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Two Texas lawmakers announced legislation Monday to speed removals of tens of thousands of Central American kids from the U.S.-Mexico border, as Washington groped for a solution to the mounting crisis.
Legislation brought forward by Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican, and Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat, would allow U.S. Border Patrol agents to turn many of the kids around quickly at the border. Under current law, the youths stay here while awaiting an eventual hearing in the backlogged immigration court system, something that can keep them in this country for years.
The bill comes as the White House is trying to get Congress to sign off on a $3.7 billion emergency spending request to deal with the situation at the border by adding more immigration judges and detention facilities, among other steps.
Immigrant advocacy groups and key Senate Democrats are opposed to the plan, making it unclear if a deal can be struck in the three weeks that remain before Congress leaves Washington for its August recess.
Rep. Ryan breaks own fundraising record
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan has set a new personal record for fundraising. The Journal Times of Racine, Wis., reports Ryan raised $1.6 million in the quarter that ended June 30. It is the most the Republican congressman has ever raised in a quarter. Ryan was first elected to Congress in 1998 and is frequently mentioned as a possible presidential contender in 2016. This year has seen Ryan's two best fundraising quarters. He raised nearly $1.4 million in the quarter that ended March 31. Campaign finance reports show he has $3.8 million on hand.
Reality star to run for Senate
Former South Carolina treasurer, reality TV star and felon Thomas Ravenel plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Lindsey Graham.
Ravenel presented about 16,500 signatures from registered voters on Monday. If election officials verify the signatures, he will be an independent on the November ballot.