Politics Democrats cautious but encouraged by Trump’s outreach
Trump scrambles tax reform debate
President Trump is scrambling the politics of tax reform.
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President Trump on Wednesday vowed not to cut taxes for the wealthy, promised to try to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation and extolled the virtues of bipartisanship, saying it had led to “some of the greatest legislation ever passed.”
That he did all of that while declaring himself “a conservative” only heightened the sense of surrealism that has wafted through the nation’s capital over the past eight days, as the president has expressed a newfound, if tentative, willingness to work across the aisle — a development that has left many Republicans chagrined and some Democrats cautiously optimistic.
Trump to dine with Schumer and Pelosi, talk DACA
The top two Democrats on Capitol Hill will join President Donald Trump for dinner Wednesday night at the White House, the latest in a series of overtures Trump has made to Democrats in the last week. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are expected to discuss protections for young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children, stabilizing the health care markets and other legislative deadlines that will quickly creep up on Capitol Hill this fall, two people familiar with the plans told CNN.One person familiar with the planning said the dinner was set up at Trump's request.
Trump Parts Ways With Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski
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Trump’s outreach suggested that an unexpected deal he reached last week with Democrats may not have been an aberration. This week’s effort began Tuesday at a bipartisan White House dinner with senators, proceeded to a gathering of House Democrats and Republicans on Wednesday afternoon and was capped off Wednesday night by a presidential meal with the nation’s two top Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.).
“Bottom line: There really is a new strategy coming out of the White House,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar, a moderate Texas Democrat who had turned down previous White House invites but decided to attend on Wednesday “He meets with the bipartisan senators last night. He meets with us. He meets with Pelosi and Schumer today. There is a new strategy in place.”
Donald Trump is making the single-payer push inevitable
By destabilizing ACA marketplaces, he’s leaving Democrats nowhere to go but left. If you want to know why Democratic senators with national ambitions are suddenly falling over each other to endorse a Medicare-for-all bill, of course Bernie Sanders has something to do with it. So do the activists who’ve been fighting for this for years, and so does the National Nurses Union. But single-payer activists have been out there for a long time. So has Sanders. And Sanders didn’t win the 2016 primary, and it’s not like his national political organization, Our Revolution, has been knocking off Clinton-endorsing incumbents. The critical difference is Donald Trump and, to an extent, the broader Republican Party. Their relentless efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act are undermining the “pragmatic” rationale Democratic leaders offered in 2009 for pursuing universal coverage through a system reliant on private insurance. The hope was that by aligning with key industry priorities, they could not only minimize short-term disruption but earn Republican Party buy-in and stabilize the system. It hasn’t worked. And the extent to which Trump is doing everything in his power to undermine the ACA’s marketplaces underscores that it won’t. It’s still difficult to see exactly how we get from Sanders’s squad of high-profile co-sponsors to workable legislation that can command congressional majorities.
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Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), a Trump supporter who also attended Wednesday’s gathering, said the president “has seen the theater up here and learned the lesson: Extremes on both the right and left are problematic to getting his agenda accomplished. You can’t run a partisan bill to the finish line, so he knows he has to have his Plan B ready.”
After eight months of pursuing a mostly hard-right, pro-Republican agenda with limited success, Trump is now flirting with fulfilling his campaign promises to govern as a bipartisan dealmaker. In doing so, Trump could also be signaling the return of a recently bygone era when lawmakers of both parties dining — and working — with the president was hardly abnormal.
But, then, these are not normal times.
“It’s up is down and down is up,” said Jim Manley, a Democrat and former longtime Senate aide. “No doubt about it.”
Last Wednesday,by agreeing with Schumer and Pelosi to provide Hurricane Harvey relief while raising the federal borrowing limit and funding the government through December.
Warning for GOP: Trump voters blame Congress for his flirtation with Democrats
President Donald Trump is hedging on a border wall, he's working to protect young, undocumented immigrants from deportation and he's wheeling and dealing with Democratic leadership, threatening to betray core campaign promises in the process. But according to the GOP base, this is all the fault of the Republican-controlled Congress.
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Then came Tuesday’s bipartisan dinner for senators, which included talk of infrastructure projects and featured three Democrats up for reelection in 2018 in states that Trump carried: Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.).
After the afternoon meeting, several House Democrats expressed hope that they can work with the president.
“He was very explicit in saying that there would be no tax cut in this package for the wealthy,” said Rep. Peter Welsh (D-Vt.), referring to a pledge by Trump on Wednesday that would mark a notable departure from his previous proposals. “At one point, he said they may have to pay a little more.”
Still, Trump has done little to reach out to Democrats until the past week and has often openly derided them and former president Barack Obama. Trump has begun dismantling Obama-era regulations and protections on issues including health care, labor and the environment. Last week, he also rescinded protections for 700,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children and known as “dreamers” — the same group he now says he wants to protect.
Trump cuts to ObamaCare outreach to hit red states most
The Trump administration's decision to slash outreach funding for ObamaCare will, perhaps unintentionally, hit red states the hardest.The move last month to cut 90 percent of funds to spur signups for healthcare.gov is likely to lead to fewer young and healthy people in the insurance pool - and thus higher costs in states with majority Trump voters, according to experts. But Trump has been threatening to let ObamaCare implode for months, and has not shouldered much blame for the consequences of that uncertainty, including high premiums and lack of insurers in some markets.
Draining the granny out of something is when you get every little last bit. Ever since he began his campaign for Presidency , Mr. Trump has consistently polluted our minds, and atmosphere at large with his negative and toxic comments about minorities, women, and other groups.
Bernie Sanders along with Democrats blast Trump ' s move to end DACA.
Even on Wednesday, as the president played host to two bipartisan meetings, Trump and his team continued to equivocate. He expressed support for another Republican health-care plan — spearheaded by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) — aimed at sharply curtailing Medicaid and other parts of the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare. In her daily press briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders argued that Trump is always working on behalf of Republicans.
“The president is the leader of the Republican Party and was elected by Republicans,” Sanders said. “He beat out 16 other candidates to take that mantle on. And certainly I think one of the strongest voices. And so the idea that the Republican Party ideas are not represented in that room is just ridiculous.”
Trump’s reasons for engaging with lawmakers beyond the Republican leadership is deeply shaped by his experience on health-care legislation, which has so far stalled in the Senate after months of fits and starts, according to two people familiar with the issue who have spoken with him recently. Trump remains unhappy with GOP leaders for promising success earlier in the year, only to see the effort fall apart, said the people, who insisted on anonymity in order to speak candidly.
Trump says immigration bill cannot include 'chain migration'
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said so-called "chain migration" cannot be included in any immigration legislation. "CHAIN MIGRATION cannot be allowed to be part of any legislation on Immigration!" Trump wrote on Twitter. The statement comes after Trump stunned many fellow Republicans this week by negotiating with top congressional Democratic leaders over the DACA program protecting the children of undocumented immigrants.
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Trump now believes that Republicans — who control both the House and the Senate — cannot be trusted to carry bills to passage by themselves and views it as his burden to create a better environment for his legislative agenda to garner support. What matters to him, one Republican lawmaker said, is “putting wins on the board — not the specifics.”
Instead of relentlessly courting members of the conservative, and often intractable, House Freedom Caucus, as he did on health care, Trump wants them to “feel the burn a little bit,” the lawmaker added, framing the new outreach as Trump’s way of reminding conservatives in both chambers that he likes them but does not need them.
“They’re not the only player he’s willing to play with,” said Michael Steele, the former Republican National Committee chairman. “He’s saying to them, ‘I’ll be a free-range president.’ ”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who attended Tuesday’s dinner, said jump-starting talks on tax cuts and other potential changes remains at the top of Trump’s agenda. He said Trump wants to focus cuts on brackets that affect middle-class people.
“Let’s face it: If you want tax reform, you want to avoid pitfalls that make it impossible,” Johnson said of Trump’s approach on this priority. “Selling tax cuts for the wealthy is pretty impossible.”
“What I saw from the president was a genuine process to find bipartisan agreement on taxes and infrastructure,” Johnson added. “My guess is some Democrats definitely agree with him.”
Manchin said the Tuesday dinner was “a very good, productive meeting,” and said he believes the president, who was once a registered Democrat, is simply entering his legislative comfort zone.
For those in the Party of Trump, the Republicans — not the president — are to blame
Diehard Trump supporters don’t mind if he negotiates with Democrats or helps some immigrants.But the focus of their blame is not President Trump, it’s Republicans in Congress — whom they view as standing in the way. And they applaud the president’s recent attempts to work with Democrats on issues ranging from the debt ceiling to immigration.
Amid the outrage brought on by Donald Trump ’ s sexually explicit remarks caught on tape back in 2005, the Left has quickly forgotten the sexually charged culture it has embraced, encouraged Democrats feel a moral superiority to everyone else. When it’s politically convenient, they will call out immorality.
Cautious welcome for government crackdown on extremists.
“The president seemed more at ease, more comfortable, talking about finding a bipartisan solution than trying to have to defend a rigid, one-side-only works,” Manchin said. “I think he’s able to approach legislation in a total sphere, not just one side.”
Moderate Republicans, in particular, have cheered this development, after long feeling sidelined inside the House as Freedom Caucus members and other conservatives have rebelled against their party’s leadership.
Trump’s conservative critics, however, said his latest gestures reflect his liberal instincts on some issues and his intense desire for popularity.
“He’s always had that itch to liberate himself from the Republican Party,” said William Kristol, a Trump critic and editor at large of the Weekly Standard magazine. “He ran against it in 2015 and 2016, and has attacked it in 2017. He wants to win and doesn’t care about the substance of winning.”
Kristol added, “Democratic voters may loathe Trump, but he could conceivably give them lots of policy victories.”
Democrats say they are focused only on working with the president on areas where they believe they can get what they want in terms of their priorities, including protections for the dreamers and federal health care subsidies for Obamacare. They have vowed not to trade dreamer protections for Trump’s long-promised wall at the southern border — and in recent days the White House has indicated the two issues do not have to be linked.
On other issues and with this president, many Democrats remain wary.
Donnelly, despite being wooed by Trump and up for reelection next year, said he feels no pressure to vote for the Republican tax plan if he thinks it’s a bad deal. “If the tax package makes sense, I’ll support,” Donnelly said. “If not, I’ll pass.”
The halting forays into bipartisanship have proven a new experience for many. At Tuesday’s dinner, Manchin was presented with yet another surprise in a week full of them — an apple strudel topped with what looked to be a delicate white egg.
“I’m thinking, ‘Boy, what do I with this?’ ” Manchin said. “But I’m thinking, ‘When in Rome,’ so I take and bite, and, lo and behold, it’s ice cream.”
Such is the dilemma facing Democrats in this moment of Trumpian outreach: The perks are enticing, but they are not entirely sure what they’re dipping their spoon into.
Donnelly, however, said he had no doubt. “I knew it was ice cream from the start,” he said.
Mike DeBonis, Ed O’Keefe and David Nakamura contributed to this report.
Poll: Half of Trump voters would take softened immigration stance .
More than half of Trump voters would stick with the president if he softened his stance on immigration, according to a Monmouth poll released Wednesday. The poll suggests that Trump's recent moves to compromise with Democrats and make bipartisan deals have not hurt him significantly with his base.MoreThe poll suggests that Trump's recent moves to compromise with Democrats and make bipartisan deals have not hurt him significantly with his base.
CBN NewsWatch: June 21, 2017
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