WASHINGTON – The partisan divide on immigration reform was exposed Thursday as House Republicans voted to stop funding the Obama administration program that has halted deportation of young immigrants who are in high school or college or have served in the military.
The party-line vote in the Republican-led House comes as a bipartisan immigration proposal moves forward in the Senate.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has tried to nudge his majority to consider immigration reform. But rank-and-file Republicans have been cool to the effort.
The measure, approved 224-201, was sponsored by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who is one of the House’s most outspoken opponents of a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people in the country without legal status. It would prohibit funding for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which temporarily halts deportation of young immigrants who have completed military service, or are in high school or college.
The White House suggested that President Barack Obama would veto the bill that includes King’s measure.
Almost 4 million babies born in 2012
LOS ANGELES – Talk about consistency: An estimated 3,958,000 babies were born in the U.S. in 2012, a mere 4,407 more than in 2011. That amounts to a difference of only slightly more than 0.1 percent.
The figures were released Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Brady Hamilton and Paul Sutton noted that births in the U.S. had been on a steady decline since 2007, when a record-high 4,316,233 new Americans came into the world.
The preliminary baby count for 2012 is based on reports of live births provided by states.
N.J. attorney general named to Senate
TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie named a longtime loyal colleague, state Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa, to temporarily fill the U.S. Senate seat Thursday that opened up this week after Frank Lautenberg’s death.
Chiesa, 47, has never held or run for political office and will not seek the office in an October special election to fill the seat for a longer period, Christie said.
Appointing a caretaker to the Senate means that Christie has not anointed anyone the Republican favorite for the special election. Christie said he’ll evaluate the choices once that field is set.
Suit filed after Philly building collapses
PHILADELPHIA – The search for victims of a building collapse that killed six people wound down Thursday, and the first civil lawsuit was filed amid mounting questions about whether the demolition company that was tearing down the structure caused the tragedy by cutting corners.
The four-story building along Philadelphia’s busy Market Street collapsed Wednesday onto a Salvation Army thrift shop next door with a loud boom and a huge cloud of dust, trapping employees and others .
A lawsuit filed late Thursday seeks financial damages on behalf of Nadine White, who was buried in rubble but survived.