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Jamie Dupree’s Washington Insider
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Federal judge blocks Trump executive order holding back funds to sanctuary cities

  • 5:07 pm Tuesday, April 25th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

In a blow to efforts by President Donald Trump to crack down on jurisdictions that protect immigrants illegally in the United States, a federal judge in California has issued a nationwide injunction against a plan to withhold federal dollars going to sanctuary cities, dealing the White House another legal setback on a Trump executive action.

“The threat is unconstitutionally coercive,” wrote federal judge William Orrick, who ruled that the Executive had overstepped his authority with this order.

“The Constitution vests the spending powers in Congress, not the President, so the Order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal [More]

Key lawmakers: Flynn likely broke law by not disclosing Russia payments

  • 12:17 pm Tuesday, April 25th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

Top lawmakers on a U.S. House Committee said Tuesday that a review of documents submitted by former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn shows that the aide to President Donald Trump never revealed he had been paid for a 2015 trip to Russia, and that Flynn never sought the permission of the military or State Department for that venture.

“He was supposed to seek permission prior to traveling to Russia to not only accept that payment, but to engage in that activity,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

“This is something Gen. Flynn was supposed to do [More]

White House may not force budget showdown over money for border wall

  • 8:06 am Tuesday, April 25th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

The White House is signaling that the Trump Administration will not insist that a stop gap government funding bill include money to build a wall along the border with Mexico, as negotiations continued with Congress on a plan that would avert a government shutdown on Friday night.

“If you’re actually trying to build a 2200 mile wall, it’s probably not going to happen,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), as GOP lawmakers instead suggested money could be approved for a wall, simply by lumping it into broader security upgrades along the border.

“There are a combination of efforts that will be effective along [More]

State Department pulls down web story about Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club

  • 10:18 pm Monday, April 24th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

Hours after a U.S. Senator accused the Trump Administration of using taxpayer dollars to promote President Donald Trump’s private club in Florida, the State Department pulled down a story written by government employees about the resort, what some ethics experts said was nothing more than an advertisement for Mr. Trump’s personal business interests.

“Use of public office for private gain pure and simple,” said Richard Painter, a former White House ethics attorney for President George W. Bush.

“Realtor.com — not the State Department– should help President Trump sell club memberships for $200,000,” Painter added on Twitter.

At issue was a post done by [More]

State Department promotion of Mar-a-Lago questioned by Senator

  • 3:22 pm Monday, April 24th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

The State Department is using official web pages and social media to publicize the history of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida, prompting one Democratic Senator to publicly ask why taxpayer money is being used to promote a private club run by Mr. Trump.

“Here’s the full post in its kleptocratic glory,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) wrote on Twitter, as he said he would like to know more about why Mar-a-Lago is getting publicity from the U.S. Government on Facebook, the website of the U.S. Embassy in London, and more.

“Mar-a-Lago: The winter White House,” is the title of the article, [More]

Congress returns to session facing government shutdown threat

  • 11:00 pm Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

As the Congress returns to work in Washington, D.C. after a two week break, lawmakers in both parties face a series of unsettled political battlegrounds, one of which could bring about a government shutdown by the end of the week, as President Trump and Republican leaders in the Congress grapple with the budget, money for their priorities, and unanswered questions on major issues like health reform.

Here’s a snapshot as we begin the week in the nation’s capital.

1. Will the government shutdown on Friday night? That will be the biggest question as lawmakers return to legislative work sessions in the House [More]

North Carolina investigation finds little voter fraud in 2016

  • 8:31 am Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

An audit of the 2016 election by the state of North Carolina found that out of 4.8 million votes cast last November, elections officials uncovered evidence that just over 500 votes were cast illegally, most of them by convicted felons who were out of prison on probation or parole, as authorities unearthed no evidence of large scale voter fraud.

“It is important to recognize that suspected cases of ineligible voters casting ballots and/or committing fraud represent a tiny fraction,” read the

Trump teases tax plan release, but it may not be a complete plan

  • 8:44 am Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

President Donald Trump on Friday promised a “big announcement” next week on his plans for major tax reform, but soon after, top administration officials were tempering expectations, indicating that the White House would be releasing broad goals of a tax plan, not the details in full legislative text.

“We’ll be having a big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform,” Mr. Trump said as he signed several executive orders dealing with financial matters at the Treasury Department.

“The process has begun long ago, but it really formally begins on Wednesday,” the President added, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – his [More]

Capitol Hill still trying to figure out departure of Rep. Jason Chaffetz

  • 11:27 am Friday, April 21st, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

Capitol Hill is still trying to digest the biggest news of the week from the halls of Congress, as the decision of Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) to not run for re-election in 2018 – and maybe resign his seat in Congress before the end of his term – could open up a fight for the chairmanship of a key House committee, even as many wonder why Chaffetz would just walk away from that powerful post.

Here is a look from Capitol Hill:

1. Chaffetz giving up a prime committee chairmanship. The House Oversight Committee has a broad charter, allowing its leader to [More]

Trump tax reform plan coming “very soon”

  • 10:38 pm Thursday, April 20th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

A week before the 100 day mark of President Donald Trump’s time in office, top administration officials say they are on the verge of releasing a sweeping plan to reform the nation’s tax system, waving off questions about whether legislative troubles with a GOP health care proposal would foreshadow tax troubles as well.

Asked when the details of the plan would be released, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “Soon, very soon.”

“We’re very focused on it,” Mnuchin said at a Washington, D.C. event sponsored by the Institute of International Finance.

“Big priority for the President – we will get tax reform done,” Mnuchin [More]

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