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In Iowa, Heartland Democrats Ask ‘What About the Economy, Stupid?’
But candidates are divided on how populist their messages need to be

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan talks with Heather Ryan (no relation), a Democratic candidate in Iowa’s 3rd District, during a steak fry in Des Moines on Sept. 30. (Charlie Neibergall/AP File Photo)

DES MOINES, Iowa — Democrats in the Midwest know that the way to win back voters in states like Iowa is to talk about the economy, but they’re debating how exactly to do it.

As a state that can make or break presidential campaignsand one that had regularly sent liberal Democrats to Washington, Iowa now serves as a test of whether Democrats can win back white voters who have swung toward the Republican Party over the last decade.

Trump to Dems: Tax Plan Is About Reviving ‘Middle-Class Miracle’
President warns Joe Donnelly of tough campaign unless he supports tax bill

President Donald Trump speaks to supporters in Indianapolis on Wednesday about the Republicans’ tax overhaul plan. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump called on Democratic lawmakers Wednesday to get on board with the Republican tax blueprint and revive the “middle-class miracle.” But the more Democrats dove deep into the plan, the more his bipartisan goal sounded like a long shot.

The GOP’s nine-page outline, from which the House and Senate will now begin writing separate bills featuring tax cuts and code changes, is scant on details. The document proposes individual and corporate rate cuts, doubling the standard deduction for single and joint filers, eliminating most itemized deductions, expanding the child tax credit, repealing the so-called estate tax, and making it less painful for companies to return profits to the United States.

A Blue Badger in Trump Country
Baldwin cites causes she’s championed well before the president

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin is one of 10 Senate Democrats up for re-election next year in states won by President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

HAYWARD, Wis. — On the banks of Moose Lake, Sen. Tammy Baldwin served meals from a food truck purchased by the local senior resource center and expanded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Later, Baldwin heard from constituents concerned about President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the very same USDA program. She vowed to fight those and other suggested funding reductions from her perch on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

GOP Rep. Pete Sessions Gets Another Democratic Challenger
Lillian Salerno worked for the Obama administration

Salerno entered the Democratic primary in the race against GOP Rep. Pete Sessions. (Photo courtesy of Salerno’s campaign)

Lillian Salerno announced Tuesday that she is jumping into the field of Democrats hoping to take on Texas GOP Rep. Pete Sessions, as Sessions emphasizes that he is definitely running for re-election.

Democrats are targeting the district that includes northern Dallas, which Hillary Clinton narrowly won in November. In 2016, Sessions did not have a Democratic opponent. But Salerno, who worked in the Obama administration, is joining an already crowded field of Democrats who will face off in a March 6 primary.

Diane Black Unsure about Finishing Her Term
House Budget Committee chairwoman said she wants to get budget passed before making a decision

Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., is weighing whether to continue her term in the House or to run for governor full-time. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tennessee Rep. Diane Black is unsure if she will finish her current term in Congress as she runs for governor.

Black told reporters at the Tennessee State Fair on Monday that she had not yet made that decision, the Tennesseean in Nashville reported.

Word on the Hill: Highest Congressional Honor for Dole
Historical society lectures, cancer advocates, and former member updates

Legislation to give former Sen. Bob Dole the Congressional Gold Medal is headed for the president’s desk. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid all the action in Congress this week, you might have missed a vote honoring former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan.

The House approved on Tuesday a bill, introduced by Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., to present Dole with the Congressional Gold Medal. It had already passed in the Senate, where it was introduced by Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan. The measure now moves to President Donald Trump’s desk.

Analysis: Trump Hits Congress With Immigration Quandary
Administration’s decision on DACA could derail work on other items

Demonstrators march from the White House down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Trump International Hotel and the Justice Department on Tuesday to oppose President Donald Trump's decision to phase out the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Republican legislative agenda for the remainder of the year was thrown into question Tuesday after the Trump administration announced its decision to gradually wind down an Obama-era program affecting undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

The White House essentially put Congress on a six-month clock to advance a comprehensive immigration overhaul, an achievement that has so far been unreachable for many years due to the complexity of the issue and vast differences of opinions.

Battle Lines Forming on DACA Fix
Differences emerge on what an immigration bill should include

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said the status of DACA beneficiaries was one of many immigration issues Congress has failed to adequately address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 9:27 p.m. | Congressional Republicans and Democrats were quick to promise legislative action to protect children of undocumented immigrants after the Trump administration announced Tuesday it would end an Obama-era program that sheltered them from deportation. But lawmakers did not agree on what a bill should include.

The battle lines have already started taking shape, with lawmakers divided in three main camps: those who want to swiftly pass stand-alone legislation to provide children of undocumented immigrants with permanent legal status under certain conditions; those who want Congress to address the issue in a comprehensive overhaul of the immigration system; and those who want something in between.

Podcast: Fiscal Deadlines Loom for Congress
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 29

Congress has barely a month to pass a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown, even as President Trump pushes for border wall funding and pressure builds to approve an aid package for Hurricane Harvey. But as CQ’s Ryan McCrimmon explains, a shutdown is probably still unlikely.

Republicans Urge Trump to Let Congress Take Lead on DACA
Leaders and rank-and-file members want president to exercise caution

Immigration rights activists chant during their May Day march to the White House to voice opposition to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies on May 1. He is expected to announce his decision on an Obama-era immigration program on Tuesday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Even as President Donald Trump readies his announcement on whether he will end Barack Obama’s program that shields from deportation undocumented individuals who came to the United States before their 16th birthday, many Republicans are urging him to let Congress handle it.

Some top White House aides for months have urged Trump to nix deportation relief and work permits for around 800,000 people enrolled in the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. After months of internal West Wing debate, the president is poised to do so.