Review Category : Poltics

President Obama to Offer Legal Status to Millions of Undocumented Immigrants

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama is set to announce a sweeping executive action to “secure the border, hold nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants accountable and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules,” the White House announced in advance of the president’s 8 p.m. address to the nation Thursday night.

“That’s the real amnesty — leaving this broken system the way it is. Mass amnesty would be unfair,” President Obama will say, according to excerpts of his remarks prepared for delivery. “Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I’m describing is accountability — a commonsense, middle ground approach: If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.”

The action will be finalized Friday with the signing of a presidential memorandum at a rally in Las Vegas. It fulfills, at least in part, the promise Obama first made in 2008 as a candidate to lift the threat of deportation from millions of people living in the U.S. illegally.

The move means nearly half the nation’s undocumented immigrants — roughly 5 million people — will be eligible for temporary legal status and work permits.

“The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every Democratic president for the past half century,” the president will say, according to excerpts. “And to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.”

The announcement is expected to set off celebrations on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House and at watch parties organized by immigrant advocacy groups all around the country. It also no doubt will unleash a flurry of protests from critics who have asserted Obama is exceeding his constitutional authority and setting a dangerous new precedent.

The White House said the president’s primary focus, in light of limitations on his executive power, is on keeping families united. The biggest group that will benefit is an estimated 4 million undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for at least five years and who have children that were born here as American citizens.

Obama’s order will also extend legal status to a larger universe of so-called Dreamers, who first came to the U.S. illegally as children and either are now attending school, have graduated high school or served in the military. As many as 270,000 more undocumented immigrants will be able to apply for legal status under the program, which Obama first unveiled in 2012, administration officials said.

All immigrant applicants must have clean criminal record, provide their biometric information, and pay a fee of around $500, officials said. The legal status will only last three years but can be renewed. The president’s executive action does not create a pathway to citizenship or allow access to federal health care benefits.

The application process won’t begin until the spring of 2015, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

In addition to deportation relief, Obama has also directed that immigration enforcement agencies focus on those who have committed felonies and those who have crossed the border within the last year. By forgoing crackdowns on those without criminal records and who have been here longer, the White House claims it will be able to devote more resources to border enforcement and cracking down on those who pose a threat.

“Today is an important step toward rational and humane enforcement of immigration law,” AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said in a statement.

Ahead of the president’s address, Republicans were sharply critical of Obama’s move to circumvent Congress, some vowing to sue the administration and others warning it would spoil any attempt at bipartisan compromise over the next two years.

“Instead of working together to fix our broken immigration system, the president says he’s acting on his own. But that is just not how our democracy works,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a short video statement posted on YouTube. “The president has said before that ‘he’s not king’ and he’s ‘not an emperor,’ but he sure is acting like one. And he’s doing it a time when the American people want nothing more than for us to work together.”

Even some congressional Democrats questioned Obama’s unilateral action, expressing preference for a more permanent solution through legislation.

“It is clear the immigration system in this country is broken, and only Congress has the ability to change the law to fix it,” said Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana. “I am as frustrated as anyone that Congress is not doing its job, but the president shouldn’t make such significant policy changes on his own.”

Said Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, “I am concerned if the president’s action goes too far, that number one it will set the cause back, that it will inflame our politics, get us into a kind of retribution situation with the opponents of immigration reform, and really change the subject from immigration to the president and whether he should’ve done what he did.”

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President Obama to Offer Legal Status to Millions of Undocumented Immigrants

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama is set to announce a sweeping executive action to “secure the border, hold nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants accountable and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules,” the White House announced in advance of the president’s 8 p.m. address to the nation Thursday night.

“That’s the real amnesty — leaving this broken system the way it is. Mass amnesty would be unfair,” President Obama will say, according to excerpts of his remarks prepared for delivery. “Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I’m describing is accountability — a commonsense, middle ground approach: If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.”

The action will be finalized Friday with the signing of a presidential memorandum at a rally in Las Vegas. It fulfills, at least in part, the promise Obama first made in 2008 as a candidate to lift the threat of deportation from millions of people living in the U.S. illegally.

The move means nearly half the nation’s undocumented immigrants — roughly 5 million people — will be eligible for temporary legal status and work permits.

“The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every Democratic president for the past half century,” the president will say, according to excerpts. “And to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.”

The announcement is expected to set off celebrations on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House and at watch parties organized by immigrant advocacy groups all around the country. It also no doubt will unleash a flurry of protests from critics who have asserted Obama is exceeding his constitutional authority and setting a dangerous new precedent.

The White House said the president’s primary focus, in light of limitations on his executive power, is on keeping families united. The biggest group that will benefit is an estimated 4 million undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for at least five years and who have children that were born here as American citizens.

Obama’s order will also extend legal status to a larger universe of so-called Dreamers, who first came to the U.S. illegally as children and either are now attending school, have graduated high school or served in the military. As many as 270,000 more undocumented immigrants will be able to apply for legal status under the program, which Obama first unveiled in 2012, administration officials said.

All immigrant applicants must have clean criminal record, provide their biometric information, and pay a fee of around $500, officials said. The legal status will only last three years but can be renewed. The president’s executive action does not create a pathway to citizenship or allow access to federal health care benefits.

The application process won’t begin until the spring of 2015, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

In addition to deportation relief, Obama has also directed that immigration enforcement agencies focus on those who have committed felonies and those who have crossed the border within the last year. By forgoing crackdowns on those without criminal records and who have been here longer, the White House claims it will be able to devote more resources to border enforcement and cracking down on those who pose a threat.

“Today is an important step toward rational and humane enforcement of immigration law,” AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said in a statement.

Ahead of the president’s address, Republicans were sharply critical of Obama’s move to circumvent Congress, some vowing to sue the administration and others warning it would spoil any attempt at bipartisan compromise over the next two years.

“Instead of working together to fix our broken immigration system, the president says he’s acting on his own. But that is just not how our democracy works,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a short video statement posted on YouTube. “The president has said before that ‘he’s not king’ and he’s ‘not an emperor,’ but he sure is acting like one. And he’s doing it a time when the American people want nothing more than for us to work together.”

Even some congressional Democrats questioned Obama’s unilateral action, expressing preference for a more permanent solution through legislation.

“It is clear the immigration system in this country is broken, and only Congress has the ability to change the law to fix it,” said Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana. “I am as frustrated as anyone that Congress is not doing its job, but the president shouldn’t make such significant policy changes on his own.”

Said Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, “I am concerned if the president’s action goes too far, that number one it will set the cause back, that it will inflame our politics, get us into a kind of retribution situation with the opponents of immigration reform, and really change the subject from immigration to the president and whether he should’ve done what he did.”

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GOP Governors: Enough About Immigration Already

ABC News(BOCA RATON, Fla.) — Republican governors huddled in Florida for their annual conference and a victory celebration to note their huge wins earlier this month during the midterm elections where they even gained seats in bright blue states, but the issue of immigration has overshadowed the party.

The Republican Governors Association conference being held this year at the posh Boca Raton Resort and Club coincides with the news of the president’s intention to announce major executive action on immigration reform and through most of the events that were open to reporters the governors were pressed over and over on the topic. One thing was clear: they are sick of the issue or at least being asked about it.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who just won re-election and is a possible 2016 presidential contender, said today it was the press and the president who were “obsessed” with the issue.

“This didn’t just come about in the last two weeks. All the media acted like this came up since the election,” Walker said, noting he believes no Republican or Democratic gubernatorial candidate even dealt with the issue that much on the campaign trail. “I would argue actually, most of the U.S. senators didn’t talk about that and yet you have fallen into the trap that the president of the United States has done to try and get you to divert your attention away from the real issues in this country.”

Walker stressed he and other governors here got elected because they are “actually talking about issues that people care about in our states.”

“You can keep asking about it, but that doesn’t change the fact… we responded to the issues people care about instead of obsessing over the things you are talking about now that aren’t even in the top 10 list of most Americans,” Walker said at a press conference with several other governors, including two other possible 2016 contenders Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Kasich, who sounded a more moderate tone over immigration at Wednesday’s events, said he hopes the president’s action is a “really small one,” adding he would tell President Obama: “Do what you feel you absolutely have to do, but you can’t go so far.”

These governors know whatever they say about immigration could put them on shaky political ground when it comes to 2016. It’s an issue Mitt Romney had to deal with in 2012 and no Republican candidate wants to have to face in a general election in 2016. GOP candidates routinely make more conservative points during the primaries, especially on the issue of immigration, in order to win the more conservative voting base. Of course, it’s not always easy to moderate in the general election as Romney’s “self-deportation” comments proved.

That’s another reason why changing the topic could be quite helpful.

On Wednesday, many of the country’s most watched governors came together for an event titled “Republican Governors: The Road Ahead” and the majority of the event focused on immigration and the president’s pending action. After almost half of the event was completely focused on the issue, it was clear the governors were getting antsy.

Jindal even tried himself to move the conversation to another topic saying to moderator, NBC’s Chuck Todd: “We’ve now spent 30 minutes talking about the president breaking the law.”

He wasn’t the only governor on the stage tired of the topic. To laughs from the crowd, Texas Gov. Rick Perry told Todd: “Here’s what I’m thinking: You will probably not be invited to do a moderation for a presidential debate.”

The governors also met with donors and discussed strategy in private meetings at the pink-colored resort during the gathering. The party heads into January with 31 governorships, the most for either party in 16 years.

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GOP Governors: Enough About Immigration Already

ABC News(BOCA RATON, Fla.) — Republican governors huddled in Florida for their annual conference and a victory celebration to note their huge wins earlier this month during the midterm elections where they even gained seats in bright blue states, but the issue of immigration has overshadowed the party.

The Republican Governors Association conference being held this year at the posh Boca Raton Resort and Club coincides with the news of the president’s intention to announce major executive action on immigration reform and through most of the events that were open to reporters the governors were pressed over and over on the topic. One thing was clear: they are sick of the issue or at least being asked about it.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who just won re-election and is a possible 2016 presidential contender, said today it was the press and the president who were “obsessed” with the issue.

“This didn’t just come about in the last two weeks. All the media acted like this came up since the election,” Walker said, noting he believes no Republican or Democratic gubernatorial candidate even dealt with the issue that much on the campaign trail. “I would argue actually, most of the U.S. senators didn’t talk about that and yet you have fallen into the trap that the president of the United States has done to try and get you to divert your attention away from the real issues in this country.”

Walker stressed he and other governors here got elected because they are “actually talking about issues that people care about in our states.”

“You can keep asking about it, but that doesn’t change the fact… we responded to the issues people care about instead of obsessing over the things you are talking about now that aren’t even in the top 10 list of most Americans,” Walker said at a press conference with several other governors, including two other possible 2016 contenders Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Kasich, who sounded a more moderate tone over immigration at Wednesday’s events, said he hopes the president’s action is a “really small one,” adding he would tell President Obama: “Do what you feel you absolutely have to do, but you can’t go so far.”

These governors know whatever they say about immigration could put them on shaky political ground when it comes to 2016. It’s an issue Mitt Romney had to deal with in 2012 and no Republican candidate wants to have to face in a general election in 2016. GOP candidates routinely make more conservative points during the primaries, especially on the issue of immigration, in order to win the more conservative voting base. Of course, it’s not always easy to moderate in the general election as Romney’s “self-deportation” comments proved.

That’s another reason why changing the topic could be quite helpful.

On Wednesday, many of the country’s most watched governors came together for an event titled “Republican Governors: The Road Ahead” and the majority of the event focused on immigration and the president’s pending action. After almost half of the event was completely focused on the issue, it was clear the governors were getting antsy.

Jindal even tried himself to move the conversation to another topic saying to moderator, NBC’s Chuck Todd: “We’ve now spent 30 minutes talking about the president breaking the law.”

He wasn’t the only governor on the stage tired of the topic. To laughs from the crowd, Texas Gov. Rick Perry told Todd: “Here’s what I’m thinking: You will probably not be invited to do a moderation for a presidential debate.”

The governors also met with donors and discussed strategy in private meetings at the pink-colored resort during the gathering. The party heads into January with 31 governorships, the most for either party in 16 years.

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President Obama to Offer Legal Status to Millions of Undocumented Immigrants

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama is set to announce a sweeping executive action to “secure the border, hold nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants accountable and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules,” the White House announced in advance of the president’s 8 p.m. address to the nation Thursday night.

“That’s the real amnesty — leaving this broken system the way it is. Mass amnesty would be unfair,” President Obama will say, according to excerpts of his remarks prepared for delivery. “Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I’m describing is accountability — a commonsense, middle ground approach: If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.”

The action will be finalized Friday with the signing of a presidential memorandum at a rally in Las Vegas. It fulfills, at least in part, the promise Obama first made in 2008 as a candidate to lift the threat of deportation from millions of people living in the U.S. illegally.

The move means nearly half the nation’s undocumented immigrants — roughly 5 million people — will be eligible for temporary legal status and work permits.

“The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every Democratic president for the past half century,” the president will say, according to excerpts. “And to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.”

The announcement is expected to set off celebrations on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House and at watch parties organized by immigrant advocacy groups all around the country. It also no doubt will unleash a flurry of protests from critics who have asserted Obama is exceeding his constitutional authority and setting a dangerous new precedent.

The White House said the president’s primary focus, in light of limitations on his executive power, is on keeping families united. The biggest group that will benefit is an estimated 4 million undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for at least five years and who have children that were born here as American citizens.

Obama’s order will also extend legal status to a larger universe of so-called Dreamers, who first came to the U.S. illegally as children and either are now attending school, have graduated high school or served in the military. As many as 270,000 more undocumented immigrants will be able to apply for legal status under the program, which Obama first unveiled in 2012, administration officials said.

All immigrant applicants must have clean criminal record, provide their biometric information, and pay a fee of around $500, officials said. The legal status will only last three years but can be renewed. The president’s executive action does not create a pathway to citizenship or allow access to federal health care benefits.

The application process won’t begin until the spring of 2015, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

In addition to deportation relief, Obama has also directed that immigration enforcement agencies focus on those who have committed felonies and those who have crossed the border within the last year. By forgoing crackdowns on those without criminal records and who have been here longer, the White House claims it will be able to devote more resources to border enforcement and cracking down on those who pose a threat.

“Today is an important step toward rational and humane enforcement of immigration law,” AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said in a statement.

Ahead of the president’s address, Republicans were sharply critical of Obama’s move to circumvent Congress, some vowing to sue the administration and others warning it would spoil any attempt at bipartisan compromise over the next two years.

“Instead of working together to fix our broken immigration system, the president says he’s acting on his own. But that is just not how our democracy works,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a short video statement posted on YouTube. “The president has said before that ‘he’s not king’ and he’s ‘not an emperor,’ but he sure is acting like one. And he’s doing it a time when the American people want nothing more than for us to work together.”

Even some congressional Democrats questioned Obama’s unilateral action, expressing preference for a more permanent solution through legislation.

“It is clear the immigration system in this country is broken, and only Congress has the ability to change the law to fix it,” said Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana. “I am as frustrated as anyone that Congress is not doing its job, but the president shouldn’t make such significant policy changes on his own.”

Said Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, “I am concerned if the president’s action goes too far, that number one it will set the cause back, that it will inflame our politics, get us into a kind of retribution situation with the opponents of immigration reform, and really change the subject from immigration to the president and whether he should’ve done what he did.”

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President Obama to Offer Legal Status to Millions of Undocumented Immigrants

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama is set to announce a sweeping executive action to “secure the border, hold nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants accountable and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules,” the White House announced in advance of the president’s 8 p.m. address to the nation Thursday night.

“That’s the real amnesty — leaving this broken system the way it is. Mass amnesty would be unfair,” President Obama will say, according to excerpts of his remarks prepared for delivery. “Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I’m describing is accountability — a commonsense, middle ground approach: If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.”

The action will be finalized Friday with the signing of a presidential memorandum at a rally in Las Vegas. It fulfills, at least in part, the promise Obama first made in 2008 as a candidate to lift the threat of deportation from millions of people living in the U.S. illegally.

The move means nearly half the nation’s undocumented immigrants — roughly 5 million people — will be eligible for temporary legal status and work permits.

“The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every Democratic president for the past half century,” the president will say, according to excerpts. “And to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.”

The announcement is expected to set off celebrations on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House and at watch parties organized by immigrant advocacy groups all around the country. It also no doubt will unleash a flurry of protests from critics who have asserted Obama is exceeding his constitutional authority and setting a dangerous new precedent.

The White House said the president’s primary focus, in light of limitations on his executive power, is on keeping families united. The biggest group that will benefit is an estimated 4 million undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for at least five years and who have children that were born here as American citizens.

Obama’s order will also extend legal status to a larger universe of so-called Dreamers, who first came to the U.S. illegally as children and either are now attending school, have graduated high school or served in the military. As many as 270,000 more undocumented immigrants will be able to apply for legal status under the program, which Obama first unveiled in 2012, administration officials said.

All immigrant applicants must have clean criminal record, provide their biometric information, and pay a fee of around $500, officials said. The legal status will only last three years but can be renewed. The president’s executive action does not create a pathway to citizenship or allow access to federal health care benefits.

The application process won’t begin until the spring of 2015, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

In addition to deportation relief, Obama has also directed that immigration enforcement agencies focus on those who have committed felonies and those who have crossed the border within the last year. By forgoing crackdowns on those without criminal records and who have been here longer, the White House claims it will be able to devote more resources to border enforcement and cracking down on those who pose a threat.

“Today is an important step toward rational and humane enforcement of immigration law,” AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said in a statement.

Ahead of the president’s address, Republicans were sharply critical of Obama’s move to circumvent Congress, some vowing to sue the administration and others warning it would spoil any attempt at bipartisan compromise over the next two years.

“Instead of working together to fix our broken immigration system, the president says he’s acting on his own. But that is just not how our democracy works,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a short video statement posted on YouTube. “The president has said before that ‘he’s not king’ and he’s ‘not an emperor,’ but he sure is acting like one. And he’s doing it a time when the American people want nothing more than for us to work together.”

Even some congressional Democrats questioned Obama’s unilateral action, expressing preference for a more permanent solution through legislation.

“It is clear the immigration system in this country is broken, and only Congress has the ability to change the law to fix it,” said Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana. “I am as frustrated as anyone that Congress is not doing its job, but the president shouldn’t make such significant policy changes on his own.”

Said Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, “I am concerned if the president’s action goes too far, that number one it will set the cause back, that it will inflame our politics, get us into a kind of retribution situation with the opponents of immigration reform, and really change the subject from immigration to the president and whether he should’ve done what he did.”

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The Seven Luckiest and Unluckiest Freshman Members of Congress

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — It’s not every day you spot suits doing backflips in the halls of the U.S. House of Representatives. But this week, the rules were different.

The 57 new members of the 114th Congress, gathered in a Capitol committee room to draw numbers for the Congressional Office Lottery, needed all the luck they could get.

“There’s a direct correlation between the number you drew and demonstrations of something that brings luck to you,” House Building Superintendent Bill Weidemeyer told fledgling members.

Rep.-Elect Gwen Graham, D-Fla., wasn’t leaving anything to chance.

She asked her chief-of-staff’s husband, Paul Woodward, to do a lucky backflip in the aisle before she reached her hand into the box to pick a numbered button that would determine the location of her office for the next two years.

Those with the lowest numbers pick their office space first and can choose some envy-creating digs. Those with high numbers choose their office space last when only some pretty cramped rooms with views of ventilation vents are left as options.

THE LUCKY ONES

Rep.-Elect Gwen Graham, Number: 6

Woodward’s stunt apparently worked. Graham drew pick number six.

“It was a last minute decision. We just — the room seemed like a fun room, and Gwen was like, will you do a back flip? I’m like, ‘Sure.’” Woodward told ABC.

“I was worried about his safety,” Graham chimed in. “I can barely do a forward roll.”

She eventually selected Longworth 1213, an ancillary office building located just south of the Capitol.

Rep.-Elect Steve Knight, Number: 1

Despite his refusal to bust a move, Rep.-Elect Steve Knight, R-Calif., drew number one, netting himself a highly-coveted office in the Longworth building.

Rep.-Elect Will Hurd, Number: 18

Former CIA agent Rep.-Elect Will Hurd, R-Texas, snagged a hidden gem: Cannon 317, an office former President John F. Kennedy occupied during his time in the House.

“I think every office in these buildings has a unique history. When you think about some of the legends and characters that have walked these halls, you know, it’s interesting to know our names are going to be added in that footnote,” he said.

But for the Republican congressman, utility was more important than sentimentality.

“I think as long as it has Internet connection and some desks, we’ll be ready,” he said.

But he wasn’t the only one who had his eye on JFK’s office.

THE NOT-SO-LUCKY ONES

Rep.-Elect Debbie Dingell, Number: 40

Rep.-Elect Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., who in January will replace her husband, retiring Rep. John Dingell, the U.S. House’s longest serving member, was itching to claim the JFK office.

“I am somebody that believes in rituals and traditions and has some sentimentality,” she told ABC. “But I’ll never get it.”

She was right. Dingell ended up in Cannon 116.

In her new workspace, the Michigan Democrat says, she’ll likely use her husband’s desk. It also belonged to his father, former Rep. John Dingell Sr., a newspaperman who served in the House for 22 years.

“If I could have the desk that the man who authored Social Security and the man who sat in the chair and helped author Medicare and the Civil Rights Act, maybe it’ll inspire and help me to do good things while I’m here,” Dingell said.

Rep.-Elect Rick Allen, Number: 50

Rep.-Elect Richard Allen, R-Ga., the second new lawmaker to choose a button, refused to dance.

He’s probably regretting it right about now.

“Mr. Allen did not dance and he drew number 50 [out of 57]. Just saying,” Weidemeyer quipped, as Allen hung his head.

Rep.-Elect Barbara Comstock, Number: 57

Rep.-Elect Barbara Comstock, R-Va., laughed when she drew pick 57 — dead last.

Some of her colleagues began to groan.

Comstock took it with good grace and soon her colleagues began to applaud.

“As I’ve told folks when I first started working here, I worked in House Annex Two. So any office in the people’s house is a fabulous office to be working in,” Comstock told ABC.

Rep.-Elect Brad Ashford, Number: 11

Rep.-Elect Brad Ashford, D-Neb., drew a fairly good number — 11 — despite being late to the selection and being bumped to be the last person to draw a button.

Ashford reportedly joked that his lateness was “sort of nonpartisan gesture to my new colleagues.”

“In the end, I feel good about it, since it’s fine. It’s so incredibly unimportant to me, so I was glad the others got their picks,” he told The Hill.

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Meet the Biggest Upset Winner of 2016 Midterm Elections

Hogan For Governor(BOCA RATON, Fla.) — Larry Hogan, the political longshot who is now the governor-elect of Maryland, is being applauded at the Republican Governors Association conference for his shocking upset win in the midterm elections.

Hogan says he won despite being outspent “five to one” and says he’s only the “second governor in nearly 50 years to be elected as a Republican” in the state.

Maryland was one of the rare spots that even got a visit from the president in the days before the election. The race wasn’t on the national radar and he even describes himself as a “no name, regular” guy.

But he’s at this week’s annual Republican Governors Association conference and he’s getting quite the reception. The RGA even decided to go into $1.5 million in debt to play in the state, a successful gamble.

Here’s a condensed Q and A with the man who pulled off the biggest upset of the midterm cycle, including his thoughts on 2016 and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie:

ABC: Are you being treated like a rock star here after your big win?

LH: Well I’ve got to tell you nobody really expected us to win Maryland and it does seem like the surprise of the election season, so we are getting people coming up and congratulating us, I’ll tell you that.

ABC: How much has your life changed overnight?

LH: It is a little bit overwhelming quite frankly and it’s a little bit of a whirlwind. I mean immediately on election night state troopers show up in my room and now everybody in the country wants to talk to us and I’m just a no name guy who’s a small businessman whose never held elected office and now we pulled off the biggest upset in the country so it’s changed quite a bit, but I’m going to try and stay grounded. I mean what got me elected was talking to real people and just being a regular guy that was saying the same kind of things average Marylanders were talking about.

ABC: Are you the most in demand governor here?

LH: It seems like. Well, we ran a lot of tough races in Illinois, in Massachusetts, and in Maryland, but a lot of people are pretty excited about our win…I was surprised last night when during the opening dinner [New Jersey] Gov. Christie spent half his speech talking about the win in Maryland. And he came into our state four times and he really pushed the other governors to try and make a decision to come in and help us. And he said a lot of them thought he was completely crazy when he talked about Maryland, but we’re happy to have his support and the RGA helping us at the end of the race.

ABC: How much do you think that Chris Christie himself helped put you over the top?

LH: Well he helped a lot. We ran a great campaign. I worked for three and a half years to try and make this happen and we had a great grassroots effort with 130,000 volunteers involved, half of which were Democrats and Independents. But Chris Christie came at the end when no one believed and that helped convince the media to pay more attention to our race and it helped us raise a little bit more money to get our television ads on at the end.

ABC: How did you pull it off?

LH: We went into non-traditional areas. We did better among women, we did better among Hispanics, Asians, black voters. We did tremendously well, three times better than the last candidate than ran in our state. We won a lot of Jewish voters. We won in places people didn’t expect to win because we went there we talked with people and we talked about things they cared about and we came up with solutions they thought were better for the state.

ABC: When it comes to 2016, do you think it has to be a governor?

LH: I don’t know it has to be a governor, but my opinion is the crop of governors we have here, and I’ve gotten a chance to know some of them and have been following them all for a long time, they actually govern. And being a governor of a state you have to govern, you have to represent everybody, you have to make really tough decisions, you have to actually manage things… It’s a better breeding ground, better training to become president when you are in an executive capacity. Not to say we don’t have any great folks in the Senate or in the House, but legislators dont’ have the same experiences as people who are actually governing and running things.

ABC: Is that person here now?

LH: I think there’s a very good likelihood that the next president of the United States could be right here at his conference, yes.

ABC: What about Chris Christie?

LH: I’m a huge Chris Christie fan, have been for a long time since he was first elected in 2009. He won in a blue state, which is what I did, and he was kind of a role model for me because he did it in 2009… Nobody believed he could win, he pulled off an upset, and he’s done a great job as governor and I couldn’t be more grateful to him for his help and his advice and for believing in us and coming in to our state. I think the world of Gov. Christie and I think he would make a great president.


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Ted Cruz Graduates from Dr. Seuss to Cicero on Senate Floor

US Congress(WASHINGTON) — It seems Sen. Ted Cruz has graduated from Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham to the towering words of Cicero.

The Texas Republican took to the Senate floor Thursday to criticize President Obama’s expected executive action on immigration, set to be announced at 8 p.m. Thursday. But instead of using his own words, he adapted Cicero’s speech against Catiline to make his point.

“The words of Cicero, powerfully relevant 2,077 years later,” Cruz said.

“When, President Obama, do you mean to cease abusing our patience?” he said, substituting “President Obama” for “O Catiline” in the speech’s opening. “How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When is there to be an end to that unbridled audacity of yours swaggering about as it does now?”

Cruz continued, appropriating features of Cicero’s address to fit the specifics of the immigration debate.

“Do not the nightly guards placed on the border, do not the watches posted throughout the city, does not the alarm of the people and the union of all good men and women, does not the precaution taken of assembling the Senate in this most defensible place, do not the looks and countenances of this venerable body here present have any effect upon you?” he asked. “Do you not feel that your plans are detected? Do you not see that your conspiracy is already arrested and rendered powerless by the knowledge that everyone here possesses of it?”

Cruz regularly referred to notes while reading, though Cicero was said to have had the capacity to memorize his speeches.

The speech by Cicero, delivered in 63 B.C., was meant to further humiliate Catiline, apparently attempting to seize and overthrow the Roman Republic while Cicero was a consul.

Cruz’s Cicero references were a giant leap from when he read Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham during a marathon filibuster in 2013. The reading was supposedly intended to entertain his kids, who were at home watching Cruz on the Senate floor.

The late Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., was also known to use Cicero quotations to enhance his arguments on the Senate floor.

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CIA Praise, of Sorts, for Glenn Greenwald’s Book on Edward Snowden

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — A CIA reviewer has halting praise for journalist Glenn Greenwald’s book on the Edward Snowden affair, calling it the book “the most complete, though far from the most objective account” of the leaker who exposed the National Security Agency’s widespread surveillance programs.

The review, written by a veteran of the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology and Directorate of Operations, was posted recently on the CIA’s website, in a regularly-updated section called the “Intelligent Officer’s Bookshelf.” The Agency veteran and others often review espionage-related popular nonfiction and fiction books for the site.

The reviewer describes Greenwald’s account in No Place to Hide of being contacted by Snowden and eventually meeting him in Hong Kong, before taking issue with what he called Greenwald’s “core arguments” presented later.

“Greenwald is appalled at the concept implied in the [third] chapter’s title [“Collect It All”] and analyzes it with the presumption of illegality while dismissing without comment the intelligence issues that led to its adoption,” the reviewer says. “Greenwald also ignores other interpretations regarding the legality of the NSA’s collection programs…”

Greenwald’s book is reviewed along with two others that cover the Snowden affair, and the reviewer concludes that Greenwald’s “sums up the common themes of these three books: Snowden’s acts were justified because he chose to seek ‘reform of the surveillance state.’”

A disclaimer at the bottom of the website notes that the opinions “expressed in this journal are those of the authors” and shouldn’t be “construed as asserting or implying U.S. government endorsement…”

In January, America’s top intelligence officials, including CIA Director John Brennan, testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about the purported severe damage Snowden’s disclosures had done to U.S. national security.

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