FROM John Cranford
Chaos Continues on Capitol Hill The lame-duck session of Congress is hard to keep track of. Today's sure thing is old news by tomorrow, and nobody knows how long it's going to go on. The tax bill and the omnibus spending package were dealt with last night, but what about " Don't Ask, Don't Tell ," the DREAM Act and the START Treaty ? Is Barack Obama "triangulating" with Democrats and Republicans, just like Bill Clinton? Is he abandoning principles or finally getting real? What are the prospects for next year when Republicans will take over the House? Will it be time to get down to business or the start of the next campaign?
Can Obama Trim the Fat off the Federal Budget? At his press conference today, Barack Obama again vowed to go over the federal budget line by line looking for wasteful spending. The President-elect reiterated his promise as part of his efforts to revive the economy. It's the kind of promise politicians seem to make over and over, without ever making substantial change. Will he really be able to tackle programs protected by special interests? What’s ahead for Obama's team? John Cranford, national editor of Congressional Quarterly, has been writing about the federal budget for 20 years.
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."
The airline electronics ban and what it means President Trump's Department of Homeland Security has banned all electronic devices larger than cell phones on some foreign airlines flying direct to the US. It's causing confusion as well as inconvenience. Is the motive really just increased security?
Trump's opening offer: Making some of America 'great again?' A massive increase for the Pentagon at the expense of domestic programs. We hear about winners and losers in the President's first proposed budget.
Getting answers on phone taps, Russia and leaking The Directors of the FBI and the NSA testified on Capitol Hill today there's no evidence for President Trump's claim he was wire-tapped by former President Obama. We'll hear about that and the investigation into Russian tampering with last year's presidential campaign.