Chinese diplomats have repudiated such accusations, claiming instead to be standing up for the international economic order.

“I would like to stress once again that the U.S. action is the quintessential trade bullying,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said during a Wednesday press briefing. “We will take necessary countermeasures to safeguard our legitimate and legal rights and interests. The multilateralism, free trade and rules-based order are pit against unilateralism, protectionism and power games.”

Sherman sought to rally Democratic frustration with China’s trade policies. “While Wall Street pays economists to tell us that the trade deficit isn't a problem, in fact, we have lost 2 million American jobs,” the California Democrat said. “That's opioid; that's alcohol abuse; that's suicide; that's abandoned counties and small towns; and that's the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. Those are the harms of our trade policy.”

Yoho called instead for “targeted sanctions” on companies that flout U.S. laws, as well as non-tariff restrictions on Chinese investments “and upgraded protection for us and intellectual property innovation. He warned the administration against accepting China’s reported offer to reduce the trade deficit by $200 billion in order to avoid the tariff clash. “A brief reduction in the trade deficit will do nothing to solve the main challenges of the trade relationship,” he said. “It won't reduce the long-term threat to U.S. competitiveness in advanced technologies; It won’t reduce market access restrictions; and it won’t stop forced tech transfer or blatant [intellectual property] theft.”


Shepard Smith Gives Dark Warning About Trump’s ‘Unprecedented’ Attacks On NATO

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The Fox News host says the president’s remarks in Brussels could cause lasting damage.

In response to President Donald Trump’s breakfast rant at the NATO summit in Brussels, Shepard Smith devoted the first segment of his Wednesday show to reminding Fox News viewers of the importance of the NATO alliance.

“President Trump upended world order in a way no American president has in modern history,” Smith said at the top of his show. “He attacked our closest allies. He berated them and insulted them. He labeled Germany captive to Russia. And he blasted NATO agreements that date to post-World War II.”

Before launching into a quick history of the alliance, Smith warned viewers that Trump’s “unprecedented” behavior could have lasting damage and derail several decades of diplomatic progress.

“President Trump’s utterances not only open the door for a new system overseas,” he said. “They could also turn back the global clock centuries.”

Trump kicked off the NATO summit by accusing member states of being in debt to America because of delinquent payments and failing to contribute their fair share in defense spending. He also lashed out at Germany in particular, accusing the nation of being “held captive” by Russia.

“The Germans are our close friends and treasured allies,” Smith said in response.

The Fox News host boiled down Trump’s attacks to one point: Russian leader Vladimir Putin is likely pleased with Trump’s disruption.

“One thing is certain,” Smith added. “Vladimir Putin would like nothing more than for our NATO alliance to fray. For friends to fight among themselves as we do today in historically unprecedented fashion. For it is NATO that is the best defense against Vladimir Putin and Russian aggression.”

Trump is scheduled to meet with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, early next week. The highly anticipated sit-down will involve just the two world leaders with translators.

Aides and journalists will not be allowed to listen to the exchange. Ahead of his Europe trip, which involves the NATO summit and a visit to the U.K., Trump told the press that his meeting with the Russian leader may be “the easiest of them all.”

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