Barack Obama did not like when Israeli prime minister Benjmain Netanyahu used a joint congressional meeting to criticize his Iran plan. But yesterday the president let the Irish prime minister, Enda Kenny, use his podium to attack Congress on immigration at a St. Patrick's Day reception at the White House.
Kenny also thanked Obama for his executive amnesty.
"Let me thank you, in particular, Mr. President, for the work that you are doing to achieve immigration reform and, in particular, for the executive actions, which you announced last November. (Applause.) The undocumented Irish represent a small proportion of the 11 million people affected by this issue across the United States, but I can also tell you that almost every family in our country is related to or knows somebody who is caught up in this deeply distressing situation. Any progress that would allow our undocumented to come out of the shadows and be free to travel home for family events would be very welcome and your very welcome ambassador, Kevin O’Malley, understands this deeply on his own personal family side," Kenny said, according to a White House transcript of the event.
"We also want to see a legal pathway for the future for Irish people to make their full contribution here if they so choose. I can assure you this evening, Mr. President, that we will continue to add our voice to the many voices calling on this Congress to pass immigration reform legislation as soon as possible."
The White House crowd applauded.
Kenny also thanked Obama for his work on the U.S. economy. "When we met in the Oval Office this morning, says he -- (laughter) -- we had the opportunity to discuss the progress that we are making in our economic recovery through the perseverance and the determination of the Irish people. The United States remains our most important economic partner and the support of the U.S. has been critical to the progress that we are making. The improvement that the U.S. economy is making under your leadership, President, is essential not only to jobs and growth in the United States, but also to Ireland’s recovery and growth throughout the global economy."
Senator Ben Sasse has introduced a law to eliminate the amnesty tax bonuses, according to a press release from his office.
“Presidents should enforce the laws—not unilaterally rewrite them—and it’s time for Congress to hold this Administration accountable,” Sasse says in a statement. “By preventing this Administration from issuing new Social Security Numbers to illegal aliens, the ABE Act would help restore the rule of law and save taxpayers billions of dollars.”
By most accounts, former Florida governor Jeb Bush performed well (to some observers, “very, very” well) in his Friday appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington. The likely presidential candidate succeeded in defying expectations by receiving a warm reception at the right-wing confab, even as his unorthodoxies on a few important issues for conservatives were highlighted in the appearance.
The Obama administration in recent weeks has been trumpeting the number of signups for health insurance through the Obamacare marketplaces for 2015, but at least 90,000 consumers who had coverage last year are losing it.
President Obama is holding a closed-door White House meeting with "immigration advocacy leaders" this morning, the White House announced. Later today the president will hold an immigration townhall in Miami, which will be broadcast on MSNBC.
"In the morning, the President will meet with immigration advocacy leaders to provide an update on the Administration’s immigration accountability executive actions. This meeting in the Roosevelt Room is closed press," the White House schedule reads.
President Barack Obama has promoted his recent executive action on immigration by arguing that he’s only deferring action – holding off on enforcement of the current immigration laws until an immigration reform he approves of passes Congress.
Jeb Bush had fighting words at his Wednesday speech at the Detroit Economic Club. The former Florida governor, who is actively thinking of running for president, said he was down for a rumble—at least, if anyone tried to say a bad word about his father, George H.W. Bush.
"My dad is the greatest man alive, and if anybody disagrees, we'll go outside," Bush said with a smile. "Unless you're, like, six-five and two-fifty and much younger than me. Then we'll negotiate. I'm still not going to change my mind."
On Tuesday, Democrats took advantage of the Senate's filibuster rules to block a bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security through the fiscal year. The bill, which passed the House of Representatives last month, would fund the department at current levels but block funding for implementing President Obama's December 2014 executive order on immigration.
ABC News reports that just 51 senators voted to close debate on the bill, with every Democrat voting against cloture and effectively blocking the Senate's ability to hold a vote on the legislation: