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Vox Sentences: The Senate remains immobile on immigration

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The Senate’s immigration debate fails to produce any successful legislation; South African President Jacob Zuma steps down.


The Senate just tanked four immigration bills

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
  • The Senate’s much-hyped open immigration debate this week has ended with nothing to show for it. [Politico / Elana Schor and Burgess Everett]
  • During a Thursday voting session, the Senate voted down four immigration bills, one after the other. That means Congress still can’t agree on a solution to fix the sunsetting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gives temporary deportation protections to hundreds of thousands of young unauthorized immigrants. [Vox / Dylan Scott and Tara Golshan]
  • The bills included two conservative options (one backed by the White House) and two bipartisan ones backed by moderate senators. Each needed 60 votes to proceed, but none could garner those votes. [Vox / Dylan Scott]
  • The bipartisan bill that had the best chance of passing was the Rounds-King amendment (also known as the “Common Sense” plan). But three Democrats joined with a majority of Republicans to strike that bill down, in part because of concerns with the funding it provided for a border wall and the fact that it prevented DACA recipients from sponsoring their parents. [Vox / Dara Lind]
  • The Trump White House lobbied furiously against the bill throughout Wednesday and Thursday. President Trump went so far as to threaten to veto the bill, the first time he has done so during his presidency. [LA Times / Brian Bennett and Lisa Mascaro]
  • But they were joined by some immigrant rights groups that argued the bill does not go far enough to protect immigrant families. [Indivisible via Twitter]
  • Now the Senate has just a few more weeks to act and save the DACA program before it sunsets on March 5. Two recent court decisions have blocked Trump from sunsetting DACA, but that is just a temporary shield and Congress must eventually come up with a more permanent solution. [NPR / Richard Gonzales]

South Africa’s Zuma steps down

  • South Africa’s controversial President Jacob Zuma, who has been in office since 2009, is out. He resigned after intense pressure from his own party, the African National Congress, to step down. [BBC]
  • It’s also a sign of how far Zuma’s reputation has fallen; the former president used to be a respected anti-apartheid activist in South Africa. But his political career and reputation soured after multiple corruption scandals. [Vox / Zeeshan Aleem]
  • Zuma’s successor is Cyril Ramaphosa, another ANC leader whom the party backed last year. Ramaphosa has similar beginnings to Zuma as an anti-apartheid activist, and he later became a successful billionaire. [Washington Post / Kevin Sieff and Krista Mahr]
  • Ramaphosa’s biggest challenge entering office is how to close the stark economic divide, and the ANC has been pushing him to implement controversial economic reforms like the forcible redistribution of land. [NYT / Norimitsu Onishi]

Miscellaneous

  • The effort to better identify concussions is moving ahead. On Wednesday, the FDA approved a blood test that could actually detect brain tissue damage. [NYT / Sheila Kaplan and Ken Belson]
  • Being an Olympic athlete is actually decidely unglamourous ... and involves doing your own (sweaty) laundry. [Racked / Hilary George-Parkin]
  • Taylor Swift is having a worse day than you: Her lyrics were judged “too brief, unoriginal, and uncreative” to copyright. [Daily Beast / Kevin Fallon]
  • Those suffering from “misophonia” (a condition that causes a hatred of certain sounds, like chewing) now have more evidence to prove to a skeptical scientific community that the condition actually exists. [Salon / Lara Rutherford-Morrison]

Verbatim

“I wanted to be a junior NRA member ... now I can’t even fathom the idea of a gun in my house.” [Student reporter David Hogg, a survivor of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, speaks about the tragedy / ABC News]


Watch this: How figure skaters choose their music, explained with Adam Rippon

Here’s how figure skaters choose their music. [YouTube / Dion Lee]


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