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Overnight Defense: Mattis vows Dreamers in military won't be deported | Pentagon unsure if military parade will be in Washington | Dem bill would block funds for parade

Overnight Defense: Mattis vows Dreamers in military won't be deported | Pentagon unsure if military parade will be in Washington | Dem bill would block funds for parade
© Keren Carrion

THE TOPLINE: Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - GOP angst in Georgia; confirmation fight looms Biden under pressure to remove Trump transgender military ban quickly Progressive House Democrats urge Biden against Defense chief with contractor ties MORE said Thursday that "Dreamers" serving in the military will not be deported, even if the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program expires.

"We would always stand by one of our people," Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.

Matts said the protections apply to those who benefit from the program who are on active duty, in the active reserves, have already signed a contract with the military and are waiting to go to boot camp and veterans who left with an honorable discharge.

"They will not be subject to any kind of deportation," he said.

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There are two exceptions to the protection, Mattis noted: If someone has committed a serious felony, or if a federal judge has signed a final deportation order.

"That would be a judicial action that obviously we obey in the court system. We don't have veto authority over a court," Mattis said of the latter.

The Trump administration announced last year it was rescinding DACA, an Obama-era program that allows certain immigrants brought into the country illegally as children to live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation. It also allows them to serve in the military.

About 900 DACA recipients are now enrolled in the armed forces or are awaiting boot camp, according to chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White.

The program is set to expire March 5, and is a linchpin of ongoing immigration negotiations in Congress.

Read the rest here.

 

SENATE REJECTS HOUSE FUNDING PLAN: The Senate on Thursday rejected a House plan to pair a full year of defense funding with a short-term spending fix for the rest of the government.

Senators voted 55-44 on the plan, which needed 60 votes to overcome a procedural hurdle.

Democratic Sens. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyBiden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Harris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by JobsOhio - Showdown: Trump-Biden debate likely to be nasty MORE (Ind.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampGrassley suggests moderate Democrats for next Agriculture secretary Major unions back Fudge for Agriculture secretary Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet MORE (N.D.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinFunding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms Obama says Democrats should make sure Ocasio-Cortez has a platform Ocasio-Cortez hits back after Manchin criticism MORE (W.Va.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMcCaskill: 'Hypocrisy' for GOP to target Biden nominee's tweets after Trump Democrats must turn around Utah police arrest man driving 130 mph claiming he was going to kill former Missouri senator MORE (Mo.) and Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonThe Hill's Morning Report - Fearing defeat, Trump claims 'illegal' ballots The Hill's Morning Report - Biden inches closer to victory Senate Democrats want to avoid Kavanaugh 2.0 MORE (Fla.), who are all up for reelection this year, voted to advance the legislation. Sen. Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoHispanic leaders coalesce in support of Lujan Grisham as HHS secretary Favorites emerge as Latino leaders press Biden to appoint 5 Hispanics to Cabinet Senate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  MORE (D-Nev.) also broke with her party and supported the measure.

Republican Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulMcConnell in tough position as House eyes earmark return Rand Paul says Fauci owes parents and students an apology over pandemic measures Grassley returns to Capitol after having coronavirus MORE (Ky.) voted with Democrats against advancing the bill.

The outcome was widely expected after most Democrats warned they would not support the "cromnibus" -- part continuing resolution (CR), part omnibus.

The Hill's Jordain Carney has the rest here.

 

The Senate then turned its attention to a two-year budget deal that would raise the cap on discretionary defense spending by $80 billion in fiscal year 2018 and $85 billion in fiscal year 2019. Lawmakers must pass the measure by midnight to avoid a partial government shutdown. But in the upper chamber, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is delaying a vote, and in the House, GOP leaders are looking to shore up the votes.

 

MORE ON THE SENATE: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is delaying a Senate vote on a funding bill to prevent a government shutdown, throwing Congress's timeline into limbo.

The House and Senate needs to pass the two-year budget deal, which includes a stopgap funding bill, by midnight Thursday in order to prevent the second shutdown in less than a month.

Paul is demanding 15 minutes of debate and a vote on an amendment to keep budget ceilings in place.

If he doesn't get it, he signaling that he's willing to delay a procedural vote until early Friday morning.

"If they want to stay up until 3 in the morning, I'm happy to do it," he said on Fox News late Thursday afternoon.

Under Senate rules, the earliest the chamber can take its first vote on the agreement is 1 a.m. Friday, after the deadline, unless every senator agrees to move it up.

The House won't hold a vote on the measure until it is approved by the Senate.

The Hill's Jordain Carney has more.

 

More on the shutdown standoff...

Over in the House, Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan calls for Trump to accept results: 'The election is over' Bottom line Democratic anger rises over Trump obstacles to Biden transition MORE (R-Wis.) says he has enough votes to pass the budget deal. Defense hawks are on board with the plan, but fiscal conservatives, including the House Freedom Caucus, are opposed. Click here for more on the House scramble for votes.

The budget deal will need Democratic votes to pass. House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms | Pelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks | Poll: Most Americans support raising taxes on those making at least 0K Battle heats up for House Foreign Affairs gavel Nearly one-third of US adults expect to lose employment income: Census Bureau MORE (D-Calif.) says she still opposes the deal because it does not include protections for Dreamers, young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. But Pelosi has also said she will not whip Democrats to vote against the bill.

The White House is telling agencies to prepare for a potential shutdown.
Late Thursday, House Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerFunding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms Hoyer releases 2021 House calendar Democrats eye Dec. 11 exit for House due to COVID-19 MORE (D-Md.) urged Ryan to put together a one-day spending bill to prevent the government from shutting down at midnight if a vote is delayed.

The Hill's Alexander Bolton also breaks down what's in the budget deal.

 

DEMS INTRODUCE BILLS TO BLOCK FUNDS FOR TRUMP'S MILITARY PARADE: Two Democratic lawmakers are introducing legislation in the House and Senate that would block federal funds from being used to pay for President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE's reported plan to hold a military parade. 

Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDemocratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry On The Money: Biden, Democratic leaders push for lame-duck coronavirus deal | Business groups shudder at Sanders as Labor secretary | Congress could pass retirement bill as soon as this year Top Democrat: Congress could pass retirement bill as soon as this year MORE (D-Md.) and Rep. Marc VeaseyMarc Allison VeaseyTwo lawmakers announce bids to succeed Bustos at DCCC Bustos won't seek to chair DCCC again in wake of 2020 results Democrats' post-election 'family meeting' descends into chaos MORE (D-Texas) introduced bills in their respective chambers that would bar the Trump administration from using taxpayer money to fund such a parade, which could come with a multimillion dollar price tag.

In a letter to Senate colleagues, Cardin called on lawmakers to throw their support behind his measure.

"We have the best armed forces in the world. We don't need to flex our muscles to showcase our military hardware," Cardin wrote. "Our brave military men and women flex their might around the world every day on behalf of our nation." Read more about the bills here.

 

PARADE MIGHT NOT BE IN WASHINGTON: The Pentagon said Thursday that President Trump's vision of a large-scale military parade might not happen in Washington, D.C.

"We don't know that it will be in Washington," Defense Department chief spokeswoman Dana White told reporters Thursday when asked what cities are being considered for the parade's location.

"There are options and we will explore those and the president will ultimately decide."

The White House confirmed this week that Trump requested the Pentagon begin planning a military parade last month.

Pentagon officials have since stressed that the parade is still in initial planning stages and have given few details as to the cost, make-up and location of such an event, other than noting that the Army will take the lead on planning.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have blasted the idea as frivolous and a waste of Defense dollars at a time when the Pentagon is highlighting readiness issues.

Click here to read more.

 

More on the parade...

-- Planning begins for Trump's military parade

-- Biden: Military parade 'undercuts everything about our power'

-- Navy SEAL who says he killed bin Laden: 'A military parade is third world bulls---'

 

RUSSIAN CONTRACTORS MAY HAVE BEEN PART OF ATTACK ON US ALLIES IN SYRIA: U.S.-led coalition forces are looking into whether Russian contractors were involved in an attack against Syrian Democratic Forces on Wednesday.

U.S. Central Command reported Wednesday that forces supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad conducted an attack on Syrian rebels allied with the U.S., prompting retaliation strikes from coalition forces.

CNN reported Thursday afternoon that U.S. forces are now looking into whether Russian contractors were involved in the initial attack against U.S.-allied forces, which did not lead to any American casualties.

A U.S. official told the news outlet that it was unclear yet whether Russian operators in the region were involved, and that the U.S. had also not ruled out the possibility of the involvement of Iranian-backed forces.

Read more on the attack here.

 

The news comes as the U.S. on Thursday backed up the United Nations' call for a month-long ceasefire in Syria and urged Russia to use its sway with Damascus to ensure aid workers access to hard-hit rebel enclaves. 

Read about that here.

 

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