President Trump can continue to lease a downtown Washington hotel from the federal government, a federal agency has decided, determining that the unprecedented arrangement does not present a conflict.
The Trump organization has changed the lease to prevent the president from receiving any of the proceeds from hotel operations, a contracting officer with the General Services Administration, the agency that serves as the government's landlord, wrote in a letter released Thursday afternoon.
Together with the president’s decision to turn operation of the business over to his sons, that was enough to satisfy GSA that the president’s company, Trump Old Post Office LLC, was not in violation of a provision of its lease that forbids any federal official from benefiting from the deal.
A planned vote Thursday on the GOP's Obamacare overhaul was postponed after President Trump failed to broker a deal with the conservative House Freedom Caucus and the bill continued losing support from moderate Republicans.
Instead of an expected floor debate, the day became a frenzy of closed-door meetings as different GOP factions huddled in rooms across the Capitol complex.
Early in the morning, it became clear that the caucus — whose strength comes from the estimated 30 votes the group brings to the table — was splintering.
Responding to Democrats' threat to filibuster Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer attacked the move as partisan and predicted it would backfire.
"We find [Senate Minority Leader Charles] Schumer's announcement truly disappointing because it breaks with the tradition of how the Senate has handled Supreme Court confirmation votes in modern times and represents the type of partisanship that Americans have grown tired of," Spicer said.
Schumer, the New York senator, said Democrats would demand that Gorsuch receive at least 60 votes before his nomination comes to a full floor vote.
Senior U.S. officials say the State Department will recommend approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, clearing the way for the White House to formally approve it.
Two officials told the Associated Press that Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Shannon would issue the recommendation Friday. A 60-day deadline to complete a Trump administration review is set to expire next Monday.
The pipeline requires a presidential permit. The officials say the White House would announce the permit's issuance after the State Department makes its recommendation. The officials weren't authorized to comment publicly ahead of the announcement and requested anonymity, the AP said.
Despite intensive lobbying by President Trump and congressional leaders, the Republican healthcare bill still lacks majority support with hours left before the scheduled vote, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday.
Although Spicer insisted that the vote-gathering is continuing to "make progress," he made clear that the White House does not yet have a majority.
"I anticipate that we will get there," he said at his daily press briefing.
The Senate narrowly voted Thursday to overturn tough new privacy rules for Internet service providers, employing a rarely used procedure to invalidate restrictions that cable and wireless companies strongly opposed.
The Republican-backed measure, approved 50 to 48, repeals regulations approved on a 3-2 party line vote in October by the Federal Communications Commission when it was controlled by Democrats.
The bill is expected to pass the House in the coming weeks. President Trump, who campaigned on rolling back federal regulations, is likely to sign the repeal.
The disclosure by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, that communications by Trump transition members were inadvertently picked up by U.S. surveillance legally collecting foreign intelligence raises questions that are likely to consume Congress and the White House for months.
Democrats plan a filibuster against Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court. (March 23, 2017)
Democrats plan a filibuster against Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, setting up a Senate fight that they are almost certain to eventually lose.
The long-expected announcement of the filibuster plan came from Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). In a message on Twitter, Schumer said that Gorsuch would "face a cloture vote," referring to the Senate process for filibusters.
Judge Gorsuch's nomination will face a cloture vote & as I’ve said, he will have to earn sixty votes for confirmation. My vote will be “No.”
Democratic vote counters are confident they have more than the 40 votes needed to sustain a filibuster, at least for a time. Currently, 48 senators caucus with the Democrats, including two who were elected as independents.
U.S. intelligence agencies inadvertently intercepted communications involving the Trump transition team late last year, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday, a disclosure that President Trump said “somewhat” vindicated his claim that he was wiretapped by President Obama.
But Democrats immediately disputed that claim, asserting that the intercepts appeared to be court-authorized intelligence gathering that did not target Trump or his aides and may not have disclosed their names even in classified intelligence reports.
Rather than confirming Trump’s claims, the disclosures by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare), chairman of the House committee, sparked a political uproar that threatened to obliterate attempts to conduct a bipartisan congressional investigation into whether Trump campaign aides coordinated with Russian intelligence agencies during the 2016 presidential race.