Wednesday, December 11, 2019

MixedTimes - Joseph Weber

Cornyn predicts government will remain shut down Monday

The Senate's No. 2 Republican said Sunday that the government shutdown was likely to extend into Monday as congressional Democrats and Republicans blamed each other for and urged each other to end the political stalemate.

Trump calls for 'nuclear option' to end shutdown, McConnell signals no

President Trump suggested Sunday that Senate Republicans change chamber rules -- and resort to the “nuclear option” -- so that they can pass a long-term budget with a simple, 51-vote majority, amid their funding stalemate with Democrats that has resulted in a government shutdown.

Mulvaney: Trump won't 'weaponize' shutdown like Obama team did

White House budget Director Mick Mulvaney tried Sunday to calm Americans’ fears about the government shutdown, vowing those going to work Monday won’t see a “dramatic difference” because President Trump isn’t trying to “weaponize” the situation like the Obama administration did in 2013.

Congress grills social media giants on efforts to curtail terror content

Congress on Wednesday demanded answers from tech giants including Facebook and Twitter about whether they’re doing enough to keep terror networks off social media, even suggesting that their reports about thwarting such efforts show they’re falling short.

Immigration, now military spending, threaten to shut down government

Democratic and Republican congressional leaders hustled Wednesday to unite enough members of their respective parties to pass a temporary spending bill and avoid a government shutdown before the weekend -- with immigration and now military spending sticking points.

DHS boss hit with 's---' load of questions about President Trump's language

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to talk about key administration issues like border security and terror-related arrests but found herself repeatedly answering questions about President Trump’s language during a recent White House meeting on immigration.

Trump says DACA 'probably dead'; team backs 'strong stance,' blames Democrats

President Trump on Sunday argued again that Democrats and their demands -- not him or fellow Republicans in Congress -- have throttled negotiations to provide permanent legal protection for young illegal immigrants and made clear that any such deal also must end the United States’ lottery-immigration program.

DOJ's weed crackdown spurs backlash from pot-state Republicans eyeing midterms

The Justice Department’s decision to open the door anew to pot prosecutions across the country is sparking backlash from congressional Republicans in states that allow recreational and medical use of the drug – territory that makes up crucial battlegrounds for the GOP in this year's midterm elections.

State Department probing possibility of viral attack in Cuba illnesses

State Department officials told Congress on Tuesday they still don’t know what caused U.S. diplomatic personnel to experience vertigo and other neurological symptoms while stationed in Cuba, while saying a viral attack is now being considered.

Trump: 'Fire and Fury' is 'fake book,' Camp David meeting 'great'

President Trump suggested Sunday that he, top administration officials and congressional Republicans made headway at their weekend retreat on such key 2018 issues as the budget, infrastructure and immigration but also continued to slam the new White House tell-all book as more “fake news.

Bannon expresses 'regret' for comments attributed to him in 'Fire and Fury'

Former Trump political strategist Steve Bannon apologized Sunday for unflattering comments attributed to him in the recently released Trump White House tell-all “Fire and Fury,” saying he “regrets” his delayed response and that he continues to support the president.

Twitter won't block world leaders or delete their messages

Twitter said Friday it has no plans to block world leaders from its social media site or delete any of their controversial posts because any such action would “hide important information” from people.

Trump prolongs feud with FBI's McCabe over Clinton ties

President Trump on Sunday extended his feud with the FBI's top brass, singling out Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose wife's Virginia Senate campaign in 2015 received donations from the political action committee of Virginia Gov.

Jones supports DACA, says it’s time for GOP opponent Roy Moore to ‘move on’

Newly-elected Democratic Sen. Doug Jones gave qualified support Sunday to liberal-backed issues like continued protections young illegal immigrants and not using taxpayer money for a U.S.-Mexico border wall but suggested he wants to wait until being sworn in next month before taking on such “complicated” issues.

Tax plan expected to pass Senate, with help from a few holdouts

The GOP-led Congress’s sweeping tax reform plan appears to have enough support for passage in the Senate -- with apparent backing from several Republican senators whose nonsupport for congressional Republicans' measure to repeal and replace Obamacare doomed that effort this summer.

Dems stage angry protest over tax bill as GOP leaders forge deal

House and Senate Republican leaders forged ahead Wednesday on a tax reform deal including tax cuts for American families and corporations, though not without high-profile opposition from Democrats who used a public session to repeatedly decry the plan as a “farce” and a “scam” – while trying to delay a final vote.

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Smith named to fill Franken Senate seat

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith was appointed Wednesday to temporarily fill the Senate seat of Democratic Sen. Al Franken, who resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct and pressure within his party to leave office.

Alabama's Doug Jones facing early pressure to vote with GOP, after upset victory

Democrat Doug Jones’ victory in the Alabama Senate race dashed Republicans’ hard-fought efforts to keep the open seat and retain their narrow, two-seat majority. But GOP leaders already are angling to convince Jones to back their legislative agenda, hoping he'll be willing to buck his own party in order to retain support from the state's largely conservative voters.

Concealed-carry bill backers brace for Senate fight

Gun-rights advocates scored a major win with House passage of legislation making concealed-carry gun permits valid across state lines -- but face a much tougher challenge in the Senate where they'll need support from at least eight Democrats to make the bill law.

Haley: Trump's Jerusalem decision will 'fastball' peace, stop Israel 'bashing'

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley on Sunday defended President Trump’s announcement to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognize the holy city as Israel’s capital -- arguing the move should “fastball” the Middle East peace process while warning that the international “bashing” of Israel is hurting such efforts.

Comstock opposes GOP support for Moore, suggests he'll face Hill ethics probe

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, leading efforts to expose sexual misconduct on Capitol Hill, acknowledged Sunday that she’s bothered that President Trump and other Washington Republicans are backing GOP Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore amid sexual misconduct allegations and suggested that Moore, if elected this week, will face a congressional ethics investigation.

Major concealed-carry bill picks up momentum, steams toward House floor

Gun-rights supporters are eyeing a big win this week as a bill that would make concealed-carry permits valid across state lines heads to the House floor -- though it faces long odds in the Senate amid deep-pocketed opposition from gun-control advocates.

Schumer, Pelosi pull out of White House budget meeting with Trump

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday morning pulled out of a scheduled budget meeting at the White House after President Trump suggested demands by “Chuck and Nancy” on immigration and taxes meant no bipartisan deal.

White House slams Dem ‘pettiness’ as Pelosi, Schumer pull out of meeting

The White House on Tuesday shot back at the top congressional Democrats -- Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi -- for pulling out of White House meeting with President Trump, saying the president wants them to “put aside their pettiness” and “get to work.

Trump lobbies holdouts as tax bill debate heats up in Senate

President Trump heads to Capitol Hill on Tuesday as part of a careful campaign to win over key Senate Republicans holding back their support for a comprehensive tax reform plan -- with a floor vote expected in days.

Senate Republicans advance tax plan as Trump lobbies holdouts

Senate Republicans narrowly advanced their tax reform bill in a key committee vote on Tuesday, as President Trump visited Capitol Hill in a bid to win support from GOP holdouts in anticipation of a possible floor vote later this week.

Senate Republicans advance tax plan as Trump predicts passage

Senate Republicans advanced their tax reform plan in a key committee vote Tuesday, as President Trump confidently predicted passage -- after visiting Capitol Hill in a bid to win support from GOP holdouts.

Mulvaney, not Cordray pick, will lead US consumer financial watchdog agency

A top Senate Republican argued this weekend that President Trump’s interim pick to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, not the outgoing director’s choice, will be in charge Monday morning amid a growing partisan standoff over the controversial agency.