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The Trump Stage
Heading into year two of his presidency, can Donald Trump expand his reach and influence with skeptical Democrats in Congress, much less a skeptical public? At a minimum, he will need the minority party to advance any meaningful legislation, particularly in an election year.
“One of the goals of the State of the Union is to build coalitions so we can move forward,” says Ben Terris, national political reporter at The Washington Post.
In the latest Political Theater Podcast, Terris and I discuss whether Trump used this week’s State of the Union to build those coalitions, and how he and Congress managed the tricky spectacle of this political gathering.
Listen to the full podcast:
A Train Wreck
It’s not every day a chartered Amtrak train carrying the Republican caucuses in the House and Senate, plus staff and spouses, is involved in a deadly accident.
Follow all the developments: Train Carrying GOP Lawmakers to Retreat Hits Truck
House of Retirement
The rush to the exits continues seemingly unabated. Earlier this week, it was Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., the powerful chairman of the Appropriations Committee, calling it quits. Then Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the multi-haircutted and colorful chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Then Rep. Robert A. Brady, D-Pa., a veteran lawmaker from Philadelphia. Tough to keep up.
Sen. Robert Menendez, whose corruption trial ended last year in a mistrial but faced a retrial from the Justice Department, is in the clear.
Just a couple weeks after announcing they would retry the New Jersey Democrat, federal prosecutors announced they were dropping the case. The turning point for the government case appeared to be a ruling last week from U.S. District Judge William H. Walls, who entered acquittals of seven of the 18 charges in the indictment against Menendez and his co-defendant, South Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen.
Menendez is up for re-election in November, and now won’t have a federal trial hanging over him.
Read the full story: Justice Department Drops Corruption Case Against Menendez