by Kevin Mercado

Refugee Resettlement

Appeals Court Limits Trump Travel Ban and Allows More Refugees
September 7, 2017
A federal appeals court reopened the country’s door to thousands of refugees who were temporarily blocked due to Trump’s travel ban. The court also held up a lower court decision that exempted grandparents and other relatives form the ban. “The ruling, from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Seattle, was cheered by refugee resettlement organizations, and clarified, for now, who was covered by the ban.”

White House Weighs Lowering Refugee Quota to Below 50,000
September 12, 2017
With Trump and his administration considering reducing the number of refugees allowed into the country to just 50,00 – the lowest in a generation – intense debate roars through the White House and among his administration. Stephen Miller, Trump’s senior adviser for policy, and other officials at the Department of Homeland Security are “citing security concerns and limited resources as grounds for deeply cutting the number of admissions, and officials at the National Security Council, the State Department and the Department of Defense opposing a precipitous drop.” As of recently, no decision has been made, but Supreme Court has allowed the administration “to bar almost any refugees from entering the country while it considers challenges on the travel ban order.”

Military Spending

Trump Overrules GOP with Deal on Spending, Debt, Harvey Aid
September 7, 2017
“President Donald Trump briskly overruled congressional Republicans and his own Treasury Secretary to cut a deal with Democrats to keep the government operating and raise America’s debt limit.” The immediate goal was to ensure money for Hurricane relief, but Trump also “brazenly rolled his own party’s leaders.” While in deal-making mode, Trump sided with Senator Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as they pushed for a three-month deal. “Republicans want that longer allowance to avoid having to take another vote on the politically toxic issue before the 2018 congressional elections.”

Trump Will ‘Demand’ Increase in Military Budget as Part of Spending Deal: Mnuchin
September 12, 2017
While Trump is working through the end of the year to reach a deal with Congress on a budget deal, it seems as though military spending is critical to his negotiations. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that the president is determined to follow through on the promise he made during his campaign. “Mnuchin said the White House is looking for a longer-term budget deal but is at the point where it will take the best deal it can get, with the goal of avoiding a shutdown.”

‘Unlimited War’ and Transgender Troops: Amendments Seek Limits to Military Spending Bill
September 13, 2017
According to the article, a rushed Senate vote on a military and defense-spending budget will consider amendments on transgender troops. “The US Senate has agreed to vote on a number of amendments to the controversial military spending bill, including one proposing to end the 2001 authority for unlimited warfare, and another that would keep transgender troops in service.”

Rand Paul’s Amendment to Force a Vote on Endless War Gets Kicked Down the Road
September 13, 2017
Rand Paul proposed an amendment to end the Authorization for Use of Military Force in six months. He said on MSNBC, “I don’t think one generation should bind another generation to war.” Unfortunately, his efforts to force a vote on the issue were blocked nearly two-to-one by the Senate.