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Opinion: Mick Mulvaney’s Compassion — Not for the Needy
Republican budget funds big programs, pulls back safety net

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney not only dumped the concept of compassionate conservatism, he literally redefined what compassion should mean in today’s Washington, Patricia Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When George W. Bush ran for president in the late 1990s, he did it on a platform of “compassionate conservatism,” a smooth-edged rebranding of the conservatism that had become synonymous with callousness in the age of Newt Gingrich. Bush’s compassionate conservatism assured voters that he wasn’t going to waste their money the way he said Democrats would, but that he also wasn’t going to hurt people in the process, especially the least among us.

Bush won, but the concept of conservatism took a beating under his administration, as federal budgets ballooned and his vision of the role of government expanded at home and abroad.

Freedom Caucus May Push for More Than Tax Overhaul in Next Budget
Reconciliation instructions for overhauling welfare system among issues caucus plans to discuss, Meadows says

Rep. Mark Meadows signs pictures taken of him with constituents to send the constituents as a thank you for their time. (Lindsey McPherson/CQ Roll Call)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus are considering a push for broader reconciliation authority in the upcoming fiscal 2018 budget resolution that would allow Republicans to pursue policies beyond a tax code overhaul.

“We believe that writing the instructions more broadly will give us greater flexibility not only to get tax reform but also to address other areas simultaneously,” Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said in an interview here Friday.

How Trump Became the Vacillator in Chief
Contradictions are rife in president’s first 100 days

President Donald Trump has oscillated between hard-line and more conciliatory positions over his first 100 days in office. (Composition by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump describes himself as “flexible.” A senior aide says the president does not flip-flop, but changes his mind because he is “not doctrinal” like previous occupants of the Oval Office.

It shows. And it drives Capitol Hill and the rest of official Washington crazy — unless you bill flummoxed clients by the hour.

Five Questions Key to Passage of the GOP’s Tax Overhaul
White House tax plan vies with House and Senate proposals

President Donald Trump’s tax plan released Wednesday offered few details on how it would not increase the deficit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump put the pressure on congressional Republicans last week to fall in line or advance an alternative on a tax overhaul by releasing a list of his tax principles.

As lawmakers scramble to respond, they will need to find answers to five big questions dealing with issues such as revenue and deductions that could hold the key to completion of major tax legislation that’s long been the goal of Republicans.

Opinion: Figure It Out, Mr. President
Congress isn’t built to just do what Donald Trump says

President Donald Trump must choose if he wants to be a hardcore anti-establishment president or a smart deal-maker, Allen writes. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

If it were up to President Donald Trump — and a lot of Americans — Congress might not exist. After all, the legislative branch is the kind of inert obstacle that a disruptor business executive doesn’t have to contend with as he innovates and improvises in the private sector. 

Alas, for Trump, the Founding Fathers believed that wild swings in direction could tear a fragile nation asunder. They made it difficult for a president — any president — to rewrite public policy, push the nation to war or enter into treaties.

Trump Signs Action Expediting Foreign Steel Prices Investigation
National security concerns cited

U.S. President Donald Trump departs the White House on his way to a waiting Marine One helicopter April 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump spoke a Snap-On tool factory during the trip. (McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday, citing national security concerns, signed an executive action expediting a Commerce Department probe examining whether manipulated foreign steel prices could hinder his envisioned military buildup.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters that the investigation was formally launched on Wednesday evening over concerns that the U.S. steel industry would be unable to keep up with demand of the Trump administration’s planned military buildup. Contracts for major Pentagon weapons programs typically are accompanied by stipulations that combat gear must be built using American steel.

In Wisconsin, Trump Returns to ‘America First’ Message
Schumer slams Trump for ‘empty’ actions on jobs, trade

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to try to bring jobs back to American workers and revamp the H-1B visa guest worker program during a visit to the headquarters of tool manufacturer Snap-On on April 18, 2017 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump returned to his nationalist “America first” message on Tuesday after spending most of the previous 12 days focused on Syria and North Korea.

Trump, until he began speaking at a Snap-On Tools factory in Wisconsin, had appeared in recent days to be drifting a bit from the populist message that helped him win manufacturing states like the one he visited Tuesday, as well as Michigan, Ohio and others. But after touring the plant, he was back at it, hailing “American workers” and threatening countries that “steal” their jobs.

The Snapchat Senators
Daines, Murphy, Booker and McCain talk about the social mobile app

Montana Sen. Steve Daines Snapchats in Statuary Hall before President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Snapchat was initially established in 2011 and within the last year or so, a few senators have jumped on the social messaging app popular with millennials.

The lawmakers usually send multimedia messages, or snaps, themselves — as opposed to having their staffers do it — and they get pretty creative with what they send to followers.

Word on the Hill: Love Is in the Air
Puppies and friends of national service

On Valentine’s Day 2005, California Sen. Barbara Boxer received about 4,000 roses in her Hart building office from supporters. Boxer donated the flowers to injured military members at Walter Reed Naval Hospital in Bethesda Maryland. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Snap a photograph and tweet @HeardontheHill or email HOH@rollcall.com if you see anyone around Capitol Hill receiving a Valentine’s Day gift.

Former Oregon GOP Candidate Was on Food Stamps
Mike Callahan now running for state GOP Chair

 

Mike Callahan, a two-time former Republican candidate for senate in Oregon, reportedly was on food stamps shortly after his divorce.