Tag Archives: #CONGRESS

Senate seeks to interview FBI informant in Russian nuclear bribery case 

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday sought permission to interview an FBI informant who helped agents uncover a major corruption scheme by Russian nuclear officials seeking to aggressively expand their American business under the Obama administration. 

The undercover witness, who has not been publicly identified, spent nearly five years helping agents build a case that resulted in one of Russia’s top nuclear industry officials in the United States, a Russian financier and an American trucking executive to plead guilty in 2015 to charges related to a racketeering scheme that prosecutors said involved bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering.

 

The informant possesses information about the extent of Russian efforts to curry favor inside the United States that he has been prevented from disclosing to the courts and Congress because he signed an FBI nondisclosure statement, his lawyer Victoria Toensing told The Hill on Tuesday.

 

The undercover witness was threatened by Justice officials when he tried to disclose some of the information in a lawsuit during last year’s election, forcing him to withdraw his legal action, the lawyer alleged.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/356155-senate-seeks-to-interview-fbi-informant-in-russian-nuclear-bribery

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Trump punts his top priorities to Congress, setting the stage for a year-end showdown

In kicking his top priorities to Congress, President Trump is setting the stage — intentionally or not — for weeks of messy horse-trading that may culminate in a year-end standoff to avoid another government shutdown.

Trump is betting he can pressure Congress into breaking its gridlock and squeeze some concessions from Democrats.

But his own flip-flops on key issues have left lawmakers unable to trust the White House’s leadership and uncertain how to resolve the most thorny policy disputes.

The latest example came Wednesday when Trump reversed course again, criticizing a short-term fix to the Affordable Care Act that he had endorsed just a day earlier. That sent lawmakers back to the negotiating table.

“This president keeps zigging and zagging, so it’s impossible to govern,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

http://beta.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-congress-20171018-story.html

McCain to sabotage tax overhaul as he did to health care? 

It’s a specter that should stalk the nightmares of Republican leaders: a Senate chamber, packed on Christmas Eve, as lawmakers gather to decide the fate of a tax package that will shape the GOP’s political fortunes. The bill remains one vote shy, and then Sen. John McCain walks in, pauses before the desk, and delivers his second thumbs-down dagger of the year. 

For that reason, the Arizona Republican, who is fighting a public battle with brain cancer, will be among his party’s most closely watched as the year winds down and the tax debate gears up. Yet over his decades in public life, McCain has traced a zigzagging line on the subject, leaving little clear indication of how he’ll approach a potentially decisive vote. A look at the senator’s record on taxes shows that three things seem most important to him: public debate, some help for the middle class, and not exploding the deficit.  

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-finance-202/2017/10/12/the-finance-202-mccain-could-give-the-same-thumbs-down-to-a-tax-overhaul-as-he-did-to-health-care/59de982a30fb041a74e75cef/?utm_term=.760a6b4e55d7

Trump promises big tax cuts, GOP-led Congress scaling back 

-President Trump promised the largest tax cut in history, but as he hit the road Wednesday to promote the plan, Republicans in Congress were quietly discussing scaling back key provisions in an effort to deliver the top White House priority.

There’s already talk that the cornerstone of the GOP proposal — a dramatically reduced 20% corporate tax rate that Trump has called a “red line” — may slip to 22% or 23%, those familiar with negotiations said.

Trump had originally promised a 15% rate for corporations. But Republicans are running into resistance from lawmakers and lobbyists who want to preserve deductions and loopholes that were targeted for elimination under the White House plan to offset the massive corporate cut from the current 35% rate.

Some Republicans are also pushing back against other parts of the president’s plan, such as scrapping the estate tax for the rich and eliminating deductions for state and local taxes, which would hurt residents in high-tax states like California and New York.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

http://beta.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-congress-tax-cuts-20171011-story.html

‘Obamacare’ survives; GOP concedes on last-gasp repeal try


– Senate Republicans, short of votes, abandoned their latest and possibly final attempt to kill the health care law Tuesday, just ahead of a critical end-of-the-week deadline.

The repeal-and-replace bill’s authors promised to try again at a later date, while President Donald Trump railed against “certain so-called Republicans” who opposed the GOP effort. But for now, Trump and fellow Republicans who vowed for seven years to abolish President Barack Obama’s law will leave it standing and turn their attention to overhauling the nation’s tax code instead.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

https://apnews.com/34cc8d59e8724569b38f95312f771bac/’Obamacare’-survives;-GOP-concedes-on-last-gasp-repeal-try

US spy chief calls on Congress to renew surveillance powers


Intelligence Director Dan Coats Monday urged Congress to tread carefully as it considers imposing limitations on surveillance authorities enjoyed by the nation’s spy agencies for nearly a decade.

“This is clearly a major issue for the intelligence community,” Coats told a group of journalists at his office complex in suburban Virginia. “It’s one of our top priorities.”

The administration of President Donald Trump has called on Congress to renew and make permanent……. 

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/national-security/article175334586.html

Congress braces for Roger Stone 


– After months of taunting congressional Russia investigators from afar, Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of President Donald Trump, will meet them face-to-face on Capitol Hill Tuesday in what he promises will be “epic” testimonydebunking charges of collusion between the Kremlin and Trump associates.

The Republican operative will testify behind closed doors as part of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. But officials are braced for his unique brand of theatrics before, during, and after the session, not least because Stone says he will bring a reporter and cameraman to Capitol Hill with him.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/25/roger-stone-testimony-congress-trump-243119

TRUMP: GOP HEALTH BILL SHORT OF VOTES BEFORE DEADLINE

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Wednesday the Republicans’ last-resort “Obamacare” repeal effort remains two or three votes short, forecasting days of furious lobbying ahead with a crucial deadline looming next week.

The legislation by Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina would repeal major pillars of former President Barack Obama’s health law, replacing them with block grants to states to design their own health care programs. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to round up 50 votes to pass the legislation before Sept. 30, when special rules preventing a Democratic filibuster will expire.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CONGRESS_HEALTH_OVERHAUL?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-09-20-18-42-44

Senate helps Trump with war on Wikileaks and US leakers

A Senate panel may be stealthily trying to give federal law enforcement a new tool to go after the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks and its U.S. collaborators.

A one-sentence “Sense of Congress” clause was tacked onto the end of a massive 11,700-word bill that was approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee and is likely to come before the full Senate later this month.

The clause says that WikiLeaks “resembles a non-state hostile intelligence service” and that the U.S. government “should treat it as such.”

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/national-security/article172919021.html

TRUMP VOWS TO REVISIT DACA IF CONGRESS STUMBLES

President Donald Trump now says he will “revisit” a program protecting young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children if Congress doesn’t act.

Trump announced Tuesday that he was phasing out President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, but said he’d give Congress six months to come up with an alternative before ending it completely.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TRUMP_IMMIGRATION_THE_LATEST?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-09-05-21-03-43