policy

Shrinking victims fund signals tough times for appropriators
The program’s finances are drying up, and committees may not be able to depend on it to fill funding gaps elsewhere

Leahy: higher costs, less money to go around in fiscal 2020, even if there's a caps deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s been an unspoken rule among appropriators for years: if the annual Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittee allocation feels a little light, fear not. There’s always money in the Crime Victims Fund.

However, the good times may be coming to an end. The program’s finances are drying up, and the Appropriations Committees are facing major new obligations in fiscal 2020 that will stretch the means of panel leaders even if there’s a deal to lift austere spending caps for next year.

Trump’s new order aims to protect conservative voices on college campuses
His education secretary, Betsy Devos, has warned about the dangers of ‘government muscle’ on issue

President Donald Trump announced an executive order he will sign Thursday afternoon during his two-hour appearance at CPAC 2019 on March 2 in National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Thursday aimed at protecting conservative voices on public and private college campuses, an issue that energizes his political base as he revs up his re-election campaign.

The order will direct the White House Office of Management and Budget to work with grant-issuing federal agencies to ensure higher learning institutions are adhering to the First Amendment, as well as laws, regulations and policies that are part of existing criteria for receiving federal monies. The EO will add free speech to those criteria.

‘I didn’t get a thank you’ for approving John McCain’s funeral, Trump says
President’s economic speech in Ohio becomes political rally — with tanks

President Donald Trump pauses to talk with journalists Wednesday as he departs the White House for a trip to Ohio. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS — President Donald Trump went to Ohio to deliver an economic message. Instead, as always, a political rally broke out — this time, in front of military tanks.

He already was in quite a mood Wednesday afternoon as he approached reporters awaiting his departure on the White House’s South Lawn, declaring that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report is being written “out of the blue.”

Trump: Mueller report illegitimate, because special counsel was not elected
President says ‘I don’t mind’ if Justice Department releases former FBI chief’s findings

President Donald Trump waves as he walks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to his motorcade at the Capitol after the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon on Thursday, March 14, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 1:14 p.m. | President Donald Trump on Wednesday took direct aim at special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, saying his coming report is illegitimate because he was not elected by the American people.

“No collusion, no collusion. It’s interesting that a man gets appointed by a deputy he writes a report. Never figured that one out,” Trump said mockingly.

Cybersecurity budget up 5 percent in 2020, White House says
The total request of $17.4 billion for fiscal 2020 compares with $16.6 billion the administration sought in 2019

Copies of President Donald Trump’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020 are prepared for distribution at the Government Publishing Office in Washington on March 7, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House is seeking a 4.7 percent boost in cybersecurity spending across all federal agencies for fiscal year 2020 with the Pentagon and the State Department getting the largest increases, according to details of the request released this week.

The total request of $17.4 billion for fiscal 2020 compares with $16.6 billion the administration sought in 2019. The Pentagon is seeking $9.6 billion or a 10.4 percent increase, and State is seeking $400 million or a 10.2 percent increase. The Justice Department is asking for a 7 percent increase in fiscal year 2020 for a total of $881 million.

Banks seek Congress’ help to block fintech path to ‘industrial’ charters
Industry group expects efforts to have bipartisan support on Hill

A bank industry group accuses financial technology firms like payment processor Square Inc. of trying to exploit a banking law loophole. (Courtesy Shutterstock)

A bank industry group is lobbying Congress to block financial technology firms, such as online lender Social Finance Inc. and payment processor Square Inc., from obtaining an obscure form of a state bank charter that would let them operate nationally with little federal supervision.

The Independent Community Bankers of America last week distributed a policy paper around Washington calling for an immediate moratorium on providing federal deposit insurance to industrial loan companies, or ILCs, which are chartered by only a few states — most notably Utah.

Trump, Brazil’s Bolsonaro flaunt nationalist bromance
‘There’s zero hostility with me,’ the U.S. contrarian in chief says of Brazil

U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro leave after a joint news conference at the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS — President Donald Trump got his desired victory lap Tuesday with the Brazilian known as the “Trump of the Tropics” as they stood side by side in the White House Rose Garden in a full display of the nationalism that put both in office.

Hours earlier, in true Trump fashion, he had flashed his contrarian side as he and his Brazilian counterpart, Jair Bolsonaro, sat together in the Oval Office.

‘I was never a fan of John McCain,’ Trump again goes after the late Senator
President makes clear he holds grudge over vote to repeal 2010 health law

From left: Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., Vice President Mike Pence, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., President Donald Trump, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., exit the Capitol after the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon on March 14. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump is not backing down from his attacks on the late Sen. John McCain, on Tuesday saying he was “never” fond of the Arizona Republican.

On Sunday, Trump fired off a tweet with several inaccuracies criticizing McCain for his role in getting a dossier allegedly containing negative information about then-businessman Trump. He erroneously tweeted that McCain was “last in his class” at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Rep. Nadler: White House can’t claim executive privilege on Mueller report
Judiciary Committee chairman says administration waived that privilege ‘long ago’

House Judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler said Tuesday it would be “unacceptable” for the White House to “edit” any of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s report before it is released. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The top House Democrat in the impending fight between the executive branch and Congress over the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s report to the public indicated Tuesday that he will strongly oppose White House lawyers’ efforts to redact some information.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler claimed Tuesday that the Trump administration waived any claims of executive privilege over Mueller’s eventual findings “long ago” when it agreed to cooperate with the probe.

Trump overshadows Brazilian president’s visit by attacking Kellyanne Conway’s husband
President dubs George Conway a ‘total loser’ after attorney challenged Trump’s mental health

Kellyanne Conway speaks to the press outside of the White House on the North Lawn. President Trump and her husband, George Conway, are in the midst of a Twitter feud. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A number of foreign leaders have visited the White House in recent weeks with little fanfare, but President Donald Trump’s aides are setting big expectations for Tuesday’s visit by the “Trump of the Tropics.”

Yet, on what White House officials hope will be a paradigm-shifting day, Trump and his team got an early start on stepping on their own intended message about “fundamentally” overhauling relations with South America’s largest economy.