The White House has been quietly working with U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s office to slash legal immigration.
Politico reports that the Trump administration plans to release an expanded version of the legislation that Perdue Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton pitched earlier this spring. Their initial bill proposed halving the number of refugees permitted to enter the country and abolishing a popular green card lottery originally intended to bolster diversity. From Politico:
The senators have been working closely with Stephen Miller, a senior White House official known for his hawkish stance on immigration. The issue is also a central priority for Steve Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, who has several promises to limit immigration scribbled on the walls of his office.
The forthcoming bill is a revised and expanded version of legislation the two senators unveiled in February, known as the RAISE Act, which they discussed with Trump at the White House in March, and which the president praised at the time.
The report foreshadows what is likely to be an intense debate over the role of legal immigration in the U.S. economy. Perdue and Cotton have argued that unskilled immigration keeps wages low and hurts blue-collar workers already here. Opponents, particularly in the business community, contend that immigration — particularly in a low birth-rate nation — re-vitalizes the economy.
The backers of an effort to expand Georgia’s medical marijuana program won’t be able to rely on support from the nation’s top farm official.
Former Gov. Sonny Perdue, now Donald Trump’s agriculture secretary, said a measure that would allow farmers to cultivate medical marijuana in Georgia is “against federal law” and indicated he would oppose the effort.
“The fact is I think it’s a very slippery slope how you enforce,” he said, adding: “As governor, I was always aware of the federal supremacy law, which meant that federal law preempted state law when when it spoke.”
Georgia has steadily expanded its medical marijuana program to cover more illnesses, but it remains illegal to grow the plant in Georgia. State Rep. Allen Peake and other supporters of an expansion have sought ways to allow patients to legally obtain the drug in the state.
The Washington Post reports that a national effort has sprung up to rally African-American women to “help Stacey Abrams, the Democratic leader of the Georgia Statehouse, become the nation’s first black female elected governor.” From the Post:
“Get in Formation,” a campaign launched this week by three black political action committees, hopes to recruit more women like Peoples to pledge their personal and financial capital to help Abrams in her history-making quest. The effort will primarily be run online via a website and social media.
The initiative brings together Democracy In Color, which focuses on organizing and engaging voters of color and progressive whites; Higher Heights for America, whose goal is to get more African American women elected to office; and the Collective PAC, which recruits and supports progressive black candidates for public office.
A key U.S. House spending bill includes only about half of the money for the Savannah port expansion than boosters wanted for 2018.
The House Appropriations Committee proposed setting aside $50 million for the project, the same President Donald Trump asked for in his budget. Supporters of the port said they need between $80 million and $100 million to keep the nearly $1 billion dredging project on track:
As we mentioned over the weekend, the earmark ban ties lawmakers’ hands when it comes to setting aside money for individual projects such as the port. They’re essentially barred from setting aside more money for projects like Savannah beyond what the White House asked for.
Even worse for the port, the House’s spending bill proposes cutting funding for a general pot of construction funding at the Army Corps of Engineers nearly $180 million below last year’s level. Savannah backers were hoping they could make up the money there.