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Monday, February 17, 2015
630 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Monday, February 17, 2015, I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
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- Federal Judge Halts Obama Immigration Action A federal judge in Texas passed down an opinion Monday night in a case brought by 26 Republican attorneys general, blocking President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
- U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen refused to rule the orders were illegal, instead saying there was merit to temporarily block them as higher courts take up the case. Hanen said the law did not grant Obama the power to “give 4.3 million removable aliens what the Department of Homeland Security itself labels as ‘legal presence’.”
- “In fact the law mandates that these illegally-present individuals be removed,” the judge continued.
- President Obama’s executive orders, which were controversial politically as well as legally, would have removed the threat of deportation for as many as five million immigrants who were parents to U.S. citizens and had been permanent residents of the United States for at least five years. The orders would also have expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which gives immigrants who came as children the opportunity to apply for deportation deferral.
- The DACA application process for young immigrants, as expanded by resident Obama’s November order, would have taken effect Wednesday.
- The White House quickly responded with a statement, saying, “The district court’s decision wrongly prevents these lawful, commonsense policies from taking effect and the Department of Justice has indicated that it will appeal that decision.”
- Such an appeal will go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, where Hanen’s decision is expected to be suspended.White House Watch
- Quiet Day in Washington All federal offices in the Washington, D.C. area are closed today due to the snowstorm which hit the city last night.
- In addition, neither house of Congress is in session all week – on a Presidents Day recess that lasts well after Presidents Day – making for a quiet day in Washington today.
- Biden’s Day At 10 AM, President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office.
- At 11 AM, the Vice President will swear in Ash Carter as U.S. Secretary of Defense in a White House ceremony; this is Carter’s first day on the job as Pentagon chief.
- At 12:15 PM, Biden will participate in the first day of the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, which gathers leaders from over 60 nations to “highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence.”
- The summit comes in light of recent terrorist attacks in Ottawa, Canada; Sydney, Australia; Paris, France; and Copenhagen, Denmark, as well as attacks across the Middle East by the Islamic State group.
- As part of the summit, the Vice President will participate in a “roundtable discussion with representatives from cities working to address the spread of violent extremism,” including those just named.
- Finally, Vice President Biden will speak at the Maryland State Police Forensic Science Laboratory in Baltimore at 3:15 PM. Along with Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Biden will call for funding of rape kits.
- The President’s Schedule After receiving the Presidential Daily Briefing, President Obama will meet with Defense Secretary Ash Carter, just hours after Carter is sworn in to his new post. Obama and Carter, his fourth Pentagon chief, will meet in the Oval Office at 3:15 PM.
- 1801 Thomas Jefferson is elected U.S. President by a vote of the House of Representatives. The 1800 presidential election had resulted in a tied Electoral College, meaning the race would be decided by the House. The election tied due to a flaw in the Constitution, where the Electoral College holds two ballots (and each member must vote for a different presidential candidate each time). The man with the most votes became President, the runner-up was elected Vice President. As political parties arose, this became problematic, since each party would put forward two candidates (one planned as the presidential candidate, and the other planned to be his running mate). In the eyes of the Electoral College, however, both men were candidates for president, meaning the candidates of the party with the most electoral votes (the Democratic-Republicans) would receive equal electoral votes. This was not an issue in 1789, 1792, or 1796, when political parties had not yet emerged.
- When the 1800 presidential race reached the House (since Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied, even though the former was running for President, and the latter was known to be vying to be vice president), 17 ballots were held before a consensus was reached.
- Jefferson and Burr, as the candidates with the most votes, were presented before the House, where many Federalists voted for Burr instead of Jefferson, to deny Jefferson the Presidency. They were unsuccessful, and Jefferson was elected, commencing the first transfer from one party to another in the United States. The switch from a Federalist to a Democratic-Republican in the chair of the President was peaceful, setting a precedent in this country that remains to this day.
- 1820 The U.S. Senate passes the Missouri Compromise, which dealt with the spread of slavery into Western territories by prohibiting slavery north of the Mason-Dixon line (located at 36°30′ north), except in the new state of Missouri. This agreement was soon passed by the House and signed into law by President James Monroe, with the support of both pro-slavery and anti-slavery lawmakers.
- 1933 Newsweek magazine is published for the first time.
- 1972 Richard Nixon leaves for China, where he is the first U.S. President to visit.
Question of the Day
- Today’s Question Who was the main drafter of the Missouri Compromise?