In it, but not of it. TPM DC

President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily suspending the U.S. refugee program and barring immigrants from seven majority-Muslim nations is unlikely to be defeated on religious discrimination grounds, constitutional law experts told TPM Monday.

While they said Trump’s order will have a disproportionately negative impact on Muslim refugees and immigrants, the experts argued the wording of the order, as well as the broad authority historically vested in the executive branch on immigration policy, renders it difficult to successfully argue that the order explicitly discriminates against Muslims.

Read More →

A group of Republican lawmakers have already spoken out against President Donald Trump's executive actions to bar immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days.

The Republicans are the same crew who spoke out early and often against Trump's immigration screeds on the campaign trail. So far Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John McCain (R-AZ), Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) have stood against Trump's actions.

The backlash against Trump has been broad and come from all corners of the Republican Party in Congress.

In a joint statement Sunday, Graham and McCain warned that Trump's actions were little more than "a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism."

"At this very moment, American troops are fighting side-by-side with our Iraqi partners to defeat ISIL. But this executive order bans Iraqi pilots from coming to military bases in Arizona to fight our common enemies. Our most important allies in the fight against ISIL are the vast majority of Muslims who reject its apocalyptic ideology of hatred," the statement said. "This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country. That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security.”

Read More →

Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID) cannot support a border wall that isn't paid for.

Despite some indications that Republican leaders may give President Donald Trump a multi-billion dollar border wall without offsets, Risch – a key fiscal conservative – says he's not on board.

"I vote for things that are offset," Risch said. "I'm a strong believer in offsetting whatever it is you're going to spend money on. The government today borrows one and a quarter million dollars a day and that can't go on so it needs to be offset."

Read More →

PHILADELPHIA – Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) came out in strong support of a draft executive order that suggested President Donald Trump would re-examine the use of enhanced interrogation techniques and CIA black sites that were banned under the Obama administration.

Cheney, whose father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, was defender of the program under the Bush administration, said that without enhanced interrogation, the U.S. was less safe.

Read More →

When Trump said Monday in a meeting with congressional leaders that millions of undocumented immigrants had voted in the election for Hillary Clinton and cost him the popular vote, it wasn't the first time he'd made such a claim.

It was the first time, however, he'd made it from the White House as the President of the United States.

It was just another blip on the crowded radar for congressional Republicans who have found themselves simultaneously exhilarated by the idea of a Republican presidency and deeply worried that Trump could pull them off course with his unpredictability and tendency to fixate on his own popularity.

“I think we should be talking about the future. We have lots to do. You know tax reform and regulatory relief and replacing the Affordable Care Act with something better," said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), when asked about Trump's comments that millions had voted illegally in the election. “The election is behind us. You know he won.”

Read More →