Video of the Day
President Trump unveils infrastructure plan

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Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
None.
Committee Hearings
None.
House Floor Schedule
None.
Committee Hearings
None.
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Trump to roll back Obama-era rule on rising sea levels

President Trump is set to repeal an Obama-era order requiring tougher new building standards for government-funded infrastructure projects in flood-prone areas, including those at risk of rising sea levels brought on by climate change.

Trump will sign an executive order on Tuesday that will, in part, repeal a 2015 directive from then-President Barack Obama that established that it was a federal policy to “improve the resilience of communities and federal assets against the impacts of flooding,” which are “anticipated to increase over time due to the effects of climate change and other threats.”

Trump will revoke the order on Tuesday as part of an effort to streamline the permitting process for infrastructure projects, a White House official said.
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5 big questions about the NAFTA talks

One of President Donald Trump’s core campaign promises is about to be tested as talks with Canada and Mexico on NAFTA open Wednesday.

Trump’s negotiators will be tasked with transforming the 25-year-old agreement that he has called “the worst trade deal” in history into one that he can trumpet as “saving and creating jobs.” At the same time, Trump will have to please constituencies who are both for and against lifting trade barriers.

Talks are scheduled to continue until Sunday, but this week is just the beginning of a drawn-out process. Negotiators from the three countries will be meeting over multiple rounds in the coming months.
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GOP senator meeting with White House on new ObamaCare plan

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said he’s meeting with the White House and the Trump administration “two or three times per week” on a plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare

Cassidy has teamed up with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) on a new proposal that would essentially block-grant ObamaCare funding to the states while repealing the law’s individual and employer mandates.

“I think the president is impatient and the president is kind of jamming the agenda a little bit, rightly so,” Cassidy told The Advocate. “He’s afraid momentum will dissipate.”
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Lobbyit.com | 430 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20003 | Phone: 202.587.2736
| Fax: 202.747.2727
info@lobbyit.com | lobbyit.com
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Copyright (C) 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Video of the Day
What to Watch for During Congress August Recess

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Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate is not in session.
Committee Hearings
None.
House Floor Schedule
The House is not in session.
Committee Hearings
None.
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Obamacare’s marketplaces aren’t collapsing — but they’re not thriving either
Typically by August, the state of the upcoming Obamacare enrollment season is pretty evident – that is, what health insurance rates will look like and how many insurers will participate in the marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act. But not this year. A picture of the 2018 marketplaces is slowly emerging — but everything is volatile under Republican rule.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has released the clearest look yet at how the ACA’s state-based marketplaces – which recently escaped an attempted revamp by congressional Republicans – are faring. While they’re not in meltdown mode, as President Trump has been gleefully predicting, neither do they look too pretty for some of the 10 million or so Americans likely to seek coverage there starting Nov. 1.

Out of 20 states (including the District of Columbia) that have released enough information to analyze, insurers in 15 of them have proposed rate hikes in the double digits. In Albuquerque, N.M., for example, average monthly premiums will increase 34 percent to $346 for a mid-range “silver plan.” Average proposed hikes for the same type of plan are 29 percent in Seattle, 25 percent in Baltimore, 23 percent in Philadelphia and a whopping 49 percent in Wilmington, Del.
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White House pitches deal for wall money — and no shutdown.
The White House is pushing a deal on Capitol Hill to head off a government shutdown that would lift strict spending caps long opposed by Democrats in exchange for money for President Donald Trump’s border wall with Mexico, multiple sources said.

Marc Short, the White House’s director of legislative affairs, met with top staffers from both parties on the Senate Appropriations Committee last week to make a hard sell for the proposal, the sources said.

Short – who said the border funding would be used for a “double fence” – stressed that the White House is insisting on a down payment for construction this fall. Short also lobbied for a big budget increase for the Pentagon, another priority for Trump.
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Here’s Democrats’ plan for tax reform this fall
(CNN) Over the recess, Democrats are gearing up for another partisan battle in Congress. This time it’s on tax reform.

After crashing and burning on healthcare last month, Senate Republicans and the White House are desperate for a legislative victory and Democrats are feeling emboldened that they may have more leverage in the upcoming fight. This month, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is continuing conversations with his members on how they will message tax reform, but the key takeaway for now is that Democrats won’t flatly agree to go along with a Republican bill that benefits the top 1% of earners.

“Donald Trump campaigned as a populist, for God’s sake. It’s a different world than it was 10 or 15 years ago. The idea that people will support huge tax cuts for the rich when they’re given a crumb won’t work anymore,” Schumer told CNN.
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Until tomorrow,
Lobbyit.com
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Lobbyit.com | 430 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20003 | Phone: 202.587.2736
| Fax: 202.747.2727
info@lobbyit.com | lobbyit.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Copyright (C) 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate is not in session.
Committee Hearings
None.
House Floor Schedule
The House is not in session.
Committee Hearings
None.
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Haley: No reason for Trump administration to reject climate change report
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley in an interview early Tuesday said she doesn’t see any reason for the Trump administration to reject a new report from government scientists on climate change’s impact.

Haley was asked on NBC’s “Today” show whether she thinks the Trump administration would embrace the report, given that the U.S. just withdrew from the Paris climate agreement.

“Just because we pulled out of the Paris accord doesn’t mean we don’t believe in climate protection,” Haley said.

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Republican senators realizing legislative agenda is in their own hands
Washington (CNN) – Republican senators left Washington for the annual August recess last week, devoid of the kind of monumental accomplishments many of them had hoped for.

“It’s not good enough. We’ve got to do better,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, of the Senate’s effort so far this year.

In part, they have themselves to blame. After using a process that required only Republican support, they still failed to find consensus on a plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act and haven’t otherwise moved on President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda.
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Washington dysfunction fuels uncertainty for businesses
Corporate uncertainty about whether the Trump administration will be able to deliver on numerous promises – including tax cuts, health care, a China crackdown and infrastructure – has forced many companies to put important hiring and investment decisions on hold, potentially crimping an economic expansion that appears ready to accelerate.

A Washington Post review of dozens of conference calls in recent weeks between chief executives and analysts show how the fog of policymaking is paralyzing many companies from taking risks that in normal times would help them grow. The conference calls were held as part of a quarterly ritual in which executives discuss their firm’s performance and outlook for the future, and they give voice to some of the reasons U.S. economic growth has been so weak at a time when inflation and interest rates remain historically low.
Read more
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Until tomorrow,
Lobbyit.com
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Lobbyit.com | 430 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20003 | Phone: 202.587.2736
| Fax: 202.747.2727
info@lobbyit.com | lobbyit.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Copyright (C) 2011. All Rights Reserved.

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Video of the Day
President Trump Leads an Expanded Bilateral Meeting with President Xi Jinping of China

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Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate is not in session.
Committee Hearings
1:30 p.m.: Extreme Weather and Coastal Flooding.
House Floor Schedule
The House is not in session.
Committee Hearings
None
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Congress Sinks Into Partisan Morass as Shutdown Threat Looms
Members of Congress are back home for a two-week recess after one of the most bitterly divided and least productive starts in recent history. A new, urgent challenge is waiting for them when they return: finding a way to set aside their anger and mistrust long enough to keep the federal government open.

Government funding expires on April 28, which will give Congress five days to unveil, debate and pass an enormous spending bill, or trigger a government shutdown.

“What a mess,” said Paul Brace, a congressional expert at Rice University in Houston, offering his own pessimistic view of the unified Republican control of the House and Senate so far under President Donald Trump. “It was so much easier when all you had to do was oppose Obama.”
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Tillerson, on Eve of Russia Trip, Takes Hard Line on Syria
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson is taking a hard line against Russia on the eve of his first diplomatic trip to Moscow, calling the country “incompetent” for allowing Syria to hold on to chemical weapons and accusing Russia of trying to influence elections in Europe using the same methods it employed in the United States.

Mr. Tillerson’s comments, made in interviews aired on Sunday, were far more critical of the Russian government than any public statements by President Trump, who has been an increasingly lonely voice for better ties with Russia. They seemed to reflect Mr. Tillerson’s expectation, which he has expressed privately to aides and members of Congress, that the American relationship with Russia is already reverting to the norm: one of friction, distrust and mutual efforts to undermine each other’s reach.

“This was inevitable,” said Philip H. Gordon, a former Middle East coordinator at the National Security Council who is now at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Trump’s early let’s-be-friends initiative was incompatible with our interests, and you knew it would end with tears.” The Russians’ behavior has not changed, Mr. Gordon added, and they “are using every means they can – cyber, economic arrangements, intimidation – to reinsert themselves around the Middle East and Europe.”
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Priebus made Bannon, Kushner talk peace: report
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus arranged a recent meeting to soothe tensions between chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner, according to a new report.

The huddle took place at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla. last week amid reports of tension between administration officials, CBS News said Saturday.
“Reince had the two sit down with him to clear the air and agree [on focusing] on the agenda and ending the back and forth,” a White House official told CBS News.

Trump reportedly told Bannon and Kushner to “work this out” amid recurring disagreements between the pair before last week’s discussion. Bannon and Kushner have purportedly clashed over policy differences, with the former criticizing the latter’s moderate beliefs.
Read more
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Until tomorrow,
Lobbyit.com

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Video of the Day
Vice President Pence Participates in a Swearing-in for the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman

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Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate reconvenes at 10 a.m and is expected to proceed to a disapproval resolution (H J Res 67) that would nullify a Labor Department rule that exempts certain local government-administered retirement plans for non-government workers from select federal restrictions and requirements for pension plans.
H J Res 67 – A joint resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to savings arrangements established by qualified State political subdivisions for non-governmental employees.
Committee Hearings
9:30 a.m.: Wilson Nomination
9:30 a.m.: Pending Business
10:00 a.m.: Russian Intelligence Activities
10:00 a.m.: Russian Influence/Unconventional Warfare in Ukraine
10:00 a.m.: Foreign Affairs Policy
2:30 p.m.: Alaska Energy/Mineral Production Infrastructure Improvements
TBA Acosta Nomination
TBA Perdue Nomination
House Floor Schedule
The House reconvenes at 9 a.m. for legislative business. The chamber is consider a bill (HR 1431) that would modify the EPA’s Science Advisory Board.
HR 1431 – EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act
Committee Hearings
9:00 a.m.: Private Property Rights Protection Act
10:00 a.m.: SBA Entrepreneurial Development Programs

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Trump Travel Ban Blocked for as Long as Court Battle Goes On
President Donald Trump was again barred from enforcing his revised travel ban on six mostly Muslim nations as he faces a court battle that will stretch for months, perhaps years.

The White House’s effort to “sanitize” the president’s original order failed to make “genuine changes” to avoid violating the Constitution’s ban on religious bias, a Hawaii federal judge ruled.

The ruling may cause further consternation for an administration struggling to enact some of the president’s central campaign platforms. It’s yet another victory for states, advocacy groups, technology companies and universities that successfully challenged the first executive order and its replacement as being at odds with nation’s founding principles and hurting the economy.
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GOP Obamacare Plan Suffers Blow With Rejection by Key Republican
On the fourth floor of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the staff of the White House chief technology officer has been virtually deleted, down from 24 members before the election to, by Friday, only one.

Scores of departures by scientists and Silicon Valley technology experts who advised Mr. Trump’s predecessor have all but wiped out the larger White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  Mr. Trump has not yet named his top advisers on technology or science, and so far, has made just one hire: Michael Kratsios, the former chief of staff for Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley investor and one of the president’s wealthiest supporters, as the deputy chief technology officer.

Neither Mr. Kratsios, who has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Princeton, nor anyone else still working in the science and technology office regularly participates in Mr. Trump’s daily briefings, as they did for President Barack Obama.
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Trump threatens to ‘fight’ Freedom Caucus in midterms
President Trump on Thursday launched an attack against the conservative House Freedom Caucus, vowing to “fight” them in the 2018 midterm elections.

Trump warned that the group could “hurt the entire Republican agenda” if its members clash with party leaders, lumping them together with Democrats on a list of his top political targets. The president is escalating an internal party feud that could have grave consequences for the rest of his legislative agenda.

He appeared to hint at the possibility of encouraging primary challenges against Freedom Caucus members, the vast majority of whom represent solid Republican districts. “The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!” the president tweeted.
Read more
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Until tomorrow,
Lobbyit.com

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Video of the Day
President Trump Signs S. 442

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Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate reconvenes at 10:30 a.m. and may proceed to a joint resolution (H J Res 83) that would disapprove and nullify an Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule regarding workplace injury and illness records.
H J Res 83 – A joint resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to “Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness”.
Committee Hearings
9:00 a.m.: Acosta Nomination
9:30 a.m.: Gorsuch Nomination
10:00 a.m.: Veterans Service Organizations
10:00 a.m.: DHS Staffing Resources and Requirements
10:00 a.m.: Emerging Cybersecurity Technologies
10:00 a.m.: Global Humanitarian Affairs
10:00 a.m.: Nuclear Energy Regulation Modernization
10:30 a.m.: Defense Readiness/Budget Update
2:30 p.m.: State of the Coast Guard
3:30 p.m.: Army Modernization
House Floor Schedule
The House reconvenes at noon for legislative business. The chamber is expected to consider measures under suspension of the rules and to complete consideration of a bill (HR 372) that would eliminate the federal antitrust exemption for health insurance providers. The chamber is also expected to consider a bill (HR 1101) that would authorize the creation of association health plans that would be exempt from most of the minimum health insurance requirements of state laws.
HR 1101 – Small Business Health Fairness Act
HR 1302 – Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel Exercise Act
HR 1238 – Securing our Agriculture and Food Act
HR 1365 – Department of Homeland Security Acquisition Innovation Act
HR 372 – Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act
Committee Hearing
9:30 a.m.: Law Enforcement Facial Recognition Technology
10:00 a.m.: Veterans Service Organizations
10:00 a.m.: Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Restructuring
10:00 a.m.: Farm Bill-Dairy Policy
10:00 a.m.: VA Inspector General Oversight
10:00 a.m.: Hybrid Warfare
10:00 a.m.: Defending Against Cyber Threats
10:00 a.m.: Ground-level Ozone Standards Implementation
10:00 a.m.: International Space Station Outlook
10:00 a.m.: World Bank Accountability
10:00 a.m.: Anti-semitism Across Boarders
10:00 a.m.: American Health Care Act
10:15 a.m.: FDA Prescription Drug User Fee Program
11:00 a.m.: Federal Small Business Policies
11:00 a.m.: Pending Legislation
2:00 p.m.: VA Health Provider Recruiting/Retainment
2:00 p.m.: JOBS Act Review
2:00 p.m.: State of the Air Force
2:00 p.m.: U.S. Policy Toward the Baltic States
2:00 p.m.: Voluntary Restricted Pharmaceutical Distribution Systems
4:00 p.m.: Committee Organization
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Ryan Meets Familiar Foe in Health-Care Fight: Conservatives
A familiar group of conservative rebels stands between House Speaker Paul Ryan and his goal of passing an Obamacare repeal measure on Thursday: the House Freedom Caucus.The group says it has enough votes to block the measure, arguing that it’s not a complete enough repeal of the health-care law, and Thursday’s vote could be the first sign of whether the caucus will be able to enforce its conservative principles in the age of President Donald Trump.

“I do not see the votes there to pass it,” Representative Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican and former chairman of the Freedom Caucus, told MSNBC Wednesday morning. “We want the president to succeed,” he added, but “that doesn’t change what’s in the legislation.”

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Joviality at Neil Gorsuch’s Hearing Masks Drama Behind the Scenes
Judge Neil M. Gorsuch will continue to be questioned Wednesday at his confirmation hearing, but the real struggle over his nomination to the Supreme Court is already well on its way to the Senate floor. Republicans are reveling in the nominee’s so far gaffe-free performance – one Democrats find a tad too scripted and stuffed with a lot of gollys and gees – and are ready to move ahead as quickly as they can.

The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, was emphatic Tuesday that Mr. Gorsuch would be seated on the Supreme Court before the Senate leaves for its April recess in two weeks. At the same time, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, accused Judge Gorsuch of being evasive in his testimony, which stretched more than 10 hours. He insisted that the nomination would require 60 votes for approval when Republicans hold just a 52-seat majority and not a single Democratic senator has yet committed to supporting him.
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Manafort worked to ‘benefit Putin government’: report
Paul Manafort, who worked as President Trump’s campaign manager in 2016, secretly worked to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government a decade ago, according to a new report. Manafort partnered with a Russian billionaire and crafted a political strategy for undermining anti-Russian sentiment across former Soviet republics, according to The Associated Press.

The AP reported that Manafort proposed the strategy as early as June 2005, ultimately signing a $10 million annual contract with Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska in 2006. The news outlet added that it confirmed Manafort’s ties with Deripaska, a close Putin ally, with several people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records it obtained.

“We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success,” Manafort wrote in the 2005 memo to Deripaska. “[The effort] will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government.”
Read more
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Until tomorrow,
Lobbyit.com

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Video of the Day
Swearing-in Ceremony for Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry

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Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate reconvenes at 2 p.m. and is expected to resume consideration of a disapproval resolution (H J Res 37) that would nullify a Defense Department, General Services Administration and NASA rule that requires companies that bid for federal contracts to disclose whether they have been determined to have violated certain labor laws. A vote is expected at 6 p.m. on passage of the joint resolution. After that, the Senate may also vote on a motion to proceed to a disapproval resolution (H J Res 44) that would nullify a Bureau of Land Management rule related to procedures for developing resource management plans for public lands.

H J Res 37 – A joint resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration relating to the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

Committee Hearings
None
House Floor Schedule
The House meets in a pro forma session.
Committee Hearings
None
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Sessions Recusal Puts Russia Probe Pressure on Choice for No. 2
The stakes are suddenly much higher for the veteran prosecutor nominated to be top deputy to Attorney General Jeff Sessions: Rod Rosenstein would shoulder all the pressure of the investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential campaign.

Sessions’ recusal last week from any investigations into last year’s campaigns makes the deputy attorney general responsible for the probe of Russian hacking and contacts with President Donald Trump’s associates. Rosenstein can expect tough questions at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday about his willingness to follow the facts wherever they lead — potentially even to his own boss and the White House.

Even Democrats who have demanded that Sessions resign acknowledge that Rosenstein, the U.S. attorney in Baltimore, is well-qualified after more than 25 years’ experience working in the Justice Department through Republican and Democratic administrations. So the focus will turn on how he intends to handle the explosive Russia investigation.
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Conway: New immigration order will take effect March 16
President Trump’s aide Kellyanne Conway on Monday said the new immigration executive order will take effect March 16 and no longer include Iraq.

“This is a very important week in this White House where the president is going to continue to act on, along with the Congress, major pieces of his legislative and executive agenda,” Conway said Monday morning on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.

“That includes a new executive order today…and what’s different about it, it has an effective date of March 16, and there are the legal permanent residents were always excluded from it but that’s made much more clear now,” she continued.

Read more
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Trump Is Said to Reject Comey Assertion That Wiretapping Claim Is False
President Trump does not accept the contention of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, that Mr. Trump falsely claimed that President Barack Obama had him wiretapped, a White House spokeswoman said on Monday.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that Mr. Comey had asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly reject Mr. Trump’s assertions. Mr. Comey has argued that the highly charged claim is untrue and must be corrected, but the department has not released any such statement. A White House spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was asked early Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” whether Mr. Trump accepted Mr. Comey’s contention.

“I don’t think he does,” she said. “I think he firmly believes that this is a story line that has been reported pretty widely by quite a few outlets,” said Ms. Sanders. She went on to cite several news reports about the F.B.I.’s investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.
Read more
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Until tomorrow,
Lobbyit.com