Friday morning news: June 22, 2018

Immigration bills » The House of Representatives is expected to vote today on a compromise immigration bill. It’ll be the latest attempt at a permanent fix for the “zero tolerance” policy at the border, one day after a conservative immigration proposal fell short in the House.

AUDIO: On this vote, the yeas are 193 and the nays are 231. The bill is not passed. 

Forty-one Republicans joined all Democrats on Thursday in voting down the measure. That bill did not include a path to citizenship for so-called dreamers, young immigrants brought into the country illegally by their parents.  

The bill slated to hit the House floor today is a compromise between moderate and conservative Republicans. That bill does give most dreamers a path to become U.S. citizens. It also sets aside $25 billion for a border wall.

But House Speaker Paul Ryan admits he’s not sure if this bill has the votes to pass either.

RYAN: I actually think we’re advancing the cause, even if something doesn’t necessarily pass. I think we’re making advancements because we’re putting ideas on the table. Members are being able to express themselves. 

If the bill does pass in the House, it faces an uphill climb in the Senate, where lawmakers are working on their own legislation. The Senate plan would focus narrowly on the issue of separating families at the Southern border.

On Wednesday President Trump issued an executive order to halt family separations, detaining immigrant parents and their children together. But that order may not survive likely challenges in federal court.

It’s not clear when or if minors already separated will be reunited with their families.

First lady visits detention centers » First Lady Melania Trump has been vocal in her concern over separating families. And on Thursday she made an unannounced visit to a Texas facility to get a first-hand look at some of the migrant children housed there, after their families crossed the border illegally.

MELANIA: I’m here to learn about your facility in which I know you house children on a long-term basis. 

She thanked the staff at the Upbring New Hope Children’s Center for their compassion.

MELANIA: And I also want to ask you how I can help these children to reunite with their families as quickly as possible. 

A spokesman for the first lady said the trip was intended to lend support to those children who remain separated from their parents.

Netanyahu’s wife facing corruption charges » Meantime, the first lady of Israel is facing criminal charges, including fraud and breach of trust. In a statement Thursday prosecutors accused Sara Netanyahu of wrongly using public funds to order a hundred-thousand dollars worth of gourmet meals between 2010 and 2013 at the official residence.

Ezra Saidoff, the former deputy director of the prime minister’s residence, also faces charges. Sara Netanyahu has repeatedly faced accusations of misusing public funds. The latest charges come as her husband, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also faces corruption charges. He has dismissed the allegations against him and his wife as a politically motivated witch hunt.

Merging the Education and Labor departments » The White House wants to streamline the federal government by merging two massive departments. WORLD Radio’s Jim Henry has more.

JIM HENRY, REPORTER: The administration proposes merging the departments of Education and Labor. It’s part of a wider effort to reorganize the federal government, although details of the other moves aren’t yet public.

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney reportedly began working on the plan a year ago.

Health, education and welfare were once under the same roof until Congress split that department into three agencies in the 1970s. Lawmakers would have to approve the White House plan to bring two of them back together.

Last year, the Education Department proposed taking over some of the Labor Department’s programs most closely tied to schooling. That included employment for people with disabilities, dislocated worker programs, and youth workforce training.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Jim Henry.

Political analyst Charles Krauthammer dies » Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author Charles Krauthammer has died at the age of 68.

Two weeks ago he penned a letter to friends and readers announcing that despite recent successful cancer surgery, his cancer had returned.

Until his health worsened last year, Krauthammer was a fixture on the Fox News channel as conservative commentator for Special Report.

His longtime Fox News colleague Brit Hume said Charles will be remembered for his intellectual achievements, but even more so for his kindness.

HUME: If this man, with all he’s become and all he’s overcome, can be this nice, do I ever have a right to be unkind to anybody? 

As a first year student at Harvard Medical School, Krauthammer suffered a traumatic injury that left him a quadriplegic. He later gave up a career in psychology to become a writer.

Upon news of his death, tributes quickly poured in. Former President George W. Bush said last night—quote—“Charles’ words have strengthened our democracy … while his voice will be deeply missed, his ideas and values will always be part of our country.”

I’m Kent Covington. Up next: Culture Friday. And Megan Basham on “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) President Donald Trump, center, with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, left, and Vice President Mike Pence, right, addresses members of the media before signing an executive order to end family separations, during an event in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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