EPA Budget Cuts Won't Fly, House Appropriators Tell Pruitt

House appropriators, both Republicans and Democrats, were opposed to the cuts to the EPA budget defended by its administrator, Scott Pruitt. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s defense of the administration’s proposal to his agency’s budget by 30 percent are falling short with House appropriators, who are making clear that they’ll toss it aside when they write their Interior-Environment spending bill.

The sharp cuts proposed in the President Donald Trump’s budget are “untenable,” Interior-Environment Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert told Pruitt at a hearing, a sharp rebuke from a key appropriator.

Tillerson Says He Still Believes in Paris Pact, But Backs Trump
‘My views were heard out. I respect that the president heard my views.’

Secretary of State nominee Rex Wayne Tillerson testifies during his Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has previously backed the U.S. staying in the Paris climate agreement, told lawmakers on Tuesday that his views have “never changed” but that he respects President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the international accord aimed at slowing global warming.

Tillerson was speaking at a budget hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where the panel’s top Democrat, Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, asked if he had changed his position on the agreement ahead of the president’s decision or whether the move was “just a political decision” by the administration.

Neighborhood Dispute: The D.C.-Maryland Lawsuit and Donald Trump
White House brushes aside suit, but conflict with home region is real

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, right, and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh conduct a news conference on a lawsuit they filed Monday against President Donald Trump, alleging he violated the U.S. Constitution by accepting foreign payments through his businesses. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine can see the top of the Trump International Hotel from his Penn Quarter office. Whenever he looks at it, he sees the U.S. Constitution being trampled by President Donald Trump.

Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced Monday they have filed a lawsuit against Trump claiming his business ties violate the U.S. Constitution’s “Emoluments Clause.” By doing so, they fired the latest salvo in an ongoing battle between the Trump White House and the city and region it calls home.

Nuclear Waste Deadlock Hurts Industry, Say Senate Appropriators
‘What I see is a big downward slope for the industry’

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is concerned that there will be stasis over the debate on where to store the nation's nuclear waste. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Leaders on the Senate Energy-Water Appropriations Subcommittee agreed Wednesday that the fiscal 2018 spending bill needs to include a path forward on the nation’s nuclear waste stalemate — or risk accelerating the industry’s decline.

In a hearing to examine the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s fiscal 2018 budget request, the top Democrat on the subcommittee, California’s Dianne Feinstein, questioned the viability of the nuclear industry if a nuclear waste policy stasis takes hold of Congress.

American Catholics Have an Ally in Trump, VP Says
Pence speaks at D.C. breakfast

Vice President Mike Pence told attendees at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on Tuesday that Catholics “have an ally in President Donald Trump.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)


Vice President Mike Pence denounced terrorism in the Middle East and championed President Donald Trump’s early anti-abortion initiatives in an address Tuesday at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

Top US Diplomat in China Resigns After Trump Climate Decision
David Rank, the acting ambassador, quit post Monday

David Rank, the top U.S. diplomat in China, has resigned in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. (Win McNamee/Getty Images File Photo)

David Rank, the acting U.S. ambassador to China, resigned Monday in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, CNN reported.

Rank called a town hall-style meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing to inform his colleagues that he could not deliver a notice to the Chinese government on the Trump administration’s retreat from the international pact negotiated under former president Barack Obama, according to a tweet from China expert John Pomfret.

Analysis: Trump Pulls Further Away From Allies With Paris Decision
Break seen as a victory for Vladimir Putin

President Donald Trump panned the Paris Agreement as a major “redistribution” of America’s wealth “to other countries” in his White House Rose Garden address on Thursday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump’s reality television-like Rose Garden announcement that he will withdraw the United States from the Paris climate pact was his latest break with Western leaders. That could bef a victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump strode into the White House Rose Garden just after 3 p.m. Thursday on a picturesque spring day in Washington for an announcement that was orchestrated much like an “Apprentice” season finale.

‘Climate Change’ a Third-Rail Phrase for Trump
President, top aides mum as U.S. exits Paris Agreement

In his address Thursday, President Donald Trump cited jobs and other countries “laughing at” America among his reasons for pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord. But he never said he doesn’t think climate change is real. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump uttered nearly 3,000 words Thursday explaining why he withdrew the United States from the Paris climate accord. But he never spoke the two words the global agreement was designed to combat: climate change.

While candidate Trump dubbed climate change a “hoax” and “bulls---,” senior White House officials are mum about whether President Trump still thinks that. On Friday morning, senior White House aides, including counselor Kellyanne Conway, declined to answer questions about the president’s personal beliefs on climate change during television interviews.

New York, California, Washington Form Climate Alliance in Wake of Paris Accord Withdrawal
The states represent over one-fifth of U.S. GDP

California Governor Jerry Brown joined two other governors to announce a climate alliance on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump has withdrawn the United States from the Paris climate agreement. Now, three of the nation's largest states, led by Democratic governors, will form a climate alliance "committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change," the governors announced Thursday.

Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Jerry Brown of California and Jay Inslee of Washington said that their plan is to continue to achieve "the U.S. goal of reducing emissions 26-28 percent from 2005 levels and meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan."

Opinion: American Isolationism From the League of Nations to Trump
President’s climate change decision effectively makes U.S. a rogue nation

President Donald Trump announced his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement at the White House Rose Garden on Thursday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

On November 19, 1919, the Senate failed to muster a two-thirds majority to ratify the Versailles Treaty ending World War I and establishing the League of Nations. As a banner headline in The (New York) Sun shouted, “PEACE TREATY DEFEATED … SECOND BALLOT KILLS ALL HOPE OF LEAGUE.”

The Senate’s refusal to join the League of Nations ushered in two decades of isolationism culminating in an America First movement that argued that Hitler’s takeover of Europe was of no concern to us. At the heart of the America First mindset was a belief that Pittsburgh mattered infinitely more than Nazi-occupied Paris.