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Latest from Jamie Dupree

    A day after offering Democrats a compromise designed to break an almost month-long impasse over border security funding, which has idled hundreds of thousands of federal government workers as a result of a partial government shutdown, President Donald Trump on Sunday denied that his plans amounted to ‘amnesty’ for illegal immigrants, as he pressed Democrats to accept the deal. “Amnesty is not a part of my offer,” the President wrote in one of a series of Sunday posts on Twitter about his Saturday afternoon speech, which basically offered temporary protection from deportation for about 1 million illegal immigrants, in exchange for $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall. Mr. Trump also sought to put pressure on Democrats – especially House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as the White House touted the support of Republicans in the Senate, who will try to advance the border plan later this week. “Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday before I even got up to speak,” the President said. No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer. It is a 3 year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else. Likewise there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally-but be careful Nancy! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2019 There were some conservative voices who gave the President’s plan a thumbs-down, not pleased with the move to shield around 700,000 DACA recipients, and another 300,000 people who had overstayed their temporary permission to be in the U.S. – but Republicans in the Senate tried to make it look like those voices were a minority of the GOP. “All members of Congress should take this proposal seriously,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA). “I will absolutely vote for this proposal,” said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS). The irony of the President’s immigration proposals weren’t lost on Democrats – as the Trump Administration has tried to end protections for DACA recipients, and targeted hundreds of thousands of others with “Temporary Protective Status” for deportation. “The President cancelled DACA. He stopped TPS,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). “He got us into this mess.” “Once again, Trump is trying to find leverage with problems that he created. No deal,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). The president tried to end DACA in 2017. He slashed and ended TPS protections in 2018. In December, he shut down the government. Using people as leverage is immoral. Reopen the government now. — Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 20, 2019 “Stop holding federal employees hostage and stop holding the young people in DACA hostage,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). As for the actual legislative details of the President’s plan, those still weren’t available on Sunday, but Politico reported that the plan may also include over $12 billion in hurricane and wildfire disaster relief, along with other spending provisions – all of that would need 60 votes to advance in the Senate. The House and Senate are not in session on Monday, because of the federal holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This was originally a legislative break week for Congress, but now will be ground zero for the fight over the border wall and the partial shutdown. If no final deal is reached this week, 800,000 federal workers would miss a second paycheck on Friday, January 25.
  • With a partial government shutdown extending into a fifth week, President Donald Trump on Saturday offered a deal to Democrats on immigration, setting out a plan which provides $5.7 billion for border security measures which he wants – with some of that money going to build a border wall – in exchange for temporary protection for two different classes of immigrants in the United States, an exchange which was quickly labeled a non-starter by top Democrats in Congress. “I am here today to break the logjam,” Mr. Trump said in his speech, as he said his new plan would be voted on next week in the U.S. Senate. “This is a common sense compromise both parties should embrace,” the President added in his remarks from the White House. “Everyone has made their point — now it’s time to make a law,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “I intend to move to this legislation this week.” 'As a candidate for President I promised I would fix this crisis, and I intend to keep that promise one way or the other,' President Trump says in a national address on border security https://t.co/PkxaI92qXK pic.twitter.com/uK4n43tybw — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 19, 2019 The plan offered by the President has two main compromise items, one is a bipartisan legislative effort known as the “BRIDGE ACT” – would only be a temporary solution for those known as “Dreamers” – offering them a three-year protected status in the United States, but not resolving any question about a longer-term pathway to U.S. citizenship. The President is also offering to extend protections for certain immigrants and refugees who have come to the U.S. under a “Temporary Protected Status” or TPS, and have remained in the United States longer than originally envisioned. That’s a change from last year, when the Trump Administration moved to send back thousands of people to their home countries – Nicaragua, Haiti, El Salvador, and Sudan – ending an extended temporary protection for those who had come to the United States – but a federal court put that move by the President on hold in October. It was the first major offer made by the President since this impasse began before Christmas, as Mr. Trump had previously waved off efforts by some GOP lawmakers to add provisions dealing with DACA and other programs which helped illegal immigrants in the United States. But his Saturday speech did little to sway Democratic leaders in Congress. “It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as she and other Democrats said the immigration offers were temporary, while the wall was permanent. “Unfortunately, the president doesn’t understand that an honest negotiation can’t take place while he’s holding the government hostage,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA). Democrats were hopeful that @realDonaldTrump was finally willing to re-open government & proceed with a much-needed discussion to protect the border. Unfortunately, reports make clear that his proposal is a compilation of previously rejected initiatives. https://t.co/MFwebWSevG pic.twitter.com/yMTm4iP27h — Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 19, 2019 “You don’t negotiate a compromise with your own Vice President and your son in law,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), as Democrats noted there have been no direct talks in almost two weeks. “That’s not how this works.” “No genuine path to citizenship for dreamers, more intransigent insistence on an ineffective, impractical wall—nothing new from Trump today,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). Republicans said the Democrats should accept the President’s offer, as both sides pointed the shutdown finger of blame at each other on the 29th day of the border security impasse, which began back before Christmas, when Republicans controlled both the House and Senate. “The President has made a very reasonable offer to extend DACA and TPS protections in exchange for the border security measures he supports,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). “Democrats have yet to make a single legitimate counteroffer throughout the last month the government has been shut down,” said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). “This is an important step in the right direction to restart negotiations,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who has broken repeatedly with GOP leaders and the White House to vote for Democratic plans to re-open the government. Mr. Trump’s plan also includes: + $800 million in humanitarian aid to deal with an influx of illegal immigrants + $805 million for drug detection efforts at major ports of entry + 2,750 new border agents and other law enforcement personnel + 75 new legal teams of immigration judges #Shutdown can only end through mutual concessions that lead to an agreement. It appears @POTUS will offer concessions this afternoon. I hope Democrats won’t just automatically reject his offer. Demanding his unconditional surrender is not a reasonable position. — Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 19, 2019 But the plan also ran into opposition from some voices on the conservative right as well. 100 miles of border wall in exchange for amnestying millions of illegals. So if we grant citizenship to a BILLION foreigners, maybe we can finally get a full border wall. — Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 19, 2019
  • After yet another day which featured no hints of progress in ending a funding fight that has to a partial government shutdown taking paychecks away from over 800,000 federal workers, President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday evening that he would make a ‘major announcement’ on Saturday about his push to get money to build a wall along the Mexican border, which has led to an ongoing standoff with Democrats in Congress. “I will be making a major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown,” the President wrote on Twitter, giving no details about what he might announce. With no indications that Democrats in Congress are ready to give in on their opposition to a border wall, some Republicans have continued to urge the President to declare a ‘national emergency’ under existing laws, and move money around in the military’s budget to build a wall. I will be making a major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown, tomorrow afternoon at 3 P.M., live from the @WhiteHouse. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2019 “He ought to go ahead and declare an emergency, and it would be over,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK). “I don’t know why he is reluctant to do that.” Inhofe – who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee – said Thursday that he would not oppose the President dipping into military construction funds to build the wall, though other Republicans have publicly opposed the idea. Democrats on Friday also pressed the Department of Homeland Security on another front – using eminent domain to take land away from landowners, in order to build the way – focusing on a case involving the Catholic Church in Texas, which owns land that the Trump Administration wants. “The federal government must exercise extreme caution when seizing private property,” wrote Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer to the Homeland Security Secretary. To @SecNielsen: The Trump Administration’s lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, raises important questions on the exercise of eminent domain to build a border wall. We ask you to respond to these questions by January 31: pic.twitter.com/MXcfoQib9E — Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 18, 2019 The President has asked for $5.7 billion in border security money for both fencing and a wall; Democrats in Congress have offered $1.6 billion – the original requests of the Trump Administration and Republicans – but Democrats want none of that to go to the wall.
  • Lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate went home for a federal holiday weekend with no hints of any deal in a continuing dispute over President Donald Trump’s demand for money to build his border wall, as Democrats in the House vowed more votes on bills to end a funding lapse which started before Christmas, while Senate Republicans continued to refuse to hold any votes before there’s a deal on border funding with the President. “I feel like this has been a wasted week,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), a key Senate ally of President Trump, who like other lawmakers saw no evidence that a deal was near, four weeks into the shutdown. “I don’t feel like there’s been much progress at all,” Perdue added. Democrats certainly endorsed that assessment – while pointing the finger of blame directly at Senate Republicans, criticising the GOP for not allowing votes on any of the eight funding bills approved by the House to re-open shuttered agencies, send hundreds of thousands of employees back to work, and ensure they will be paid as well. “We are talking about millions of people’s paychecks being held hostage for a border wall that the American public doesn’t support,” said Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM). Day 27: I just directly requested passage of a bill to reopen the government. Senator McConnell refused. Impossible to overstate exactly how ridiculous and offensive — not to mention unnecessary — this continuing shutdown is. — Tim Kaine (@timkaine) January 17, 2019 “If we are going to pay them (federal workers) anyway — if the Federal Treasury is going to write that check — wouldn’t it be better if they are in their offices answering phones, processing food stamp applications, and serving their fellow Americans than locked out of their offices?” asked Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA). Kaine vowed to force the Senate to be in session on Saturday to drive home Democratic Party arguments about the need to end the shutdown – and to reinforce how Republicans have not allowed any votes yet in 2019 on bills to fund the government. “I don’t understand how this chamber can stand by and watch the devastating effects of this shutdown on our nation,” said Udall on the Senate floor, as he joined Kaine in urging Republicans to allow votes to re-open the National Park Service and other agencies. Kaine on Thursday forced the Senate Majority Leader to object to a procedural effort to debate and vote on funding for the government; a few hours later, McConnell met for close to an hour at the Capitol with Vice President Mike Pence, and the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. McConnell told reporters afterwards there was no deal to announce. House Democrats planned several more votes next week on bills to fund the government, as they scrapped a planned break because of the shutdown. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers haven’t been paid yet in 2019 and some are taking on second jobs to make ends meet. Enough with the stalling @SenateMajLdr. Stop blocking the Senate vote and let's finally end this shutdown. https://t.co/ZfwHYGNQJY — Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) January 18, 2019 With a federal holiday on Monday for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it wasn’t hard to imagine the shutdown continuing through most – if not all – of next week, and that could mean a second missed paycheck for federal workers, most of whom are scheduled to be paid on January 25. The first missed check was a week ago on January 11. Some Republicans again suggested the way out was for President Trump to declare a national emergency, and try to move money around in the federal budget to support a border wall. “I have no idea how long it’s going to go,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said of the shutdown, arguing the national emergency declaration might be the best move for everyone. “To me, he could use an emergency, and it would be over,” Inhofe said.
  • A day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that President Donald Trump delay his State of the Union Address because of unresolved issues surrounding a partial government shutdown, the President retaliated by scrapping plans by the Speaker to take a group of lawmakers on an overseas trip to Belgium, Egypt and Afghanistan, saying it would be better for Pelosi to stay in the U.S. and negotiate a deal on a border wall. “In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate,” the President wrote in a letter to the Speaker. “Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative,” the President added, as he took the unprecedented step of pulling military support for what are known as “CODEL’s” – bipartisan Congressional Delegation trips. A day after she all but disinvited him from delivering the State of the Union address, Trump tells Pelosi he is canceling her trip to Belgium, Egypt and Afghanistan, citing the shutdown. The executive branch traditionally provides military transport for congressional trips. — Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) January 17, 2019 Earlier in the day, the Speaker had told reporters she had not yet received a response from the White House to her suggestion of a postponement of the State of the Union. “I’m not denying him a platform at all,” Pelosi told reporters at her weekly news conference. “I’m saying let’s get a date when the government is open.”
  • For the eighth time in two weeks, Congress on Thursday went through a familiar round of arguments as the House approved a bill to re-open federal agencies which lost funding before Christmas, with Democrats demanding that Senate Republicans consider those measures to end a partial government shutdown, while GOP Senators said they would not act until there was an agreement on funding for the border wall backed by President Donald Trump. “What a stupid way to run a business,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, as Democrats accused Senate Republicans of abdicating their constitutional responsibilities. “The House of Representatives is in a perpetual cycle of Groundhog Day,” said Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), as Republicans again said until Democrats give wall funding to the President, there is no reason for any votes on bills to end the partial government shutdown. “This is all just theater, this is all just political theater,” said Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), as Republicans remained steadfast in saying they would not vote to re-open the government until the President had his wall money, while Democrats said they would not negotiate on border security funding until the government was open again. Democrats continued to partly blame Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the impasse, imploring him to allow the House-passed government funding bills to be considered on the Senate floor. Again and again the @HouseDemocrats have put forward bills to reopen the gov only to have the Senate GOP block them because they would rather back Trump than let workers receive the pay that they’ve earned. This level of obstruction is absurd. Stop choosing politics over people. https://t.co/Rfw3j9RCWb — Rep. Ted Deutch (@RepTedDeutch) January 17, 2019 Off the floors of the House and Senate, there were no indications in the hallways of the Capitol of any developing negotiations between Democrats and the White House, as after 27 days of a partial shutdown, it was obvious that the standoff would go into the weekend, and into next week. “Almost everybody wants to secure the border, almost everybody wants to open up government,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL). “What can’t it happen?” Democrats said the reason was in the Senate, where after two weeks of the 116th Congress, no funding bills had yet been brought to the floor, even as over 800,000 federal workers missed one paycheck last week, and were in danger of missing another on January 25. “The people want the wall, the people want border security,” said Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), as there was no evidence that GOP lawmakers were going to break from the President, leaving the stalemate in place, with federal workers around the country – some working, some not – waiting to be paid. “I’m not for a wall,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, as Democrats showed no evidence of any split, either. “I’m concerned about workers not having any paychecks.” The President and Republicans are asking for $5.7 billion for border security—just one-tenth of 1% of the federal budget. — Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 17, 2019 Meanwhile, the Trump Administration called back more workers on Thursday at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to work on needed paperwork for farmers around the nation. “Not knowing when I go back to work is starting to get a bit old,” one idled federal worker told me. And for now, it looks like the shutdown is not going to be over anytime soon. . @SpeakerPelosi: “I’m not for a wall. I’m not for a wall. I’m not for a wall.” pic.twitter.com/TTqMPoOUai — CSPAN (@cspan) January 17, 2019 “A wall has to be built,” the President said in a speech at the Pentagon.
  • With the federal minimum wage of $7.25 cents an hour unchanged for ten years, Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a plan in Congress to more than double that pay rate over a six year period, arguing it’s past time for lawmakers to make it easier for working Americans to earn enough money to support their families. “President Trump isn’t going to stick up for American workers – we Democrats will,” Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer said to cheers at a U.S. Capitol news conference. “No person working full-time in America should be living in poverty,” said Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), who will lead the charge for a higher minimum wage in the House as chairman of the Education and Labor Committee. “The current $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage is a starvation wage,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). 'No American working full time should be living in poverty,' House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott said when introducing legislation to increase the hourly minimum wage to $15. The last time Congress raised the federal minimum wage was in 2007. pic.twitter.com/nypZl0CX7L — POLITICO (@politico) January 16, 2019 “Increasing the federal minimum wage is the right thing to do,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL). “I believe this legislation would provide a boost to businesses and the broader economy.” While the Congress has not touched the minimum wage since Democrats pushed through an increase in 2007, individual states have taken a different approach, as now 29 states have a higher minimum wage than the feds. Just last year, voters in Missouri approved raising the minimum wage to $12/hour by 2023; Arkansas voters approved a minimum wage going up to $11 by 2021. “The last time we were in charge, one of the first things we did was raise the minimum wage,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), referring to a 2007 law approved by a Democratic Congress and signed by President George W. Bush. “It was not enough then,” Hoyer said of the $7.25 per hour federal wage. “It is clearly not enough now.” The $15 per hour wage – known by some groups as the “Fight for 15” – certainly has a good chance at getting through the House, now that Democrats in charge; but it faces an uphill fight in the U.S. Senate. Our #FightFor15 Sisters and Brothers welcoming members of Congress to this afternoon's announcement of the #RaiseTheWage Act of 2019. pic.twitter.com/rza7EjsAfP — Fight For 15 (@fightfor15) January 16, 2019 “A living wage for all workers helps business, families, and the economy,” said Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA). “The steady increase is good for workers, good for business, and good for the economy,” said Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT). “No American working full time should live in poverty.” A section-by-section review of the bill can be found here. The actual legislative text is here.
  • After previously denouncing press reports of higher than normal absences of airport security personnel during a partial government shutdown as “fake news,” the Transportation Security Administration said on Wednesday that more of its employees are not showing up for work because of money issues caused by a missed paycheck last week, as the shutdown entered a 26th day with no resolution in sight. In a news release, the TSA stated that “many employees are reporting that they are not able to report to work due to financial limitations,” as the agency said its absentee rate was up from the same day a year ago. On Monday, the TSA reported 6.8 percent of unscheduled absences, compared to 2.5 percent on the same day a year earlier. On Tuesday, the unscheduled absence rate was 6.1 percent, compared to 3.7 percent on that date in 2018. TSA’s statement today acknowledging what federal employees have been warning about in our reporting for weeks- employees are calling out because of “financial limitations.” #GovernmentShutdown @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/ojCqOj9skU — Nicole Carr (@NicoleCarrWSB) January 16, 2019 The TSA did not provide any details on what airports might be experiencing the highest absentee rates for screeners, citing security concerns. “Aviation security remains an essential priority, and TSA does not want to create any perception that an adversary could use specific information to determine possible vulnerabilities,” the agency noted. Back on January 4, Department of Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton ridiculed press reports of TSA airport staffing shortages, labeling it a ‘non-existent sickout.’ “More #FakeNews from @CNN,” Houlton tweeted. But since then, multiple examples have surfaced at airports in Miami, Houston, and other cities, where checkpoints – or entire terminals – have been shuttered, because of a lack of security screeners. If there is one group of workers impacted by the shutdown which members of Congress come into contact with the most – it would be TSA screeners at airport – as Democrats have repeatedly invoked stories of financial hardship involving furloughed federal workers. These are the faces of everyday families who are hurting as a result of the President’s shutdown. The photo I’m holding is of Becky Esquivel and her family. Becky works for TSA. I met with her and other federal workers last week to hear their stories. pic.twitter.com/yy1ZtN9uEM — Senator Jacky Rosen (@SenJackyRosen) January 16, 2019 The admission of “financial limitations” on workers not being employed came as the Trump Administration announced more federal employees are being called back to work – even though they can’t be paid until the Congress and the President solve the shutdown impasse, which started December 22 in a dispute over money for the President’s border wall. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on Wednesday that Farm Service Agency workers would be brought back to their jobs for three days this month – all to help deal with a backlog of requests by farmers for financial aid, loans and other needs. Also, thousands of workers at the Internal Revenue Service are being brought back to their jobs, to insure that the tax filing season begins on time, at the end of January.
  • With a partial government shutdown showing no signs of being resolved, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday basically ‘disinvited’ President Donald Trump from a scheduled January 29 State of the Union Address, saying that the Secret Service and Homeland Security Department should not be tasked with such a major event while they are in a shutdown status. “Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened,” Pelosi wrote in a letter sent to the President on Wednesday morning. There was no immediate reaction from the White House or the President. The President gives the State of the Union at the invitation of the Congress, as the House and Senate must agree to use the House chamber for such an event. The reaction in Congress split down party lines. “It is very ironic that Democrats reference security concerns in their latest grandstanding tactic, delaying the State of the Union, but will not address the security concerns that are creating a humanitarian crisis at the border,” said Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN). “We know the state of our union,” said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), as Democrats said there should be no speech from the President while the partial shutdown continues. In an interview with NBC News, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the President had been “disinvited” by Pelosi.
  • President Donald Trump’s choice to be U.S. Attorney General told Senators on Tuesday that he favors stronger measures by the federal government to insure that people who suffer from mental illness are not able to purchase firearms in the future, arguing that would be the simplest way to strengthen efforts to stop gun violence in America. “The problem of our time is to get an effective system in place that can keep dangerous firearms out of the hands of mentally ill people,” Attorney General nominee William Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “That should be priority number one, and it’s going to take some hard work,” Barr said, as the former Attorney General for President George H.W. Bush made clear that while he’s no advocate for gun control, something must be done when it comes to mental health and gun purchases. “There is room for reasonable regulation,” Barr said, even as he praised the Heller decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008, which reinforced the right of people to own a firearm for self-defense. Barr's response to Sen. Feinstein's question on if he believes more gun control won't stop more gun crime: We have to put the resources in to get the system built up the way we did many years ago on the felon records and so forth. We have to get the system working. pic.twitter.com/SWCMELAK6g — Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) January 15, 2019 In questioning from Senators of both parties on guns, Barr endorsed the basics of what are known as ‘Red Flag laws,’ which allow family members or police to go to court in a bid to take guns away from someone who could be a danger. While Barr made clear his support for the Second Amendment, some gun rights supporters object to “Red Flag” laws, worried that it will lead to more gun seizures than backers advertise. “Let’s get down to the real problem we’re confronting, which is keeping these weapons out of the hands of people who are mentally ill,” Barr said, shrugging off much of the debate over guns. Under questioning from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and then Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Barr rejected the idea of a new ban on assault weapons, saying the current instant background check system must have more information from state and federal sources when it comes to mental health questions. Barr says core priority of gun control efforts should be keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill — John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) January 15, 2019 “All the rest of this stuff is really esssential just rhetoric until we get that problem dealt with,” Barr added.
  • Jamie  Dupree

    Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog.A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989. Politics and the Congress are in Jamie’s family, as both of his parents were staffers for members of Congress. He was also a page and intern in the House of Representatives. Jamie has covered 11 national political conventions, with his first being the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta. His political travels have had him on the presidential campaign trail every four years since 1992, chasing candidates throughout the primary calendar.He is heard on Cox Radio stations around the country: WSB-AM Atlanta, WDBO-AM Orlando; WOKV-AM/FM Jacksonville; WHIO-AM/FM Dayton, Ohio; and KRMG-AM Tulsa, Oklahoma.Jamie and his wife Emily live just outside the Beltway with their three children. Some may know Jamie from his other on-air hobby, as he is a licensed amateur radio operator. When not at work or playing with his kids, you can often find him with a golf club in his hands.Follow Jamie on Twitter and Google+

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  • The 2019 Oscar nominations will revealed LIVE Tuesday on 'Good Morning America.' The nominations event will start around 8:20 a.m.  The Academy announced last week that Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross will host the event. Who's excited for #OscarNoms? Join @KumailN and @TraceeEllisRoss on Tuesday at 5:20 am PST. https://t.co/cZbmfjsA1S pic.twitter.com/drK62oiFDk — The Academy (@TheAcademy) January 17, 2019 In addition to watching on Channel 2, the event will also be streamed on The Academy's YouTube channel. WATCH 'Good Morning America' immediately following Channel 2 Action News This Morning, starting at 4:30 a.m.
  • Family and friends are remembering a University of Georgia student who died in a fiery crash. William Aaron Whitaker, of Carrollton, died Thursday night in the crash that shut down the interstate between I-285 and Fulton Industrial Boulevard for about 10 hours, UGA spokesman Greg Trevor told AJC.com.  Learn how his loved ones are honoring him, on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m.  Whitaker was a sophomore studying exercise science and athletic training, according to an obituary on the Hightower Family Funeral Homes website.  Mario Vilan Polier, 53, of Hialeah, Florida, faces charges of improper lane change, following too closely and second-degree homicide by vehicle in connection with the incident.  Polier’s tractor-trailer overturned onto its passenger side while traveling on I-20 east around 7:30 p.m., crashing into a concrete barrier between the eastbound and westbound lanes, the Georgia State Patrol said. Debris from the concrete barrier went into the westbound lanes, striking two vehicles. TRENDING STORIES: Blood pressure medication recalled due to cancer risk Heads up, drivers: Multiple roads close for Super Bowl events beginning today DFCS dismissed abuse report before Georgia kids were found buried One of those vehicles was Whitaker’s, who died at the scene, GSP said. Three other people were also injured in the crash, but their conditions were not released. The deadly wreck shut down all eastbound I-20 lanes and all but one westbound lane Thursday night, and it brought brought I-20 traffic to a standstill back to Thornton Road, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.  Polier is in the Fulton County Jail on a $35,000 bond, according to county jail records. He also has a hold placed on him by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  • A 9-year-old boy driving an all-terrain vehicle crashed over the weekend, killing a 58-year-old passenger in Osceola County, the Florida Highway Patrol said. >> Read more trending news Troopers said the boy was trying to avoid another ATV Saturday on 8 Mile Ranch Road when the vehicle he was operating hit a brim and overturned onto Laura Bizzell, of Avon Park. The boy suffered minor injuries, but Bizzell died, according to the FHP. The other ATV driver, Samuel Christmas, 53, suffered minor injuries.  Authorities continue to investigate the incident.
  • The first time Tom Brady won a Super Bowl ring, Sean McVay was just 16 years old. Now the Los Angeles Rams head coach, who turns 33 on Thursday, will have chance to defeat Brady and the Patriots more than 17 years later in the place where he grew up. “It’s kind of ironic that the only Super Bowl that I’ve been to as a fan was the last time the Rams played the Titans,” McVay said after winning NFC Championship. “I was at that game. My Grandpa, when he was still involved in the NFL, he got me tickets for my birthday.” Channel 2's Berndt Petersen traveled to Marist School in DeKalb County, where the head coach is still beloved in the community McVay led the War Eagles to a 6-AAAA state championship in 2003. Hear from Marist coaches about what it means to have one of their own play for Super Bowl in their backyard, on Channel 2 Action News at 4 and 5 p.m.  Hero of Marist High heads to the Super Bowl. 4:45 pic.twitter.com/dSHqhYIQVv — Berndt Petersen (@BPetersenWSB) January 21, 2019 Stay with Channel 2 Action News and WSBTV.com for complete Super Bowl LIII coverage leading up to the big game. Download our news app to get FREE alerts sent to phone and tablet and find complete coverage of Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta here  
  • Police in Tallahassee, Florida, responded to a video of a toddler exiting a truck with her hands up over her head, mimicking her parents’ arrest, and walking toward officers who had their guns drawn, by releasing body camera footage taken from a different angle, WCTV reported. >> Read more trending news  The incident took place Thursday, and after the cellphone video taken by a passerby during a shoplifting arrest went viral, Tallahassee police Chief Michael DeLeo released several clips from officer body cameras, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. DeLeo said 10 different body camera angles were used in reviewing the incident. 'I believe that incidents like this justify our investment in body worn cameras and the importance of getting all the facts,' DeLeo said in a video released on the Police Department’s official Facebook page. The video released by the Tallahassee police shows the original video that went viral, followed by a statement from DeLeo about the incident. It ends with the body camera footage. On Thursday afternoon, Chad M. Bom, 34, and James W. McMullen, 38, were charged with theft from a Bealls Outlet store in Tallahassee, according to the news release posted on the Police Department’s Facebook page. Both men were charged with petit theft, the Democrat reported. The mother of the toddler was at the scene Police had responded to reports of a theft by an armed suspect at the Bealls shopping outlet around 4:30 p.m. and pulled over a truck. They were surprised when the toddler got out and began to mimic her parents, WCTV reported. 'It's OK, sweetie. You don't have to put your hands up,' one officer can be heard saying in the body camera footage. Footage also showed the police allowing the child’s mother to hold the baby while they found a pellet gun in the back seat of the vehicle near a 1-year-old boy who was still strapped into his car seat, WCTV reported. DeLeo said he was 'proud' of his officers' response, adding he felt they showed compassion for the family. “This video footage captures the compassion demonstrated by our TPD officers during an intense situation. I’m very proud of their actions and appreciative of the work these men and women do each day to keep our community safe,” Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey said in a statement. 
  • Two people were injured Sunday night after a police car struck them as they lay in a Florida roadway, apparently to watch the lunar eclipse, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news The incident happened just before midnight Sunday near the Apoxee Trail, a 2.5-mile nature trail in West Palm Beach, according to WPBF and city officials. A police officer was patrolling the trail Sunday in a Ford Explorer when he struck a man and a woman, both 24, while traveling 5 mph, WPEC and WPBF reported. At the time, the area was extremely dark, according to officials. Police told WPBF that investigators believe the pair was lying in the road to photograph and watch the super blood wolf moon lunar eclipse. They were taken to a hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, according to the news station. The officer who struck the pair, who was not identified, was placed on paid administrative leave as police investigate the incident, WPEC reported. Authorities continue to investigate.