President: Rae Chornenky
 
Editor: Maria Jeffrey

This Week on the Hill:

A vote on final passage for the Senate Immigration Bill (S. 744) may occur Thursday evening or Friday.
What You Need to Know About Immigration Reform This Week:
  • Yesterday evening the Senate voted 67 to 27 to invoke cloture on the Corker-Hoeven amendment sponsored by Senator Corker (R-TN) and Senator Hoeven (R-ND). Fifteen Republican Senators joined all of the voting Democrat Senators in supporting the measure, while four senators--two Democrat, two Republican--missed the vote due to flight delays. It is assumed that missing Democrat Senators Udall (D-CO) and Brown (D-OH) would have voted for invoking cloture on the amendment, bringing the yeas to 69. The two missing Republican Senators were Isakson (R-GA) and Chambliss (R-GA). 
  • The Corker-Hoeven amendment provides $30 billion more for certain border security measures than was allocated in the original version of the immigration bill--primarily for 700 miles of pedestrian fencing and more border patrol agents. The original bill allocated $8 billion for border security provisions. Senator McCain said the amendment would ensure a 90% effective control rate of illegal border crossings, even though the original bill required a 90% effective control rate anyway. 
  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made sure his youth worker program provision was included in the amendment.This provision orders the Department of Labor to grant $1.5 billion to states to provide summer and year-round employment for youths ages 16-24, as well as to provide child care and transportation for those youths while they work. Each state would be allocated $7.5 from the $1.5 billion umbrella. Sanders claims this provision would create 400,000 jobs for the summers of 2014 and 2015. To be eligible for a job created by this program, a youth must be living in a household with income up to 200 percent above the poverty level, which for a family of four is $47,100. This program was modeled after President Obama's American Jobs Act, and would be paid for by incurring a $10 fee on employers who hire guest workers and international workers who receive green cards. 
  • Senator Begich (D-AK) ensured there was a provision in the Corker-Hoeven amendment for the Alaskan seafood industry that would put seafood processing back on the J-1 visa program, which allows Alaskan seafood manufacturers to employ guest workers up to four months, and opens the industry up to hire W-visa workers, who can stay and work for up to three years. 
  • Before last night's vote to invoke cloture on the Corker-Hoeven amendment, Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) has allowed only 9 amendments to be voted on in this immigration debate, while 372 amendments have been introduced. By contrast, 46 amendments received roll-call votes in the 2007 immigration debate. 
  • Senator Sessions (R-AL), has raised concerns about a part of the immigration bill that amends the rule about passport offenses. The bill waits for the unlawful production, issuance, or distribution of three or more passports before a crime is charged. He asked FBI Director Robert Mueller to look into the issue in a hearing last week.   
Supportive Bias of Gay Marriage Media Coverage

 

          A content study released by the Pew Research Center reveals that news organizations are far more likely to present a supportive view of same-sex marriage than an antagonistic view. 

           

          While the researchers have found, through assessing a representative sample of mainstream coverage for two months this year, that many stories either contained a balanced mix of views or no views at all, roughly five times as many stories were weighted toward support for same-sex marriage as were weighted toward opposition.  In fact, the level of support conveyed in the news media that was examined went beyond the level in public opinion surveys.

Supportive Bias of Gay Marriage Media Coverage

           

             As the ultimate campaigner, Barack Obama has deepened the country's Party and racial divide through his near-complete absence from more than 25 percent of all States.  His travel destinations as president have given on-going priority to Democratic-leaning and swing States which, some claim, continues the polarization and divisive nature of our political atmosphere. The New York Times reports that even political partisans aligned with Obama disparage his lack of effort in bringing together America's demographic groups and regions.

               

            Donna Brazile, an African-American Democratic strategist and a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee is quoted as saying "Every president should make an attempt to bridge the divide ... I wouldn't give him high marks."

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