President Donald Trump today called it unprecedented for a president to pass major legislation like his tax cuts bill when his party controls both houses of Congress.
“I know the fake news wants to downplay what a great accomplishment this is, but we had to get the bill passed by a Republican-led House that’s been trying to pass tax legislation for more than eight years and a Republican-led Senate that’s been trying to do the same,” he said.
Trump said the bill had to pass using a complicated rule called reconciliation. “A lot of people don’t realize this, but we passed this bill under a rule that lets Republicans pass the bill without any Democrats,” he said. “It’s an unbelievable way to do it. It might be the first time it’s ever been done. I think I heard that.”
Trump said they passed the bill even though everyone thought they would fail. “No one can imagine how hard it is to pass something when Congress and the White House are controlled by the same party and the rules are set so that no one from the other party needs to vote for it,” he said. “I like to say, this was my Vietnam.”
Debra Hastings, a retired school teacher in Des Moines, Iowa, said she couldn’t believe how great an accomplishment it was when President Trump signed the tax cut bill right before Christmas. “What he did was, he signed a bill that the party in power has always wanted to pass and it was arranged so no votes were needed from the opposition party,” she said. “You can imagine how hard that was, and yet they were able to do it.”
Don Carter, a mechanic in Crete, Neb., said President Trump should get credit for signing a bill that didn’t require any participation from the other party. “The media doesn’t want him to get any wins, but to get something this big passed when your party controls all branches of government is really something,” he said. “Especially since tax cuts are at the core of the Republican party. Imagine it. He got his party to pass something that’s core to its agenda. Could anyone else have done that? I don’t know. But he found a way to do it.”
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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) probably aren’t going to say anything about it, according to the two congressional leaders’ aides. Max Phillip, McConnell’s chief of staff, said it’s the Majority’ Leader’s intent not to say much about President Trump’s tweet comparing his nuclear button to the nuclear button of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. “Would he plan to comment on that anytime soon?” Phillip said. “I wouldn’t expect that.” Phillip said there’s always a temptation to say something when the President’s son is accused of treason by a person who was the President’s top aide just a short while ago, but the Majority Leader will probably not address it. “You have to think about what you remark on and what you don’t remark on, and I think the Majority Leader will probably choose not to remark on that,” he said. More.
President Donald Trump today said he wants to put the partisan bickering behind him and focus on policy goals both sides can agree on, like infrastructure investment. “It’s important for the country that we work together,” he said at a White House breakfast with Republican and Democratic leaders to welcome in the new year. “Americans want us to come together and I plan to do that—with or without the Democrats.” Trump said it would be nice if the Democrats were part of the effort to be bipartisan, but he’s not counting on it. “Frankly, we can do it without them,” he said. “We have shared goals. We want better airports. We want first-class airports, the best airports in the world. We’ll get those whether we have help from the Democrats or not. We’d rather work together.” More.
Pence Not Allowed to Meet Alone With Trump Any More After What His Mouth Was Caught Doing in Last Cabinet Meeting
The staff of Vice President Mike Pence have extended his rule about never meeting alone with women to include Donald Trump out of fear he’ll act inappropriately with the president. ‘This is just a cautionary measure that we decided should be in place after we caught the vice president’s mouth acting inappropriately with the president during the last cabinet meeting,” says Pence’s chief of staff, Nate Avers. The last cabinet meeting was held the day Congress passed its sweeping tax reform bill and Pence was caught on camera using his mouth on Trump in a way that made onlookers blush. “I’m deeply humbled to be your vice president and to be able to be here,” the vice president’s mouth was caught saying. “I want to thank your outstanding team. I want to thank you for seeing through the course of this year an agenda that truly is restoring this country. More.
Republican voters across the country say the tax returns of Donald Trump that no one has seen make it clear he will personally take a big financial hit once he signs tax reform into law. “You’ve got to hand it to the president,” said Joe Carter, a retired accountant in Biloxi, Miss. “Based on the tax returns he’s refused to share with the American people, he’ll lose millions of dollars from the bill that he himself is going to sign. What a selfless act on the part of our president. Not too many people would of that, but he’s doing that for us.” Since the race between Richard Nixon and John F, Kennedy in 1959, presidential contenders have made their tax returns available so the public can get a picture of their finances and analysts can determine if the laws they sign as president benefit them personally. More.
President Donald Trump this morning says hell probably lie about it, although he’s not sure if he’ll use the lie he’s been planning to use or a different lie, including one he hasn’t thought of yet. “We’ll see how it goes when we get to that point,” Trump told reporters outside the White House. “One thing I think I’ve made clear is, I don’t like to give away my plan. I like to keep people guessing.” Trump said he will probably lie later this week given the decision he made last week. “You know, we have to deal with the fake news like you wouldn’t believe,” he said. “I’m just going to see what the expedient thing to say is, and, frankly, I don’t know what that will be yet—or maybe I do. Maybe I don’t want to tell you.” He said part of what he says might be truthful. “Maybe there’s an expectation I’ll lie completely,” he said. “We just don’t know, but there could be some truth to what I say. More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says the trial balloons he’s been floating about retiring after tax reform passes have nothing to do with his plans to run against Donald Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination. “I am not planning and will not plan to offer Republican voters an alternative to the crazy man in the White House today,” Ryan said. Ryan said there’s no truth to the rumor that he would seek to give an alternative to Republican voters who don’t want to see Trump reelected but also don’t want to see a Democrat take the White House. “I know there’s speculation that I would put myself out there as a safe vote for Republicans who don’t want another Roy Moore-type debacle in 2020, but that is not the case,” he said. More.
President Donald Trump is expected to blame his 2016 Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton later today. An administration official this morning said the President will be saying it’s Clinton’s fault and that Clinton’s actions raise questions. “Let’s not forget that questions remain unsettled over what Clinton did and what she didn’t do,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly about the President’s intentions. The official said Trump plans to assign the blame to Clinton and will likely point to unanswered questions as well. “He will be clear that the Democratic nominee he ran against is at fault, but whether he will pivot to unanswered questions in her past isn’t clear,” the official said. “We’re talking about the President. He goes off script sometimes.” More.
President Donald Trump today called on his former Democratic opponent for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, to step down. “Witch hunt against DT most unfair ever,” the president wrote on Twitter early this morning. “Where’s investigation into Dem/HC Russia collusion?! Clinton needs to step down NOW!!” Reached while walking her dog with her family in the woods outside of Chappaqua, N.Y., Hillary Clinton said she had no comment.Trump reiterated his call for Clinton to resign at a press briefing later in the morning. “Where are the calls from the fake media for Hillary Clinton to resign?” he said. “She needs to be investigated. She will be investigated. We know about the corruption, the uranium deal that let the Russians buy a quarter of our uranium here in the United States, and the money that went into her sex-harasser husband’s phony foundation.” More.
Corporations and wealthy individuals say they’ll pour their millions of dollars in cuts they stand to get from tax reform into the reelection fight of Republicans whose seats are now at risk from angry middle-class voters whose tax increases will pay for the bill. “We told the GOP they needed to pass tax cuts for the wealthy or they could forget about calling us again for political contributions,” says one billionaire who stands to save millions from tax cuts. “Now that they’re poised to deliver, we understand they need help. There are a lot of people who will want to retaliate by voting out of office anyone who voted for the tax cuts. What we’re saying is, we’re putting our new money where our mouth is.” According to polls, voters are angry that they’re facing tax hikes to pay for the cuts to corporations and the wealthy. One voter who responded to a poll was so angry she couldn’t see straight. More.
Republican lawmakers in the Senate say they urgently must pass tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy before the end of the year because of pressure coming from Russia Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. “Would it be better to slow down and better think through our tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy? Of course,” says John Thune (R-S.D.), the Senate whip. “Right now our own analysis is showing a $1 trillion addition to the budget deficit even after projected growth in the economy. So, if we had more time we could craft changes that address that and still give our wealthy donors what they want. Unfortunately, time is a luxury we don’t have.” That’s because Mueller’s investigation is winding down. More.
Fox News this morning highlighted a White House poll showing President Donald Trump with an approval rating of 111 percent, almost triple what an aggregate of recent national polls are showing. “The latest poll out of the White House makes clear that President Trump is not only popular throughout the country, he’s the most popular president ever, despite Democrats’ effort to thwart his agenda and paint him as a divider rather than a uniter,” Fox News host Sean Hannity said.The poll, which the White House released this morning, shows the president’s approval rating increasing from 106 percent last quarter to 111 percent, a five percentage point jump that the White House says is due to the president’s effort to eliminate wasteful and unlawful health care subsidies for low-income households and to stop people who’ve been victims of bank fraud from filing frivolous lawsuits against financial institutions. More.
The following is a transcript of remarks by President Donald Trump in response to questions about his fitness for office and whether he colluded with the government of Russia to tip the 2016 election in his favor. “Let me just say this, and I want to say this to the television audience and to everyone on the Internet, on Twitter—which is the way presidents communicate today, by the way. A very modern way to communicate. You ask about mistakes. I have not made any mistakes, I promise you that. I can guarantee it. And in my two years of public life, I have always acted on the advice of my brain, which—you don’t have to feel bad about this, but which is the biggest, most beautiful brain you’ve ever seen. More.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told members of his caucus this morning he wants to limit President Donald Trump to a single term of office so Republicans can get down to the business of passing tax reform, their party’s priority. “The single most important thng we want to achieve is for President Trump to be a one-term president,” McConnell said. The Majority Leader and Trump have had a rocky relationship from the start, but sources say the back-and-forth between the two has worsened since the Senate’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. “The last time the two of them talked they were shouting profanities at each other,” said one official who is familiar with the conversation. More.
President Donald Trump said today he wants to be the only thing people think about each and every moment of their lives, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “I only exist if people are thinking about me and only me from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep,” he told reporters at a briefing in the Oval Office. “There are still people in parts of Africa, Antarctica, and maybe a few other places that don’t think about me and what I’m doing to the United States and even to the world. But with my success ratcheting up tensions with North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, and other countries around the globe, I believe I will reach my mark soon.” More.
Pointing to the “unbelievable job” he’s doing as president, Donald Trump today said he’s way ahead of his schedule for fixing everything that’s wrong with America. “When I was nominated by so many Americans last year, I said that I alone can fix our great country’s problems,” he said in a briefing with reporters. “I’m glad to say your president has delivered on his promises and you’ll be so surprised and so pleased at how much I’ll deliver on my promises in the weeks and months ahead.” Trump cited the success of free speech that was expressed in Charlottesville, Va., yesterday, in which a coalition of white nationalist groups clashed with anti-fascist demonstrators. “The free speech was so good,” he said of the rally, at which one protestor was killed when an alleged neo-Nazi supporter rammed his car into a crowd of people. Two officers were also killed when their police helicopter crashed. Virginia Governor Terrence McAuliffe declared a state of emergency. More.