FROM Burgess Everett
Is the President making a new “deal?" At a moment of historic division, the President told reporters yesterday, “The people of the United States…want to see coming together." Specifically he’s coming together with Democrats on Capitol Hill, stepping over Republican leadership in the House and the Senate. As always with this President, the question is, “How long will it last?” One biographer says his “love bombs” have limited fallout. What’s in store for Obamacare, tax cuts, the Border Wall… and next year’s midterm elections?
Dems overhaul Senate leadership Democrats in the House have deferred their choice of leadership with a possible challenge to long-serving minority chief Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco. In the Senate, departing Harry Reid of Nevada will be replaced by New York's Charles Schumer, who told reporters, "We needed a much sharper, bolder, stronger, economic message and we needed to let the American people understand what we all believe, that the system's not working for them and we're going to change it." Burgess Everett, who reports on Congress for Politico , has more on today's changes.
Paul Ryan Set to Blow Budget Deadline Congressional gridlock is passing another landmark this week. House Speaker Paul Ryan was faced with questions today about why Friday's deadline to pass a federal budget will not be met. Ryan told reporters, "Our preference is to pass a budget, and we're still talking with our members about how we can do this... We just had two weeks where our members didn't have a chance to get together and discuss things. We're now starting those kinds of conversations now that we're back in town with each other." Burgess Everett covers Congress for Politico .
Cleaning the Barn and Passing the Gavel Today, Congress is likely to pass the first federal budget in five years. If the Senate agrees, the government will stay open and pay the bills until after the next election. For the most part, Democrats will be happy to go along, but Republican candidates for President and the right wing of the GOP are on the warpath against it . The likely new Speaker, Paul Ryan, won't have to deal with default or a government shutdown, but that looks like a curse to conservative colleagues. We hear how a temporary return to business as usual is dramatizing the Republican Party's radical change.
House Speaker John Boehner Is Stepping Down After the Vice President, the House Speaker is next in line to be President of the United States. The Speakership is the pinnacle of a politician’s career. John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, has called it the job he’d always wanted. But today, Boehner announced that he’s resigning from Congress — to avoid a battle over House leadership.
The Iran Nuclear Deal Is Now Up to Congress Last week, the Obama Administration asked the UN Security Council to vote on the Iran nuclear deal. Today it got the unanimous vote it wanted. All 15 members endorsed the agreement to lift economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for limitations on Iran's development of nuclear technology. Now, Congress with 60 days to approve or reject it. Republicans and some Democrats are furious at the Obama Administration for asking the Security Council to go first . Opponents say the agreement could pave the way for Iran to make a nuclear bomb. Supporters say it's the best thing possible and much better than nothing. They warn that continued division within the US will have dangerous consequences for America's world leadership.
Schumer Defies White House on Iran Deal The likely next leader of Democrats in the US Senate is supporting a bill opposed by President Obama. New York Democrat Chuck Schumer wants to give Congress a chance to reject agreement on Iran's nuclear program, as Burgess Everett reports in Politico .
What's Next for Iran's Nuclear Program? Talks in Switzerland between Iran, the US and five other countries may go beyond tonight's midnight hour. Familiar sticking points include centrifuges, nuclear stockpiles, surprise inspections and the schedule for lifting economic sanctions. The elephants in the room are still Iran's Supreme Leader and the American Congress — dominated by Republicans under pressure from Israel. If tonight's "interim" deadline can't be met, how certain is the "final" deadline at the end of June?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?