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Sen. Tom Udall won’t seek a third term in 2020
‘The worst thing anyone in public office can do is believe the office belongs to them,’ New Mexico Democrat says

Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., is not running for re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Mexico Democratic Sen. Tom Udall announced Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2020, creating an open seat in a state that has swung decidedly toward the Democrats in recent years. 

“I’m confident that we could run a strong campaign next year to earn a third term, because of all the work you and I have done together, along with my wife, Jill, and my incredibly dedicated staff,” he said in a statement. “But the worst thing anyone in public office can do is believe the office belongs to them, rather than to the people they represent.” 

Democratic committee chairmen shift focus to Barr as House investigations forge ahead
House Democratic leaders want to examine what led attorney general to his conclusions

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler made it clear that Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary of the Mueller report doesn’t answer a number of questions into the investigation into possible obstruction of justice. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The key Democratic-controlled House committees investigating President Donald Trump and his administration are forging ahead with their probes into the president, his finances, and allegations of nepotism despite special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s conclusion publicized Sunday that he could not “establish” a case that that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 elections.

But while House Democrats continue with their investigative work, they made clear Sunday that Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary of Mueller’s key findings does not quell their appetite for information about Mueller’s 22-month probe.

Caribbean Islands becoming hot spots for Chinese investment
Marco Rubio, says he is ‘very concerned’ about China’s efforts to extend influence into Latin American and the Caribbean

The Freeport Container Port on Grand Bahama Island. (iStock)

On Grand Bahama Island, some 55 miles off the continental United States, a Hong Kong-based company has spent approximately $3 billion developing and expanding a deep-water container port.

The Freeport Container Port’s Chinese and Bahamian backers expect to benefit from increased shipping through the region as a result of the expansion of the Panama Canal, not to mention an overall boost in trade between China and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Road ahead: As Congress digests Mueller conclusions, it has plenty more on its plate
House will attempt to override Trump’s veto, while Senate takes up Green New Deal

A Capitol Visitor Center employee sets up a shade umbrella last Tuesday outside the CVC entrance. The Senate and House minority parties may need an umbrella to block the shade the majorities plan to throw at them this week amid votes on the Green New Deal and overriding a presidential veto. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Hill spent much of the weekend waiting to find out what special counsel Robert S. Mueller III discovered about Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 election. But as Congress digests the principal conclusions of his report, prepared by Attorney General William P. Barr, leaders will also try to get members to address other priorities.

Barr’s four-page letter sent to Congress on Sunday afternoon stated that Mueller “did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts.”

Child care is infrastructure. We should treat it that way
Just as our bridges and roads are crumbling, so too are our child care options

For some parents, dropping their kids off at day care involves a leap of faith, Smith and Tracey write. Above, children run a relay race in front of the Capitol in 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Millions of American parents dropped their children off at a child care facility this morning. Chances are many of those facilities don’t meet basic health and safety standards. Though we know the quality of a facility, whether a formal center or a family home care site, is directly linked to a child’s development and well-being, we also know most places are far from optimal.

This is yet another way America’s child care system is failing families today.

Yes, Trump’s budget really does promote evidence-based policies
And it’s doing so in a responsible way

President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget isn’t perfect, but it includes many policies that push our government to become more evidence-based, Hart writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — When presidents send budget proposals to Congress, they include funding requests and broad policy statements. But what lies beneath the surface is often critical for understanding real priorities.

The broad contours of President Donald Trump’s latest budget will come as no surprise: increases to defense spending, cuts to nondefense spending, and a goal to eventually reduce the deficit long after his administration is gone.

Mueller report doesn’t say what GOP says it does
Mueller’s primary mission was to see if he could establish an actionable case, and Barr’s letter said he couldn’t

President Donald Trump returns to the White House on Sunday after spending the weekend in Florida after Attorney General William Barr released his summary of the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS — The way GOP lawmakers reacted to Attorney General William Barr's letter to Congress on Sunday outlining the key findings of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s final Russia investigation report, you would think special counsel prosecutors went out of their way to prove Trump’s innocence on collusion and obstruction allegations.

But statements from Republican leaders in both the House and Senate — and in the White House — do not accurately reflect the direct quotes from Mueller’s report that Barr included in his letter.

Barr: Mueller ‘did not establish’ Trump-Russia collusion, but obstruction questions remain
White House says AG’s summary of special counsel report exonerates president

Special counsel Robert Mueller walks with his wife Ann Mueller on March 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. Special counsel Robert Mueller has delivered his report on alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election to Attorney General William Barr. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

That assertion is, of course, the opposite of what Mueller wrote in his report, according to Barr’s summary.

“While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him” from obstruction of justice charges, Mueller wrote.

Trump and Netanyahu: Embattled leaders turn to each other for political boost
President, Israeli prime minister meet Monday amid scandals for both

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu participate in a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in February 2017. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

Two embattled leaders will meet Monday at the White House, one hoping the visit will boost him in an election just over the horizon and the other hopeful it will keep his conservative base engaged for an election in 20 months.

President Donald Trump will welcome Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the executive mansion for meetings Monday and a dinner in his honor on Tuesday evening. The longtime Israeli leader faces a Knesset election on April 9 and hopes to showcase to voters at home that his relationship with Trump is too important to oust him from office.

Robert Mueller submits Russia report to Justice Department
Report’s delivery sets up showdown over how much public will see of it

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III on Friday delivered his report on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible connections between the Russians and the Donald Trump campaign to Attorney General Robert Barr on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III on Friday submitted to the Justice Department the long-awaited final report on his nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign.

No more indictments are expected in the investigation, a senior DOJ official told reporters.