WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans blocked a vote on a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday, despite a threat from a GOP senator to hold up judicial nominees until action is taken on the measure.
Critics of President Donald Trump in both parties have for months advocated for legislation to safeguard Mueller and his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, but the effort gained renewed momentum earlier this month when Trump fired Jeff Sessions as attorney general and replaced him with Matthew Whitaker, a controversial loyalist who criticized the Russia probe before joining the administration.
Advocates’ hopes were raised briefly when the second-ranking Senate Republican, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, said in an interview that the chamber might take up the bill this week after all.
But those hopes were dashed Wednesday afternoon when Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, objected to a request for unanimous consent to proceed to a full vote on the bill.
It was not the first time proponents have tried and failed to use unanimous consent to get a vote on the bill, which passed the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee this spring on a bipartisan basis, 14-7.
The bill, like several related measures, would essentially codify internal Department of Justice guidelines meant to insulate the special counsel from political influence from the White House.
Republicans have objected on two grounds, one constitutional and the other practical, arguing the bill is unnecessary and the Senate has no time to spare in the crowded lame-duck session of Congress.
“This is a solution in search of a problem,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters Tuesday. “The president is not going to fire Robert Mueller. … We have a lot of things to do to try to finish up this year without taking votes on things that are completely irrelevant to outcomes.”
Lee made the constitutional case in his objection, citing the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to argue that the president has rightful control of the Department of Justice and that insulating the special counsel from White House oversight would essentially amount to “creating a fourth branch of government.”
Trump critics were not moved by either argument.
Outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who sits on the Judiciary Committee, has threatened to withhold his vote for all of Trump’s judicial nominees unless McConnell allows for a vote on the Mueller protection bill.
“To be so sanguine about the prospects of (Mueller) being fired is folly for us,” Flake said on the Senate floor. “Mr. Mueller must be able to preserve the work he has done and complete this very thorough investigation and make his findings public.”
Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said the bill should be viewed as an insurance policy.
“This is the easiest way possible to prevent an entirely predictable constitutional crisis,” Coons said in speech on the floor. “We could take up and pass this bill in a few minutes this afternoon and I’m confident it would get 60 votes.”
But as long as McConnell refused to bring the bill up for a vote, they will not find out if Coons’ prediction is correct.
Flake said he and his allies would keep trying, though he will be out of office in early January.
“We promised to come to the floor again, and again, that’s why we’re here today. We’ll continue to do so until this vital investigation is completed,” he said.
Trending Now on Right Wing News
Yuma Mayor Declares Emergency Over Migrant Crisis – City Overrun
This story originally appeared on WeBuildTheWall.news & was edited & republished with permission:
Sounds like a humanitarian and a national security crisis to me and I’m not the only one who sees it that way. Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls just declared an emergency in his city due to what he said was the strain caused by the incoming flow of migrants. The agents and authorities are simply being overwhelmed and swarmed by these invaders.
1,800 came over the border in one day… one day! Half of those detained on Tuesday crossing over from Mexico were found in the El Paso, Texas area, according to officials. Border patrol said more than 980 were apprehended before 5 am after crossing in three large groups. Yuma is having just as rough a time of it.
Mayor Nicholls went public with this on Facebook. He explained that he “proclaimed a local emergency” in the city “due to the migrant family releases overwhelming the local shelter system.” And it’s not just the sheer numbers of illegal immigrants… it’s the economic burden, the crime, the drugs, the danger to children and disease that is playing into this massive emergency state.
Nicholls is begging the government to step in and do something here. I don’t blame him in the least. They need help and fast. “I am calling upon the federal government to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Yuma, as our NGO’s are overcapacity and cannot sustain providing this aid,” the post said. Here’s a thought – ship all of them to sanctuary cities just as Trump proposed. Works for me. Better yet, don’t let them in at all unless they come here legally.
From Fox News:
“Nicholls, in a video, laid out his reasoning behind the declaration, saying that he ultimately feels that its what’s best for both Yuma and the incoming migrants.
“So it’s with a heavy heart that I declare that we’re at this point but it is something that I believe we need to do to make sure that our community is maintained and that the human rights of all the migrants are also maintained and that we have a path forward that respects both,” he said.
“The city of Yuma, Ariz., also tweeted about the proclamation, citing Nicholls, claiming that released migrants were coming into the area faster than they were leaving.
“The move by the local official comes after President Trump declared a national emergency at the nation’s southern border earlier this year.”
Mayor: Migrants being released into the community faster than they are departing, and shelters and the staff to run them are at max capacity. A state of emergency is declared.
— City of Yuma (@cityofyuma) April 16, 2019
“The transportation network is just insufficient to keep up with demand,” Nicholls said. “And the backlog of people staying at the shelter has created this capacity issue.” The media and the left are playing it up that the poor illegal immigrants don’t have money for bus fare to go to relatives while they await their court date. But the issue here is that they should not be here in the first place.
Now, the city is hoping for a FEMA response. In signing the declaration, Nicholls said he hopes to draw national attention to the plight of local communities struggling with a federal issue, adding that he’s talking to officials in other border cities and calling on them to issue similar emergency declarations. The mayor stated that he had spoken to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who signaled his support for the declaration.
Today I proclaimed a local emergency in Yuma, due to the migrant family releases overwhelming the local shelter system. I am calling upon the federal government to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Yuma, as our NGO’s are overcapacity and cannot sustain providing this aid. I signed the proclamation of emergency and soon after spoke with media at approximately 3:15 pm (MST). You can view via the video below:
Posted by Douglas Nicholls, Yuma Mayor on Tuesday, April 16, 2019
“We will review any declaration once we receive it,” according to a statement Tuesday night from Patrick Ptak, a Ducey spokesman. “Ultimately, this humanitarian crisis is the result of Congress’ failure to act. It will only be solved by Congress actually doing something, and the governor has vocally urged Congress to quit playing politics and take action. If only they would.
“In the wake of their inaction, our office is working with local governments, non-profits and our federal partners to maximize available resources and ensure proper coordination between ICE officials and groups providing temporary services to migrants.”
I rolled into Mexico illegally, and came back into the USA… upon entering I got free healthcare, dental, welfare and cash in my pocket. It was that easy. @DonaldJTrumpJr @realDonaldTrump @RealJamesWoods @Education4Libs @IngrahamAngle @gehrig38 @SheriffClarke @NeilWMcCabe2 pic.twitter.com/8BHuqGbaZA
— Brian Kolfage (@BrianKolfage) April 11, 2019
Nicholls fears hungry migrants roaming the streets. He should fear much worse than that. “This isn’t a natural disaster,” Nicholls said. “But it is a disaster.”
“… the local emergency exceeds control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of the City of Yuma and requires the combined efforts, cooperation, and resources of the Yuma community including local and non-profit agencies such as the Red Cross, Catholic Community Services, The Salvation Army, Yuma Community Food Bank, churches, the County of Yuma, the State of Arizona, and the United States of America,” the statement said.
It’s long past time for the wall to be built and We Build The Wall should start their project this month. Meanwhile, President Trump is still scratching and fighting for every mile of barrier put up. Put the blame of all this where it belongs… squarely on the left. #WeBuildTheWall
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