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Trump, Biden and the battle for Pennsylvania
‘Biden deserted you,‘ president roars in Montoursville rally, as former veep sets up shop in Philly

Former Vice President Joe Biden removes his jacket at the Eakins Oval in Philadelphia on Saturday as he formally kicks off his 2020 White House bid. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Three times President Donald Trump mentioned former Vice President and Pennsylvania native Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic front-runner, and three times his crowd of loyalists booed at a rally Monday night in Lycoming County. But it is swing voter-rich places, like the one here in Lehigh County, two hours to the southeast, that will help determine who is president in January 2021.

Biden clearly has attracted the president’s attention since he jumped into his party’s race to take on Trump in the general election.

Voters head to polls after Trump dove into a safe special House race
GOP candidate expected to crush Democratic rival in heart of Trump country

Fred Keller, Republican candidate for Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District speaks at a Trump campaign rally in Montoursville, Pa., on Monday evening as President Donald Trump looks on. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

MONTOURSVILLE, Pa. — There was little political risk for President Donald Trump when Air Force One rolled to a stop in front of a series of tree-dotted peaks his campaign used a backdrop for a campaign rally to boost a Republican candidate who is almost assured a House seat.

Voters here head to the polls Tuesday for a special election that almost certainly will send a Republican to the House to replace former Rep. Tom Marino. Almost no one interviewed Monday by Roll Call believes the outcome will produce anything other than GOP state Rep. Fred Keller defeating Democrat Marc Friedenberg.

In Pennsylvania’s Trump country, relief that he’s restoring ‘the old ways’
President rallies supporters amid trade war, home-state son Biden’s entrance

Supporters of President Donald Trump, pose for a picture while waiting to enter his rally at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, Pa., on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The blue and red banners flapped in a late-spring morning breeze along U.S. Highway 15 here, greeting passersby with a simple but unmistakable message: “President Trump is coming.” It is a message Pennsylvanians are likely to see a lot of before the 2020 election, as the Keystone State becomes one of the campaign’s centers of gravity. 

Hours before Air Force One touched down at Williamsport International Airport in neighboring Montoursville, Terri Bruner of Geneva, Ohio, had set up her traveling roadside merchandise stand at the Ridgemont Motel. She was peddling the usual “Make America Great Again” gear, complete with one T-shirt depicting a Trump supporter urinating on the CNN logo and an assortment of pink Trump gear ostensibly aimed at women.

Chill in China trade talks is all Biden’s fault, Trump says
Former VP has not been involved in negotiations that appear to be collapsing

President Trump is trying to blame stalling trade talks with China on former Vice President Joe Biden, seen here talking to reporters at the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 12:20 p.m. | President Donald Trump is blaming former Vice President Joe Biden and the rest of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates for a sudden chill in trade talks between his administration and America’s top economic rival.

Biden, who polls show is the Democratic frontrunner, has not been involved in any substantive talks about trade or any other matter since he left office in January 2017. But, according to Trump — who often takes his weaknesses and tries to blame them on his political foes — it’s all Biden’s fault.

3 things to watch when Trump, GOP senators discuss immigration
Jared Kushner has been WH point person — but Stephen Miller has been Trump’s voice

Sens. David Perdue, R-Ga., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., will meet with President Donald Trump on Tuesday to discuss immigration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Perhaps sensing momentum in the post-Mueller report realm, President Donald Trump has summoned a group of Senate Republicans to the White House to talk about overhauling the immigration system.

A small group of GOP senators will meet Tuesday afternoon with Trump and senior White House aides to hear details of a plan administration officials have been cobbling together. Presidential son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner has been the point person in crafting the proposal.

Road ahead: More on the Mueller report; floor action on Paris bill, nominations
Oversight matters will get most attention post-Mueller but House and Senate proceeding with normal business too

Attorney General William Barr appears on a television in the Capitol subway on April 18, 2019. He is testifying before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Two days of testimony from Attorney General William Barr on the 448-page report from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III will largely define Congress’ return from its two-week recess, with the House and Senate heading in different directions. 

Senate Republicans, who will hear from Barr first on Wednesday, feel Mueller’s report is the appropriate conclusion to years of investigations into allegations that President Donald Trump’s campaign coordinated with the Russians to interfere in the 2016 election and that the president himself attempted to obstruct those investigations.

Why Democrats aren’t rushing to change immigration laws
They don’t agree with Trump and public sentiment doesn’t provide a mandate toward a solution

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., flanked from left by Assistant Democratic Leader Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Cheri Bustos, D- Ill., and Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark, D-Mass., speaks to the press during the House Democrats' 2019 Issues Conference at the Landsdowne Resort and Spa in Leesburg, Va. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are treading carefully on immigration as they attempt to show they can lead on the divisive issue heading into the 2020 elections.

President Donald Trump, who won election in 2016 on a campaign to crack down on immigration and what he often refers to as “open borders,” is planning to repeat the strategy heading into 2020. In recent weeks, he’s launched near daily attacks on Democrats for their refusal to change immigration laws — an accusation that, as with many things Trump says, is not entirely true.

There’s one problem with Trump’s call for Congress to act fast on immigration
Trump ally Sen. Graham made clear Sunday his effort to find a deal is in early stages

President Donald Trump waves as he walks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to his motorcade at the Capitol after the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon in March 14. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump wants Congress to end its April recess before it’s even really started to work on an immigration overhaul bill.

There’s only one problem: One of his closest Senate allies made clear the only bill in town isn’t ready yet.

Trump accuses Dems of ‘treason’ even as Mulvaney seeks a border deal with them
‘No one views the White House as credible on this issue,’ says senior House Democratic source

American and Mexican flag fly over the Paso del Norte International Bridge on March 30 in El Paso, Texas. President Donald Trump continues accusing Democrats of "treason" over their border policies. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump continues accusing congressional Democrats of treason — a crime punishable by death — over their border security policies even as his acting chief of staff was on Capitol Hill Wednesday seeking a deal.

And a senior Democratic aide expressed doubt that a deal is likely over what promises to be among 2020’s most contentious campaign trail issues.

Trump says he won’t release his tax returns by House deadline, hasn’t seen Mueller report
Defiant POTUS defends aide Stephens Miller, falsely claims the Mueller report ‘fully exonerated’ him

President Donald Trump waves to reporters at the White House on March 24. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he has not seen Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s report, but again falsely claimed it “fully exonerated” him.

The president’s comments came one day after Attorney General William P. Barr declined to tell a House subcommittee whether the White House has been provided a copy of the report on Russia’s 2016 election meddling and whether Trump obstructed justice in trying to stop or interfere with the probe.