National Defense Authorization Act Signed In Face Of Veto
October 21, 2015
Senate fails to advance homeland security legislation in sanctuary cities to comply with federal immigration laws; House Speaker John Boehner signs 2016 National Defense Authorization Act in the face of potential veto from President Obama; Rep. Paul Ryan announces willingness to run for new Speaker of the House; IMF claims economic growth of Middle Eastern countries in six-member Gulf Cooperation Council will slow from 3.25% this year to 2.75% in 2016.
- The Senate voted 54-45 in a failed attempt to advance homeland security legislation that aims to compel so-called sanctuary cities to comply with federal immigration laws. The bill, deemed “Kate’s Law” by one of its sponsors, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), comes after the fatal shooting of Kate Steinle in San Francisco, a sanctuary city, by a man who authorities claim had entered the United States illegally. The bill would cut federal law enforcement funding to these localities to encourage them to start complying with Homeland Security and Border Patrol regulations. Another key component of the bill is an across-the-board increase in criminal sentences for undocumented migrants to the U.S. This legislation accompanies a House-passed law from July that denies funding to sanctuary cities and is backed by some city governments, though it is opposed by the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the Major Country Sheriff’s Association. Two Democrats, Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined all Republicans in supporting the measure, while all other Democrats in the chamber and the Obama administration have rejected the act. [Politico]
- House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) signed the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act and sent it to President Obama’s desk in a move that is expected to draw a veto from the White House. Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch (R-UT) also signed the measure, which does not abide by the administration’s desire for equal increases to both defense and non-defense spending for the department. The Senate passed the bill earlier this month with overwhelming bipartisan support as 20 Democrats joined all Republicans except Ted Crus (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY), who flatly oppose any increase in government spending. President Obama has 10 days to veto the legislation before it would automatically become law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that he hoped the chamber would be able to override the president’s dissent, though some Democrats have announced they would not again challenge the administration should the measure be rejected by the White House. [Hill]
- Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced on Tuesday that he would be open to running for House speaker, but only if Republicans unanimously consent to his leadership of the chamber. Ryan faces challenges, however, from the GOP’s freedom caucus, which threatened to unseat the incumbent speaker and derailed Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) candidacy earlier this month. In addition to being widely respected among his party, House and Senate Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Harry Reid (D-NV) also announced that they support Ryan’s accession to the speaker post. [WSJ]
Economic Indicators & News
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that the economic growth of Middle Eastern countries in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council will slow from 3.25% this year to 2.75% in 2016 as the states are currently facing budgetary crises caused by a weak oil market in 2015. The oil exporting countries in the region have lost a combined $360 billion in government revenues, which is set to contribute to a $1 trillion budget deficit over the next five years. Meanwhile, the market price for oil is down 52.7% since the first half of 2014. To compensate for lower prices, the IMF estimates that Middle Eastern countries need to reduce government spending by 12-13% of their GDPs this year as unemployment in the region is forecasted to rise from 12.75% to 16%. [FT]