THE ROGUE DEPLOYMENT of secret federal police forces in Portland, Oregon, has added a new complication to negotiations over reauthorizing the Trump administration’s vast surveillance powers and appropriating new money for the Department of Homeland Security. In March, a sweeping set of government authorities to monitor people in the United States expired, and Congress continues to debate what limits should be put on such powers before reauthorizing them. And the House is debating its next DHS funding bill, with the Congressional Progressive Caucus pushing leadership not to bring it up for a vote given Trump’s abuse of power and DHS agents’ role in a Portland arrest.
House Democratic leaders, however, are considering lumping in DHS funding with appropriations for the departments of Labor and Health and Human Services, making it more difficult for progressive Democrats to oppose. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said that the CPC is urging leadership either to not bring up the bill at all or to break it off from Labor-HHS and allow for a separate vote.