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President Trump Leads an Expanded Bilateral Meeting with President Xi Jinping of China
Today’s Hill Action
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House Floor Schedule
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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.”
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.”
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.