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Politics President Trump's ambitious agenda: 7 things to watch in 2018

19:17  01 january  2018
19:17  01 january  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

Stoking Fears, Trump Defied Bureaucracy to Advance Immigration Agenda

  Stoking Fears, Trump Defied Bureaucracy to Advance Immigration Agenda The changes have had far-reaching consequences, both for the immigrants and for America’s image in the world.WASHINGTON — Late to his own meeting and waving a sheet of numbers, President Trump stormed into the Oval Office one day in June, plainly enraged.

WASHINGTON — President Trump may have big policy plans for 2018 , but political distractions are likely to shadow prospects of big legislative achievements. White House officials said Trump wants to rein in the threat from North Korea and list four top domestic priorities on his 2018 agenda : Repealing

Washington: US President Donald Trump may have big policy plans for 2018 , but political distractions are likely to shadow prospects of big legislative achievements. White House officials say Trump wants to rein in the threat from North Korea and list four top domestic priorities on his 2018 agenda

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump, flanked by Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, left, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, right, speaks during a bicameral meeting with lawmakers working on the tax cuts in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. © Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP President Donald Trump, flanked by Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, left, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, right, speaks during a bicameral meeting with lawmakers working on the tax cuts in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017.

WASHINGTON — President Trump may have big policy plans for 2018, but political distractions are likely to shadow prospects of big legislative achievements.

White House officials said Trump wants to rein in the threat from North Korea and list four top domestic priorities on his 2018 agenda: Repealing and replacing President Obama's 2010 health care law, welfare reform, immigration, and a new infrastructure plan.

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  Trump, the Insurgent, Breaks With 70 Years of American Foreign Policy President Trump has transformed the world’s view of the United States from an anchor of the international order into something more inward-looking and unpredictable. WASHINGTON — President Trump was already revved up when he emerged from his limousine to visit NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels last May. He had just met France’s recently elected president, Emmanuel Macron, whom he greeted with a white-knuckle handshake and a complaint that Europeans do not pay their fair share of the alliance’s costs.On the long walk through the NATO building’s cathedral-like atrium, the president’s anger grew.

Donald Trump ' s first year in office was jam-packed. The US president attempted to turn Washington, DC, on its head, governing with the unpredictable, titillating and surreal style of a reality-show And there' s no indication 2018 will be any different. Here are some things to watch out for next year

Trump ’ s broadside against Pakistan comes as his administration considers whether to withhold distribution of some 5 million in aid to Pakistan, the New York Times reported last week. More: President Trump ' s ambitious agenda : 7 things to watch in 2018 .

"I would expect to see those four areas, as well as national security, which never goes away," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

Yet the Republican-controlled Congress has been struggling to pass some of Trump's major priorities since his election – and their challenges will only increase in 2018. The GOP’s Senate bare majority will shrink when Alabama’s newly elected senator, Democrat Doug Jones, is sworn in.

More: Doug Jones' surprise win in the Alabama Senate race just upended the GOP agenda for 2018

In January, lawmakers will have to confront a thicket of unfinished business. In their rush to get home for the holidays, the GOP-led Congress passed a short-term spending bill that expires Jan. 19.

Trump and GOP leaders will have to negotiate a longer-term spending deal before then to avert a government shutdown, and they will likely need Democratic support for that to pass. Other sticky issues on the January agenda include legislation aimed at stabilizing the Obamacare individual insurance markets and reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a contentious anti-terrorism law that gives law enforcement sweeping spy powers.

'Disruptor in chief' Trump leaves U.S. standing alone on key global issues

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Lee Spieckerman, former Newt Gingrich presidential campaign advisor, on President Trump ' s agenda in the year ahead.

US President Donald Trump laid out an ambitious agenda on the campaign trail, including 18 promises that he called his “Contract with the American Voter”.

What's more, lawmakers will be consumed with their own 2018 mid-term elections – and the increasingly contentious Russia investigations. "As everybody in Washington knows, a midterm election year is a year when most legislation comes to a standstill,” said David Cohen, a political science professor at the University of Akron.

“Members of Congress are going to be obsessed with winning re-election," Cohen said, and will be more eager to campaign at home than be in Washington casting tough votes.

Here are seven key issues that Trump and Congress will confront:

North Korea

Trump will lobby China – and other countries – to twist the economic screws on North Korea, in the hopes of forcing that rogue nation to give up their nuclear weapons program.

Trump traveled to Asia to press that issue in November and declared North Korea a state sponsor of terror. Yet North Korea leader Kim Jong Un has more or less thumbed his nose at the effort, recently setting off another ballistic missile test, and continued threatening the U.S. and its allies.

For Trump, a Year of Reinventing the Presidency

  For Trump, a Year of Reinventing the Presidency In ways that were once unimaginable, President Trump has discarded the conventions and norms established by his predecessors. Will that change the institution permanently?But there is one thing he almost never does. “He very seldom asks how other presidents did this,” said John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff.

President Donald Trump , convinced that he alone can break stalemates with adversarial This time, aides have stacked the President ' s agenda with meetings separate from the G20 itself, placing him MUST WATCH . Trump refuses to condemn Russia on Ukraine 03:01. Trump ' s meetings with the

Highlights from a panel discussion moderated by pollster Frank Luntz, focusing on President Donald Trump ' s immigration agenda .

As 2018 approaches, Trump and his advisers hope to settle the dispute diplomatically, but they have not ruled out the possibility of a military strike.

More: Trump declares North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism

Read more: Tillerson softens U.S. stance on possible talks with North Korea

Infrastructure

In his 2018 budget proposal, Trump sought $200 billion over 10 years to spend on infrastructure, leveraging private-sector spending to focus federal dollars on “transformative” projects seen as priorities at both the federal and regional level.

That went nowhere in 2017, as Trump and the GOP-led Congress focused instead on trying to repeal Obamacare and enacting tax cuts. But the president plans to rev up that push early next year, with the hope that Democrats will cooperate.

Infrastructure spending is generally a bipartisan issue, and few dispute the need to improve the nation’s highway and bridges. But Trump and Democrats have already outlined competing plans, and conservatives are likely to oppose any legislation that calls for massive new spending.

Inside Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux's Cabo New Year's - and Why Their Marriage Is 'Great' Despite the Rumors

  Inside Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux's Cabo New Year's - and Why Their Marriage Is 'Great' Despite the Rumors Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux rang in the New Year under the sun. The couple celebrated the start of 2018 with their annual vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, a source tells PEOPLE. “Jen and Justin rang in the new year with friends. For the past few days, they have enjoyed the sunny Cabo weather,” says the source. Aniston, 48, and Theroux, 46, were joined by a handful of close pals including Jason Bateman and his family. “They have hosted friends by the pool and for dinner,” says the source. “They both seem great and very happy.” The trip caps another busy year for the couple — Aniston signed on with Reese Witherspoon for a new Apple TV series, while Theroux filmed the comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me in Budapest. And despite tabloid claims of trouble due to their frequent distance, Aniston and Theroux’s two-year marriage is solid, sources tell PEOPLE in the magazine’s new issue. For more on Aniston and Theroux, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE. “They have figured out a life that works for them,” adds the source. “Her life with Justin is great.” A second source tells PEOPLE that the distance helps them appreciate the time they do have together even more. “This has not hurt their marriage at all, it seems to help,” says an entertainment source. “They love and respect each other and do spend a lot of time apart. For them, it is a healthy part of their romance.

Опубликовано: 2 апр. 2018 г. Columnists and commentators like to throw the word "dictator" around when talking about Trump ' s less-than-democratic tendencies, but some actions by the president actually do bear something in common with the ruling style of autocrats.

RELATED: President Trump ' s ambitious agenda : 7 things to watch in 2018 . State politicians have traditionally been wary of tolling, seeing it as a potential political pitfall. But Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) said Wednesday the state needs a long-term solution that ends the

So the fate of that will likely depend on Trump’s willingness to cut a deal with Democrats—and vice versa—heading into a heated election year.

Read more: Democrats' infrastructure proposal contrasts with Trump's plan, budget

Health care

Trump insists he has not given up on his goal of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's health reform law, even though Republicans in Congress could not muster enough votes to deliver on that long-promised goal this year.

After Congress passed a massive tax bill in December that repealed Obamacare's individual mandate, Trump declared the law was "essentially" repealed and lawmakers would work together to find a replacement. (However, the law is barely touched, though the requirement that nearly everyone have insurance or pay a penalty at tax time was repealed effective in 2019.)

Overhauling Obamacare will only get more complicated in 2018, as Republicans will have just 51 seats in the Senate. And the GOP’s previous efforts to nix Obamacare sparked intense anger among voters who wanted to keep the coverage – something lawmakers may not want to reignite when many of them will be on the ballot.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., signaled little interest in taking another stab at the issue. "Well, we obviously were unable to completely repeal and replace with a 52-48 Senate," McConnell told NPR in a Dec. 21 interview. "We'll have to take a look at what that looks like with a 51-49 Senate. But I think we'll probably move on to other issues."

The ‘Nuclear Button’ Explained: For Starters, There’s No Button

  The ‘Nuclear Button’ Explained: For Starters, There’s No Button President Trump and Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, traded threats this week about the size, location and potency of their “nuclear buttons.”The image of a leader with a finger on a button — a trigger capable of launching a world-ending strike — has for decades symbolized the speed with which a nuclear weapon could be launched, and the unchecked power of the person doing the pushing.

Other Republicans pushed back, saying the GOP should not give up on that long-touted campaign promise.

Read more: Obamacare is hardly repealed, but some may have more and costlier insurance choices

More: Obamacare is hardly repealed, but some may have more and costlier insurance choices

Immigration

Congress has a March deadline to decide the fate of the so-called DREAMers, the approximately 700,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally when they were children. Trump nixed an Obama-era program that shielded the DREAMers from deportation, but he also said Congress should figure out a legislative fix so the young people aren’t sent back to countries they did not grow up in.

Critics have called the Obama protections—known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals— a form of “amnesty” and suggested those young immigrants have taken jobs from Americans. But there’s bipartisan support in Congress and in the public to grant the DREAMers legal status and even a path to citizenship.

Whether Trump—who campaigned on a hardline anti-immigrant platform—will sign such a bill is unclear. He has sent mixed signals on the issue, and he’s also called for new restrictions on refugees and others seeking entry into the United States.

After the Dec. 12 arrest of a man who tried to set off a bomb in a New York commuter tunnel, Trump called for the end of "chain migration" and the diversity visa lottery programs.

Read more: Paul Ryan has a GOP working group to try to find solution to DACA

Welfare reform

In announcing a new major legislative priority following the tax cut bill, Trump said welfare reform is "desperately needed in our country."

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A Trump budget proposal last year called for adding work requirements to some government programs and tightening eligibility requirements for low-income tax credits. "We want to get our people off of welfare and back to work," Trump said. "So important. It's out of control. It's out of control."

Democrats say welfare reforms instituted two decades ago are working and that Trump wants to punch major holes in the social safety net.

Read more: Welfare reform 20 years later: What worked, what didn't

Iran

Trump announced in October he would no longer certify that Iran is in compliance with an Obama-era deal, in which Tehran pledged to give up the means to make nuclear weapons while the U.S. and allies ease economic sanctions. Instead, Trump called on Congress to improve the agreement, and the fate of the Iran nuclear deal is likely to come to a head in 2018.

Supporters of the agreement fear Iran will walk away from the agreement and pursue nuclear weapons anyway, triggering a dangerous arms race in the Middle East.

Read more: As President Trump moves to decertify Iran deal, Sen. Bob Corker outlines plan to preserve it

The debt limit

The U.S. Treasury will run out of money to pay its bills sometime in the spring — unless Congress and the president agree on legislation to raise the nation’s debt limit. The Treasury Department lost its authority to borrow any new money to pay the government’s obligations on Dec. 9.

Officials are currently taking “extraordinary measures” to keep from defaulting on the government’s current obligations, including Medicare benefits and the interest on the national debt. But the agency will run out of those accounting gimmicks in late March or early April, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.

That could lead to a round of partisan fiscal brinksmanship—with threats of defaulting on the government’s debts. Conservatives have generally opposed increasing the nation’s borrowing authority, so Trump will likely have to negotiate with Democrats to come to an agreement.

Read more: What's the debt limit and why is Congress about to raise it again?

Three Senate Democrats propose scrapping debt ceiling

Contributing: Heidi M Przybyla

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