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Wall Demand May Cause Shutdown

Trump demands border wall money to keep government open, support ACA. Bloomberg: “…Trump insists he won’t go quietly even if Republicans and Democrats cut a deal. His budget director tried to sweeten the pot on Friday by offering Democrats help on their pet cause, Obamacare subsidies. … ‘We’d offer them one dollar’ of Obamacare payments … for one dollar of wall payments right now.'”

But congressional GOP leaders may cooperate with Democrats. Politico: “…Trump appears headed for disappointment. Democrats are signaling they’re unlikely to cave, and Hill Republicans are already pressing the administration to fight another day … Government funding expires Friday … White House officials and several senior House Republican sources say a short, one-week stopgap may be needed to buy more time to negotiate on a larger bill to fund the government through September.”

Wall starts small. W. Post: “Despite more than a year of campaign rhetoric about a ‘big, beautiful wall’ spanning the entirety of the southern border, the Trump administration plans to start with a much less ambitious footprint … Identified as ‘high priority’ in the document are the border sectors of the Rio Grande Valley in the southern tip of Texas — encompassing Rio Grande City, McAllen and Weslaco — as well as El Paso, Tucson and San Diego … The preliminary plan anticipates adding more than 100 new miles of wall over the next two years, on top of the 700 miles of fencing that already exists, at an initial cost of more than $3.6 billion.”

Trump Targets Environment This Week…

Environmental executive orders expected this week. Reuters: “On Wednesday, Trump is expected to sign an executive order related to the 1906 Antiquities Act, which enables the president to designate federal areas of land and water as national monuments to protect them from drilling, mining and development … On Friday, Trump is expected to sign an order to review areas available for offshore oil and gas exploration, as well as rules governing offshore drilling … Trump is also expected this week to sign an order to create an office of accountability in the Veterans Affairs department. He is also expected to create a rural America interagency task force to recommend policies to address issues facing agricultural states.”

Al Gore hopeful about Paris pact. AFP: “”‘ think that there’s an excellent chance, far better than 50-50, that the United States will decide to stay in the Paris Agreement,’ Gore said during a roundtable discussion at this week’s spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund…”

…And Taxes

Trump to outline tax reform on Wednesday. Politico: “…Mick Mulvaney, the Office of Management and Budget director, said specifics about what tax cuts will be proposed Wednesday are still being determined. He said the announcement will include guidance, principles and ‘also some indication of what the rates are going to be.’ … On Friday, Trump told The Associated Press that individuals and businesses will receive ‘massive tax cuts’ under his tax reform plan. Trump provided no details, according to the AP, but predicted the cuts would be ‘bigger, I believe, than any tax cut ever.'”

WH offers “conflicting details.” W. Post: “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Saturday suggested Wednesday’s announcement would pursue a long-term overhaul of the tax code … Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, appeared to cast doubt on Mnuchin’s statements, saying the White House hadn’t decided whether to pursue a long-term or short-term tax overhaul. He also said they haven’t decided whether to offset the rate cuts with other changes that would reduce the budget deficit.

Breakfast Sides

NYT spotlights ” the Indiana workers [at Carrier] whose jobs President Trump didn’t save”: “… the plant in Huntington operated by United Technologies Electronic Controls, or UTEC, was not part of that deal — nor would it be helped by the ‘buy American’ mandate for federal infrastructure projects that Mr. Trump promised in Wisconsin last week … For the most part, the workers do not fault Mr. Trump for failing to preserve their jobs, even as he took credit for keeping the Indianapolis plant open.”

After 100 days, resistance can’t stop, says The Nation’s John Nichols: “By governing from the right, Trump managed to get his approval rating as low as 35 percent in an April Quinnipiac poll. It is said that Trump has nowhere to go but up. Not true … Now is the time to turn resistance into something more: a coherent opposition that is capable of saying ‘no’ to Trump and holding him to account while at the same time organizing, marching, campaigning, and voting for a whole new politics that will consign crony capitalism, militarism, fearmongering, and the cruel chimera of the ‘CEO president’ to the dustbin of history.”

WSJ profiles Trump’s point man on Wall Street deregulation, hedge funder Craig Phillips:: “His primary job at the Treasury Department is to craft a response to Mr. Trump’s February executive order asking for a broad review by the department of financial regulations … What he has [previously] said suggests he saw the Obama administration’s regulatory approach as too aggressive, while rejecting some conservatives’ views that the government should have little if any role in backstopping financial markets … His [past] support for Democrats has irked Republicans on Capitol Hill and inside the Trump administration, who perceive Mr. Phillips as a potential roadblock to implementing a broader conservative agenda…”

Americans want active government. NBC: “[A] striking finding from the NBC/WSJ poll: 57% of the public says that the government should do more to solve problems and meet the needs of Americans, versus 39% who said the government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals. That’s the highest share yearning for a more active government since the poll began asking voters about the role of government in 1995…”

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