East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, April 26, 2017, Page Page 8A, Image 8

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East Oregonian
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
New president, same old shutdown talk
AP Congressional
There’s an unconventional
new president in the White
House. And the Republicans
now have a new lock on
both ends of Washington’s
Pennsylvania Avenue. But
the capital city is still up to its
old gridlock tricks.
Just as occurred repeat-
edly during the Obama
administration, the govern-
ment is only days away from
a shutdown, and Congress
and the White House are
engaged in familiar partisan
How little has really
changed under President
Donald Trump.
Some of the issues are
different this time around
as lawmakers scramble
to finish up the annual
government-wide spending
bills that are Congress’ most
basic function. The $1 trillion
catch-all legislation for the
remainder of the 2017 budget
year is leftover business from
last year and comes due
Friday at midnight.
Without action before
then, the government will
partially shut down on
Saturday, which happens to
be the 100th day of Trump’s
Lawmakers do not expect a
Instead, a very short-
term extension of existing
funding levels is likely. Such
“continuing resolutions” are
familiar on Capitol Hill when
Congress needs a little more
time to complete its business,
yet signing one to keep the
government running while
Trump marks his 100th day
in office is an ignominious
position for him.
The difficulties point to a
weakness of Trump’s admin-
istration, some Republicans
privately say: Despite his
self-proclaimed deal-making
prowess, he had little
exposure to the rituals and
rhythms of Congress before
to taking office, and his
team is light on experienced
legislative hands. The former
lawmakers he has brought
on board, such as Budget
Director Mick Mulvaney,
were not known for cutting
deals during their time on
Capitol Hill.
“I’m sure the president
has a much better sense of
AP Photos
There’s an unconventional new president in the White House and Republicans have a lock on Congress, but
Washington is still up to its old tricks. Just as occurred repeatedly during the Obama administration, Congress
and the White House are days from a government shutdown, engaged in familiar partisan brinkmanship that
demonstrates how little has really changed in the capital. Clockwise from top left: House Speaker Paul Ryan,
President Donald Trump, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
GOP drops wall demands as spending talks advance
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congres-
sional negotiators on Tuesday inched
toward a potential agreement on a
catchall spending bill that would deny
President Donald Trump’s request
for immediate funding to construct
a wall along the Mexico border. The
emerging measure would increase the
defense budget and eliminate the threat
of a government shutdown on Trump’s
100th day in office this Saturday.
Top Senate Democrat Chuck
Schumer said Republican negotiators
were following the lead of Trump,
who signaled Monday evening that he
would not insist on $1 billion worth of
wall funding now as an addition to the
$1 trillion-plus spending bill. Trump
told a gathering of conservative media
reporters that he might be willing to
wait until September for the funding.
Other stumbling blocks remain, but
the decision by Trump and his GOP
allies to back down on the wall steered
the talks on the spending measure in a
positive direction.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch
McConnell, R-Ky., said he was opti-
mistic the talks would produce “an
the legislative process than
he did a year ago or even 100
days ago, and every president
does, no matter how well
prepared they think they are
for that job,” said Sen. Roy
Blunt, R-Mo.
works on the calendar not the
clock, and when you say that
April 28 is going to be the day,
I think you have to assume
not much gets done before
“The wall is going to
get built.”
— President Donald Trump
“It’s not a negotiation.
No wall.”
— Sen. Chuck Schumer
agreement in the next few days.”
An existing temporary funding
bill expires Friday at midnight and all
sides anticipated that another stopgap
measure would be required to buy time
for the House and Senate to process the
massive spending bill, which would
wrap together 11 unfinished agency
spending bills through September.
Trump campaigned throughout
the country last year promising a wall
across the entire 2,200 mile southern
border, promising that Mexico would
pay for it. But while the idea is a priority
of Trump’s most fervent supporters, it is
resolutely opposed by Democrats and
even many Republicans, who see it as
wasteful and who prefer other steps like
April 28,” Blunt added.
The remainder of the year
will only bring more crucial
deadlines. Once this year’s
federal spending is finally
set, bills for the 2018 budget
year must be passed. And
the government’s borrowing
limit needs to be raised or the
U.S. risks an unprecedented
default this fall.
Under the Obama admin-
istration, divisions among
GOP budget hawks open to
Trump tax plan despite deficit
Associated Press
Republicans who slammed the
growing national debt under
Democrat Barack Obama
said Tuesday they are open to
President Donald Trump’s tax
plan, even though it could add
trillions of dollars to the deficit
over the next decade.
Trump is scheduled to
unveil the broad outlines of
a tax overhaul Wednesday
that includes a massive cut
in the corporate income tax,
reducing the top rate from 35
percent to 15 percent. The plan
will also include child-care
benefits, a cause promoted by
Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.
Echoing the White House,
Republicans on Capitol Hill
argued Tuesday that tax cuts
would spur economic growth,
reducing or even eliminating
any drop in tax revenue.
“I’m not convinced that
cutting taxes is necessarily
going to blow a hole in the
deficit,” said Sen. Orrin
Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of
the Finance Committee.
“I actually believe it could
stimulate the economy and
get the economy moving,”
Hatch added. “Now, whether
15 percent is the right figure
or not, that’s a matter to be
The argument that tax cuts
pay for themselves has been
debunked by economists from
across the political spectrum.
On Tuesday, the official score-
keeper for Congress dealt the
argument — and Trump’s
plan — another blow.
The nonpartisan Joint
Committee on Taxation
said Tuesday that a big cut
in corporate taxes — even
if it is temporary — would
add to long-term budget
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin speaks to the me-
dia during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing
Room of the White House in Washington on Monday.
deficits. This is a problem for
Republicans because it means
they would need Democratic
support in the Senate to pass a
tax overhaul that significantly
cuts corporate taxes.
The assessment was
requested by House Speaker
Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who has
been pushing a new tax on
imports to fund lower overall
tax rates. Senate Republicans
have panned the idea, and
officials in the Trump admin-
istration have sent mixed
signals about it.
The import tax is not
expected to be part of Trump’s
Trump dispatched his top
lieutenants to Capitol Hill
Tuesday to discuss his plan
with Republican leaders. They
met for about half an hour. No
Democrat was invited.
Afterward, Hatch called it,
“a preliminary meeting.”
“They went into some
suggestions that are mere
suggestions, and we’ll go from
Republicans have been
working under a budget
maneuver that would allow
them to pass a tax bill without
Democratic support in the
Senate — but only if it didn’t
add to long-term deficits.
Senate Majority Leader
Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said
the Senate was sticking to that
“Regretfully we don’t
expect to have any Demo-
cratic involvement in” a tax
overhaul, McConnell said.
“So we’ll have to reach an
agreement among ourselves.”
Democrats said they
smell hypocrisy over the
growing national debt, which
stands at nearly $20 trillion.
For decades, Republican
lawmakers railed against
saddling future generations
with trillions in debt.
But with Republicans
controlling Congress and
the White House, there is no
appetite at either end of Penn-
sylvania Avenue to tackle
the long-term drivers of debt
— Social Security and Medi-
care. Instead, Republicans
are pushing for tax cuts and
increased defense spending.
new technologies and additional border
agents to curb illegal immigration.
“I support additional border
security funding,” said Sen. Lindsey
Graham, R-S.C., a GOP critic of
Trump who dined with the president
Monday at the White House. “But a
2,200-mile wall, I don’t think there’s a
whole lot of support for it.”
Trump vowed to fight for the wall.
“The wall is going to get built,”
he said at the White House Tuesday.
Asked when, he said, “Soon.”
Democrats vowed not to give up,
either, and look forward to the fight.
“It’s not a negotiation,” Schumer
said. “No wall.”
Meanwhile, Trump appeared poised
to procure about $15 billion to boost
the military. Democrats said they were
satisfied with the emerging outlines
of the measure, which stick closely to
versions of the legislation that were
being negotiated late last year.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.,
observed that GOP negotiators “have
simply ignored” a roster of “$18 billion
in extreme cuts” offered by White
House budget director Mick Mulvaney.
Republicans were already
causing problems. Over the
objections of GOP leaders, a
faction of conservatives tried
to use must-pass spending
bills to promote one pet cause
or another, with little to show
in the end. An unsuccessful
push to “defund Obamacare”
led to a 16-day partial shut-
down in 2013, temporarily
tanking the GOP’s poll
Republican president in
the White House has not
eliminated those divisions,
as has already become clear
from the House’s failure to
advance a health care bill.
On the spending legisla-
tion the intraparty divisions
emerged in a different form,
as Trump himself, or at least
some of his White House
lieutenants, threw a last-
minute wrench into negotia-
tions by suddenly demanding
money for construction of
a border wall on the U.S.-
Mexico border.
Up until then negotiations
had been proceeding fairly
smoothly, according to partic-
ipants. With Democratic votes
needed to pass the legislation,
senior Republicans had no
expectation of achieving the
president’s most contentious
policy objectives in the
spending bill, and instead
planned to include border
security money that would
not be designated specifically
for a wall.
Trump’s sudden push for
the wall money sent talks
into a tailspin and Democrats
into high dudgeon. And
even after he backed off,
apparently clearing the way
for final work toward a deal,
the episode left some fellow
whether their party, now in
full control of Washington,
will be able to perform any
better under Trump than
under Obama.
“This remains our chal-
lenge here in the House.
We’ve had a very difficult
time performing the very
basic fundamental tasks of
governing,” said Rep. Charlie
Dent, R-Pa. “I certainly hope
those dynamics change.”
Republicans accuse the
Democrats of courting a
shutdown for political gain.
“Our colleagues on the
other side of the aisle feel
that any kind of shutdown
works in their favor, because
Republicans always get
blamed for it,” said Sen. John
Hoeven of North Dakota.
“So they’re negotiating
really hard, I mean we’re
really going the extra mile.”
Democrats, on the other
hand, say Republicans have
only themselves to blame.
“I think the main reason
they’re really struggling
to pass the FY17 appro-
priations is not because of
vigorous opposition from
Democrats, it’s because of
said Democrat Chris Coons
of Delaware. “The reality
is a Republican president
and a Republican-controlled
Congress ought to be able to
get the government funded
and moving forward.”
That’s something else that
never changes: No matter
who’s in charge and what
they’re fighting over, the
other party is to blame.
Judge blocks order on sanctuary city funding
(AP) — A federal judge on
Tuesday blocked any attempt
by the Trump administration
to withhold funding from
“sanctuary cities” that do
not cooperate with U.S.
immigration officials, saying
the president has no authority
to attach new conditions to
federal spending.
U.S. District Judge
William Orrick issued the
preliminary injunction in two
lawsuits — one brought by
the city of San Francisco, the
other by Santa Clara County
— against an executive order
targeting communities that
protect immigrants from
The injunction will stay in
place while the lawsuits work
their way through court.
The judge rejected the
administration’s argument
that the executive order
applies only to a relatively
small pot of money and said
President Donald Trump
cannot set new conditions
on spending approved by
Even if the president
could do so, those conditions
would have to be clearly
related to the funds at issue
and not coercive, as the
executive order appears to
be, Orrick said.
“Federal funding that
bears no meaningful relation-
ship to immigration enforce-
ment cannot be threatened
merely because a jurisdiction
chooses an immigration
enforcement strategy of
which the president disap-
proves,” the judge said.
It was the third major
setback for the administra-
tion on immigration policy.
The Justice Department
had no immediate comment.
San Francisco City
Attorney Dennis Herrera said
the president was “forced to
back down.”
“This is why we have
courts — to halt the over-
reach of a president and an
attorney general who either
don’t understand the Consti-
tution or chose to ignore it,”
he said in a statement.
Route work
pays for my
Gage Harwood
McLoughlin High School
Gage Harwood is a senior at Mac-Hi. He has
held a class office all four years. This year
Gage is ASB Vice President. He is a member
of Varsity Club and our Leadership class.
Gage spends many hours doing community
service for our school and community. He
volunteers his time to DJ Jr. Hi dances with
his Officers. Gage has been a mentor in our
Elementary schools.
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