The DC: For-profit prisons, and... 🐯 Should Congress restrict the imports of trophy-hunted animals?
Join the 180,716 people who've taken action on Countable this week
by Countable | 6.24.19
Welcome to Monday, June 24, digitals and analogues...
President Donald Trump announced on Twitter over the weekend that he's postponing mass raids on unauthorized immigrants for two weeks.
"At the request of Democrats," Trump wrote, "I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start!"
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had called the planned Sunday raids heartless, and said the president needed to "to stop this brutal action which will tear families apart and inject terror into our communities."
Following Trump's announcement on Saturday, Pelosi tweeted her appreciation of the reprieve, saying "[t]ime is needed for comprehensive immigration reform. Families belong together."
On the Radar
President Trump plans to impose major new sanctions on Iran starting today as part of the U.S. effort to keep political and economic pressure on the country.
"Iran cannot have Nuclear Weapons!" Trump tweeted. "Under the terrible Obama plan, they would have been on their way to Nuclear in a short number of years, and existing verification is not acceptable. We are putting major additional Sanctions on Iran on Monday."
Trump told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that he's "not looking for war” with Iran, but warned of "obliteration like you've never seen before” if the country resumes building nuclear weapons.
Private Prison Break
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has released a policy proposal calling for a ban on private prisons and detention facilities, which she hopes to enact should she be elected president in 2020.
Warren's proposal would end "all contracts that the Bureau of Prisons, ICE, and the U.S. Marshals Service have with private detention providers" and "stop contractors from charging service fees for essential services.”
Presently, a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) loophole allows private prison subcontractors to operate in secret. Warren’s plan would also open private prisons to FOIA requests and also appoint an “independent Prison Conditions Monitor within the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General.”
In the past, ICE has expounded on the need for private detention centers.
“Ensuring there are sufficient beds available to meet the current demand for detention space is crucial to the success of ICE’s overall mission,” ICE spokesperson Danielle Bennett said in December.
Under the Radar
Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) has introduced legislation that would restrict the importation of African lion trophies and other sport-hunted species.
The proposal comes as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) continues to roll back restrictions on hunting lions, elephants, and other animals that been proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large Animal Trophies Act, or CECIL Act, was named after a lion who was killed in 2015 by an American trophy hunter in Zimbabwe.
“Protecting threatened and endangered species is not just the right thing to do; the health of ecosystems is dependent upon it," Grijalva said.
Sportsmen’s Alliance's vice president of government affairs, Bruce Tague, said “it’s no secret that Rep. Grijalva is an advocate of the radical agenda pushed by the Humane Society of the United States."
“While making the case that he wants to save certain species in Africa, Rep. Grijalva is really looking to sneak in language to provide a road map to randomly choose species to list as protected and to ban all hunting," Tague added.
Your Gov at a Glance 👀
The White House: President Trump in D.C.
- At 11:00am EDT, the president will participate in a photo opportunity with the 2019 presidential scholars.
- At 12:00pm EDT, the president will receive his intelligence briefing.
- At 12:45pm EDT, the president will have lunch with the vice president.
- At 3:00pm EDT, the president will sign an executive order on improving price and quality transparency in healthcare.
The House of Representatives: In
- Debating and voting on amendments to a bill to provide $383 billion in FY2020 appropriations for the Census, DOJ, EPA, NASA, VA, and more.
- Voting on a bill to reduce the required credit hours for a veterans' STEM scholarship program.
- Voting on a bill to require the VA to give preference to contractors that employ more veterans in full-time jobs.
The Senate: In
- Taking a procedural vote on a bill to authorize $750 billion in defense spending for FY2020.
What You're Saying
Here's how you're answering Should the NSA Stop Surveillance of Americans’ Phone Activity?
(Follow Jjackojr's comment here.)
(Follow Susan's comment here.)
But wait, there's more!
- See the Details of the White House Economic Plan for the Palestinians
- FDR Signed the GI Bill Into Law On This Date
- Senators Agree Surprise Medical Bills Must Go. But How?
And, in the End…
It's World UFO Day. The U.S. president who's been most-vocal about his unexplained sighting? Jimmy Carter.
Carter reported seeing a UFO while at Leary, Georgia, in 1969.
“I was outside a school lunchroom one night right before sundown. It was getting dark and we were getting ready to eat supper. And I and about 25 men were standing around and all of a sudden in the western sky we saw a strange light coming toward us, a round light,” Carter said on Larry King Live.
“It got closer and closer and right above the pine trees it stopped and then it began to change colors from blue, to red, to white. Then it stayed there for a while. We were all aghast. We didn’t know what it was. And then it just disappeared into the west. That was the end of it.”
Carter said he didn't "think it is possible for creatures from Mars to visit us." But the sighting did have a lasting effect on the president.
"One thing's for sure," Carter said during his 1976 election campaign, "I'll never make fun of people who say they've seen unidentified objects in the sky."
Keep reaching for the skies,
Talk to us via email at contact [at] countable.us. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.
Senate to Vote on 9/11 Victim Compensation Bill Next Week - Tell Your Senators How to VoteAfter an attempt by to pass a permanent extension of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund unanimously was stymied on Wednesday,
by Countable | 7.18.19
The DC: Politicians respond to 'Send her back!' chant, and... Do you support sending 2,100 more troops to the border?Welcome to Friday, July 19, cleaners and clutterersAfter President Donald Trump attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) at his rally
by Countable | 7.19.19
Pentagon Deploying 2,100 More Troops to Border – Do You Support the Deployment?What’s the story?The Pentagon has approved a Department of Homeland Security request to send 1,100 active-duty troops and 1,000
by Countable | 7.18.19