North Dakota

Frustrated by Congress’ Plodding Pace, Trump Urges Speed on Tax Bill
President feels let down by GOP leaders who promised health overhaul by April break

President Donald Trump, surrounded by aides, gets a briefing on counterterrorism operations and Hurricane Irma response on Monday in the Oval Office. (Shealah Craighead/White House)

Updated at 8:40 a.m. | Donald Trump on Wednesday implored lawmakers to quickly send him a tax overhaul package a day after his top liaison to Congress said the president is frustrated by the often-plodding pace on Capitol Hill.

Trump and his top aides are busily discussing the contents of a bill that would slash individual and corporate tax rates, while also simplifying the federal tax code, with congressional Republicans and Democrats. Trump wants to sign a bill into law this calendar year.

Trump Smiles With Manchin at Bipartisan Senate Tax Dinner
West Virginia Democrat posts photograph with the president

President Donald Trump posed for a photo with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III Tuesday evening. (Photo Via Manchin on Twitter)

Many Democrats might not want to be photographed alongside a smiling President Donald Trump, but then there’s Joe Manchin III.

Trump has been very popular in Manchin’s West Virginia. And Manchin was one of three Democratic senators who showed up for dinner and a tax overhaul discussion with the president Tuesday evening.

Senators Could Lose ‘Blue Slip’ Input on Circuit Judges
President would have less reason to consult with lawmakers

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley has signaled he might end a tradition that gives senators a de facto veto power over nominees to federal appeals courts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A looming showdown over a Senate tradition could strip senators of a de facto veto power over nominees to federal appeals courts — and give President Donald Trump less reason to consult with senators about which judges should be appointed.

The Judiciary Committee’s “blue slip” process has required senators to return a blue slip of paper before the committee schedules hearings and markups of nominees for federal judgeships from their home states. No slip, no hearing. That has made it essential for the White House to get a senator’s buy-in on a nomination.

White House Continues Pivot Toward Congressional Democrats
POTUS will work with any members who ‘want to move the ball forward’

President Trump — here in Bismarck, N.D., on Wednesday — suddenly is pivoting toward congressional Democrats. (White House photo)

The Trump White House on Friday continued to pivot away from a legislative strategy based almost exclusively on Republicans, seemingly handing more leverage to congressional Democrats by the day.

Trump’s deal earlier this week with House and Senate Democratic leaders was not a one-off, and he intends to continue trying to pass bipartisan legislation, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. The approach, which caught members of his own party off guard and added fuel to ongoing intra-party tensions, came after the president spent his first seven months relying on Republicans to pass major bills.

Trump to Jilted GOP: Inaction Led to Deal With Dems
President: Senate rules means Republicans will ‘never’ pass bills alone

President Trump with elected officials from North Dakota during a tax road show event Wednesday in Bismarck, including Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, far right. Trump spent much of this week cutting deals with and courting Democrats. (White House photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday delivered a message to congressional Republicans, essentially telling them their inaction led him to cut a deal with Democrats this week.

Amid GOP members’ collective frustration-venting in public this week about Trump’s decision to cut a deal with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-New York, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, Trump used a series of tweets to explain his choice — and give his fellow Republicans some instructions for the fall legislative session.

U.S.-North Korea War 'Certainly' Possible, Trump Warns
President predicts 'very sad day' for isolated nation if America attacks

President Donald Trump, pictured Wednesday in Bismarck, N.D., warned on Thursday that he could order a U.S. military strike on North Korea over its nuclear arms and missile programs. (White House photo)

War with North Korea is possible as that country continues its nuclear arms and long-range missile programs, President Donald Trump said Thursday.

“Military action would certainly be an option. Is it inevitable? Nothing is inevitable,” Trump said during a joint press conference with his Kuwaiti counterpart. “But it’s something certainly that could happen.”

No Easy Answer for Vulnerable Dems When Trump Sends Invite
Heitkamp took Air Force One to N.D. event, but McCaskill skipped one in Missouri

President Donald Trump is pushing Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., to support a coming tax-overhaul package. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One by one, President Donald Trump asked state and local officials to join him onstage during his Wednesday tax overhaul roadshow stop in North Dakota. And he saved perhaps the most important one, at least when it comes to getting the votes for such a rewrite of the tax code, for last, Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

“You are all in favor of tax cuts,” Trump said to the group, as the North Dakota officials joined the audience in applause. “They work hard. They are with you 100 percent,” the president told the audience.

Trump Sides With Dems as Debt, Spending Deals Struck
Sources: President rejected debt ceiling ideas pitched by GOP leaders

Now-Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., arrive for a ceremony at the Capitol last year. On Wednesday, they met with President Trump about the fall legislative agenda. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated at 2:32 p.m. | President Donald Trump, embroiled in a simmering feud with his own Republican Party, instead essentially cut a deal Wednesday with Democratic leaders on a number of pressing issues.

Trump agreed to back a three-month debt-limit extension and three-month continuing resolution attached to a Hurricane Harvey relief package, one source with knowledge of the meeting told CQ Roll Call.

Trump Reaches Out to Centrist Democrats on Taxes
Trump’s team has ‘some optimism’ that Heitkamp will support coming overhaul package

President Donald Trump is making overtures to centrist Democrats like Sens. Jon Tester and Heidi Heitkamp, who will accompany him on Air Force One on Wednesday to her home state of North Dakota. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump is sending mixed messages to incumbent Senate Democrats up for re-election in red states as he and GOP leaders try to woo bipartisan support for a major tax overhaul package. 

With his public calls for centrist Democrats to support an emerging GOP tax plan, Trump has underscored his desire to cement a legislative victory before the 2018 midterm elections. But Democrats wonder if he is sincere or if he simply intends to attack them, as he did last week by calling out Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, during a tax speech in her home state. 

Trump: Tax Overhaul Would Make U.S. a ‘Jobs Magnet’
Will get chance to make case to a Democratic senator on Wednesday

President Donald Trump during a joint news conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in the Rose Garden on June 9. He met with GOP tax-writers Tuesday at the White House. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Updated 6:22 p.m. | Lowering tax rates on private-sector firms would make the United States a “jobs magnet” and provide a boost to the economy, President Donald Trump said Tuesday during a meeting with Republican tax-writers.

“But if we’re going to keep this momentum going and allow this economy to truly take off as it should, it is vital that we reduce the crushing tax burden on our companies and our workers,” Trump said after ticking off a list of positive economic developments since he took office.