Category Archives: Government

Trump turns down McMasters effort to grow the Afghan War…

While ALL the national media fawns on every burp from Donald Trump?

The most important story of the last few days has gone almost unnoticed …..

Last week President Trump sat down with his National Security people to discuss Afghanistan….

What should the US do?

National Security Advisor it is reported went to bat for an expanded effort in the country that the French and Russian left and the US has tried to extract itself rom recently ….

The scoop is Defense Sec Mattis and Sec of State Tillerson came out against any escalation that McMaster advanced….(A small increase in troops was given an Ok)

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Trump , it is reported, took the two  guys side against McMaster, asking a question the French, Russians , Bush Admin and Obama Admin have ALL asked….

Essentially , WTF are we doing there and Why?

I don’t think much of Donald Trump…But on this one?…

He’s Right…..

…….the session of the National Security Council Principals Committee, described by two sources briefed on it as a “s*** show” that featured what a third source, a senior White House official, confirmed was a heated debate where “words were exchanged,” proved no more successful than months’ worth of previous Afghan policy debates.

Trump refused to sign off on the plan they approved, the sources said, instead sending it back to his national security team demanding more work. And on Tuesday, the president made clear just how dissatisfied he was. In what were pretty much his first public comments on Afghanistan during his six months in office, he told reporters before a White House lunch, “I want to find out why we’ve been there for 17 years.” On Thursday, headed into a Pentagon meeting, he was similarly cagey. Asked about more troops for Afghanistan, he replied only, “We’ll see.”

Trump’s equivocation reflects the difficulty of figuring out what to do about an unceasing war that is once again at an impasse without an influx of new troops. “We are not winning in Afghanistan,” Defense Secretary James Mattis testified last month.

But the president’s hesitation is also, according to multiple current and former senior U.S. officials I’ve spoken with in recent days, a striking vote of no-confidence in his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, who has been trying and failing for months to sell the president on a new plan for Afghanistan.

McMaster has made a major policy review of America’s long, failed war there his personal mission, according to the sources, and he pushed hard to get a new strategy that would include the relatively modest troop increases and a commitment to at least another four-year timeline approved in advance of Trump’s May summit with NATO allies.

But instead, the sources said, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson teamed up with Mattis to block McMaster’s initial version, which they believed Trump and political advisers wary of the war, notably chief strategist Steve Bannon, would not support without clearer markers of success. “Tillerson says, ‘I’m not selling this to the president,’” a senior administration official who was present recalled. “They believed McMaster was not reading the West Wing very well,” added another former senior U.S. official briefed on the process…..

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image…foreignpolicy.com

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Texas House Rep. blames ‘some female Senators’ for Healthcare Bill passage problems…

Sexism is alive in the Grand Ole party in 2017…..

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Rep. Blake Farenthold on Monday blamed “some female senators from the Northeast” for hampering Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, telling a local radio station that he might challenge them to a duel if the allegedly obstructive lawmakers were men.

The Texas Republican’s remark appeared to be a reference to Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), both of whom have expressed some degree of hesitancy toward Senate Republicans’ specific plans to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s signature health care legislation.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has also expressed reservations about the GOP’s repeal-and-replace efforts, although she represents a state thousands of miles from the Northeast.

That the GOP has not yet made good on its repeal-and-replace promise is “absolutely repugnant,” Farenthold told a radio station in his Gulf Coast congressional district.

“The fact that the Senate does not have the courage to do some things that every Republican in the Senate promised to do is just absolutely repugnant to me,” Farenthold said during his segment on Corpus Christi, Texas, radio station 1440 KEYS, according to Talking Points Memo. “Some of the people that are opposed to this, they’re some female senators from the Northeast.”

“If it was a guy from south Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style,” Farenthold added…..

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image…huffingtonpost.com

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Next!…Ted Cruz is the next name floated for AG Sessions job….

Donald Trump is pissed at US Attorney General Jeff Sessions….

Right now the guy is probably asking himself why did he leave a safe US Senate seat to have a job for 6 months with a boss who could care less about the law and just wants a guy to cover his rear……

So in the last half a day Rudy Guilani’s name hit the media as a replacement, only to have Rudy back up Sessions move to recuse himself from all things Trump…

Now the new name floated is Senator Ted Cruz….

Standby…

Would Cruz want to work for the guy who dissed his dad durning the campaign and will demand ‘loyalty’ for a replacement to Law Man…

President Trump and his advisers are floating possible replacements for Attorney General Jeff Sessions — and the list includes Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), The Washington Post reports.

Cruz and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) are reportedly among the candidates Trump’s team is considering to replace Sessions, though Giuliani said earlier in the day that he’s not being considered.

Trump has repeatedly said that he is disappointed by Sessions’s decision to recuse himself from the probe into ties between the Trump administration and Russia, saying in an interview last week that he would have never hired Sessions if he knew he would recuse himself….

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Trump IS losing support…

The Washington Post shows things graphically….

There is NO doubt that Trump’s failing around as President has caused Americans to begin to have doubts about him….

His numbers are the worst at this point that any modern day President….(Yes he STILL has a strong core base…)

Since Nov. 8, polling has consistently shown that an even smaller percentage of the country thinks the president is doing a good job. The most recent weekly approval rating average from Gallup, for example, has Trump at 39 percent approval — seven percentage points lower than the support he got at the ballot box.

On Monday, Gallup offered a more detailed set of data. Using interviews conducted over Trump’s first six months in office — during which his approval slipped slightly nationally — Gallup determined the average approval in each of the 50 states.

In 17 states Trump’s approval rating was at or above 50 percent. In 31 states, more people disapproved of his job performance than approved.

Unsurprisingly, those states that view Trump positively are also among those that supported him the most during last year’s election. Some states stick out, though: Texas, where Trump is viewed net negatively; and Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, the three states that gave him that crucial 78,000-vote margin of victory….

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Note….

This is second poll out  today that show’s Trump’s leaking of support…

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Blue Dog Democrats embrace Trump?

Politico is out with a piece that spotlights how the right side of the Democratic party is trying to cope with life with Donald Trump….

Big Tent, eh?

The Blue Dog Coalition, a fading wing of the Democratic Caucus in recent years, is leaning on a controversial ally as it tries to regain a toehold on power in the House: President Donald Trump.

The group of moderate and conservative Democrats, which was all but wiped out when Republicans swept the House in 2010, has been slowly rebuilding its membership.

And with Democrats eager to woo the white working-class voters who flocked to Trump, the coalition is prodding party leaders to support Blue Dog-backed candidates, saying that’s the key to taking back the House in 2018. It’s a push that is quickly running into conflict with the party’s energized left flank.

“People want to purify,” Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), one of the Blue Dog’s three co-chairs, said about the Democratic base’s surge to the left. “[But] without Blue Dogs, we don’t have a majority. That’s the bottom line.”

The Blue Dogs are also meeting with top Trump officials on tax reform and other issues, causing heartburn with some colleagues who insist all-out resistance — not working with an administration they loathe — is the winning formula for next year. And they’re ready for ideological battle, determined to keep the Democratic Caucus rooted in what they say are its defining big-tent values, despite the rising progressive passion brought on by Trump’s election.

“The Democratic Caucus likes to talk about diversity, and we’re an important part of that diversity that too often gets overlooked,” Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.), a Blue Dog co-chair, said in an interview in his office….

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A look at Trump’s approval numbers by states…Some surprises….

The guy OWNS the Midwest , but surprisingly only parts of the South…

As in last November’s election he continues to be the weakest on both coasts…

Could Democrats make inroads in those parts of the South that aren’t above 50%  come 2018/2020?

Gallup: “President Trump, who has averaged 40% job approval since his inauguration, received approval ratings of 50% or higher in 17 states in the first half of 2017. Residents in an equal number of states gave him approval ratings below 40%. In 16 states, his ratings ranged between 40% and 49%.”

Politicalwire…

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House Speaker Ryan defends Mueller against Trump knocks…

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While Donald Trump continues to knock Robert Mueller personally and his investigation….

Increasingly , Republican establishment types have switched sides and are defending the Mueller probes process…(Mueller has served  under a Republican President…and has been a Republican longer than Trump )

Maybe they are hedging their bets?

Being ready to stand back if things go bad fro Trump?…

Or…

Being able to stand with him if Mueller does NOT find anything against Trump himself?

“Remember, Bob Mueller is a Republican who was appointed by a Republican who served in a Republican administration and stayed on until his term ended,” Ryan responded. “But I don’t think many people are saying Bob Mueller is a person who is a biased partisan. He’s really sort of anything but.”

“The point is, we have an investigation in the House, an investigation in the Senate, and a special counsel, which sort of depoliticizes this stuff, and gets it out of the political theater,” Ryan continued. “That is, I think, better, to get this off to the side. I think the facts will vindicate themselves. And then, let’s just go do our jobs.”…

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image…thehill.com

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Are Session’s days numbered as Atty Gen?..Trump mentions Hillary…Is Rudy standing on deck?

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Donald Trump continued his throwdown against his own choice for Attorney General because of his failure to keep himself in the investigation AGAINST Trump and cover Trump’s back…

Trump has tried to get various cabinet members to stop the ongoing investigation into Trump & Co. Russian ties and now into just about EVERYTHING Trump has touched or breathed on…

Trump brought Hillary Clinton’s name back up last night after she was cleared by the Justice Dept. of any criminal wrong doing and Trump HIMSELF said the case was over….

It would appear that things have gotten so bad that Trump maybe looking to hire Rudy Guilani to replace Sessions, or at least scare him into trying find a way to help him…

Rudy got passed up on the first hiring go round…

Oh, Mueller and crew of lawyer’s and FBI agents are moving full speed ahead in their ever widening probe’s….As Trump appears to be twisting in the wind…Looking over his shoulders…

Trump’s operating as if he doesn’t have to have anyone looking at his actions is over…..

President Trump on Monday asked why federal investigators and his “beleaguered” Attorney General Jeff Sessions are not investigating Hillary Clinton for her “crimes” as well as ties to Russia.

“So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered [attorney general], looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?” Trump asked in a tweet.

Just a few hours before, the president had also quoted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in which he said the Democratic party should blame itself for losing the presidential election, not Russian interference….

President Trump has floated the possibility of replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions with his steadfast ally Rudy Giuliani to serve in the top Justice Department post, Axios reported Monday.

Trump broached the idea in internal discussions about bringing in and surrounding himself with staunch supporters, sources within the West Wing told the news outlet.

Before The New York Times interview last week, Trump had already expressed anger and frustration at Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, Axios reports.

Trump, during the interview, opined that Sessions’ decision to recuse himself was “unfair” to him and he would’ve likely picked another person to lead the Justice Department if he had known this is the move Sessions would make.

In a tweet on Monday, Trump went after Sessions, calling him “beleaguered”….

image…cnbc.com
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Have the Russian’s Co-Oped the American Right?

That’s the subject of a Politico piece that reasons out the theory that Donald Trump is just the cumulation of a long standing Russian effort to worm into America’s political system ….

The author….James Kirchick….

Points to how Conservative Republicans USED to be America’s staunches Anti-Russian’s….

But have moved embrace things Putin and Russian in place of a Obama, Clinton or Democrats….

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Such is American politics these days…

In any other era, our political leaders would be aghast at the rank opportunism, moral flippancy and borderline treasonous instincts on display.

Instead, we get this from the president of the United States, explaining away his son’s encounter with Russian operatives who were advertised as working on behalf of the Kremlin: “Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That’s politics!” And from elected Republicans, we get mostly silence—or embarrassing excuses.

Never mind that Trump Jr. initially said the meeting was about adoption, not a Russian offer of “ultra sensitive” dirt on Hillary Clinton. We’ve gone from the Trump team saying they never even met with Russians to the president himself now essentially saying: So what if we did?

None of this should surprise anyone who paid attention during last year’s campaign…..

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image…vox.com

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Kid Rock for the Senate?…After laughing?..Huh?….

The first poll is out….

Stop laughing…..

The whole thing might be a marketing gimmick …

But the poll below indicates Democrats should not just dismiss the possibility of a serious race ….

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On July 12th, 2017 Robert Ritchie, aka Kid Rock, confirmed his intention to run for the United States Senate seat in Michigan. His announcement sent a shock through the media and many dismissed it as a cheap publicity stunt. While Ritchie has yet to file his official documentation to seek the office, he stated his intentions on Twitter and pushed back at his critics, saying “the press is wrong.”

Debbie Stabenow is the incumbent Democratic Michigan senator who is scheduled to defend her seat in 2018. Ritchie intends to run as a Republican who would likely have to defeat a crowded primary field to challenge Stabenow.

To gauge Ritchie’s chances in a hypothetical general election matchup, Delta Analytica conducted a poll from July 14-18 of 668 Michigan residents. Of respondents who stated a preference between Debbie Stabenow and Robert Ritchie, 54% stated they would vote for Ritchie while 46% said they would vote for Debbie Stabenow. These results could indicate that Ritchie is a popular figure in Michigan, Debbie Stabenow is unpopular, or some combination of concurrent trends. The relatively large, 44%, number of undecided respondents may be due to the early stages of the campaign.

Michigan, once part of the Democrats vaunted “Blue Wall” is suddenly a battleground where Democrats and Republicans are now fighting for blue collar voters….

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image..MLive.Com

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The US Navy launches it’s newest Aircraft Carrier…The USS Gerald Ford…

While the media focused on Trump ‘s asking the sailors on board the launch to help HIM out on the budget?….

The fact is the Billion dollar ship (we the taxpayer paid for) CVN-78,  is a showcase for military technology …..

USS Gerald R. Ford Begins Builder's Sea Trials

The U.S. Navy on Saturday with the help of President Donald Trumpcommissioned its most powerful warship yet: the USS Gerald Ford.

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is rigged with state-of-the-art technology with a capacity for more aircraft and weaponry than ever before.

It features an electromagnetic launch system and advanced arresting gear for faster and more efficient take-offs and landings. The vessel is outfitted with touchscreen navigation display in place of a traditional throttle and is equipped with a reactor plant that can power the ship for up to 20 years without refueling.

The USS Ford is also massive, with its length of 1,106-feet comparing to the size of about three football fields. The extra room allows for an expanded flight deck that’s easier for jets and drones to maneuver around. Additionally, it features a better-positioned “island” structure, giving the captain of the ship improved visibility.

More than double the electrical capacity and automated equipment means the ship can sail more efficiently with at least 600 less crew members. Once officially deployed in 2020, it will house 2,600 sailors, which the Navy says will save more than $4 billion over the ship’s 50-year lifespan,according to the Associated Press…..

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image…APRIL 8: In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is seen underway on its own power for the first time  U.S. Navy Getty Images

Tech look….

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image….businessinsider

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GOP House looking to cut Federal employee benefits and job protections…

Not something to votes from Federal employees for Republicans, eh?

House Republicans greeted current and future federal employees with two controversial body blows in recent days — one amounts to a pay cut and the other would allow new feds to be fired for “no cause at all.”

The House Budget Committee approved a spending plan that would save the government $163.5 billion over 10 years by taking that amount from federal employees. They would pay that in the form of “greater contributions to their own defined benefit retirement plans,” according to the panel’s budget document.

Republicans call their plan “Building a Better America.”  But the Americans now working to build a better country through their federal jobs would be called on to sacrifice again, as they have repeatedly over the years.

“Since 2010, these employees have already lost $182 billion in pay and benefits,” Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said in a letter to the committee. Those losses occurred through measures including a partial three-year pay freeze and previous retirement hits under the Obama administration.

Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.) offered legislation on Monday to repeal the previous retirement cuts. Don’t expect his bill to pass, not with this Congress…..

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Bernie Sanders is talking about a 2020 run…..

Which party?

No…I ‘m kidding…..

The guy that isn’t a Democrat is still trying to take over that party….

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With Kamala Harris rising in the media and Biden leading the 2020 Presidential polls of DEMOCRATS along with  how Sanders  did against Hillary Clinton…. it is natural for him to be thinking about running again….

For those who thing it’s too early to be thinking about the Democratic 2020 President nomination?

You’re wrong….The maneuvering  is ALREADY going on

For my two cents?

He won’t get the nomination again….

“He’s part of the Democratic leadership in the Senate and helped raise millions of dollars to help down ballot Democrats,” he said. “He’s helping to reform the Democratic Party. I think it speaks for itself.”

Still, the decision by Sanders to run for the Democratic nomination in 2016 as an independent is a sore spot for some Democrats. There are also Clinton supporters who believe Sanders deserves some of the blame for Clinton’s loss to Trump.

Polls suggest Sanders, along with Biden, would have to be seen as favorites if they were to enter a 2020 race.

A Public Policy Polling survey out earlier this week suggested that either candidate would be the favorite over Trump.

“From what I can see, he’s popular in the polls, Democrats like him and I’m sure if I was in his position I would be thinking of running for president again, too,” said Democratic strategist Brad Bannon. “He certainly has true believers that would support him through hell or high water and they feel like they were robbed and destiny is on his side.”

At the same time, there are also Democrats looking for fresh faces — such as Sen. Kamala Harris, the freshman California senator with a growing national presence. …

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image…huffingtonpost.com

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AG Sessions is gearing up the Feds for TOUGHER Marijuana enforcement….

The Dog is NOT surprised with this at all….

We have discussed the growing marijuana industry in America and rapid state government acceptance of making money on grass that is available almost anywhere …

But I have pointed out repeatedly that grass IS still listed as a dangerous drug by the Feds and the nation’s Federal Law enforcement CAN go after marijuana operations that are legal under state laws, with Federal Laws that supersede …..

The news that Attorney General Sessions is sending memo’s that underscore the Federal view about grass has got to catch the attention of the marijuana industry and cause worries…

Sessions is first asking Congress to NOT give state efforts to decriminalize marijuana under  The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act — would amend federal law to allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies……He COULD  then  begin a Federal effort to roll back the advances….

Stay tuned….

Sessions is in for a fight….

This is is gonna get interesting….

Sessions sent a letter in May asking congressional leaders to do away with an amendment to the DOJ budget prohibiting the agency from using federal funds to prevent states “from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

“I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime,” said the letter from Sessions, first obtained by Massroots.com and verified by The Washington Post.

As for the task force, Sessions said another subcommittee would “explore our use of asset forfeiture and make recommendations on any improvements needed to legal authorities, policies, and training to most effectively attack the financial infrastructure of criminal organizations.”

On Wednesday, Sessions reportedly re-established a controversial criminal asset seizure program ahead of the committee’s recommendations.

Local law enforcement leaders say a crackdown appears to be next, though they argue there’s no need for it.

“From a practitioner’s point of view, marijuana is not a drug that doesn’t have some danger to it, but it’s not the drug that’s driving violent crime in America,” said Ronal Serpas, the former superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department who co-chairs Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration…..

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The US Senate Republicans are Confused….Resurgent….

It’s easy from the outside….

But actually being responsible as the MAJORITY  is more difficult, eh?

Published in 1969 by Lawrence Peter, the Peter principle is a management theory that posits the selection of a candidate for a position is based on the candidate’s performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role. Employees are promoted a final time into jobs they cannot accomplish, and managers rise to the level of their incompetence.

The Republican Senate is a hot mess, and is a perfect example of the Peter Principle. The American citizenry chose to promote them to the role of majority party in part because of their excellence in being the minority party, and in part because they assumed the Republicans would be able to translate Obama resistance into actual political leadership.

But sadly, not so much. Their ineptitude is both confounding, and infuriating. But even more difficult to comprehend is their inability to understand even the simple principles of governing. They don’t seem to grasp the essentials of being a majority party: leadership, presenting a coherent message, and coalescing their members into a united body. These necessities seem to be far beyond their capabilities.

There are a myriad of issues within that august body, but chief among them is their inability to look beyond themselves in order to protect the brand and the party.

From the outside, the Republican party appears to be confused and uncertain as to their identity. They campaign on being conservatives, one even declared his desire to “build that dang wall”.  They know all the conservative talking points, they even eagerly took the identity of Tea Party membership when necessary. Every website touts conservative this, and conservative that, but close examination reveals a true inner conflict.

For many Senate Republicans, it is apparent the talk of being Republican conservative is just that, talk. Conservatism is the hard outer shell, but if you were to take a look at the squishy center, you would see a Rockefeller republican, a moderate trans dying to compromise, aching for comity, desirous of the approval of the Democratic coastal elites, and jealous for preening media attention….

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Congress approves new Russian Sanctions Bill…

Trump had tried to water down or stop the action….

The Bill also covers sanctions against North Korea and Iran….

The bill beuffs his efforts…

The House and Senate reached a deal Saturday to slap Russia with fresh sanctions and give Congress new veto power to block any easing of those sanctions — an agreement that could send a new bill to President Donald Trump’s desk before the end of the month.

House and Senate negotiators announced an agreement was reached Saturday morning for a bill that would include new sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
Despite the White House lobbying for changes to the measure, the legislation will give Congress a new ability to block the administration from easing sanctions on Moscow. Democrats and some Republicans have expressed concerns that Trump is considering giving Russia back two compounds in Maryland and New York that were seized by the Obama administration in December…..
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