ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-day
73°
Clear
H 75° L 51°
  • clear-day
    73°
    Current Conditions
    Clear. H 75° L 51°
  • clear-night
    52°
    Morning
    Clear. H 75° L 51°
  • clear-day
    70°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 77° L 50°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National Govt & Politics
Border wall fight didn't really start until after GOP lost House
Close

Border wall fight didn't really start until after GOP lost House

Border wall fight didn't really start until after GOP lost House
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

Border wall fight didn't really start until after GOP lost House

While President Donald Trump has repeatedly made clear his desire to build hundreds of miles of wall along the Mexican border since early in his campaign for President, the GOP Congress never really came close to approving billions of dollars for the wall, though there were certainly opportunities for Republicans at several points to win as much as $25 billion for the border while the GOP was in charge of Congress in 2017 and 2018 - but those efforts failed as most GOP lawmakers backed away from possible bipartisan immigration compromises.

As Republicans worked on two years of spending bills during the time that the GOP controlled the Congress under President Trump, lawmakers twice approved $1.6 billion for border security - but only for fencing and other defenses - not for the wall which was a central part of the President's campaign.

Here's a look at what the President asked for - and what the Congress did.

1. Trump 2017 and 2018 budgets. President Trump's first budget, unveiled in May 2017, had money specifically designated 'to construct a physical wall along the southern border,' as part of a $2.6 billion border security plan, which included extra border patrol and immigration agents. In the President's second budget plan issued in February of 2018, the Trump Administration again had what the White House labeled "critical investments" in border security to combat illegal immigration, budget plans which included "$1.6 billion for construction of the border wall." President Trump wanted much more for the wall, but even his budget plans which were sent to Congress didn't come close to the $5.7 billion he is requesting now, during this partial government shutdown fight.

Jamie Dupree
Close

wall12

Jamie Dupree

2. Republicans ignore the wall in two Omnibus spending plans. Just like is happening now in early 2019, the Congress took well into 2017 and 2018 to finish their budget work (which should have done by the previous October). In both of those budgets, Republicans in the Congress approved money for border security - like fencing - but not a wall. For example, in May 2017, the GOP Congress okayed $341 million "to replace approximately 40 miles of existing primary pedestrian and vehicle border fencing along the southwest border." In the 2018 Omnibus, which was voted on in late March of 2018, the President received the more specific approval of nearly $1.6 billion in fencing and border barriers. You can see the list of projects below. Again - none of that is for a 'border wall.'

Jamie Dupree
Close

wall15

Jamie Dupree

3. Immigration reform efforts run aground in Senate. In February of 2018, the Senate capped off an acrimonious several weeks of debate and negotiation with the President by defeating four different immigration plans. The one offered by GOP Senators with the most money for the border wall - $25 billion - received just 39 votes, the least amount of support of any of the immigration packages voted on by Senators. There was also a bipartisan immigration plan which included $25 billion for border security, paired with a 10-12 year pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrant "Dreamers." That plan received 54 votes, but short of the 60 needed. Republicans and the President could have secured funding for the President's wall with this plan, backed by Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) - but it was opposed by most GOP Senators because of the DACA provisions. No compromise - no wall.

4. President talks as if he's already secured wall funding. Throughout all of the battles in the House and Senate over immigration in 2017 and 2018, President Trump repeatedly made comments in public which would lead his supporters to believe that his administration was already building new sections of wall, when in fact, the money approved by Congress had gone to repair earlier walls, and to deploy new fencing - but not any of the wall he had proposed in the 2016 campaign. "Not happy with $1.6 billion, but it does start the wall," the President said when he signed the Omnibus in March 2018. "Just so you understand, we have $1.6 billion," the President said in April. "We have $1.6 billion, and we’re starting brand-new sections of walls. But we need to have a wall that’s about 800 miles," Mr. Trump added. Even on Twitter, while the Congress never gave him any money for new sections of wall along the border, the President made things look different on the wall.

5. Senate looks to repeat the $1.6 billion for 2019. In developing spending bills for 2019, the Senate Appropriations Committee - controlled by the Republican Party - put together a homeland security funding measure which kept the amount of money for border security at $1.6 billion, the same level okayed by the Omnibus funding bill which Congress approved in March of 2018. In the funding bill for border security efforts in 2019, there is no mention of a border wall in the Senate plan, but there is a very specific mention that the $1.6 billion "shall be available for approximately 65 miles of pedestrian fencing" on the southwest border, in the Rio Grande River sector in Texas. This Homeland Security Appropriations bill was never brought to the Senate floor for a vote, either before or after the 2018 elections.

c9f363e5-975b-490e-9fb0-851508bbc08d{ "/Pub/p10/CmgSharedContent/2019/01/11/Images/WPIMAGE_cmgwsbradiojamiedupree_wall14_20087.jpg?uuid=3whddDTHEemxKaMrYufZxg", "", "7604c33141c54556be29d5c944c24069" "image" "" }

6. House bill advertises wall funding - but gives few details. As the House Appropriations Committee rolled out its version of the Homeland Security funding bill for 2019, the GOP headline was that Republicans were giving the President nearly $5 billion for his wall. President Trump was very happy, as on July 18 he tweeted his thanks to Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), who was in charge of the homeland security funding measure. But there was one puzzling part about this GOP bill - if you actually read the text of the legislative language and/or the report language for the bill, there is no actual mention of a wall. Instead, in debate, fencing was referred to more than anything else. As you can see here, there's no mention of a wall in the text of the bill put forward by House Republicans in the summer of 2018.

c9f363e5-975b-490e-9fb0-851508bbc08d{ "/Pub/p10/CmgSharedContent/2019/01/11/Images/WPIMAGE_cmgwsbradiojamiedupree_wall13_20086.jpg?uuid=3wdfbjTHEemxKaMrYufZxg", "", "ce3060abf42a445fb011481a4289ff78" "image" "" }

7. No wall vote until after the November elections. Even as the President was still pushing for money for the border wall, Republicans in the House and Senate were ready to wrap up work for the year without addressing the wall issue. The Senate had approved a stop gap funding bill to February 8, 2019 - and many Senators headed home on December 19 and 20, thinking their work was over. But then, the House cobbled together a bill which combined $5.7 billion for border security with almost $8 billion in disaster relief for hurricane damage in Florida and Georgia, along with help for wildfire victims in California. But even as the House approved that measure - as with previous House bills on the border - there was no direct mention of a border wall, just an overall amount of money that Republicans wanted to spend on border security.

c9f363e5-975b-490e-9fb0-851508bbc08d{ "/Pub/p10/CmgSharedContent/2019/01/11/Images/WPIMAGE_cmgwsbradiojamiedupree_wall16_20089.jpg?uuid=4QhenjTHEemxKaMrYufZxg", "", "491471da500f45a293cfbcfd4edbf9d5" "image" "" }

8. The House GOP plan leads to a shutdown standoff. GOP leaders had shied away from forcing a vote on money for the border wall in the House throughout 2017 and 2018, convinced the votes were not there among Republicans. But in the final days before Christmas, GOP leaders - at the urging of the President - rolled the dice, and won a majority. But the bill never received a vote in the Senate before the start of the new Congress, because it certainly was not going to get the 60 votes it needed to get past a certain filibuster by Democrats. Once Democrats took control of the House on January 3 for the 116th Congress, it was back to square one. The partial government shutdown began on December 22 - 800,000 federal workers missed their first paycheck on January 11 - and this fight seems to have no end in sight.

While the President says he wants $5.7 billion for the border wall now that Congress is divided between the two parties, he wasn't able to get any money at all for the wall when Republicans were in charge in 2017 and 2018.

And that makes it much more difficult to see how he gets the money in 2019, when the Congress is divided between Democrats and Republicans.

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Orlando Democratic Representative Anna Eskamani is co-sponsoring a bill to allow illegal immigrants living in Florida to legally obtain a state driver’s license. “We can talk about the need to reform immigration as a whole, but this is one solution to make sure that our roads are safer,” Eskamani said over the phone on Thursday. Illegal immigrants would still have to take a driving test to get a license, and they’d be able to buy car insurance, which Eskamani said would generate additional revenue for the state.  She also believes the bill will encourage people to report accidents and crimes they see on the road. Eskamani agreed with the assessment that the bill (HB 969) does not attempt to change immigration policy but rather change policy dealing with Florida’s current immigrant situation. “On our roads, you have people who are undocumented who are driving their kids to daycare, who are going to work,” Eskamani said.  “They’re doing their best to live life to its fullest potential.” Under current Florida law, residents must prove U.S. citizenship or show a resident alien green card to get a state driver’s license.  This bill would allow people to use documents such as foreign passports, international birth certificates, or tax ID number to get one.   With the 2019 legislative session well underway in Tallahassee, neither the bill nor its Senate companion has seen a committee vote. The bill has gotten notable attention from Fox News, to which Eskamani mused on her Facebook page, “Wow, my first ever mention in Fox News!  This has to come with some sort of award right?”
  • The Florida man accused of sending pipe bombs last year to several high-profile critics of President Donald Trump pleaded guilty Thursday in a Manhattan federal court. >> Read more trending news Cesar Sayoc appeared Thursday for a change of plea hearing before U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff.  Sayoc pleaded not guilty in November to a slew of charges after he was identified as the man suspected of mailing pipe bombs to targets including CNN, former President Barack Obama and actor Robert De Niro. >> Cesar Sayoc Jr.: What we know about the man arrested for sending package bombs Sayoc has been held without bail since his late-October arrest outside a South Florida auto parts store. He had been living in a van covered with stickers of Trump and showing images of some Trump opponents with crosshairs over their faces. Authorities launched an investigation in October after pipe bombs were mailed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and philanthropist George Soros. In the subsequent days, similar devices were mailed to several other prominent Trump critics, including U.S. Rep Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Democratic donor Tom Steyer. >> 2nd mail bomb to Tom Steyer recovered; suspect agrees to remain jailed, face charges in New York Authorities said Sayoc was linked to the packages after investigators found his fingerprints and DNA on some of them. Without a plea deal, Sayoc faced charges carrying a potential penalty of mandatory life in prison. A court filing last Friday didn't indicate which charge or charges the plea would involve. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Federal authorities and Butler Township police are investigating after an explosive device was placed inside a mailbox and detonated, according to police. >> Read more trending news  The explosive device, which police believe was a commercial-grade firework, was detonated and destroyed the mailbox sometime between 7 p.m. Tuesday and 9 a.m. Wednesday, Butler Township Police Chief John Porter said in a media release. Police did not say what road the incident occurred on but described the area as a rural part of the township.  “Since tampering with a mailbox is covered under federal law, federal authorities have been notified and are participating with us in a joint investigation,” Porter said. “Our initial investigation shows there is no indication of any type of hate or bias crime at this time.”  Authorities continue to investigate.
  • The sister of a Minnesota woman accused of killing a stranger to steal her identity in Florida last year is now facing criminal charges of her own after investigators say she grew angry at her intoxicated son and ran him over with her SUV.  Cynthia Lea Grund, 58, of Salem Township, was jailed on suspicion of second-degree assault and reckless driving. Olmstead County Jail records indicate she has since been released.  >> Read more trending news Olmstead County deputies were called Monday evening to Grund’s home, where they found her 37-year-old son, identified by the Minneapolis Star Tribune as Jason Finstad, suffering from significant lower body injuries, a Sheriff’s Office news release said. The man had been run over by a vehicle.  Investigators determined that Grund had run over her son with a 2004 Ford Explorer, the news release said.  According to detectives, Finstad was very intoxicated when he began walking down the rural driveway to go to a friend’s house. His mother and stepfather no longer wanted him staying at their home.  Grund drove down the driveway to pick Finstad up and drive him to the friend’s house, the news release said. Finstad refused to get in the SUV. “Why don’t you just run me over,” he allegedly said before lying in the driveway in front of Grund’s vehicle.  “Grund then backed the vehicle up and intentionally ran over the victim,” the news release said. “Grund admitted to her actions and at one point made a comment to the effect, ‘He didn't believe I would. He has been drinking all day. We gave him a chance.’” Grund was taken into custody at the scene. >> Related story: ‘Losing Streak Lois,’ killer grandma wanted in 2 slayings nabbed near U.S.-Mexico border Finstad underwent surgery at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester to repair damage to his pelvis. He also suffered head injuries in the incident, investigators said.  He was in fair condition as of Tuesday, the Star Tribune reported. According to the newspaper, Grund is the sister of Lois Ann Riess, 57, of Blooming Prairie, who is being held in Florida on a charge of first-degree murder in the April 5 slaying of Pamela Hutchinson, 59, of Bradenton.  Riess was arrested April 19 on Texas’ South Padre Island after a multistate string of crimes that investigators allege began with the shooting death of her husband, David Riess, 54, at their worm farm. Saturday will mark a year since David Riess’ decomposing body was found. Authorities said David Riess had been dead for several days by the time his body was discovered. The Star Tribune reported last month that a .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun found in Lois Riess’ Texas motel room matched shell casings found at the scene of her husband’s death. Dodge County investigators have turned their case over to the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office for review.  Lois Riess, who authorities nicknamed “Losing Streak Lois” for her penchant for gambling, fled south to Florida -- stopping at a casino on the way. Riess’ abandoned Cadillac Escalade, which Minnesota investigators alleged she left the state in after gunning down her husband, was found in a park in Fort Myers, Florida.  Surveillance footage from a restaurant two blocks from Hutchinson’s borrowed timeshare condo showed the victim chatting with Riess at the bar on April 5, the day authorities believe she was shot to death. Hutchinson’s body was found four days later in the bathroom of the condo.  See the footage of Lois Riess chatting with Pamela Hutchinson below, courtesy of the Fort Myers News-Press.  Investigators believe Hutchinson was killed so Riess could assume her identity. They also believe Hutchinson was shot with the same gun that killed David Riess. According to Riess’ Florida indictment, Lois Riess stole credit cards, money, jewelry, sunglasses and other property from Hutchinson after she was killed. Surveillance footage from Hutchinson’s condo complex showed Riess walking into the parking lot, getting into Hutchinson’s Acura TL and driving away.  The indictment also alleged that Riess went to a Fort Myers bank and used Hutchinson’s identification to withdraw $5,000 from the dead woman’s account before leaving town. Riess was next spotted the following day at an Ocala Hilton hotel, where she used Hutchinson’s identification to check into a room, Lee County officials said. She stayed there the nights of April 6 and 7, according to investigators.  Surveillance footage from inside and outside the hotel showed both Riess and the stolen Acura. According to the News-Press, a white straw hat Riess wore in the footage belonged to Hutchinson.  While in Ocala, Riess is accused of withdrawing another $500 from Hutchinson’s bank account.  From there, Riess is accused of making her way west across the southeastern U.S., making several stops in Louisiana -- including at another casino -- before being seen driving the Acura around Corpus Christi, Texas. She attempted to get $200 from Hutchinson’s account at a gas station, but the effort failed, the News-Press reported.  Riess used her own ID to claim a $1,500 jackpot at a Louisiana casino, the newspaper reported.  Riess remained at large until April 19, when she was arrested on South Padre Island in Texas. Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose said a man recognized Riess when she walked into a restaurant on the island, located about 25 miles from the Mexican border, and looked at a menu. Riess did not stay to eat at the restaurant, identified as Dirty Al’s Seafood, but the man called police to report the sighting. A South Padre Island police officer and a federal marshal responded to the area and spotted the white Acura that had been stolen from Hutchinson at another nearby restaurant, the Sea Ranch.  Riess was taken into custody as she sat at the bar inside, eating a meal and chatting with fellow patrons. She was subsequently extradited back to Florida to face charges in Hutchinson’s homicide.   Riess was indicted June 6 in the case, according to court records. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in Hutchinson’s slaying. 

Washington Insider

  • Frustrated by opposition on some college campuses to conservative speakers, President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order which threatens to take away federal research grant money from colleges and universities, if those schools don't guarantee First Amendment protections for those who want to speak on campus. 'We're dealing with billions and billions and billions of dollars,' President Trump said in a White House ceremony on Thursday. Flanked by conservative activists who have run afoul of protests at college and university campuses, Mr. Trump made clear that he wants new opportunities for their voices to be heard. 'Universities that want taxpayer dollars should promote free speech,' the President added. 'This order is part of the Trump Administration’s administrative and legislative efforts to support a focus on student outcomes and improve transparency, accountability, and affordability in postsecondary education,' the White House said in a statement. The President had raised this matter earlier in the month, during an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference just outside Washington, D.C. It was not immediately clear how the Thursday signing would change the current landscape governing money being sent to schools by the feds, as there are already requirements to uphold the First Amendment. In a morning conference call with reporters, a senior administration official refused to give any hints about how the requirement would be enforced differently going forward. 'I won't get into implementation details,' the official said, repeatedly deflecting questions in a Thursday conference call with reporters about how the plan would work.  'But schools are already supposed to be following these rules,' as the official said 'the goal of the order is to promote free speech more broadly across college campuses.' The plan drew immediate fire from the President's critics. 'President Trump’s concept of free speech is speech that he agrees with, which is, in fact, the antithesis of what the First Amendment seeks to protect,' said Randi Weingarten, the President of the American Federation of Teachers union.