- The U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, surprising no one.
Some Republican congressmen are refusing to consider rolling back any part of the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, an idea floated by Donald Trump:
“My attitude is, your word is your bond,” House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said, in his first public comments on the Trump plan.
Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) is among more than a half-dozen appropriators who have voiced skepticism about the Trump administration’s proposal to cancel billions in spending. Nearly all said they feared that it could erode the GOP’s bargaining power in future budget talks. Their objections represented another low point in an often-tense relationship between the cost-cutting White House and GOP members of Congress who write spending bills.
The skeptics included the newly appointed Senate Appropriations chief, Richard Shelby, who met with Trump on Wednesday.
“We need to look at what we agreed on with the other side and keep our word, keep our agreements,” the Alabama Republican told POLITICO just before his one-on-one with Trump.
- Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein allowed Congressmen Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy to read the FBI memo that kicked off the investigation into contacts between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign. Nunes had to threaten Rosenstein with impeachment to obtain access to the memo.
Congressman Steve Scalise says he won’t run for Speaker of the House if Kevin McCarthy runs for the office.
The F–35 could contribute to missile defense efforts by 2025. The F–35 program has been long on promises and short on delivery for years, so this claim should be taken with a large grain of salt.
Jenni White reports on Oklahoma teachers walking out of classrooms to force the state legislature to increase their pay — or something:
While all the usual local suspects have been deeply involved in this walkout—the Oklahoma administrators “association” CCOSA, the Association of School Boards, and school district personnel—a specific group of Oklahoma education activists have orchestrated much of the social media action. Begun in 2014 as the fight against Common Core was heating up in the state, this group quickly spun off a PAC dedicated solely to replacing “public education hating” legislators with public educators.
During both the 2014 and 2016 election cycles this group organized heavily, supporting a roster of mainly Democrats for office. Their tactics involved spreading misinformation and outright lies about more conservative candidates, while affiliated administrators and teachers used their blogs to flog dissenters. One group organizer was even tied to a dark money scandal to get Oklahoma’s current superintendent elected.
Public school administrators all over the state compound these efforts using their district email systems and websites to stump for candidates and encourage parents to raise their incomes and job security. At the capitol, school administrators’ associations—sustained by dues paid by public administrators, schools, and districts, who are in turn paid by taxpayers—continually lobby legislators for more education spending.
Needless to say, when a public education cabal uses a communication system funded by taxpayers to lobby against those same taxpayers while helping create PACs dedicated to electing tax-and-spend educators, any action in opposition becomes like screaming into the wind.
Federal prosecutors asked Bulgaria’s government to extradite five people so they can be tried for violating the American embargo on selling aircraft parts to Syria.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) agreed with the British government’s assessment that former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok.
The Taliban overran a district in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, killing the district governor along the way.
Reuters reporters toured the China/North Korea border from the Chinese side.