Author: Susan Davis

House Chaplain Rescinds Resignation In Heated Letter to Speaker Ryan

NPR Enlarge this image Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption toggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP An ongoing Capitol drama over the fate of the House chaplain escalated on Thursday, with Rev. Patrick Conroy rescinding his resignation in a sharply worded letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan. In the letter, Conroy, a Jesuit priest, suggests bias against his Catholic faith, alleging that Jonathan Burks, Ryan’s chief of staff, said, “Maybe it’s time we had a chaplain that wasn’t a Catholic” during an April 13 private meeting in which Burks informed Conroy that the speaker...

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White House Outlines Trump’s Immigration Demands

NPR Enlarge this image A U.S. Border Patrol officer stands near prototypes of President Trump’s proposed border wall on Nov. 1 in San Diego, Calif. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images In recent weeks, President Trump has told lawmakers he’d sign any immigration measure that Congress sent him, but also flatly rejected a draft of a deal negotiated by six senators. Now, the White House is laying out the specific elements it wants to see from a bill offering permanent protection for people in the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. A...

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President Trump: ‘Shutdown Coming?’

NPR Enlarge this image President Trump waves as he walks along to colonnade to the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption toggle caption Carolyn Kaster/AP President Trump is feeding expectations that the federal government is heading toward a midnight shutdown with an early morning tweet aimed at blaming Democrats if there is no deal. “Government Funding Bill [passed] last night in the House of Representatives. Now Democrats are needed if it is to pass in the Senate – but they want illegal immigration and weak borders. Shutdown coming? We need more Republican victories...

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Lawmakers Testify At Hearing: Bring Earmarks Back

NPR Enlarge this image President Trump and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., support reviving earmarks as a way for Washington to find more compromise. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption toggle caption Evan Vucci/AP Like many lawmakers, Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., supports reviving earmarks, but he mused at a House Rules Committee hearing Wednesday that the debate is futile if House Speaker Paul Ryan does not. “When the speaker ain’t inclined, ain’t much going to happen,” Hastings quipped, noting the speaker reiterated as recently as last Friday that he opposes ending an earmark ban put in place by former House...

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House GOP To Debate Bringing Earmarks Back

NPR Enlarge this image House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, and Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., the top Democrat on the committee, will hold hearings on earmarks this week. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption toggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP President Trump surprised lawmakers at the White House last week when he used a live, televised meeting ostensibly about immigration legislation to voice his support for earmarks. “Maybe you should start thinking about going back to a form of earmarks,” Trump said, laying out a familiar — but hotly contested — argument that when earmarks were in fashion, Washington worked...

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What The GOP Would Like To Get Done In 2018

Now that Republicans have passed a massive tax bill, they are hoping to tackle entitlement spending in 2018. But they will have to deal with one fewer seat in the Senate and elections in November. MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: The success Republicans had this week in passing tax cuts has encouraged many of them to look at reducing federal spending. House Speaker Paul Ryan wants to overhaul social welfare programs. His push is dividing Republicans who are worried about doing that in an election year and uniting the Democrats in opposition. NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis has more about the debate over the 2018 agenda. SUSAN DAVIS, BYLINE: House Speaker Paul Ryan says that passage of a $1.5 trillion tax cut only addresses one side of the nation’s long-term economic concerns. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) PAUL RYAN: I’ve long said there are two things you got to do to get this debt under control. Reform the entitlement programs, which are on autopilot. Grow the economy. DAVIS: Republicans believe their tax bill will deliver on that economic growth. So the speaker is trying to make the case that the party should shift focus to the other end of the debt equation, entitlement programs, specifically on social welfare programs like unemployment benefits, food stamps and Medicaid. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) RYAN: And the great thing about tax reform coming right now is...

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News Brief: McConnell On 2018, Lawsuit Against Trump Dismissed

NPR Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talked with NPR about his legislative agenda for 2018. Also, Jonathan O’Connell of The Washington Post discusses a dismissed lawsuit against President Trump. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, is ending the year on a rather thoughtful note. RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: He’s coming off a rather productive week. Republicans passed their tax overhaul bill, and Congress averted a government shutdown. None of this stopped McConnell from expressing some regrets though in an interview with NPR. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST) MITCH MCCONNELL: This has not been a very bipartisan year. Most of our big accomplishments we largely had to do Republicans-only. MARTIN: McConnell says he would like to see 2018 be more bipartisan. INSKEEP: He was talking with two NPR correspondents, Kelsey Snell and Susan Davis. And Sue is here in our studios. Good morning, Sue. SUSAN DAVIS, BYLINE: Good morning. INSKEEP: What would prompt Mitch McConnell, partisan warrior, to talk about working with the other side? DAVIS: A little bit of political reality – most likely in an election year. There is a push among some Republicans, since coming off this high of their tax cut victory, to focus on the other Republican priority of entitlement reform – or looking at mandatory federal spending programs. House Speaker Paul Ryan says he’d like to look at social welfare programs, and Mitch...

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GOP Senators Unveil Competing Tax Overhaul

NPR Enlarge this image Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, surrounded by reporters in the U.S. Capitol. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption toggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP The Senate Finance Committee unveiled Thursday their version of a sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code, as the House Ways and Means Committee was preparing to pass their own bill. The differing proposals forecast clashes between the two chambers that will make it difficult for Congress to enact the legislation by the end of the year as promised. The two bills share a name, The Tax Cut and Jobs Act,...

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