conservatives

Trump, McConnell All Smiles, All the Time
President, majority leader say they are on the same page, despite tension

President Donald Trump, left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., say their relationship is A-OK. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is ready to cancel Christmas recess to get a tax bill done, but President Donald Trump and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled the effort could slip into next year.

Trump on Monday called his relationship with McConnell “very good” amid reports of tension between the two leaders. During a remarkable and rowdy midday joint press conference in the Rose Garden, Trump declared he and McConnell “are probably now … closer than ever before.

Brady and Ryan Mulling Big Gamble on Key Tax Deduction
State and local tax deduction has its fans among rank and file, though

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady want to repeal the state and local tax deduction, but face resistance from several GOP colleagues in high-tax states. (Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican leaders face many decisions regarding details of a tax overhaul but perhaps none more immediately consequential than whether to roll the dice and try to eliminate the state and local tax, or SALT, deduction.

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas and Speaker Paul D. Ryan have made it abundantly clear they’d prefer to get rid of the deduction, which allows taxpayers to deduct what they pay in state and local property taxes and either state income taxes or sales taxes.

Analysis: With Iran Decision, Trump Punts on First Down
President keeps pact intact, leaves next step to Congress

President Donald Trump delivers remarks earlier this month at the White House. On Friday, he announced he is decertifying the Iran nuclear deal — but keeping it in place for now. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

It is now a familiar maneuver. President Donald Trump mixes bold rhetoric with a lofty promise — and then sets up a Congress controlled by his own party as a scapegoat for the potential failure.

Trump did it yet again Friday by punting action on the Iran nuclear deal to lawmakers.

Trump to Keep Iran Deal Intact — for Now
President wants Congress to set up ‘trigger points’ that could kill agreement

John Kerry (center left), then secretary of state, sits across from Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (center right) in March 2015 in Lausanne, Switzerland, before resuming negotiations that led to the P5+1 deal on Iran’s nuclear program. (State Department Photo via Flickr)

The Iran nuclear deal is (not quite) dead. Long live the Iran nuclear deal (maybe).

After dubbing the 2015 nuclear pact the Obama administration and five other world powers inked with Tehran as the “the worst deal ever,” President Donald Trump on Friday will announce he is keeping the United States in the agreement. For now, at least.

Hannity Ramps Up His Twitter Beef with Sasse
Fox News host defends Trump against senator’s criticism of president’s threats against media

Sen. Ben Sasse was the target Thursday of Fox News Host Sean Hannity, who said supporting Sasse in 2014 was “one of the biggest mistakes” of his career. (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

Sean Hannity is the latest conservative political figure to use Twitter to attack Sen. Ben Sasse, whom he called “useless” and a “#loser” on Thursday.

The virtual fisticuffs began when the Fox News host responded to a statement Sasse released Thursday calling out President Donald Trump for challenging some network news outlets’ licenses.

Trump Signals Agreement with O’Reilly Claim Media Is ‘Corrupt’
President said earlier that it’s ‘disgusting’ that press can ‘write whatever it wants’

President Donald Trump addresses the media during a recent meeting with Republican and Democratic members of the House Ways and Means Committee at the White House. (Getty Images File Photo)

President Donald Trump continued his weeks-long rhetorical attack on the media and First Amendment, lending credence to a conservative commentator’s stance that the American press often is “corrupt.”

After suggesting this week that he sees the media’s First Amendment protections as “disgusting,” the president on Friday morning retweeted former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s post that included this line: “A corrupt press damages the Republic.”

Trump to Stop Paying Obamacare Cost-Sharing Subsidies
Schumer and Pelosi: ‘American families will suffer just because President Trump wants them to’

President Donald Trump speaks as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) left, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, third from right, and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, second from right, look on after Trump signed the executive order to loosen restrictions on Affordable Care Act "to promote health care choice and competition." (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The administration will stop reimbursing health insurers for the 2010 health care law’s controversial cost-sharing reduction payments, the White House said Thursday night.

“Based on guidance from the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services has concluded that there is no appropriation for cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies under Obamacare,” the White House Office of the Press Secretary said in a statement. “In light of this analysis, the Government cannot lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments.”

Why Trump’s Immigration Demands Haven’t Changed the Dynamics on Hill
Prospects for a bipartisan bill were already grim

A sign at an immigration rights protest in from on the White House on Sept. 5 to oppose President Donald Trump’s decision to phase out the DACA program. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump’s decision to push for his border wall as part of an immigration deal — after previously saying it would be dealt with separately — would, at first glance, seem to lower the probability of a bipartisan accord.

But the prospects were already grim. So Sunday’s release of Trump’s immigration policy priorities caused no major shift in the dynamics on Capitol Hill. 

Who Benefits From the State and Local Tax Deduction?
Roll Call analysis finds higher-income earners reap substantial returns from the deduction

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch is among the “Big Six” Republican tax negotiators. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

A fight within the Republican Party over a proposal to eliminate the state and local tax deduction threatens the future of the GOP effort to overhaul the U.S. tax code.

Battle lines have been drawn, as lawmakers from states that see substantial benefit from the deduction — such as New Jersey and New York — are already sounding alarms at the proposal to remove it. 

Over Ribs, Angus King Fosters Senate Collegiality
Senator talks barbecue and Maine lobster

“For the record, I don’t think this is the rib joint from ‘House of Cards.’”

That’s what Sen. Angus King said between bites of pulled pork and coleslaw inside the recently-renovated Kenny’s BBQ Smokehouse at 732 Maryland Ave. NE.