policy

Some Republicans with bases in their districts break ranks with Trump over wall funding
Money shouldn’t be diverted from necessary military construction projects, lawmakers say

Ohio Rep. Michael R. Turner is among the Republican lawmakers with a military base in their districts who opposes the president’s circumvention of congressional spending powers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Though typically aligned with the White House, some Republicans who have military bases in their districts oppose President Donald Trump raiding $3.6 billion in military construction projects to finance walls along the southern border.

Recent polling finds that most Americans oppose Trump’s circumvention of Congress to divert already-appropriated funds to build a wall, and the percentage of voters who endorse the idea tracks closely to the president's approval rating. 

States, consumer groups blast CFPB’s fintech protections
But financial industry groups are rallying behind bureau’s plan

New York’s Letitia James led 22 other Democratic state attorneys general in a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that slammed the agency for its plans to allow banks and technology firms to develop untested fintech products and services without fear of reprisals from regulators. (Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Housing Works, Inc., file photo )

State attorneys general, consumer advocates, community activists, and banking regulators are criticizing proposed legal protections for banks and technology firms that develop “innovative” financial products.

The protections would come from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which in December unveiled what it calls a “regulatory sandbox” that will allow firms to develop untested fintech products and services without fear of reprisals from regulators. While the criticism rolls in, financial industry groups are rallying behind the plan, even asking the CFPB to expand the legal safe havens.

Former top military advisers urge Congress to pass gun background checks bill
Ex-leaders are part of veterans coalition organized by Giffords’ group

Retired Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal is among the former military advisers and leaders urging congressional leaders to pass a universal backgrounds check bill. (John Medina/Getty Images file photo)

More than a dozen retired top military commanders, leaders and advisers, whose careers spanned both Republican and Democratic administrations, are throwing their weight behind a bill in the House and Senate that would require universal background checks for all U.S. gun sales.

In a letter Thursday, 13 former top military advisers and combat leaders urged congressional leaders in both parties to pass the bill, known in the House as HR 8, which targets private gun sales that don’t require background checks under current federal law.

Trump says Mueller report release timing ‘totally’ up to Barr
The president was asked after CNN reported Wednesday Mueller’s report could be finalized next week

William P. Barr, nominee to he Attorney General of the United States, speaks during his confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

During a Wednesday meeting with his Austrian counterpart, President Donald J. Trump said the release of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report would be “totally” up to Attorney General William Barr.

The president was asked after CNN reported Wednesday that Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report could be finalized next week.  Trump said releasing it — perhaps while he is in Vietnam — would be “totally” up to Attorney General William Barr.

State lawmakers seek ban on Amazon-like incentives
Lawmakers in at least 3 states are pushing bills banning incentives similar to what Amazon received for its HQ2

Boxes with the Amazon logo turned into a frown face are stacked up after a protest against Amazon in the Long Island City neighborhood of the Queens borough on November 14, 2018, in New York City. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Lawmakers in at least three states are pushing similar bills that would ban the states’ power to give corporate incentives like the kind offered to Amazon to locate its second headquarters.

The bills in New York, Illinois and Arizona would ban the states from offering incentives to any specific company. Existing state incentive agreements would remain in place under the bills. The proposals create a challenge for lawmakers who don't want to implement a prohibition on the incentives in their own states unless other states do as well.

Mark Harris has ‘nothing to hide,’ expected to testify in NC election fraud case
GOP candidate for contested NC House seat said he did not know campaign consultants were committing crimes

Mark Harris, left, is set to testify before the North Carolina State Board of Elections on Wednesday. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

North Carolina Republican Mark Harris is expected to testify Wednesday in what could be the final leg of a three-day hearing on apparent election fraud that may have swung hundreds of votes in his favor during the 2018 midterms.

“He has absolutely nothing to hide,” Alex Dale, one of Harris’ lawyers, told The Charlotte Observer.

Lawmakers are bracing for a Commerce Dept. report on car import tariffs
The department has sent Trump its report on whether or not to impose new duties on imported vehicles

U.S. Department of Commerce building in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As President Donald Trump studies a Commerce Department report on the impact of car imports, lawmakers and industry groups are bracing for yet another hit on trade.

On Sunday, the Commerce Department sent Trump its long-awaited report on whether or not to impose new duties on imported vehicles under a national security rationale. The report’s contents have not been released to the public or apparently to members of Congress.

After contentious border moves, stakes only get higher for Trump
‘The real rough water for President Trump still lies ahead,’ GOP insider says

South Koreans watch on a screen at the Seoul Railway Station on June 12, 2018, showing President Donald Trump meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images file photo)

ANALYSIS — “Stay tuned” is a common refrain from White House aides when asked about the many cliffhangers created by President Donald Trump. But remarkably, even after three topsy-turvy months that culminated Friday in a wild Rose Garden appearance, that West Wing mantra will apply doubly over the next few weeks.

Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency at the southern border to unlock Pentagon funds for his proposed border wall came wrapped in an announcement press conference during which he veered from topic to topic, undercut his own legal position, often appeared dispassionate when discussing the emergency declaration, and made more baseless claims. That matter is already embroiled in court fights, putting perhaps his biggest campaign promise in legal limbo, and has appeared to created new distance between him and some Senate Republicans.

Echoes of the AUMF in Trump’s national emergency declaration
End run around Congress on domestic spending could diminish yet another power of the legislative branch

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said both constitute an "unconstitutional power grab." (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency last week to get his way on funding for his border wall, legal scholars warned the move dramatically tilted the balance of power in favor of the White House.

In some ways it parallels the hobbling of Congress’ war authority 18 years ago.

Trump denies asking Whitaker if ally could oversee Cohen probe
Trump also discusses North Korean summit, Sanders’ presidential run and China tariffs during space policy event

Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker arrives for a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Rayburn Building titled “Oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice,“  on Feb. 8, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday denied a report that he asked then-Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker if an ally could undo his recusal in an investigation of his former personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen.

Longtime Trump ally Geoffrey Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, had already recused himself from the Cohen case at the point of Trump’s request. But the president wanted him to oversee an investigation into Trump, Cohen, and payments made during the 2016 campaign to several women to keep them quiet about extramarital affairs with Trump.