What to Know in Washington: Border Blame Game Strains GOP Unity

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Republicans are facing backlash from IMMIGRATION hard-liners on and off Capitol Hill after repeatedly failing to attach conservative border policies to must-pass legislation.

Congress passed a sweeping foreign aid measure in April that lacked the border security demands many GOP House members insisted on for more than a year. Weeks earlier, members cleared a government funding measure that also largely excluded right-wing border demands.

“They’ve squandered opportunity after opportunity,” Ira Mehlman, media director for the conservative Federation for American Immigration Reform, said of Republicans. “They’ve made promises they haven’t kept.”

The outrage from conservative advocacy groups and some lawmakers highlights the limits of GOP leaders’ efforts to use border security to unite the fractious conference. And, it raises questions about whether House Republicans will pay a political price for making immigration promises they couldn’t or wouldn’t keep. Read More

Meanwhile, the White House will propose a new rule on MIGRANTS to allow the US to more quickly expel some migrants seeking to claim asylum, as the White House grapples with a historic surge of illegal immigration.

The proposal, to be unveiled today by the Homeland Security Department, would allow officials to perform an initial eligibility determination at the time migrants are first screened for asylum status, people familiar said.

That would allow the US to more quickly designate individuals as national security or public safety risks and speed deportation compared to the current system, Josh Wingrove and Jennifer Jacobs report. Read More


  • President Joe Biden will welcome 2023 WNBA champions the Las Vegas Aces to the White House, with Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff.
  • Biden will head to California around 5:30 p.m., arriving in Mountain View, Calif. after 10:30 p.m., before heading to San Francisco, where he’ll arrive around 11:15 p.m.


  • The House is out until Tuesday.
  • The Senate convenes at noon to resume consideration of the FAA reauthorization.
  • For the full detailed agenda, read BGOV’s Congress Tracker.

From BGOV’s Hill Reporters

The House passed a one-week extension of the FAA’s authorities and ability to collect taxes—punting the deadline on the long-term bill to give Congress more time as the Senate dithers over amendments, Zach C. Cohen and Lillianna Byington report.

  • The chamber voted Wednesday on the temporary bill to push the deadline from May 10 to May 17. It marks the fourth short-term extension since September.
  • The Senate would still need to pass the measure, but senators said Wednesday they were still pushing to move on the long-term measure and scheduled another procedural vote today to advance the five-year bill. Read More

An effort to extend benefits to victims of RADIATION exposure has sparked tension between constituent concerns and members’ ability to pass critical national policy legislation. The latest dust-up involves the FAA bill.

  • Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has threatened to hold up the FAA legislation if Senate leadership doesn’t allow a vote on his amendment to extend and expand the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act before it expires in June.
  • Senate leaders are still figuring out which individual amendments to vote on related to the measure. “We ought to have an open amendment process,” Hawley told BGOV. Read More

Also Happening on the Hill

Rep. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE’s bid to oust Speaker Mike Johnson was quashed by a rare cross-party alliance of House Democrats and Republicans, formed to reward the GOP leader for help securing $61 billion in aid for Ukraine.

  • Yet the Louisiana Republican’s reliance on partisan opponents to maintain his leadership post leaves his political strength in doubt. Democratic leaders haven’t committed to indefinitely supporting him.
  • Eleven Republicans opposed the procedural move that Johnson allies used to block a vote—which was forced by Greene (R-Ga.)—on removing him. Overall the House voted 359-43 to avert an ouster vote. Read More
Marjorie Taylor Greene in Washington on May 7. Photo by Allison Bailey/AFP via Getty Images

Partisan Friction Clouds American-Indian Judicial Nomination

The path forward for the White House nominee to be the first American-Indian judge on Montana’s federal trial court is “uncertain,” said the state’s Republican senator.

People, Power, and Politics

Delays in the CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS case and the Georgia ELECTION INTERFERENCE charges against Donald Trump exposed a fundamental truth about the 2024 election: the legal system is not going to stymie the former president’s political momentum as many once thought.

  • With just one of four possible trials certain to occur before Election Day, voters will likely go to the polls without knowing the outcome of Trump’s myriad legal challenges.
  • Political operatives and legal veterans say the long list of trial delays stem from a combination of Trump’s luck, his lawyers’ willingness to bend legal conventions, and the slow-moving pace of the US judicial system. Read More
Curtis Means-Pool/Getty Images
Donald Trump speaks to the media before he appears in court during his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 7, 2024 in New York City.

Trump has made no secret of his animus toward WIND ENERGY, whether on- or offshore. If the presumptive Republican nominee returns to the White House next year, analysts say he may target the sector, and even projects that are now fully operating could face peril.

  • That could take the form of the government halting the permitting of new projects or agreeing in court to reconsider approvals for previously authorized wind farms.
  • Trump’s election also could give other officials critical of offshore wind — including in the Pentagon and Commerce Department — more sway. Read More

In MARYLAND, generational identity politics, institutional wealth, and more are turning the crowded race to be the Democratic nominee in the state’s 6th Congressional District into an increasingly negative race.

  • The race will help decide not just the future of leadership in a deep blue state, but also the success of attempts to shake up political norms by Gen Z Americans who are newly old enough to run for office.
  • But some Democrats worry that the increasingly negative campaign could hurt their odds of keeping the seat in November. Read More

House Republican Edge on the Verge of Expanding: BGOV OnPoint

House Republican leaders, who can afford just one defection on party-line votes, should get a bit more breathing room soon.

Trump Individual, Estate Tax Cut Renewal to Cost $4.6 Trillion

The cost of extending the 2017 tax cuts for households, small businesses and the estates of wealthy individuals enacted under President Donald Trump has expanded to $4.6 trillion, according to new estimates from Congress’s fiscal scorekeeper.

Stephen Miller Group Sues IBM’s Red Hat for Anti-White Male Bias

Ex-Trump adviser Stephen Miller’s legal group has sued IBM Corp. subsidiary Red Hat Inc. claiming the company’s diversity goals led to the discriminatory treatment and termination of a former White male employee.

Defense and Foreign Affairs

Biden Warns He’d Delay More Weapons If Israel Attacks Rafah

US President Joe Biden said he would halt additional shipments of offensive weapons to Israel if the country launched a ground invasion of Rafah, decrying the potential loss of civilian life as “just wrong.”

US, Israel Defense Officials Discussed Operations in Gaza

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. CQ Brown spoke with Israel’s Defense Forces Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi via phone call, according to US Department of Defense readout.

Former NSA Boss Calls for More Aggressive Policy to Thwart Hacks

The US must undertake a “full-time surge” to combat the rise in cyberattacks that is undermining US national security, the recently departed head of the National Security Agency said in an interview.

To contact the reporters on this story: Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com; Jeannie Baumann in Washington at jbaumann@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com; Giuseppe Macri at gmacri@bgov.com

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