Senators Strike a Deal

Thursday, February 15, 2018Screen Shot 2018-02-15 at 10.07.49 AM

Good Thursday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • A bipartisan group of senators reached agreement on a narrow rewrite of the nation’s immigration laws, even as President Trump suggested he would veto any plan that does not adhere to his harder-line approach.

  • One week after Rob Porter resigned amid spousal abuse allegations, Mr. Trump said he was totally opposed to domestic violence, his first condemnation of Mr. Porter’s alleged conduct.

  • Reince Priebus, Mr. Trump’s first White House chief of staff, said his tenure was even more arduous than outsiders knew. Take everything you’ve heard and multiply it by 50, he says in a new book.

  • Mr. Trump’s military parade will not come cheap. Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, estimated that it would cost between $10 million and $30 million.
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren addressed questions about her racial heritage in a speech to a group of Native American tribes, confronting a political liability before a potential bid for president.
— The First Draft Team

The Trump Administration Is Optimistic About Economic Growth. Be Skeptical

By NEIL IRWIN
President Trump has been nothing if not bold in his promises to generate supercharged economic growth.
When a report showed a strong 3.3 percent growth rate last fall, he said, “I see no reason why we don’t go to 4 percent, 5 percent, and even 6 percent,” and he has spoken wistfully of emerging economies where growth can reach higher than that.
Even if you treat those musings as presidential bombast, his administration is making detailed projections that the economy will expand much faster in the decade ahead than it has in recent years — a forecast that underpins the Trump policy agenda.
Read more >>
Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, at Trump Tower in Manhattan last January.

Trump Lawyer’s Payment to Actress Raises New Questions

By MAGGIE HABERMAN AND CHARLIE SAVAGE

The admission by President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer that he sent $130,000 to a pornographic film actress is raising new legal, ethical and factual questions.

Immigrants taking the oath of citizenship at a naturalization service in Newark last month.

A Citizenship Question on the Census May Be Bad for Your Health

By EMILY BAUMGAERTNER

If the 2020 census asks whether respondents are citizens, policy experts worry that noncitizens won’t answer, to the detriment of public health.

A protest last month in Lahore, Pakistan, against the Trump administration’s decision to cut aid to the country. Pakistani officials are worried that the United States will try to isolate it further.

U.S. May Seek to Put Pakistan on Terrorism-Finance List

By MARIA ABI-HABIB

Pakistani officials fear the development would leave their country financially isolated, as Washington ratchets up the pressure after cutting $1.3 billion in aid.

Rob Porter, the former White House staff secretary, with John F. Kelly, the chief of staff, in August.

Who Is Rob Porter?

By CHRIS CIRILLO AND NEETI UPADHYE

Rob Porter, the White House staff secretary who was forced to resign after accusations of spousal abuse, amassed job titles in multiple Senate offices before joining President Trump’s staff.

Rob Porter, the former White House staff secretary, with John F. Kelly, the chief of staff, in August.

The F.B.I. and the White House: A Timeline of the Rob Porter Scandal

By MICHAEL D. SHEAR AND EMILY COCHRANE

The White House has shifted its story about how and when members of the administration learned about the domestic abuse allegations that forced a top aide to resign.

Advisers to Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, say he and President Trump have patched up their relationship.

Corker Reconsiders Retirement, but He Must Win Over Trump to Do It

By JONATHAN MARTIN

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee is having second thoughts about retiring. But without President Trump’s support, he is unlikely to win the nomination.

From left: Laura Ballance, Jon Wurster, Mac McCaughan and Jim Wilbur of Superchunk. After nearly 30 years, the group has made its first political album, “What a Time to Be Alive.”

It Took Trump to Make Superchunk Go Political

By DAVID PEISNER

A band known for noisy, tuneful, hyperkinetic guitar rock has changed course for its 11th studio album.

David Shulkin, the secretary of veterans affairs, at his confirmation hearing in 2017.

Report Faults V.A. Secretary Shulkin Over Travel to Europe

By DAVE PHILIPPS

There were “serious derelictions” in a trip taken by David Shulkin, the secretary of veterans affairs, and his wife, an inspector general’s report said. Dr. Shulkin denied wrongdoing.

The Pennsylvania Capitol building in Harrisburg, where Republican lawmakers have refused to completely accept a state court’s decision on gerrymandering.

Judges Say Throw Out the Map. Lawmakers Say Throw Out the Judges.

By MICHAEL WINES

Legislative unhappiness over a court ruling on Pennsylvania’s gerrymandered congressional map highlights a growing trend toward punishing courts for controversial rulings.

Mike Levin, a candidate for California’s 49th Congressional district, in 2017.

How Too Many Democratic Candidates Could Help G.O.P. Hold the House

By ADAM NAGOURNEY

In a lesson in unintended consequences, a voting overhaul in California could end up keeping Democrats off the ballot in two battleground districts.