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House GOP puts Mayorkas, DHS on notice: Give ‘unfettered cooperation’ or be compelled to testify

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House Judiciary Committee Republicans drew battle lines with the Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security on Friday, requesting testimony from nearly a dozen officials when the new Congress meets next year.

Ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who is set to chair the committee once Republicans take over the House of Representatives in January, sent a letter with other GOP lawmakers requesting “unfettered cooperation” from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and 10 other DHS officials in providing testimony for the committee’s investigations. Republicans have vowed to implement strict oversight of DHS activities in light of controversies over a proposed “Disinformation Governance Board” and the ongoing migration crisis at the southern border. 

“To advance our oversight, we require prompt testimony from DHS employees,” the Republicans wrote Friday. “We expect your unfettered cooperation in arranging for the Committee to receive testimony from DHS employees.” 

The letter names Mayorkas and other specific individuals who will be called to testify from U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, the DHS Office of the General Counsel, the Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. 

MAYORKAS SAYS ‘ENTIRE HEMISPHERE IS SUFFERING A MIGRATION CRISIS’ DAYS AFTER SAYING SOUTHERN BORDER IS SECURE

The Republicans asked DHS to prepare these officials to appear in-person for committee hearings or provide transcribed interviews, threatening to “resort to compulsory process” if the department and its sub-agencies do not comply. 

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. Wednesday, May 19, 2021.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
(Stefani Reynolds / AFP)

The letter follows a demand from House Republicans that the Biden administration preserve documents related to the ongoing crisis at the southern border. 

INTERNAL DHS EMAILS DESCRIBE ‘ROUGH’ MEETING BETWEEN MAYORKAS, BORDER PATROL AGENTS

CBP reported an all-time record high number of more than 230,000 border encounters in October. There were more than 2.3 million migrant encounters in fiscal year 2022, the highest number ever recorded, and 599,000 known “gotaways,” CBP sources told Fox News on Tuesday. 

Flanked by House Republicans, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 17, 2022 in Washington, D.C. House Republicans held a news conference to discuss

Flanked by House Republicans, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 17, 2022 in Washington, D.C. House Republicans held a news conference to discuss “the Biden family’s business dealings.”
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Republicans began laying the groundwork for numerous investigations into DHS and the Justice Department last month, promising “oversight of the causes and consequences of the unprecedented Biden border crisis into the 118th Congress.” 

MULTIPLE CBP AGENTS WOUNDED IN SHOOTOUT WITH SUSPECTED SMUGGLERS OFF PUERTO RICAN COAST

“This oversight includes examining the abdication of your duty to secure our borders, your failure to enforce federal immigration laws, and your dereliction in protecting Americans from the serious and detrimental consequences of the illegal immigration that you and the Biden Administration have caused,” Reps. Jordan and Tom McClintock, R-Calif., the ranking member of the immigration subcommittee, wrote to Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick Garland in October.

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House Republicans are also planning to investigate whistleblower allegations of “politicization” at the FBI and Justice Department, as well as probing the Biden family’s business dealings and the FBI’s handling of the Hunter Biden laptop investigation. 

Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Anders Hagstrom and Bill Melugin contributed to this report.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/house-gop-puts-mayorkas-dhs-notice-give-unfettered-cooperation-compelled-testify

Politics

Hot mic catches President Biden telling Cuban lawmaker he has to talk to him ‘about Cuba’

A hot mic after the State of the Union Tuesday evening caught President Biden telling Sen. Bob Menendez that he has to talk to him “about Cuba.”

Menendez, D-N.J., is a Cuban lawmaker and serves as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, an influential committee for initiating legislative proposals in the chamber. 

“Bob, I gotta talk to you about Cuba,” Biden said to the senator. 

The moment was caught on C-SPAN cameras as Biden spoke with Menendez and Rep. Adam Schiff, who House Speaker Kevin McCarthy blocked from joining the House Intelligence Committee. 

BIDEN BOOED DURING STATE OF THE UNION FOR CLAIMING GOP WANTS TO CUT SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE

President Biden takes photographs with members of Congress after speaking during a State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. 

President Biden takes photographs with members of Congress after speaking during a State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.  (Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Menendez is heard replying, “Okay.”

The lawmaker seemed confused by the president’s comment.

“I’m serious,” added Biden. 

BIDEN APPEARS TO GO OFF SCRIPT TO SAY US NEEDS OIL, GAS DRILLING

Menendez, the son of two Cuban migrants, has spent much of his time working in the House of Representatives and later the U.S. Senate on immigration and national security issues.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on January 26, 2023, in Washington, D.C. 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on January 26, 2023, in Washington, D.C.  (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rep.-elect Robert Menendez Jr., D-N.J., and his father Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., on the House floor of the U.S. Capitol, on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. 

Rep.-elect Robert Menendez Jr., D-N.J., and his father Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., on the House floor of the U.S. Capitol, on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.  (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

He is also credited with helping push through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which went into effect under former President Barack Obama.

Menendez is currently prioritizing his efforts on “competing with China, confronting the global pandemic, and restoring the United States’ place as a leader around the globe,” according to his official government website.

President Biden exits after delivering the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. 

President Biden exits after delivering the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.  (Jacquelyn Martin/AP/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

President Biden, center, speaks during a State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. 

President Biden, center, speaks during a State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.  (Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

President Biden addressed competition with China during Tuesday evening’s address, saying he welcomed competition but would act swiftly to push back on any action that threatens U.S. sovereignty. 

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“But make no mistake about it: as we made clear last week, if China’s threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did,” said Biden, referencing the Chinese spy balloon that was shot down by the U.S. military last week.

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Georgia Senate votes to block COVID-19 vaccine requirements at schools, government agencies

The Georgia Senate approved a measure Tuesday to prohibit schools and most state and local government agencies from mandating the coronavirus vaccine.

The legislation, Georgia State Senate Bill 1, passed the state Senate 31-21. The bill would not apply to healthcare providers subject to federal requirements that employees must be vaccinated to continue receiving federal payments.

A one-year ban on vaccine requirements was enacted last year, and this bill would make that measure permanent.

“We have lived for a year under the previous version of this law,” said Republican state Sen. Greg Dolezal, the bill’s main sponsor. “That law is set to sunset this summer so we just removed the sunset and said that we’re never going to have a day in Georgia where governments refuse services to its constituents based on whether or not they have received a COVID-19 vaccine.”

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION PUSHES BACK ON GOP EFFORT TO END VACCINE REQUIREMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL AIR TRAVELERS

The Georgia Senate approved a measure Tuesday to prohibit schools and most state and local government agencies from mandating the coronavirus vaccine.

The Georgia Senate approved a measure Tuesday to prohibit schools and most state and local government agencies from mandating the coronavirus vaccine. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Dolezal said he does not believe the government should “discriminate against citizens” based on their vaccination status.

The current one-year ban passed in 2022 is set to expire on June 30.

“We know that there’s been a movement building in America to demonize vaccinations and do it in the name of individual rights,” Democrat Sen. Nan Orrock said, adding that lawmakers who voted for the new bill are “fundamentally signing on to the anti-vaccination movement” and tying the government’s hands should COVID-19 worsen again.

The bill bans state agencies, local governments, schools and colleges from requiring proof of vaccination.

The bill would not apply to healthcare providers subject to federal requirements that employees must be vaccinated to continue receiving federal payments.

The bill would not apply to healthcare providers subject to federal requirements that employees must be vaccinated to continue receiving federal payments. (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

“When we throw bills up on the floor and take votes on them in the General Assembly that result in further undermining the public’s faith in vaccines and in public health measures, I think that poses a danger to all of us in the long run,” Orrock said. “It is not wise.”

Republican Sen. Ben Watson, a medical doctor, said a mandate is not needed since the virus has become less severe.

“The science certainly has evolved, the disease certainly has evolved,” Watson said.

COVID-19’S LASTING IMPACT: ‘LESS ATTRACTIVE’ PEOPLE WEAR MASKS MORE OFTEN THAN OTHERS, STUDY FINDS

A one-year ban on vaccine requirements was enacted last year, and this bill would make that measure permanent.

A one-year ban on vaccine requirements was enacted last year, and this bill would make that measure permanent. (iStock)

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Democrats, meanwhile, claim COVID-19 is less lethal thanks to vaccines and other public safety measures, and that there is no guarantee the virus will remain that way.

The bill now heads to the state House for consideration. 

Dolezal has said he plans to introduce a separate bill to make the current five-year ban on school mask mandates permanent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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Biden’s State of the Union touted economic success, but are Americans better off?

President Biden touted his economic accomplishments during his State of the Union address, but Americans across the country shared divided views on how their finances have fared two years into his term.

“If I didn’t work in a restaurant, I don’t think I’d be able to afford to eat,” Romello, a Washington state resident, told Fox News. “I’m dipping into my savings now.”

The cost of living is “crazy expensive” and rent is “mind-blowing,” he said. 

But Michael, of Nashville, said his financial situation has improved.

I make more money than I did three years ago,” he said. 

AMERICANS SHARE HOW THEIR FINANCIAL SITUATION HAS CHANGED UNDER BIDEN’S PRESIDENCY:

WATCH MORE FOX NEWS DIGITAL ORIGINALS HERE

A recent Fox News poll reported that 61% of registered voters disapproved of Biden’s handling of the economy. Additionally, 45% of respondents said economic conditions are “poor” while 35% answered “only fair.”

“We’re building an economy where no one’s left behind,” Biden said Tuesday during his State of the Union address. “Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back because of the choices we made in the last several years.”

Laura of Bellingham, Washington, doesn’t feel she’s in a better position than before Biden took office.

“Definitely worse off, but I still sit in a role of privilege,” she told Fox News. “So I’m fortunate enough to have weathered the storm without it being fully damaging to my family.” 

BIDEN’S IRS PLANS TO CRACK DOWN ON WAITERS’ TIPS

Laura said she is worse off financially under President Biden.

Laura said she is worse off financially under President Biden. (Fox News Digital / Hannah Ray Lambert)

But Rich, a D.C. resident, said: “If you look at it closely, the jobs are way up, inflation is down, corporate earnings are way up, wages are up.” 

“So, yes, all in all, I think the economy is doing better, although most people apparently do not think so,” he continued.

U.S. employers added 517,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.4% — the lowest since 1969, according to the Department of Labor. But some economists warned that labor participation rates are still below pre-pandemic levels, though others say the report shows promise for sectors hit hard by the pandemic.

FOX NEWS POLL: STATE OF THE UNION IS DYSFUNCTION, DISSATISFACTION AND DISAPPROVAL

Joe Biden speaks about the progress of the administration's economic agenda.

Joe Biden speaks about the progress of the administration’s economic agenda. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, some Americans told Fox News they’re preparing for harder times ahead.

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“I’m being a little bit smarter and more frugal,” Pola, of Austin, said. “Especially for somebody like me in the service industry, you definitely have a little bit tougher of a time making your money.”

And a Nashville man said: “Things are more expensive, and I think it’s just digging us into a deeper hole.”

To watch the full responses, click here

Hannah Ray Lambert reported from Bellingham, Washington; Megan Myers from Washington, D.C.; Gabrielle Reyes from Austin; and Teny Sahakian from Nashville.

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