‘No More DACA Deal’

Monday, April 2, 2018Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 1.39.19 PM

Good Monday morning,
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • President Trump, blaming Democrats and the Mexican government for what he called an increasingly dangerous flow of illegal immigrants, unleashed a series of fiery weekend tweets in which he vowed NO MORE DACA DEAL and threatened to walk away from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

  • Some senior Trump administration officials are pressing for more aggressive action toward Russia, hoping to persuade a reluctant president to change his approach after a week of mass diplomatic expulsions.

  • China slapped tariffs of up to 25 percent on 128 American-made products, retaliating against Mr. Trump’s steel and aluminum duties.

  • The chief of the Justice Department’s death penalty unit was removed from his post amid questions about grievances against him, including complaints that he promoted gender bias and a sexualized environment.

  • Mr. Trump, having recently signaled a possible withdrawal of American troops from Syria, ordered the State Department to suspend more than $200 million in funds for recovery efforts there while the administration reassesses its role in the conflict.

  • The Taliban are increasingly attacking security forces across Afghanistan using night-vision goggles and lasers that United States military officials said were either stolen from Afghan and international troops or bought on the black market.
— The First Draft Team

Are You a U.S. Citizen? How a 2020 Census Question Could Affect States

The Trump administration announced last week that it would add a citizenship question to the decennial census in 2020, citing the need for more granular data for determining Voting Rights Act violations. Critics say that adding the question could cause some immigrants — particularly those who are not citizens — not to respond to the census at all, resulting in an undercount of the population.
There is no reliable data to estimate how many people would opt out, but a panel of experts from the United States Census Bureau still expressed opposition to the move, in part because of concerns about accuracy.
“Just because there is not clear evidence that adding the question would harm the census accuracy, this is not evidence that it will not,” they wrote in a memo.
Read more »

Tech companies have slowly grown more comfortable with President Trump, who was initially a target of Silicon Valley criticism. Chief executives including Apple’s Tim Cook, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos met with the president in June.

Silicon Valley Warms to the President After a Chilly Start


Even though President Trump still takes potshots at Amazon, the industry’s relationship with the White House is shifting as tech companies find some common ground.

President Trump spoke last Friday at the White House before signing the omnibus spending bill. The Senate has essentially given up on considering individual spending bills on the floor after they have been hashed out in committee.

Broad Spending Bills Here to Stay While Congressional Dysfunction Reigns


Without major change, spending bills that are too big to veto will most likely remain the standard in Congress, despite Mr. Trump’s insistence that he’ll never sign one again.

President Trump delivering a speech in Richfield, Ohio, on Thursday. Analysts say Mr. Trump’s decision to link a trade deal with South Korea to progress in denuclearizing North Korea shows a growing unease in Washington.

Trump, Lacking Leverage Over North Korea, Takes Aim at South Instead


By tying a trade deal with South Korea to progress in denuclearizing Pyongyang, Mr. Trump is pressuring an ally, hoping it will help him deal with a reclusive foe.

Conor Lamb greeted St. Patrick’s Day celebrants in downtown Pittsburgh. Mr. Lamb, a Democrat, won his upset victory in the 18th Congressional District, partly by reawakening dormant Democratic DNA in white working-class voters who had supported Donald Trump.

How Will the Midterm Elections Play Out? Watch Pennsylvania


With a clutch of newly flippable House seats and signs of growing voter restiveness, the state is shaping up as a focal point in the fight for control of Congress, strategists in both parties say.

‘It’s Factory North America,’ but Trump Could Hobble It


What the journey of a Union Pacific locomotive reveals about the president’s plans for the North American economy.

The existing border wall in San Diego this month. President Trump has made the border wall a focus of his campaign against illegal immigration.

U.S. Says It Can Pay for 100 Miles of Wall on a 2,000-Mile Border


The Trump administration called the money for building new and replacement barriers a first step in the president’s promise for a border wall with Mexico.

The Massachusetts proposal has nationwide implications because many states are struggling with the costs of health care, including prescription drugs.

Massachusetts, a Health Pioneer, Turns Its Focus to Drug Prices


A state proposal to limit the number of drugs covered by Medicaid, fiercely opposed by patients and drug companies, has drawn national attention as states struggle to pay for costly new medicines.

The Trump administration said Friday that it planned to require nearly all applicants for a visa to enter the United States to submit their social-media user names for the past five years.

14 Million Visitors to U.S. Face Social Media Screening


The American Civil Liberties Union condemned an administration plan to make nearly all applicants for visas submit social media user names for the past five years, saying it risked chilling freedom of speech and association.

An ITT Technical Institute campus that closed in Rancho Cordova, Calif., in 2016.

It Oversaw For-Profit Colleges That Imploded. Now It Seeks a Comeback.


The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, which was stripped of its power by the Obama Education Department, is pursuing a return under a more for-profit-friendly administration.

Garland Ashby, 77 and the owner of 75 guns, in Berryville, Va. “It’ll go away,” he said of the gun control protests after the Parkland massacre. But Rosie Banks, 17, of Sterling, Va., said the movement would continue. “We’re not going to get bored.”

After Gun Control Marches, ‘It’ll Go Away’ vs. ‘We Are Not Cynical Yet’


Advocates as well as opponents of gun control, both plotting next steps after the March for Our Lives rally, think their adversaries will eventually tire.

It is anything but clear that the long-speculated dismissal of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, would have the tectonic consequences that Democrats and some Republicans have spoken of — or any consequences at all.


Would Firing Mueller Get the President Impeached?


A few Republicans have suggested that the dismissal of Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel could lead to Mr. Trump’s impeachment, but it is unclear how.

Donald J. Trump’s ascension to the White House has drawn scrutiny from investigative agencies into the family real estate business of his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, who is married to Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka.

The Kushners Saw Redemption in the White House. It Was a Mirage.


For the Kushner patriarch and his family, the pinnacle of American political power has turned out to be a wellspring of trouble, bringing criminal and regulatory inquiries.

Gov. Jerry Brown of California pardoned five ex-convicts, including two whose families had fled the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia decades ago. President Trump criticized the move on Twitter on Saturday.

Gov. Jerry Brown Pardons 5 Ex-Convicts Facing Deportation


In the latest flare-up of tensions between California and Washington, President Trump criticized the governor for granting the pardons.

Charles H. Rivkin, whose previous roles included being the ambassador to France under President Barack Obama, is the new chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America.

Hollywood’s Ambassador, Schooled in Diplomacy and the Muppets


Charles H. Rivkin, an assistant secretary of state during the Obama administration, is now the chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America. He takes over in a time of upheaval.