President Trump on Thursday said he would sign a bipartisan deal that keeps the government open while providing some funding for the border wall. At the same time as Trump signs the bill, though, he will also sign an order declaring a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border. The 1,200 page compromise bill was released last Wednesday and provides $1.375 billion for the border barrier.
MEANWHILE, the bill passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 83 to 16 Wednesday afternoon. It went on to a vote in the House later last night.
ALSO, Trump’s decision to use his emergency powers isn’t sitting well with many Republicans concerned it sets a dangerous precedent and is an over-reach. One of them, GOP Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, tweeted she doesn’t support the move because it “would open the door for future presidents to call national emergencies on any topic.”
Sources close to Joe Biden claim he is all but certain to launch a bid for president. The 76 year old former Vice President was supposed to make his mind up by the end of 2018, then by the end of January. But friends now say there’s a “95 percent” chance he will get in. Biden first ran for president 31 years ago. If he wins, he will be by far the oldest president, taking office at age 79.
Former FBI director Andrew McCabe claims there were serious discussions about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from power. The New York Times first reported the rumor last year, which current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein dismissed as a joke. But in an interview with 60 Minutes, McCabe now says those discussions did happen at the Justice Department. In a tweet, Trump called McCabe a “disgrace to the FBI and a disgrace to our country.”
In a stunning reversal, Amazon announced on Wednesday it was scuttling plans to locate a new headquarters in New York City. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo blamed the state’s Democrat-controlled state senate for scaring the online retail giant. In a statement, Cuomo blamed politicians putting their narrow interests ahead of the good of the state.
MEANWHILE, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez celebrated the failure of the deal. Although it would’ve brought 25,000 jobs to her district’s back door, AOC claimed the deal’s demise was a win for “everyday New Yorkers.”
A new poll found 53 percent of California residents are considering leaving the state because of the high cost of living. The “trust barometer poll” also found 62 percent of respondents said they think California’s best days are in the past.
California Rep. John Garamendi isn’t impressed with fellow Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar after a heated committee hearing in which she manhandled President Trump’s envoy to Venezuela. Omar’s performance was “very poorly done,” Garamendi said before backtracking slightly. Omar was grilling the Trump envoy over the administration’s stance toward Venezuela, which is in the grips of socialist hell.
Tax season is coming up. Do you know what you owe Uncle Sam? Well you probably wish you were Amazon—the world’s largest retailer has a tax liability of zero dollars for the second year in a row. The corporate giant doubled its profits in the last year, raking in more than $11 billion, but thanks to the Swiss cheese complexity of the tax code, will owe less in taxes than the average grandma. Its home state, Washington, also has no state income tax.
The national debt has hit a new record high: $22 trillion, according to new figures from the U.S. Treasury Department. That works out to about $66,000 for every living human being in the country, man, woman, and child. The record won’t stand long, though—the Congressional Budget Office expects the country to add this year’s staggering $900 billion deficit to that total soon.
President Trump announced at a Monday rally in Texas that work had already begun on a portion of the border wall, and he’s right. According to Washington Examiner correspondent Eddie Scarrie, six miles of a combination of steel and concrete wall was just begun near the area along the Texas-Mexico border. Funding for it was included in the Customs and Border Patrol budget for 2018.
Drop that steak! Sen. Cory Booker has announced that the world “can’t sustain” people who eat meat. Booker, a vegan who went vegetarian back in 1992, believes that widespread meat-eating results in unsustainable farming practices, especially as the developing world starts to resemble middle class America. He’s also a supporter of the Green New Deal that aims to reduce the scourge of “farting cows”—that’s actually not a joke.
Possible 2020 presidential candidate Howard Schultz is ripping the Green New Deal as “unrealistic.” The billionaire former Starbucks CEO went on to say it would be “immoral” for the U.S. to spend trillions on an idea that’s so unrealistic. Socialist Democrats are just throwing ideas against a wall for the sake of sloganeering, Schultz said on Tuesday. The comments are likely to draw a distinction, and raise tensions, between his rumored independent bid and the clutch of socialists running for the Democratic nomination.
The co-sponsor of the Green New Deal thinks voting on his own bill is “sabotage” and a “Republican trick.” Democrat Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, who introduced the expensive agenda in the Senate, said plans by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring his bill up for a vote is an attempt to undermine it. It may not have occurred to Markey that putting forward a massive overhaul of the U.S. economy that would retrofit every building in America and try to get rid of air travel—without a cost estimate, at that—is actually kind of sabotaging himself.
President Trump is leaning to “yes” on a border wall deal struck between congressional negotiators, sources told the Daily Caller. while Trump said he’s “not happy” with the deal, he also has few options to avoid another government shutdown over the border wall, which will happen tomorrow if no agreement is reached. The deal falls far short of the president’s $5.7 billion for a border wall, allocating instead $1.375 billion and more beds for those detained by ICE.
President Trump isn’t thrilled with a bipartisan deal struck in Congress over wall funding. The deal, struck late Monday night, includes $1.375 billion funding for a U.S.-Mexico border barrier and funding for 40,000 ICE detention beds. “I’m not happy,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday, but he added that he doesn’t believe there will be another government shutdown over the issue of border wall funding. Money keeping the government open thanks to a temporary deal several weeks ago runs out on Friday.
A man in a “Make America Great Again” hat was arrested at a rally for President Trump in El Paso, Texas Monday night for allegedly attacking a BBC cameraman while shouting “f—the media.” Trump stopped the rally to ask if the cameraman was OK—no one was hurt, and another MAGA hat wearing attendee restrained the attacker until security could drag him out.
MEANWHILE, back at the White House, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders condemned the attack and any form of violence. “We ask that anyone attending an event do so in a peaceful and respectful manner,” she said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to bring the Green New Deal up for a vote in the Senate. A floor vote will “Give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal,” McConnell told reporters Monday. The bill has a goal of eliminating all U.S. carbon emissions within ten years, rebuilding or retrofitting every U.S. building, and creating a government jobs guarantee. Still no word on what it would cost.
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown can’t explain his presidential candidacy from that of fellow Dem, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Asked on Tuesday how to two Midwesterners’ campaigns differed, Brown said “well, I don’t know.” He did note that Klobuchar’s large re-election margins over the years show that she’s not really from a swing state, unlike Ohio. Brown has chosen a campaign slogan, “The dignity of work,” but unlike Klobuchar hasn’t officially entered the 2020 race.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is coming to the defense of Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, who is under intense fire for what many see as anti-Semitic tweets. Omar, a Democrat, said on Twitter that Republicans support Israel because they’ve been purchased by pro-Israel group AIPAC. She also tweeted a reference to “hook-nosed” Jews. But Ocasio-Cortez praised Omar, saying she’s “proud [Omar] raised the issue of lobbyist [money]” and claimed she’s “equally proud of her sensitivity to communities.” Omar’s comments were quickly repudiated by Dem leadership.
A report from the Senate Intelligence Committee on Russian interference in the 2016 elections is wrapping up, and it finds no collusion between the campaign of President Trump and Russians. The report cites politicians of both parties, all confirming that no collusion has been found after two years of investigating. The report will also state that anonymous Democrat sources in the Senate concede that such evidence will not be found.
Democrats and Republicans on a bipartisan commission to address border security and border wall funding reached an “agreement in principle” late Monday. Republican Sen. Richard Shelby told Fox News he thinks and hopes the negotiators struck a deal that President Trump would approve—“I think so, I hope so,” Shelby said. Any potential deal would have to pass both houses of Congress and be signed by Friday, which is the deadline to avoid another government shutdown.
House Democrats are denouncing the remarks of one of their own members on pro-Israel group AIPAC. Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar has faced sharp criticism for tweeting that the group purchases support for Israel in Congress and for retweeting a slur calling Jews “Hook-nosed.” Upon urging by Jewish Democratic members of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement saying, “Anti-Semitism must be called out, confronted and condemned whenever it is encountered, without exception.” It’s unclear as yet whether any real penalties will come, as happened when Republicans rebuked controversial statements by Iowa Rep. Steve King.
The law firm that employs Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax has put him on leave pending investigations into growing allegations of sexual assault. Two women have now accused the embattled second in command of the state of inappropriate sexual advances. One says Fairfax lured her into a hotel room at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and raped her, and a second came out on Feb. 8th accusing him of raping her while they were undergrads at Drake University. The law firm says they believe it’s important to respect “all persons making such allegation with respect and sensitivity.”
MEANWHILE, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski claims there’s a racial double standard in the Fairfax case. While bemoaning that there have been no legal proceedings yet—apparently forgetting the precedent virulent Democrats set in the Kavanaugh case—the “Morning Joe” co-host said she’s “worried about it for Democrats” and is concerned about a different reaction to the allegations against Fairfax compared with the allegations Gov. Ralph Northam wore blackface in the 1980s.
Americans’ optimism about their own personal finances keeps growing. A new Gallup poll released Monday found 69 percent expect their financial situation to improve over the next year, and 50 percent say they’re in better financial shape now than a year ago. That’s a level of optimism not seen in more than 16 years, according to Gallup and near a record high. The all-time high for those expecting their personal situation to improve is just shy of the 71 percent who thought it would get better in the next year, set in 1998.
A new Rasmussen daily tracking poll found President Trump’s approval rating up a few more ticks among likely voters—52 percent now approve of the president’s job performance, the poll found. That’s his best showing in 23 months. 47 percent disapprove. Monday’s numbers were from polling conducted in the weekdays following Trump’s state of the union address last Tuesday.
Venezuela’s dictator is drawing up contingency plans in case international calls for him to step down and leave the country come to fruition, Bloomberg News reports. Dictator Nicolas Maduro has been declared by most of the free world as an illegitimate ruler including the United States, but he’s publicly dug in and refused to cede power to Juan Guaido—widely recognized as the legitimate interim president of Venezuela. But his aides are secretly drafting plans for Maduro to escape to such havens as Cuba, Russia, and Turkey, all of which still recognize the socialist strongman’s grip on power.