Economy

Announcing Keystone, Trump Declares ‘New Era of American Energy Policy’
President tells TransCanada boss his lobbyists did not do ‘a damn thing’ to get his OK

Pipes like these will be used to build the Keystone Pipeline in the United States, which President Trump formally approved on Friday. (Courtesy shannonpatrick17/Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

President Donald Trump announced Friday he has formally approved a Canadian firm’s application to construct the Keystone XL pipeline, a project long blocked by his predecessor and demanded by Republican lawmakers.

“It’s a great day for American jobs, a historic day for North America and energy independence,” Trump said at his desk in the Oval Office. “This announcement is part of a new era of American energy policy that will lower costs for American families, and very significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

No Deal on Health Care Bill
Freedom Caucus chairman says talks continue: ‘We’re trying to get creative’

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan walks through Statuary Hall to the House floor in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House conservatives left a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday without a deal on changes to the Republican health care bill that would repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, putting a vote later in the day in doubt.

The apparent offer on the table is something the House Freedom Caucus, the bloc of hard-line conservatives that has held its ground against Republican leadership, has deemed a nonstarter.

Opinion: Art as Soul Food – A Tough Yet Essential Case to Make
President Trump’s proposed budget cuts are ill-advised

Funding for humanities programs, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, is only a fraction of the federal budget and should not be cut, Curtis writes. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

Most critics expressing outrage at President Donald Trump’s proposed budget have focused on cuts to the Community Development Block Grant program that funnels money to Meals on Wheels. And who can blame them? 

If you’re looking for allies for your cause, that’s the narrative you want — one that sets up clear-cut heroes and villains, especially with budget director Mick Mulvaney, sent from central casting and all but twirling a mustache as he says, “We can’t spend money on programs just because they sound good,” or “There’s no demonstrable evidence” that after-school programs that also feed children are actually “helping kids do better at school.”

Trump Boasts of Forcing Canadian Firm to Drop Keystone Lawsuit
Claims he threatened to take back his approval of TransCanada’s project

President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participate in a joint news conference at the White House in February. On Tuesday, Trump said he threatened to nix a Canadian company's Keystone Pipeline project unless it dropped a lawsuit against the U.S. government. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Updated at 11:25 a.m. | President Donald Trump is asserting he got the Canadian company behind the Keystone XL pipeline project to drop a lawsuit seeking more than $10 billion from the U.S. government after he threatened to take back his approval of the project.

In late January, Trump signed an executive order green-lighting TransCanada’s application to build the Keystone XL after the Obama administration blocked it for years. He did so, however, with a major caveat, saying the pipeline deal was “subject to terms and conditions that will be negotiated by us.”

Poll Shows Ossoff Increases Lead in Georgia Race to Replace Price
Comes as conservatives grapple with Republican replacement for Obamacare

A new poll from a conservative-leaning outfit shows Democrat Jon Ossoff increasing his support among voters in the race to replace former Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price. (Photo by Dustin Chambers, Courtesy Jon Ossoff for Congress)

A new poll shows that Democrat Jon Ossoff has strengthened his lead in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District race, and the race tightening among Republicans.

A poll by the conservative website zpolitics and Clout Research shows Ossof leading with 41 percent of the support of those polled. But it also shows that former Secretary of State Karen Handel and fellow Republican Bob Gray are nearly tied, with Handel at 16.1 percent and Gray at 15.6 percent.

At Town Hall, Rand Paul Opposes GOP Health Plan
Kentucky senator headed back to D.C. before Trump rally in Louisville

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is working to defeat the House GOP health plan. (George LeVines/CQ Roll Call)

ST. MATTHEWS, Ky. — Sen. Rand Paul is heading back to Capitol Hill before President Donald Trump arrives in Kentucky, citing the need to defeat the very bill that Trump is expected to tout in the Bluegrass State on Monday night. 

“I’ve got to get to Washington so I can work on the coalition that is trying to defeat the bill, so we’re not exactly on the same page on this,” Paul said Monday at a constituent event here.

Rising Waters at Home Cause Republicans to Buck Party in D.C.
Moderate Republicans are out front on climate change threat

New York Rep. John J. Faso is one of several GOP freshmen concerned about climate change. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Whipping out his iPhone, New York Rep. John J. Faso scrolled through text messages from his wife until he found the photo he sought. 

“There’s my wife’s car in the driveway,” he said, pointing to a lump covered in snow. “So there was no climate change that we were worried about in the last couple of days.”

Opinion: This Budget Isn’t Dead on Arrival
Trump’s budget draws the battle lines between the parties

A president’s budget sets the tone, direction and parameters of the debate over government operations and Republicans in Congress will be hard-pressed to go against a president of their own party, Allen writes. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Every year, Congress affixes the same toe tag to the White House budget within minutes of its delivery: “Dead on Arrival.”

The phrase is such a cliche, and so often repeated by members of Congress who dislike the president’s numbers, that it’s hard to find a news story about each year’s budget that doesn’t include those three words. It’s also discounted as just a “blueprint,” “a political document” or a “proposal” written for disposal. When I was a budget reporter for CQ, and at other publications, these were my watchwords.

A Seminal Day in Trump’s Still-Young Presidency
Budget blueprint set to be released on same day as key health care vote

President Donald Trump faces one of the most consequential days of his presidency so far on Thursday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

An amped-up Mick Mulvaney on Wednesday stood at a White House podium, speaking quickly and unsure of what day it was. The new Office of Management and Budget chief’s demeanor, in many ways, was a fitting symbol of a frenetic presidency that faces major tests Thursday.

Outside the Beltway, President Donald Trump rallied his base Wednesday in Tennessee’s “Music City” and called for a “new Industrial Revolution” in Michigan’s “Motor City.” Those vibes give way Thursday a possible turning point in his 55-day-old presidency.

Opinion: Paul Ryan and the Danger of Keeping Unworkable Promises
GOP could pay a political price in 2018 with repeal and replace push

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s rationale for a health care overhaul conflicts with where most Americans stand on the issue, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Paul Ryan quote from “Face the Nation” on Sunday so appealed to the speaker’s press office that it became the headline of a Monday morning press release. Referring to Obamacare, Ryan said, “We made a promise to the people who elected us, we would repeal and replace this law. … And now we are keeping our word.”

Promises made, promises kept. It sounds so inspiring. But for all the political pride in adhering to campaign promises, what usually matters far more to the voters are their personal priorities rather than those of politicians.