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1349 posts
  • Accolades
  • Domestic policy

A day after signing an executive order creating an office at the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve accountability and protect whistleblowers, President Trump touted what he called "tremendous progress" at the troubled agency.

Trump, who made improving veterans' care a prominent issue in his presidential campaign, said the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection will make clear "that we will never, ever tolerate substandard care for our great veterans."

VA Secretary David Shulkin said the office will help identify "barriers" that make it difficult for the department to fire or reassign bad managers or employees. The VA has often complained it can't discipline or remove employees because of a lengthy union grievance process.

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  • Family matters
  • Accolades

President Trump sent birthday greetings to his wife, Melania, and his tweet lit up social media.

The American flag included in the photo greeting had 39 stars rather than 50. Yahoo collected the Twitter response.

Melania celebrated her 47th birthday. The president is 70.

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  • Healthcare
  • Domestic policy
  • Politics and polls

Congress hopes to avoid a government shutdown by swiftly approving a stopgap spending bill to allow negotiations to continue for another week on a longer-term funding deal.

But negotiators were still trying to narrow a few unresolved issues -- including aid to Puerto Rico.

The concern is about Puerto Rico's struggling Medicaid program, which is running short on funds and could lead to 900,000 residents losing healthcare coverage by the end of the year. Democrats want to provide Puerto Rico aid, but Trump called it a "bailout."

  • His schedule
  • Accolades

President Trump posed for a photo opportunity in the Oval Office with the 2017 Teachers of the Year.

In a tweet, Trump called it a "great great honor" to recognize the winning teachers. 

  • Domestic policy
  • The economy

President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday aimed at helping U.S. agriculture.

The order establishes a task force that will make sure "regulatory burdens do not unnecessarily encumber agricultural production, harm rural communities, constrain economic growth, hamper job creation, or increase the cost of food for Americans and our customers around the world."

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  • Domestic policy
  • The economy

President Trump unveiled a tax blueprint that is similar to the plan he outlined during the campaign last fall.

In proposing to slash business taxes and enact a tax reform of historic proportions, Trump administration officials say they will rely largely on economic growth to make up for the trillions of dollars of lost tax revenue.

But hardly any economist or tax policy analyst outside the administration thinks that the core business piece of Trump’s plan — a reduction in the corporate income tax rate to 15% from the current 35% — will generate anywhere near the growth, job creation and investment needed to pay for itself.

President Trump delivered a sober and uplifting speech recognizing the Holocaust and emphasizing the need to speak out against evil, two weeks after his press secretary apologized for a series of awkward remarks about the dark chapter in Jewish history.

Trump struck a far more formal tone than usual, sticking closely to written remarks in front of a group at the Capitol that included Holocaust survivors and lawmakers as part of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s National Days of Remembrance.

“We must never, ever shrink away from telling the truth about evil in our time,” Trump said.

  • His cabinet
  • His schedule
  • Domestic policy

President Trump signed an executive order he hopes will give Education Secretary Betsy DeVos the authority to reduce government overreach in K-12 education.

The language seems aimed at the Obama administration, which used funding competitions and the enforcement of civil rights law to have an outsized impact on education nationwide.

It is unclear, however, whether an executive order would in any way expand the limits of DeVos' authority. 

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  • Immigration
  • On the media
  • Insults

Though President Trump backed off demands that Congress fund his promised border wall with Mexico after political opposition threatened a government shutdown, he tweeted that building the border wall remains a top priority.

Democrats welcomed Trump's changed course, but it drew swift criticism from conservatives who support the wall as a way to curb illegal immigration, as Trump promised in one of the most prominent issues of his campaign.

“It looks like President Trump is caving on his demand,” talk show host Rush Limbaugh said on his show.

  • Foreign policy
  • The economy

President Trump tweeted criticism of Canada's protected dairy industry right before he slapped hefty duties on billions of dollars of lumber imported from the longtime ally, the largest purchaser of U.S. exports. 

The new duties came amid sharp rhetoric by Trump and his senior officials critical of the the North American Free Trade Agreement. Opening Canada’s dairy market is expected to be a major issue of contention in the NAFTA renegotiations.

Later in the day, the president told reporters: "People don't realize Canada's been very rough on the United States ... they've outsmarted our politicians for years."