by Kevin Mercado

Refugee Resettlement:

Trump Administration Considers Pausing U.S. Refugee Family Reunification Program
October 20, 2017
The Trump administration had recently drafted a plan to pause a program that allows family members to join refugees already settled in the United States until they can go through increased security checks. “The measure is one of several being considered for refugees.” The administration may also expand the use of intensive security checks by multiple federal agencies “to apply to women from countries designated as high-risk by the U.S. government.” Men from said countries already have to go through mandatory ‘security advisory opinions’ (SAOs).

Whether Trump’s Refugee Ban Expires or Not, The U.S. Will Take in a Record Low Number of Refugees
October 23, 2017
While much attention has been focused on Trump ‘s three tries at barring citizens of several Muslim countries from traveling to the U.S., less attention is being paid to parallel orders banning refugee resettlement, set to expire soon. “Theoretically, this will allow agencies to resume normal processing for thousands of backlogged cases. But after months of being continually blindsided by a hostile White House, refugees and their advocates feel far more anxiety than relief.”

Trump Administration Expected To Announce Refugee Resettlement Program Can Resume
October 24, 2017
The Trump administration is expected to resume the refugee admission into the country after a 120-day pause. However, there will be new security vetting procedures in place as well. “President Trump issued an executive order announcing that the refugee program will resume with those security measures in place. He also ordered an additional 90-day review of security procedures for refugees from 11 countries mostly in the Middle East and Africa.” Refugee advocates, though, worry that this will mean fewer refugees will be allowed in the country. The story continues with an interview with Joel Rose.

Military Spending

Senate Defeats Rand Paul’s Attempt to Cut $43 Billion in Spending
October 19, 2017
The Senate recently rejected Senator Rand Paul’s attempt to cut $43 billion out of the 2018 budget plan, “after he had said lawmakers were simply using a technicality to get around spending caps and plus up defense funding.” His amendment failed on a 5-95 vote. Paul said, “‘we have a $20 trillion debt — it’s about whether we’re serious about tackling that debt.’” He went on to say that leaders plan to ‘hide’ the additional money in a special war fund in order to get around spending caps.

The Truth About America and North Korea’s Defense Spending
October 21, 2017
“Kim Jong-un can ramp up the warmongering rhetoric and threaten to carry out further nuclear bomb tests, but how much firepower does North Korea actually have compared to the US?” This multimedia article compares the defense spending in the U.S. to that of North Korea. The budgets are vastly different according to the article. “When it comes to defense spending, America eclipses every other country in the world, and then some… North Korea’s military budget is estimated to be the 46th largest in the world.”

Democrats Should Oppose Trump’s Military Spending Buildup
October 23, 2017
There are numerous ways in which $80 billion could be wisely spent, but more weapons for war should not be among them.” When Trump first announced his $54 billion military spending increase, democrats “feigned outrage,” but when it came time to vote in September on the $700 billion National Defense Authorization Act, the opposition turned into a “bi-partisan military-industrial Summer of Love.” “Nearly every Senate Democrat, including Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein, not only failed to oppose Trump’s proposal, they approved $26 billion more than he asked for and didn’t even condition their votes on Republican support for the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act.”

The U.S. Military Was Supposed to get Much Bigger Under Trump. Here’s why it hasn’t
October 24, 2017
Trump s no close to realizing his dream of a U.S. military fueled by 12 U.S. navy carriers, modernized fighter jets, and a new unmanned aircraft. A budget deal brokered by congressional Republicans is expected to do very little to increase defense spending beyond the Obama administration. “The Pentagon won’t see a cent of that money unless a bipartisan bill makes it through Congress to get rid of old limits on defense spending.”