President Trump Heads Overseas as the House Returns, With Tax Reform and Infrastructure On the Agenda

It’s a week of foreign visitors and visits, as three (almost) heads of state visit the White House and President Trump prepares for his first overseas trip. Expect the Comey Incident to continue to draw attention. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said last week he would brief the full Senate on his role – or lack thereof – in the firing, at a date to be determined. On Monday, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayid Al Nuhayyan of Abu Dhabi visits the White House. President Trump on Tuesday welcomes to the White House the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom Trump called last month following the passage of a referendum that greatly expanded Erdogan’s powers and which was strongly opposed in the human rights community. On the heels of the White House meeting, the Middle East Institu ...

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A Budget Deal (Short-Term, At Least), More Obamacare and No Trump Bump

Congressional negotiators on Sunday reached an agreement to keep the government open and operating through Sept. 30, averting the possibility of a government shutdown and providing increased funds for defense and border security. The agreement does not, however, include money to build a border wall, meaning that there remain points to resolve when Congress begins to negotiate a budget for fiscal 2018, the first to fully represent President Trump’s priorities. Turns out not every Republican wants to repeal Obamacare. A late push last week to mollify conservatives who didn’t like the previous version of the repeal-and-replace proposal ended up scaring away some moderate Republicans whose constituents, it turns out, aren’t keen on losing their health insurance. Republican leaders say they are ...

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Can Congress Avoid a Government Shutdown? A Budget Extension, Obamacare and a Tax Package Fight For Attention. Sphere Consulting’s TenCount for April 24, 2017

Congress returns and faces a budget deadline and a potential government shutdown, as the Trump Administration, wrapping up its first 100 days in office on Saturday, is desperately seeking a legislative victory to trumpet as evidence of its successful start. The Senate will vote late Monday to confirm Sonny Perdue as Agriculture Secretary. The President of Argentina visits the White House on Thursday. And the Supreme Court wraps up its final three days of oral arguments for the current session Monday through Wednesday; among the six cases it will hear are two death penalty appeals and a fight over generic drug availability. Funding for the federal government ends at midnight Friday, on President Trump’s 99th day in office. Much of Congress’s week, therefore, will be spent trying to avoid a ...

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Egypt to the White House, China to Mar-A-Lago, Gorsuch to a Nuclear Showdown

THE BIG EVENT: President Trump meets Thursday and Friday with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-A-Lago, a summit that Trump tweeted he expects to be “very difficult,” focused on jobs and the trade deficit. It could make for an awkward meeting; during the campaign, Trump accused China of “rape” of the U.S. economy and of currency manipulation, a charge on which he has gone silent since being inaugurated. NO SMALL THING: Before China gets its welcome, President Trump will play host to Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the military ruler of Egypt, who helped lead the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood-led government in 2013 and subsequently took the title of President in an election in which he claimed 97 percent of the vote. Sisi, according to Politico, is “reviled by activists for what they call the ...

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Wiretap Inquiry, Obamacare Repeal and A Supreme Court Hearing

Did Russian security services – or the Obama Administration – take “active measures” to influence the 2016 Presidential election? The House Select Intelligence Committee wants to know; it will conduct a hearing Monday headlined by testimony from FBI Director James Comey and Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, on whether Russia hacked into email accounts at the Democratic National Committee and elsewhere, and whether President Obama had Trump Tower bugged. The chairman of that committee, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, said Sunday that new information provided to the committee on Friday revealed no signs of physical wiretaps at Trump Tower and no FISA warrant authorizing such surveillance. The committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, put it simply: “We are a ...

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