John T. Bennett

Two Big To-Dos Remain for Trump and Congress: Tax Bill and Government Funding
 

With just a few planned legislative days before the end-of-year break, Republicans are racing to get a tax bill to President Donald Trump’s desk, while the continuing resolution expires on Dec. 22. White House correspondent John T. Bennett says the president is eager to score at least one big legislative win before the year ends....
Trump-Gillibrand Offer Possible 2020 Preview After Racy Tweet
Schumer: Trump’s ‘tweet was nasty — unbecoming of the president’

House and Senate Republicans raced to finish their tax bill. Both parties postured about a government shutdown. All of that was drowned out Tuesday by President Donald Trump’s Twitter war with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

The president went after the New York Democrat with a Tuesday morning tweet that alleged she “would do anything” for his campaign contributions before he ran for president. 

Trump Says Gillibrand ‘Would Do Anything’ for Campaign Donations
Gillibrand fires back: ‘You cannot silence me’

Updated at 9:45 a.m. | President Donald Trump on Tuesday alleged that Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand “would do anything” for his campaign contributions before he ran for president. 

In a morning tweet, the president dubbed the New York Democrat a “lightweight” and dubbed her “disloyal” to the Clintons, whom he tweeted “USED!” her.

White House Mum on Trump Accusers, But Not on Media
Democrats blamed for New York attack

The president’s top spokeswoman lashed out at the media during a tense briefing Monday. The press corps wanted to know about resurfaced sexual misconduct accusations against the president. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wanted to talk about Democrats’ hand in a New York City bombing attack and news media’s loose relationships with facts.

President Donald Trump said NASA should hustle-up on getting the country to Mars.

Trump to Make One Final Tax Pitch
Plans to reiterate ‘brighter future’ message

President Donald Trump will deliver his final sales pitch for a Republican tax overhaul measure Wednesday with remarks intended to spell out a “brighter future” for Americans.

“As we work with Congress to achieve historic tax cuts, the president plans to speak Wednesday to the American people on how tax reform will lead to a brighter future for them and their families,” said Lindsay Walters, deputy White House press secretary.

Can Presidents Obstruct Justice? Republicans and Democrats Say Yes
Durbin: ‘Desperate statement’ suggests ‘they expect to lose on the merits’

Republican and Democratic lawmakers say an assertion by Donald Trump’s personal lawyer that a sitting president cannot obstruct justice is dubious, warning the White House there is ample precedent to the contrary.

The members were reacting to Trump lawyer John Dowd’s legal argument in a recent interview with Axios that “the president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [Article II of the Constitution] and has every right to express his view of any case.”

‘Get Out And Vote For Roy Moore,’ Trump Says
President talks tax cuts, economy — and Hillary — during Pensacola rally

President Donald Trump on Friday flew 800 miles aboard Air Force One to the doorstep of the hotly contested Alabama Senate race, but addressed it directly for just over three minutes.

In a way, however, by using his remarks in Pensacola, Florida, to discuss his agenda and issues that matter to conservative voters just over the border in Alabama, the president sent a message: A vote for GOP candidate Roy Moore is vote for what he calls his “make America great again” agenda.

Trump Signs Bill to Keep Government’s Lights on Through Dec. 22
The continuing resolution passed both chambers of Congress Thursday

President Donald Trump on Friday signed the stopgap spending bill to fund the government through Dec. 22, according to a tweet from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. 

The House and Senate passed the measure on Thursday, averting a government shutdown, for now.

Trump: ‘VOTE ROY MOORE!’
President goes all-in on alleged child predator ahead of evening rally

President Donald Trump on Friday issued an emphatic endorsement of accused child predator Roy Moore, diving back into a special Alabama Senate race just a few days before voters there head to the polls.

“VOTE ROY MOORE!” the president tweeted eight hours before a much-anticipated campaign rally in nearby Pensacola, Florida, which bleeds into the southern Alabama television market.

No Deal For Trump With ‘Chuck and Nancy’ This Time
‘We agreed to keep on talking,’ McConnell says

“Chuck and Nancy” finally went to the White House on Thursday. But there was no script-flipping deal to be had with President Donald Trump this time.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., signaled the sides are still too far apart to close a deal, saying at the start of the meeting he was “glad we’re here to resume conversations.”

Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi Agree on These Things
White House-Hill leadership meeting yields head nods

President Donald Trump nodded as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi listed issues on which she said the duo agree and she wants to see in a long-term spending measure.

That list included the children’s health program, combating the opioid crisis, and veterans funding. She referred to those as “things that have bipartisan support in the Congress.”

Trump’s Jerusalem Decision Called ‘Provocative,’ Counterproductive
‘He’s undercutting his own efforts at peacemaking,’ Rep. Welch says

President Donald Trump says his decision to buck the advice of America’s closest Muslim allies and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is part of a broader strategy shift needed to produce a Middle East peace pact. But some lawmakers and experts argue the president has unnecessarily undercut himself.

Trump on Wednesday formally announced he will abide by a 1995 U.S. law and move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognize that city as the country’s official capital. He noted that for the last 22 years, his predecessors have — despite some campaign-trail pledges to the contrary — exercised a waiver in that law to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv.

Shutdown Could Happen, Trump Says
President blames Democrats’ immigration demands

A government shutdown “could happen” Saturday, President Donald Trump said Wednesday, blaming Democrats’ immigration demands.

“The Democrats are really looking at something that is very dangerous for our country,” Trump told reporters during a Cabinet meeting. “They are looking at shutting down [the federal government]. They want to have illegal immigrants, in many cases people that we don’t want in our country. They want to have illegal immigrants pouring into our country, bring with them crime, tremendous amounts of drugs. We don’t want to have that.”

Picture This: A ‘Perfecto’ Final Tax Bill
As House, Senate negotiate, president raises expectations

The House and Senate are not even in formal conference negotiations on a tax overhaul measure yet, but the expectation from the White House is clear: It’s got to be “perfecto.”

On a day of increasing uncertainty over how to fund the government past Dec. 8, President Donald Trump hosted a small group of Senate Republicans at the White House and placed his marker. 

On Jerusalem, Trump Will Finally Enact Whims of Congress
Past presidents have resisted Congress on formal Israeli capital, embassy location

President Donald Trump is poised to enact a law Congress passed two decades ago by ordering the U.S. embassy be moved to Jerusalem, and answer a bipartisan call by recognizing the city as Israel's capital.

Like Trump, previous presidents promised to make the same decision prior to being elected. But once in office and confronted with responsibility for the inevitable fallout in the long-volatile Middle East, each one has opted instead to exercise a waiver built into the 1995 law to delay the embassy’s relocation to the city, which is important to the Jewish, Islamic and Christian faiths.

Trump’s Big Promises on To-Be-Written Tax Bill
‘We’re going to make it so that it comes out very beautifully,’ he says

Even before House and Senate lawmakers begin ironing out differences in their tax overhaul bills, President Donald Trump promised working families Tuesday the final product will ensure they soon will “be making so much money you are not going to know what to do with it.”

The president had a small group of Senate Republicans to the White House for a lunch meeting about trade and his ongoing effort to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement. But he could not resist talking up the still-emerging GOP tax bill.

Trump’s Punch-Back Demeanor Could Threaten Funding Talks
 

In public, many leading Republicans offer their full-throated support for President Donald Trump. But White House correspondent John T. Bennett says privately, a growing number of GOP lawmakers worry the chaos the president’s tweets create could jeopardize critical deal-making to keep the federal government from shutting down on Friday. ...
As Crunch Time Approaches, More Rumbling About Trump Behavior
Many members taken aback by a chaotic 48 hours last week

Several veteran Democratic lawmakers were flabbergasted last week by 48 hours that were among the wildest so far of Donald Trump’s presidency. And in private conversations, they say many of their Republican colleagues share similar concerns.

Trump appears to embrace a certain amount of chaos. After all, it generates media coverage — and the president is a voracious consumer of cable television and print news. But the 48 hours between last Tuesday and Thursday caused a spike in concerns among longtime Democratic members about Trump’s mindset and competence.

Trump Reduction of National Monuments a Rare Move
Antiquities Act has primarily been used to increase, not reduce protected areas

President Donald Trump on Monday signed two executive actions that drastically slash the boundaries of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, and criticized former presidents for their use of the Antiquities Act to designate such monuments.

Trump called former President Barack Obama’s designation of Bears Ears an overreach of executive power, even as he unilaterally undid much of the designation himself. President Bill Clinton first designated the Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument in 1996 .

Trump Wants Hatch to Run for 8th Term
Romney Senate bid could be crowded out by Hatch run

President Donald Trump formally endorsed a possible re-election bid by Sen. Orrin Hatch, calling the Utah Republican a “very special man” at the start of a speech in Salt Lake City.

“You are a true fighter, Orrin,” Trump said. “You meet fighters and you meet people who you thought were fighters — but they’re not so good at fighting. He’s a fighter. We hope you will continue to serve your state and your country in the Senate for a very long time to come.”