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School Choice Begins in Connecticut

By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD —  School Choice Week starts on Monday in Connecticut and across America.

From now until Jan.  31, there will be 153 school choice events across the state.

The events are part of National School Choice Week, which will feature 11,082 events across America – the largest celebration of educational opportunity in US history. In Hartford, several educators plan to discuss the future of North End schools on Jan. 31 at Liberty Christian Center at 9: 30 a.m.

The event is sponsored by Achieve Hartford!, African Caribbean American Parents of Children with Disabilities, Hartford Parent University, Daughters of Eve, and the Blue Hills Civic Association.

School Choice Week events in Connecticut include open houses, information sessions, policy roundtable discussions and more – planned by schools, organizations, homeschool groups and individuals.

“Connecticut families have choices when it comes to where to send their children to school, and National School Choice Week provides an opportunity for families to look into the options available to them, and, if they feel they want greater opportunities — to have their voices heard,” said  Andrew R. Campanella, president, National School Choice Week

Officials said the goal of the events is to inform parents about the K-12 education options available for their children, while raising awareness of the benefits providing families with a variety of different options for their children’s education.

Connecticut cities with the most events will also be in  New Haven,  Bridgeport,  and Waterbury.

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Connecticut Braces for Winter Storm Juno

By Ann-Marie Mesquita, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Winter Storm Juno is on its way and it’s expected to pack a punch for the Northeast.

Weather forecasters are predicting white out conditions and potentially record-breaking snowfall for Connecticut and other states along the coast for Monday and Tuesday. More than a foot of snow is slated for the nutmeg state.

Earlier on Monday, Gov. Dan Malloy declared a travel ban after 9 p.m. in the state. Malloy is asking residents to be prepared and take precautions for the blizzard that will blanket the state beginning Monday at about 7 p.m. and continue until Wednesday afternoon.

“Although storms can be unpredictable, this storm has the potential to have a significant impact on the state and we need to be prepared,” Malloy said. “Just as the state is monitoring and preparing, the public should do the same.”

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora B. Schriro said that the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security is monitoring this storm “very closely and is prepared to coordinate any potential state response.”
DEMHS is also participating in National Weather Service conference calls to get the latest information on the storms track and is sending out regular updates to all municipalities and tribal nations, officials said.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation officials said it will have its entire fleet of snow plows, including 12 loader-mounted snow blowers, prepared to deploy. The residual road treatment from the previous weekend storm will help in the efforts to pre-treat the roads.

At noon on Monday, Hartford City Hall was already closed to prepare for the inclement weather.

Mayor Pedro E. Segarra declared a snow emergency in the City of Hartford and by noon City Hall was already closed to prepare for the impending blizzard. Segarra also imposed a citywide parking ban that is expected to be in effect beginning Monday at 3:00pm through Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 8:00pm.

Hartford Public Schools and all City employees except emergency personnel was dismissed at noon. City officials said they will begin monitoring the storm on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

“This is the first big snow storm of the season and accumulation is expected to be over 10 inches in Hartford,” Segarra said. “We’ve seen been through heavy storms before but it’s important to plan ahead and be prepared.”

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Ameriborn News Presidential Poll

This Poll Is About Who The People Want!

Unlike all the other online polls, we do not collect emails to vote in it. This maybe the most accurate online poll. This gets more accurate as you share it.

Please leave comments below the author box.

Poll open until June 1, 2015

Ameriborn News Presidential Poll 2016
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If you had to choose one, which one would you choose?

Update: Elizabeth Warren announced today she isn’t going to run for president. Ameriborn News believes that was a mistake on her part.

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US Attorney: CT Faces ‘Alarming’ Number of Complaints

By Candice Dodd, Staff Writer

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut is facing “an alarming number” of complaints from parents about the discrimination of children in public and private schools.

Deidre M. Daly, the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, said that the office receives a large volume of complaints from parents and caregivers across the state alleging that schools, after-school programs and summer camps because of the child’s disability, gender, gender identity, or limited ability to speak English, discriminated against their children.

Daly recently announced the formation of the Educational Opportunities Civil Rights Working Group to address the violations of children from public and private educational institutions.

“Civil rights violations in educational and camp settings undermine the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens – our children,” Daly said.

The U.S. Attorneys Office has received complaints about bullying, sexual harassment and school segregation in public and private schools.

Most recently, they reached a settlement with Quinnipiac University to resolve allegations that the university violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by placing a student who had been diagnosed with depression on a mandatory medical leave of absence without first considering options for the student’s continued enrollment.

Over the last several months, the office has settled a number of cases against schools, after-school programs and daycare centers for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Equal Education Opportunities Act of 1974. These settlements have resulted in monetary agreements to parents; comprehensive training for providers and sweeping policy changes to entire educational programs and systems, state officials said.

Recognizing a greater need to address these issues and help prevent further civil rights violations in educational and camp settings, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has partnered with federal and state agencies and numerous advocacy groups to form the Educational Opportunities Civil Rights Working Group. Participants include the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Development and the U.S. Department of Education.

Officials said that the Working Group is on its way to develop and implement a strategic plan of action to resolve civil rights violations through educational outreach programs as well as law enforcement actions.

“Through aggressive outreach and enforcement initiatives, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our working group partners strive to eliminate these violations to improve the health and welfare of all children and young adults,” Daly said.

To contact the Educational Opportunities Civil Rights Working Group,  call 203-821-3896.

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Study: Women, Minorities Pay Higher Effective Social Security Rate

By  Paul Kleyman,

Improving retirement security was among the many proposals in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union message on Tuesday. But advocates for older Americans say Obama should ask Congress to strengthen the nation’s principal middle-class retirement support – Social Security –especially for women, minorities and low-income workers.

“He could lift or ideally call for the elimination of the Social Security cap on how much income can be taxed,” said Eric Kingson, co-author of the new book, Social Security Works: Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All.

Kingson, a Syracuse University sociologist and leading analyst of Social Security policy, explained that the amount of anyone’s wages subject to the payroll tax this year is limited to the first $118,500. Anything made over and above that amount is not taxed.

Because more of the nation’s earnings have shifted to the richest Americans and wages have stagnated for workers at the bottom, fewer earnings have been taxed to support Social Security.

“That is the major reason we have a projected shortfall in the Social Security trust fund and dramatic increases in inequality over the past 30 years,” Kingson stated.

Millionaires Stop Paying By Valentine’s Day

A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) shows how today’s limit on earnings subject to the Social Security tax actually widens the U.S. wealth gap. While wealth above $118,500 goes untaxed, Social Security goes deeper in debt, leaving those on the lower rungs of the wage scale – women and minorities disproportionately – to take bear the burden of any future cuts in the program.

The CEPR report shows that increasing the amount of taxable earnings above $118,500 – or even “scrapping the cap” entirely, as Kingson and others urge – would not only close or eliminate Social Security’s long-term funding shortage, but would end an effective tax discount that more affluent Americans now receive.

For instance, the CEPR report explains, people who make twice today’s $118,500 limit –or $237,000 per year – “pay the Social Security tax on only half of their earnings, so they no longer pay it after July 1st.” And those who rake in over $1.2 million dollars annually finish their Social Security tax obligation by Feb. 6 – more than a week before Valentine’s Day. In effect, they pay a far smaller Social Security tax rate than those who pay through New Year’s Eve.

“In other words, workers who earn $118,500 or less per year pay a higher Social Security payroll tax rate than those who make more,” say the authors of CEPR’s report, Nicole Woo, Cherrie Bucknor and John Schmitt. They produced the study based on U.S. Census Bureau’s latest (2013) data from the American Community Survey.

CEPR’s economists note that the Social Security Administration’s Chief Actuary analyzed Democratic legislation proposed last year to phase out the income ceiling over five to 10 years. He found that the plan would reduce Social Security’s long-term shortfall by 70-80 percent.

Others in Congress have proposed lifting the cap – not ending it. For instance, recent legislation to increase the amount subject to the Social Security payroll tax to $250,000 is similar to a proposal by former U.S. Senator Barack Obama, during his 2008 presidential campaign. This plan would eliminate about 80 percent of the long-range shortfall, say CEPR’s economists.

Few Latinos, Blacks Earn Enough to Pay More

According to their analysis, just over 9 million U.S. workers (6.1 percent) earn more than the $118,500 taxable limit. (That’s not counting unearned income, such as from stocks.)

Among them are a higher percentage of whites (7.4 percent, or 7.2 million people), and 10 percent of Asian workers (1 million). That compares with only 2.4 percent of Latino taxpayers (381,000), and 2.3 percent of African Americans (383,000).

The racial divide widens, says the study, farther up the wealth ladder. If the Social Security payroll tax tapped up to $400,000, merely 0.2 percent of black and Latino taxpayers would have to pay more, compared with 2 percent of white and Asian earners.

Men pocket the lion’s share of savings in the current system, according to the study. In 2012, 6.9 million U.S. male workers (8.8 percent) made $118,500 or better, versus 2.1 million (3.1 percent) of women.

CEPR’s economists explain that the Social Security trust fund is now large and growing, but it will peak soon at about $2.9 trillion, before being drawn down by the retirement of the huge baby boom generation. Without change, says the report, after 2033 there would only be enough in the program to pay retirees about 75 percent of promised benefits.

The report stresses that fully funding Social Security’s future obligations would cost only an additional 1 percent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) spread over the next 75 years. At its peak – in 2035, when the youngest boomers surpass age 70 – the program’s spending will amount to just over 6 percent of GDP.

Kingson, also cofounder of the advocacy group Social Security Works, noted that while President Obama proposed to help Americans save more to supplement Social Security for a more secure retirement, he also should address the need for greater equity in the program itself.

“He could talk about Social Security as an instrument of justice and decency that is fully affordable as our economy continues to grow,” Kingson said.

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In State of the Union, Obama Calls on GOP to Help Middle Class

By Dorothy Rowley, Washington Informer

In his sixth State of the Union address, President Obama challenged the GOP-majority Congress Tuesday night to break from the “tired old patterns” of argumentative politics to uplift the middle class with more trade deals and higher taxes for the rich.

Obama proposed a $320 billion economic plan that would raise taxes on upper-class families and big banks to ultimately provide expanded tax breaks for the middle class. The plan would also fund new federal programs such as government-paid tuition for community college students.

“America, for all that we’ve endured; for all the grit and hard work required to come back, for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this: the shadow of crisis has passed, and the state of the union is strong,” said Obama, for whom the latest polls indicate an approval rating of 50 percent, compared to 53 percent of Americans who say the economy — with lower unemployment and cheaper gas prices that have saved the typical family about $750 this year at the pumps — has definitely improved over the year.

The president trumpeted the revived economy and decreasing unemployment rates, but said the gains can’t end there.

“We are fifteen years into this new century,” Obama said at the beginning of his 40-minute speech. “After a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999. Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis. More of our kids are graduating than ever before; more of our people are insured than ever before; we are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we’ve been in almost 30 years.”

The president vowed to forge ahead despite almost-certain opposition from the Republican-led Congress.

“The verdict is clear: middle-class economics works,” he said. “Expanding opportunity works. These policies will continue to work — as long as politics don’t get in the way.”

Obama also said he will go to Congress for a new authorization of military force against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

The president said the effort against the terrorist organization, which rose to prominence in the past year, will be time-consuming but imperative.

“But we will succeed,” he said. “And tonight, I call on this Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force.”

Obama touched upon the end of military combat in Afghanistan, saying that while for the first time since 9/11, the United States’s warfare mission there is over. Of the nearly 180,000 American troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, fewer than 15,000 soldiers remain in deployment.

Obama addressed a number of issues, including establishing worker protections, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for citizens in need.

“We gave our citizens schools and colleges, infrastructure and the internet – tools they needed to go as far as their effort will take them,” he said. “That’s what middle-class economics is — the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

On the matter of ensuring other necessities such as paid sick leave and maternity leave, Obama noted that some 43 million workers lack such benefits, and that as a result, he will take action to help states adopt paid leave laws of their own.

Obama also championed higher wages to help more families make ends meet, while urging Congress to pass a law that will enable women to earn the same pay as men for doing the same work.

“To everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it,” he said to resounding applause. “If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise.”

Turning his focus to education, Obama noted that by the end of the decade, two in three job openings will require some form of higher education, and that too many citizens cannot afford the kind of education they want.

“It’s not fair to them, and it’s not smart for our future. That’s why I am sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college — to zero,” he said of his recent initiative to make two-year college degrees available to students willing to put forth the effort.

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A Small Business Solution to Shrinking Workforce–Hire Seniors

They caution small businesses against ignoring one source of potential employees: older Americans.

Older Americans

Millions of seniors who have retired or are approaching retirement from lengthy careers still need to work to maintain their families and lifestyles. Others crave the social interaction and sense of purpose employment delivers.

Peter Cappelli, professor of management and the director of the Center for Human Resources at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, said increased life expectancy and the maturing of the largest generation in American history—-the Baby Boomers—- will account for increased numbers of older Americans in the workplace. Cappelli, the co-author of Managing The Older Worker, (Harvard Business Review Press, 2010) said today’s seniors are staying older longer. 

“If we think of old age as a period when people are no longer able to work, that group is shrinking,” he said. “Today’s seniors don’t want to just sit around. They want to work and they have a lot to offer. This trend is not going away.”

He said that small businesses should consider hiring seniors for a variety of reasons validated by research. “They don’t need much training. Business owners don’t have to worry about their conscientiousness and they’re less likely to switch jobs,” he explained.

He said studies confirm that seniors score higher on reliability and interpersonal skills and experience lower rates of tardiness and absenteeism. And he said research dispels several myths: that seniors incur higher healthcare costs and are more prone to accidents. “Because they are older, don’t have babies anymore and have fewer dependents, they have lower healthcare costs. Besides, most are on Medicare.”

And Cappelli said seniors also suffer fewer safety incidents because they are more careful.

Greg O’Neill, director of the Washington, D.C.-based National Academy on an Aging Society, said research lags behind on some trends surrounding the employment of seniors.

“We know anecdotally that turnover is lower among senior workers and that some jobs are performed better by people with experience,” O’Neill said. He pointed out that changing ergonomics in workplace and to accommodate older workers has shown increases in production.

“Someone transitioning out working with new engineers and sharing knowledge can be very effective,” he said. Most companies don’t think about all the knowledge walking out their doors. But they should.”


O’Neill said that one of the benefits of older age is that people move into positions using crystalized versus fluid intelligence. “That’s code for experience,” he said. 

He added that small businesses can benefit from hiring seniors in customer contact positions. “People don’t get as angry at older people,” he said. “They’re less likely to shoplift around them.” And in sectors like financial services, he pointed out, high wealth clients are more likely to trust someone with experience closer to their age.

Ken Rone, 65, a retired vice president of manufacturing who lives in Vancouver, Wash., said he’s hired and worked with hundreds of older employees in his nearly 40 years in industry. Rone said a 2014 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report found the median tenure of all U.S. employees is 4.6 years. He noted that employee tenure was generally higher among older workers than younger ones, with the median tenure of workers ages 55 to 64 (10.4 years) more than triple that of workers ages 25 to 34 years (3.0 years).

So senior workers are more likely to stay longer and not jump ship as quickly. 

In addition, Rone noted that seniors have longer track records for prospective employers to review. He said it’s easier to check references and the document trail for older employees is more robust. Small businesses can reference previous employers and contact more colleagues to gain a better view of senior employees in the interview process than their younger counterparts. And older employees know what it required to be a viable, stable employee.

He continued, “They’ve seen the slackers and unreliable employees and understand what to avoid and how to succeed: Be neat, respectful, don’t gossip, keep your nose to the ground and do the job.”
Michael Sarka, 70, agreed. He is a retired small businessman and now a counselor in Santa Cruz, Calif., for the national nonprofit SCORE, which helps small business. Sarka works for a small business tourism attraction, the Roaring Camp Railroad, in nearby Felton. The railroad is a steam engine that takes tourists into the mountains and to the beach.

“We find we have very good and reliable older employees who show up early, get the task done and exceed our employer’s expectations.”

Sarka, who grew up on a farm, said most seniors were raised with a strong work ethic. “I think that’s something that benefits our company and most of all, the consumer, because we’ve lived in this community and are knowledgeable about what’ going on and are able to communicate that to the tourists who visit us.”

He owned a small tourism consulting company with his wife and previously launched an outdoors adventure firm, hiring many seniors. He said older employees bring patience to their jobs. “They take the time to listen and act on what they’ve heard,” he explained. “That makes a strong connection to customers.”

Ann Fishman, president of Generational Targeted Marketing, consults with companies on issues of aging. Fishman advised small business owners against calling older Americans “seniors.”

“Call them experienced people. They like to think of themselves in the prime of lives,” Fishman said. “Baby Boomers in particular need the money. Many have not saved appropriately for retirement and some may have to work till the day they die. Though they may need the work, they appreciate flexibility. That gives them the freedom they want and some extra money.”

A Mix

Fishman said many younger people have lost the ability to read facial and word cues. “They’ve been looking at screens and not people’s’ faces,” she said. “But Baby Boomers are really good at reading facial expressions and vocal cues. They’re really good at listening. The best thing is when you can achieve a generational mix. Young people usually have stronger technology skills and Baby Boomers have strong people skills, crave social interaction and are very work-oriented.”

Laura Bos, manager of education and outreach and financial security for the advocacy organization, AARP, said many AARP members are still working, want to work and may even need to work.
“So they want to remain in the work force and we think they are a great asset for employers large and small,” Bos said. “Older workers have a certain level of maturity, and especially with companies needing strong customer service, they tend to be ranked and valued highly. They bring professionalism and great work ethic and are often lauded for critical thinking and problem solving skills.”

Bos said that older workers tend to have higher levels of engagement—-emotional and intellectual involvement with their company—- and are motivated to do their best work. 

“You could say they’re more loyal and involved with their company and invested in wanting their company to do well, which can lead to less turnover,” she said. “And turnover costs employers money.”

This story was produced with support from the Journalism in Aging Fellowship Program of the Gerontological Society of America and New America Media and was sponsored by the John A. Hartford Foundation. Yahoo Small Business/New America Media 

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POTUS Unveils Details of his SOTU Address

By Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer

Updated Monday, January 20, 2015 @ 1:09 p.m.

HARTFORD — President Barack Obama on Saturday highlighted his State of the Union address, which will reveal steps he’s taking to “make sure every America is a part of America’s progress.”

The State of the Union address will be on Tuesday at 9 p.m.

In his speech, he will talk about Victor Fugate from Butler Missouri and other special guests of First Lady Michelle Obama.

Fugate wrote the president while he was  unemployed for a while several years. But he now has earned his degree and found a full-time job.  The president attributes this to student loans and the Affordable Care Act, they now have the security and peace of mind of affordable health insurance.

U.S. aid worker Alan Gross, who was released from a Cuban prison, last month will also be a guest. Obama had credited this release and others as the catalyst for the U.S. new diplomatic relationship with Cuba, breaking a 53-year impasse between the two countries.

Other guests include other “averageAmericans” who may be struggling with educational opportunity, employment or health insurance.

Republicans say they will bring guests who represente “visions at odds with Obama’s policies.”

The president is likely to touch on race in his State of the Union address–something he hasn’t address thoroughly even though it permeates every sector of American society.

He also plans to talk about the dip in unemployment, his plan to tax the rich during a “resurgent America” where the rich is getting richer and the poor is getting poorer.

White House officials said  Obama will take his message across the country to talk about some of the things that he’ll discuss in the State of the Union address.

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Luke Bronin Bids for Top Job at City Hall

By Ann-Marie Mesquita, Staff Writer

HARTFORD  — In an open letter to city residents, Luke Bronin on Wednesday formally announced his bid  to unseat Mayor Pedro Segarra.

Bronin, 35,  recently resigned from his position as the General Counsel to Gov. Dan Malloy. He also  served in senior positions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and as an intelligence officer in Afghanistan. He is a partner at Hinckley Allen & Snyder LLP.

“Our city stands at a moment of opportunity and promise,” writes Luke in his letter posted on the site.  “But we also face tremendous challenges, and we’ve let too many opportunities slip away. What we need is a mayor who gets down into the messy details of governing day after day… and who holds people accountable.”

In addition to the letter, Luke rolled out three areas of immediate focus for the campaign: growing jobs, strengthening neighborhoods and closing the achievement gap.

“Today, Hartford is at a crossroads when it comes to education.  For thousands of Hartford’s kids, magnet schools have created opportunities that weren’t there ten or fifteen years ago.  But we’ve also created a two-tiered system, where too many children are in schools that haven’t gotten the attention or investment they deserve. Hartford’s children deserve better.”

Luke also pledged to run a campaign based on an open and sustained dialogue with Hartford residents by knocking on doors, meeting with groups at people’s homes or in community centers, and making phone calls.”

Celestino Jimenez, a member of the 3rd District Town Committee and the Democratic State Central Committee, said that this election “can’t be about one community versus another — it’s got to be about what’s best for Hartford and about who is the best person to make city hall run effectively.  The reason I’m supporting Luke is simple: I think he’s the right person for the job.”

Segarra said he welcomes other candidates into the democratic process.

“I welcome other candidates into the race, as that is part of the democratic process,” said Mayor Segarra. “I am very proud of my record and the tremendous optimism and momentum in our city today.  I have a consistent record of service and a deep commitment to our city, and the significant progress we have made together in transforming Hartford in the past five years is very evident.”

Segarra announced his candidacy on Jan. 5 outside City Hall.

He touted the city’s graduation rates which, he said, is now over 70 percent from under 30 percent when he took office. he also listed the lowest crime rates in decades,  blight reduction programs that have begun to transform neighborhoods; and of attracting more businesses to the city as a few of his accomplishments for the city.

Others have also announced their intentions to run: Hartford attorney John Gale formed an exploratory committee; council members David MacDonald and Joel Cruz both said they plan to run; Town and City Clerk John Bazzano is also considering a run for the top job at city hall.

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House Votes to Dismantle Protections for Undocumented Immigrants

By Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Saying that President Barack Obama had exceeded his authority by rewriting immigration law, House Republicans on Wednesday voted to unpend Obama’s executive action on immigration.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other conservatives were adamant about gutting Obama’s executive action–designed as a “first step” to comprehensive immigration reform. The president’s action last December allowed up to 5 million children, who entered the United States legally and illegally, to stay.

The 236-191 House vote on the Homeland Security spending package was a symbolic response to Obama’s immigration provisions that shielded undocumented immigrants from deportation.

“The law is not made in the White House,” said Boehner who vows to fight Obama’s executive actions “tooth and nail.”

To push back against what he calls “an executive overreach,” Boehner rallied conservative Republican lawmakers to approve the use of the $40-billion funding bill (H.R. 240) for the Department of Homeland Security. The GOP amendment aims  to revoke legal protections for undocumented immigrants.

The amendment passed with the minimum number of votes needed. In the House, 26 Republicans voted against an amendment. And there were no Democratic votes.  The bill now goes to the Senate.

Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, said there was no overreach with the executive action. The president acted within the constitution.

“There is no reason to tinker with the executive actions at all,” Muñoz told reporters on a White House call.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)  said the “pointless, political bill” passed in the House will not passed in the Senate.

This latest move by conservatives,  Democrats say, is just an exercise in obfuscation because the measure is expected to die in the Senate or with a presidential veto.

Nevertheless, Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona said he was willing to take this fight “all the way to where we fail to override.”

Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to the president, condemned the vote. “It’s hard for the Republicans to call themselves ‘pro-family’ when they repeatedly vote to rip families apart,” he said. “This policy isn’t just unwise, it’s cruel.”

If this debate over immigration reform lingers passed Feb. 27, Homeland Security funding will likely end and federal employees in the department may work without pay.

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