ICE Crackdown on Sanctuary Cities
ICE arrests hundreds of immigrants in 'sanctuary cities' around the nation. LA Times: "Immigration officials on Thursday announced hundreds of arrests in an operation targeting communities where police and elected officials have refused to fully cooperate on enforcing federal immigration laws. ICE said it arrested 167 people in and around Los Angeles, a region in which several cities and counties have been tagged by justice officials as being so-called sanctuaries — a loosely defined term used to describe local governments that restrict police from assisting immigration authorities in identifying and detaining people suspected of being in the country illegally. Arrests were also made in San Francisco and San Jose. Overall, ICE said it arrested nearly 500 people across the country over the last few days... With President Trump pushing for a sweeping crackdown on the estimated 12 million people living in the country illegally, he and U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions have insisted that local law enforcement agencies give immigration agents unfettered access to jails and delay releasing immigrants from custody so that agents can nab them. Officials in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other liberal-leaning communities have rebuffed the demands, passing local laws or implementing policies that restrict what police can and cannot do for ICE agents. Resistance has come from more conservative corners as well, where authorities have been unwilling to hold on to inmates for ICE out of concern that doing so is illegal."
Puerto Rico Crisis Grows as US Aid Slow to Come
Puerto Ricans says U.S. relief efforts failing them as Trump clears way for more aid. Chicago Tribune: "The Trump administration declared Thursday that its relief efforts in Puerto Rico are succeeding, but people on the island said help was scarce and disorganized while food supplies dwindled in some remote towns eight days after Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory of 3.4 million people... 'I have not received any help, and we ran out of food yesterday, said Mari Olivo, a 27-year-old homemaker whose husband was pushing a shopping cart with empty plastic gallon jugs while their two children, 9 and 7, each toted a large bucket. They stood in line in a parking lot in the town of Bayamon near the hard-hit northern coast, where local police used hoses to fill up containers from a city water truck. 'I have not seen any federal help around here,' said Javier San Miguel, a 51-year-old accountant."
Trump Promises "Big Decisions" About Puerto Rico
Trump says 'Big decisions' need to be made about cost of rebuilding Puerto Rico. Politico: "President Donald Trump on Friday said that 'big decisions' loom about the cost of rebuilding of Puerto Rico in the wake of two severe hurricanes while relaying praise he said his administration had received from the island’s governor for its recovery and aid efforts... 'The fact is that Puerto Rico has been destroyed by two hurricanes. Big decisions will have to be made as to the cost of its rebuilding!' Trump did not clarify what “big decisions” are upcoming or how the price would factor into those decisions. Puerto Rico remains devastated in the wake of two major hurricanes, Irma and Maria, that made landfall on the island this month. The storms, especially Maria, have left much of the island without power and many of its residents without shelter. Flights in and out of the island have been limited and access to supplies, including clean drinking water, remains spotty."
Treasury Buries Report That Refutes Claim Tax Cuts Benefit Workers
Treasury removes paper at odds with Mnuchin’s claim corporate tax breaks help workers. WSJ: "The Treasury Department has taken down a 2012 economic analysis that contradicts Secretary Steven Mnuchin's argument that workers would benefit the most from a corporate income tax cut. The 2012 paper from the Office of Tax Analysis found that workers pay 18% of the corporate tax while owners of capital pay 82%. That is a breakdown in line with many economists' views and close to estimates from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation and Congressional Budget Office. The JCT, which will evaluate tax bills in Congress, estimates that capital bears 75% of the long-run corporate-tax burden, with labor paying the rest. Asked about the paper's disappearance, a Treasury spokeswoman responded Thursday: 'The paper was a dated staff analysis from the previous administration. It does not represent our current thinking and analysis.'"
Lobbyists Rally to Save Tax Loopholes
Lobbyists rally to save tax breaks under threat in Trump plan. NYT: ""Republicans' release of a sweeping plan to rewrite the tax code has set off a scramble among Washington lobbyists and trade groups to protect valuable tax breaks and other long-ingrained provisions. The plan's scant details make it hard to know what, exactly, is on the chopping block. But within hours of the plan's unveiling on Wednesday, flash points emerged over measures that supporters said could hurt the housing market, raise borrowing costs and increase the tax burden on families in high-tax states."
HHS Secretary Price Took $1M Flights to Europe, Asia for Personal Use
HHS' Tom Price traveled with wife to Europe, Asia on taxpayer money. Politico: "The White House approved the use of military aircraft for multi-national trips by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to Africa and Europe this spring, and to Asia in the summer, at a cost of more than $500,000 to taxpayers. The overseas trips bring the total cost to taxpayers of Price’s travels to more than $1 million since May, according to a POLITICO review. Price pledged on Thursday to reimburse the government for the cost of his own seat on his domestic trips using private aircraft — reportedly around $52,000 — but that would not include the cost of the military flights. Price’s wife, Betty, accompanied him on the military flights, while other members of the secretary’s delegation flew commercially to Europe."
SCOTUS May Deliver Blow to Public Service Unions
Supreme Court poised to deal a sharp blow to unions for teachers and public employees. LA Times: "he Supreme Court is poised to deal a sharp blow to the unions that represent millions of teachers and other public employees, announcing Thursday it will consider striking down the mandatory fees that support collective bargaining. The justices will hear the case of Mark Janus, an Illinois state employee who objects to paying fees to the union, which represents 35,000 state workers. The decision, due by next June, could prove a costly setback for public-sector unions in 22 states, including California, where such fees are authorized by law. Labor experts have predicted a significant percentage of employees would stop supporting their union if given a choice. The other 28 states have “right to work” laws that forbid requiring workers to join or support a union.With smaller numbers, public employee unions would lose some of the political power that has made them major forces in some states, such as California, Illinois and New York.