Trump Says U.S. Will ‘Terminate’ NAFTA if Talks Fail
President has stipulations about talks with Mexico and Canada

President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw from NAFTA if he, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, shown here, and their Mexican counterpart are unable to renegotiate the pact. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Opinion: The Obama Effect — Pros and Cons for Republicans and Democrats
Former president could unite a party in distress

Former President Barack Obama’s influence could unite a Democratic Party that showed togetherness after President Donald Trump’s win but is already breaking apart on issues such as abortion rights, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Barack Obama, the charismatic former president, can cause a scene just by walking into a coffee shop, as the rapturous crowds in usually blase New York City demonstrated at one of his cameos. So as he gently re-entered the public and policy eye this week, it’s no surprise that he could throw both Democrats and Republicans off balance — though of course for very different reasons.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave President Donald Trump possibly his most important first-100-day achievement by spearheading the maneuver to transform Obama’s Supreme Court pick to replace Antonin Scalia into the conservative Neil Gorsuch, whose first significant vote allowed an Arkansas execution to proceed. McConnell’s obstruction and subsequent “nuclear option” may have played a part in breaking the democratic process, but isn’t that a small price to pay for a win —  at least I’m sure the president feels that way.

Jim Jordan for Oversight Chairman? ‘We’ll See’
Former Freedom Caucus chairman leaves open bid for Chaffetz gavel

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, center, is the highest ranking Freedom Caucus member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan signaled Wednesday he might be interested in leading the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee should current Chairman Jason Chaffetz decide to leave Congress early, as has been speculated since the Utah Republican announced he would not run for re-election in 2018.

“We’ll see if and when that happens,” Jordan said when asked if he would vie for the gavel.

Word on the Hill: Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
Messages in pill bottles and Cory Booker’s birthday

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan poses with children of members of the media on Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In both the Capitol and the White House, staffers and the press corps have a chance today to participate in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

House leadership has invited the media to bring their reporters-in-training to Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s weekly news conferences at 10:45 a.m.

Senior WH Official: ‘Military Preparations’ Are Underway for N. Korea
U.S. soon will attempt to influence Kim via ‘economic dimension of national power’

A North Korean ballistic missile during a “Victory Day” parade in 2013. A senior Trump administration official on Wednesday alluded to “military preparations” underway to possibly confront the North. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

The Trump administration is preparing a range of options — including plans for military operations — to deal with North Korea and its nuclear arms and missile programs.

National security officials are crafting possible diplomatic, economic and military responses to deal with the Hermit Kingdom, a senior administration official told reporters Wednesday at the White House.

Trump Tax Plan Sets Up Another Battle With Congress
President would lower corporate rate, slash individual brackets from 7 to 3

President Donald Trump delivers remarks in the State Dining Room at the White House on Monday. On Wednesday, he laid out his tax overhaul plan. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By JOHN T. BENNETT and LINDSEY McPHERSON, CQ Roll Call

The Trump administration on Wednesday rolled out a massive package of tax rate reductions and code changes. Senior officials claimed it will “pay for itself,” even though details remain murky and a fight with Congress lies ahead.

Luther Strange Gets First Primary Challenger
Suspended state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore enters Alabama Senate race

Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., will face a primary challenge from the state's suspended Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Roy Moore, the suspended Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, announced Wednesday that he’ll challenge Alabama Sen. Luther Strange in the Republican primary next year.

Moore, who was suspended in 2016 for telling probate judges not to follow federal orders on same-sex marriage, had previously been interviewed to replace Sen. Jeff Sessions after Sessions became U.S attorney general, but now-former Gov. Robert Bentley appointed Strange, the former state attorney general, to the seat, AL.com reported.

Top Trump Aide on First 100 Days: ‘I Don’t Regret Anything’
White House busily selling first three months as productive, critics disagree

The North Lawn of the White House, the Washington Monument, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, seen from the roof of the Hay Adams Hotel. President Trump is nearing his 100th day in office. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

A top Trump aide stopped shy of admitting the new administration has made mistakes, despite a turbulent three months as President Donald Trump nears his 100th day in office.

“I don’t regret anything,” a senior White House official told reporters Tuesday evening.

Decision Day for Avoiding a Government Shutdown?
Appropriators think that decision on another stopgap bill could come today

Appropriations Committee member Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., a former chairman, says there are still some “knotty issues” to work out on a 2017 spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Appropriators think they are close to a deal to fund the government through September, but the hour is fast approaching where a stopgap might be needed to prevent a shutdown at midnight Friday.

Kentucky Rep. Harold Rogers, a former Appropriations chairman and still a senior member of the committee, described the leaders as, “within striking distance” on a fiscal 2017 spending bill.

Trump Challenges Federal Judge to High Court Duel Over Sanctuary Cities
President’s tweets rekindle battle with Ninth Circuit

President Donald Trump lashed out Wednesday at a federal judge who blocked another of his immigration executive orders. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has a message for the federal judge who blocked his executive orders tailored to keep some so-called “sanctuary” cities from receiving federal funds: “See you in the Supreme Court!”

Trump took to Twitter before 7 a.m. Wednesday morning to blast a federal judge in California who on Tuesday issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against provisions in an executive order signed by Trump that is meant to block federal funding for “sanctuary” jurisdictions that decline to assist federal authorities in enforcing immigration laws.

White House: Final Health Care Deal Unlikely This Week
Tax package appears months away from hitting Capitol Hill

President Donald Trump watches the lighting of memorial candles during the annual Days of Remembrance Holocaust ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda on April 25, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A deal with House Republicans this week on health care is unlikely, a White House official said, and it will be at least six weeks before any tax reform legislation receives serious action on Capitol Hill.

President Donald Trump shocked congressional Republicans last week when he said he wanted a vote on a revised measure that would repeal and replace the Obama administration’s 2010 health care law. But with lawmakers slogging toward a Friday government-shutdown deadline, and with thorny issues remaining on a new health bill, it appears any pact on the latter is at least a week away.

Gardner Sees ‘Refreshing’ New Focus on North Korea
Senators will be briefed on North Korea threat at the White House Wednesday

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner has been a leading voice in the Republican caucus on North Korea since he entered the Senate in 2015 after serving two terms in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senators will be bused to the White House on Wednesday for a briefing on North Korea, and one Republican senator says attention on the threat is long overdue.

Sen. Cory Gardner has been among the lawmakers calling on the Trump administration to prioritize addressing the threat of North Korea launching nuclear weapons, and the Colorado Republican said it is “refreshing” to see some action.

Opinion: Congress Can Work — If Trump Gets Out of the Way
Lawmakers can make a deal and avoid a shutdown

President Donald Trump should heed Gen. George S. Patton’s advice: “Lead, follow, or get out of the way” — so Congress can function, Patricia Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

First the bad news about negotiations over the 2017 spending bill that Congress needs to pass before midnight on Friday or face a government shutdown: The last several days have been a mess of mixed messages about what should get funded, last-minute demands that cannot be met, and disagreement at the highest levels about how to proceed.

But the good news for Republicans, and really for all of us exhausted by the thought of yet another standoff over basic funding levels, is that nearly all of the bad habits of negotiating and governance on this issue have been confined to the White House.

Word on the Hill: Golf Day on Capitol Hill
Free pretzels and shuffling staffers

It's National Golf Day. Here is Florida Rep. Tom Rooney teeing off as Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper, California Rep. Duncan Hunter and Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle watch during the First Tee Congressional Challenge golf tournament in 2015. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s National Golf Day, which means golf industry leaders and PGA Tour winner Billy Hurley III will be on Capitol Hill.

A coalition of golf’s leading organizations, known as WE ARE GOLF, is scheduled to meet with members of Congress to discuss the sports economy and impact.

Analysis: U.S. Military Options in North Korea — From Bad to Worse
Experts say chances of successful preemptive strike not great

Barbed wire fence near the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating South and North Korea on April 14, 2017 in Paju, South Korea. Tensions between the United States and North Korea are high. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

War on the Korean peninsula may or may not be growing more likely. But it sure feels like it is.

Leaders in North Korea and the United States are rattling sabers at each other and conducting military exercises in the region. The entire Senate is set to visit the White House Wednesday for a briefing on the North Korean threat. The U.N. Security Council ambassadors came to the White House Monday and the United States is convening a special U.N. Security Council meeting to talk options on North Korea on Friday.