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State Department promotion of Mar-a-Lago questioned by Senator

  • 3:22 pm Monday, April 24th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

The State Department is using official web pages and social media to publicize the history of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida, prompting one Democratic Senator to publicly ask why taxpayer money is being used to promote a private club run by Mr. Trump.

“Here’s the full post in its kleptocratic glory,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) wrote on Twitter, as he said he would like to know more about why Mar-a-Lago is getting publicity from the U.S. Government on Facebook, the website of the U.S. Embassy in London, and more.

“Mar-a-Lago: The winter White House,” is the title of the article, [More]

Congress returns to session facing government shutdown threat

  • 11:00 pm Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

As the Congress returns to work in Washington, D.C. after a two week break, lawmakers in both parties face a series of unsettled political battlegrounds, one of which could bring about a government shutdown by the end of the week, as President Trump and Republican leaders in the Congress grapple with the budget, money for their priorities, and unanswered questions on major issues like health reform.

Here’s a snapshot as we begin the week in the nation’s capital.

1. Will the government shutdown on Friday night? That will be the biggest question as lawmakers return to legislative work sessions in the House [More]

North Carolina investigation finds little voter fraud in 2016

  • 8:31 am Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

An audit of the 2016 election by the state of North Carolina found that out of 4.8 million votes cast last November, elections officials uncovered evidence that just over 500 votes were cast illegally, most of them by convicted felons who were out of prison on probation or parole, as authorities unearthed no evidence of large scale voter fraud.

“It is important to recognize that suspected cases of ineligible voters casting ballots and/or committing fraud represent a tiny fraction,” read the report from the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

The report broke down the ineligible voting in North [More]

Trump teases tax plan release, but it may not be a complete plan

  • 8:44 am Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

President Donald Trump on Friday promised a “big announcement” next week on his plans for major tax reform, but soon after, top administration officials were tempering expectations, indicating that the White House would be releasing broad goals of a tax plan, not the details in full legislative text.

“We’ll be having a big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform,” Mr. Trump said as he signed several executive orders dealing with financial matters at the Treasury Department.

“The process has begun long ago, but it really formally begins on Wednesday,” the President added, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – his [More]

Capitol Hill still trying to figure out departure of Rep. Jason Chaffetz

  • 11:27 am Friday, April 21st, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

Capitol Hill is still trying to digest the biggest news of the week from the halls of Congress, as the decision of Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) to not run for re-election in 2018 – and maybe resign his seat in Congress before the end of his term – could open up a fight for the chairmanship of a key House committee, even as many wonder why Chaffetz would just walk away from that powerful post.

Here is a look from Capitol Hill:

1. Chaffetz giving up a prime committee chairmanship. The House Oversight Committee has a broad charter, allowing its leader to [More]

Trump tax reform plan coming “very soon”

  • 10:38 pm Thursday, April 20th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

A week before the 100 day mark of President Donald Trump’s time in office, top administration officials say they are on the verge of releasing a sweeping plan to reform the nation’s tax system, waving off questions about whether legislative troubles with a GOP health care proposal would foreshadow tax troubles as well.

Asked when the details of the plan would be released, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “Soon, very soon.”

“We’re very focused on it,” Mnuchin said at a Washington, D.C. event sponsored by the Institute of International Finance.

“Big priority for the President – we will get tax reform done,” Mnuchin [More]

Trump on Paris attack: “What can you say? It just never ends”

  • 5:41 pm Thursday, April 20th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

Again calling for the United States to be ‘strong’ and ‘vigilant’ when it comes to terrorism, President Donald Trump made clear the shooting of police officers in France on Thursday was an all too familiar refrain.

“It looks like another terrorist attack. What can you say? It just never ends,” the President said at a joint news conference with the Italian Prime Minister.

“We have to be strong, we have to be vigilant, and I’ve been saying it for a long time,” Mr. Trump added.

The two leaders had walked into the East Room of the White House to address reporters [More]

For second time this week, Trump jabs at Canada over trade

  • 1:15 pm Thursday, April 20th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

As he signed an executive order providing for a review of possible dumping of steel in U.S. markets, President Donald Trump on Thursday demanded new trade negotiations with Canada, charging American producers are being hurt in trade involving dairy, lumber, timber and energy resources.

“We going to have to get to the negotiating table with Canada, very, very quickly,” the President said in the Oval Office.

Mr. Trump has previously raised questions about U.S.-Canada trade in dairy products, but expanded those public complaints today to include lumber, timber and energy.

“We can’t let Canada – or anybody else – take advantage, and do [More]

GOP making noise again about renewed push on Obamacare overhaul

  • 8:18 pm Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

Almost two weeks after leaving Washington, D.C. on an Easter break without taking action on health care, the GOP effort to repeal and replace the Obama health law began rumbling again on Wednesday, both from the White House and Congress, as Republicans gave hints that they were narrowing differences on a health overhaul measure.

“We’re very close,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan during a speech in London, as he said the GOP health care plan “is not dead – we’re still working on it.”

Ryan noted that Republicans and President Trump had both run in the 2016 elections on the promise [More]

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he will not run for re-election in 2018

  • 11:23 am Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

In a surprise announcement, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said he would not run for re-election to the Congress, or any other office in 2018, as the high profile chairman of the House Oversight Committee will leave the U.S. House after his current terms runs out on Capitol Hill.

“For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives. I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins,” Chaffetz wrote in a post on his Facebook page.

Chaffetz had been feeling political headwinds in recent weeks, as Democrats mobilized [More]

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