FROM Susan Davis
Deadline Looms for Funding Homeland Security Congress has until Friday to pass the $40 billion budget for the Department of Homeland Security. Republicans have held up funding because of the President’s executive actions on immigration. Yesterday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson went on all five major Sunday talk shows with an urgent message. He told NBC's Meet the Press, "If we go into government shutdown, some 30,000 employees of my department will be furloughed, including a lot of headquarters personnel who I count on daily to stay one step ahead of groups like ISIL. A large part of the workforce will be required to come to work, but they’ll come to work without pay, so the working men and women of my department will be required to work on the frontlines without a paycheck, which has serious consequences for working men and women and their families." Susan Davis reports on Congress for USA Today .
House May Not Take Up Immigration Reform After All Republicans in Congress are divided over immigration reform, but just last week — after a retreat in Maryland — House Speaker John Boehner released a set of Republican principles for immigration reform. Even President Obama said it sounded like progress. Susan Davis is Chief Congressional Reporter for USA Today.
Congress Unveils $1 Trillion Spending Bill Last night, members of Congress produced a $1 trillion spending plan to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year and avoid another shutdown. There's plenty for Republicans and Democrats to dislike, but President Obama is hoping for final passage. Susan Davis, chief congressional correspondent for USA Today , walks us through the bipartisan measure, which is the size of a phone book.
Is Congress Stepping Away from the Brink? The government will be reopened and the debt limit raised if Senate leaders get their way, and if Speaker Boehner allows a vote in the House. But the deal would last only until early next year. Between now and then, Congress would hold the budget hearings it should have conducted this Spring. Can disagreements about spending, taxes and Medicare be resolved in such a short time? What about the ongoing dispute over Obamacare? This may be the moment to take a deep breath, but long-term relief could be a long time coming. After Senate leaders announced their agreement today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said President Obama hopes both houses will pass it.
Stalemate over the Debt Ceiling Continues Last week, President Obama and Speaker John Boehner agreed that the debt-limit deadline had created an opportunity for something "big:" tax loophole-closings and spending cuts, including adjustments to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. But yesterday, Boehner backed off and called for a smaller package or even a stopgap. This morning, the President called any extension " unacceptable ." As Washington's debt-limit brinkmanship continues with inconclusive meetings and political positioning, will Washington let the money run out? Will Medicare and Social Security be part of a final deal?
Stalemate over the Debt Ceiling Continues " If not now… when? " President Obama asked today as leaders of both parties in Congress prepared for yet another White House negotiating session. He challenged both parties to compromise, so that raising the debt ceiling can become an opportunity for spending cuts and closing tax loopholes long term, insisting that a short-term deal would be unacceptable. What happened to the so-called "big deal" he and Speaker John Boehner talked about just last week? With both parties divided, are next year's elections making it harder to avoid the first default in American history?
Political Brinksmanship and the Debt Ceiling Treasury Secretary Geithner says the first default in US government history would mean economic catastrophe , and it's just two weeks away. David Brooks (at left), the New York Times' conservative columnist shocked Washington this week by saying that Republicans may not be "fit to govern." Many Republicans see default as an opportunity to force massive spending cuts, even if the government has to shut down. But President Obama rejects any short-term fix and sees an opportunity of another kind. Will Republicans drive the country into default? Has the President made too many concessions or, as he said yesterday, is this an "opportunity to do something big?" Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
The Debt Limit and Economic Brinksmanship With the first default in US government history predicted for August 2, President Obama has rejected any short-term fix . Tomorrow, he's invited the top two Democratic and Republican leaders of both parties to visit the White House "to do something big." Treasury Secretary Geithner says default would mean economic catastrophe. Speaker John Boehner says Obama doesn't understand "economic and legislative reality," but will show up at the White House tomorrow. "Legislative reality" could mean that Boehner can't control his own Republican members, many of whom deny that default will have dire consequences and see it as an opportunity to force massive spending cuts, even if the government has to shut down. Should the President be happy to get even a short-term fix? Has he already made so many concessions that Republicans could claim victory?
Is Gun Control Dead? Since the deadly mass shooting in Tucson , three high school students have been shot near Los Angeles and a gunman killed two police officers in Miami. But there's been little support for new gun controls, in Washington or anyplace else. President Obama and White House aides have avoided the issue. In the past, mass murder and the killings, and attempted killings, of public figures have led to restrictions on guns, but times have changed. Recently, even those incidents that have worked their way into the language —Columbine, the DC sniper, Virginia Tech — have not. Have Democrats lost their nerve? Has the NRA won the battle? We hear from pollsters, reporters, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the world's biggest gun trade show, going on now in Las Vegas.
Cover-up or witch hunt?: The latest on the WH ties to Russia Less than two months into his Presidency, Donald Trump is struggling to get his agenda under way, making it harder himself with tweets that dominate public attention. Meanwhile, important questions are going unanswered: why have staff members and the Attorney General lied about contacts with Russian officials?
Is America turning its back on the world? President Trump has made no secret of his contempt for the United Nations — and he's not alone. But, will proposed cuts in US contributions be counterproductive to America's role in the world and to national security?
America's top diplomat faces challenges in Asia Whatever happened to America's "pivot to Asia?" That's just one of the questions left hanging since Rex Tillerson's first trip there as Secretary of State. Is the Trump Administration hoping to change Foreign Policy or maintain the status quo?