NEARLY THREE WEEKS AFTER ordering a cruise missile attack against one of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s airfields, Donald Trump has yet to explain how that was legal without congressional authorization.
Two Democratic members of Congress are demanding that Trump offer some sort of legal justification beyond off-the-cuff remarks from administration officials.
Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Rep. Adam Schiff of California sent a stern letter to the White House on Tuesday, warning that Trump could be setting a dangerous precedent for conducting pre-emptive strikes and risking war with major powers, while cutting Congress out of the picture.
Two days after the missile strike, Trump sent Congress a notice that he had ordered it and that he had the “constitutional authority” to do so.
Source: Members of Congress Demand Trump Provide Legal Justification for Syria Attack
The president and his allies in Congress are rushing to sort through two sensitive issues—how to avoid a government shutdown next week while reviving a failed overhaul of the Affordable Care Act—as Mr. Trump nears the end of his first 100 days in office.
WASHINGTON—The White House has thrust a new set of proposals into talks to avoid shutdown of the government next week, while also seeking to revive a health-care overhaul that had collapsed last month.
With less than a week to pass legislation funding the government for the rest of the fiscal year, negotiations are beginning to take shape. Democrats are demanding that the legislation include money for insurance companies, without which fragile insurance markets could implode, while the White House in return wants additional money for defense, the border wall and border enforcement.
Failure to extend the funding would trigger a partial government shutdown on April 29, the 100th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Republican leaders will need Democratic votes in the Senate, and likely in the House, to pass a spending bill, giving the minority party unusual leverage in negotiations. Discussions now hinge on Democratic demands that the government continue payments that help support Affordable Care Act insurance plans. The money, known as “cost-sharing” payments, helps insurers lower costs for low-income consumers.
Source: Trump, GOP Race to Avoid Government Shutdown as They Juggle Health-Care Revamp – WSJ
Istarted thinking Donald Trump might win the presidency in September of 2016. By the end of October, I was almost sure. Thus, when the election nightupset happened, I was dismayed, but not particularly surprised. I didn’t even think it was much of an upset, in spite of the Huffington Post aggregate poll, which gave Hillary Clinton a 98% chance of winning – an example of wishful thinking if ever there were one.
Some of my belief arose from the signage I was seeing. I’m from northern New England, and in the run-up to the election I saw hundreds of Trump-Pence signs and bumper stickers, but almost none for Clinton-Kaine. To me this didn’t mean there were no Clinton supporters in the houses I passed or the cars ahead of me on Route 302; what it did seem to mean was that the Clinton supporters weren’t particularly invested. This was not the case with the Trump people, who tended to have billboard-sized signage in their yards and sometimes two stickers on their cars (TRUMP-PENCE on the left; HILLARY IS A CRIMINAL on the right).
POTUS on Thursday launched an extraordinary attack against conservative Republicans who thwarted the party’s healthcare plan, escalating an intra-party feud that could threaten the rest of his legislative agenda.
In a string of tweets, Trump threatened to back primary challenges against members of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus if they continue to oppose party leaders. He also named and shamed the group’s chairman, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), and two other prominent group members for what he said is their efforts to derail ObamaCare repeal and tax reform.
“If @RepMarkMeadows, @Jim_Jordan and @Raul_Labrador would get on board we would have both great healthcare and massive tax cuts & reform,” the president tweeted.
“Where are @RepMarkMeadows, @Jim_Jordan and @Raul_Labrador? #RepealANDReplace #Obamacare.”
House conservatives fought back, furious at the president for picking the fight at a time when congressional Republicans are trying to move past last week’s bitter legislative defeat.
“Most people don’t take well to being bullied,” Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), a Freedom Caucus member, told reporters. “It’s constructive in fifth grade. It may allow a child to get his way, but that’s not how our government works.”
Freedom Caucus members argued Thursday that they did Trump a favor by sinking the American Health Care Act, which was reviled by grassroots conservatives and failed to attract support from even some moderate members of the GOP conference.
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), who was named by Trump, shot back over Twitter.