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Spending Showdown Moves To Senate

House approves short-term spending, Senate Dems may block it. WaPo: "The House passed a short-term extension of government funding late Thursday after Republican leaders, with help from President Trump, cobbled together enough GOP votes to overcome an internal revolt. Still, the possibility of a federal shutdown moved closer to a certainty after Senate Democrats rallied against the GOP proposal, announcing they would not lend their votes to a bill that did not reflect their priorities on immigration, government spending and other issues. By Thursday evening, nine Senate Democrats who had voted for a prior spending measure in December said they would not support the latest proposed four-week extension, joining 30 other Democrats and at least two Senate Republicans — and leaving the bill short of the 60 votes needed to advance."

Trump Appointee Resigns After Racism Revealed

Carl Higbie resigns as public face of agency that runs AmeriCorps. CNN: "Trump administration appointee Carl Higbie resigned Thursday as chief of external affairs for the federal government's volunteer service organization after a CNN KFile review of racist, sexist, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT comments he made on the radio... Higbie, a former Navy SEAL and conservative media personality, was a surrogate for Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, appearing on cable news and serving as the spokesman for the Trump-aligned Great America PAC. He was appointed to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in 2017 to direct the public image and messaging of the federal department that manages millions of Americans in volunteer services like AmeriCorps and Senior Corps."

Mulvaney Takes Steps To Dismantle CFPB

Mick Mulvaney’s plan to neuter consumer watchdog comes into focus. NYM: "When President Trump installed Mick Mulvaney as the new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last year, it was obvious why. The CFPB exists to protect consumers from predatory financial practices, which makes it popular with Americans, but unpopular among the GOP and its donors. Mulvaney, who has called the bureau a 'sick, sad joke,' was at the CFPB to weaken it. It began on Tuesday, when the bureau said it will reconsider payday-lending rules that went into effect last year... Mulvaney’s latest move threatening the future of CFPB was revealed on Thursday. In his first quarterly request for operating funds at the bureau, Mulvaney asked the Federal Reserve for $0. His intention is not to cut off funding to the bureau — not yet, at least — but rather to drain its rainy-day fund."

SCOTUS Blocks Ruling To Reverse NC Gerrymander

Supreme Court blocks order to redraw North Carolina congressional map. Politico: "The Supreme Court has blocked a lower court's order requiring North Carolina's legislature to redraw the state's congressional district boundaries for this year's elections. The justices appear to have split, 7-2, in deciding to put on hold the ruling that tossed out the state's map as 'an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander' in favor of Republicans. The map will likely remain in effect for the 2018 midterm elections... The Supreme Court's move does not necessarily mean it will hear arguments in the case. The justices are currently considering a case out of Wisconsin that raises the issue of partisan gerrymandering and whether it can be so severe that it violates voters' constitutional rights. The apparent, 7-2 split by the justices Thursday could mean that they are reluctant to upend the status quo in North Carolina before the high court attempts to clarify the legal question through the Wisconsin case."

The Ideology Behind Trump's Immigration Views

The scary ideology behind Trump’s immigration instincts. Vox: "The most important phrase uttered during President Donald Trump’s infamous immigration deal meeting last Thursday wasn’t the one about people from “shithole” countries. It was: “Why do we want people from Haiti here?” It came along with Trump’s statement that America should want more immigrants from countries like Norway. In other words: Why can’t we have more white immigrants, and fewer nonwhite ones? Trump isn’t just expressing what some conservatives view as 'politically incorrect' sentiments. He — and, importantly, members of his staff — is embracing what used to be a fringe theory held by the furthest of the far right — one that holds that white people are being systematically 'erased' by their inferiors, and thus require an influx of white babies and new white immigrants (and the exclusion of nonwhite immigrants) to survive."

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