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Trump Wants Deep Cuts To Social Safety Net

Trump wants to overhaul America’s safety net with giant cuts to housing, food stamps and health care. WaPo: "The budget that President Trump proposed Monday takes a hard whack at the poorest Americans, slashing billions of dollars from food stamps, public health insurance and federal housing vouchers, while trying to tilt the programs in more conservative directions. The spending plan reaches beyond the White House’s own power over the government social safety net and presumes lawmakers will overhaul long-standing entitlement programs for the poor in ways beyond what Congress so far has been willing to do. The changes call on lawmakers to eliminate the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and transform the rest of that program into a system of capped payments to states; convert food assistance into a hybrid of commodity deliveries and traditional cash benefits; and expand requirements that low-income people work to qualify for federal assistance."

Federal Court Blocks Bid To Kill DACA

2nd Federal court blocks Trump from rescinding DACA. NPR: "A federal judge in New York has ruled that the Trump administration cannot end the Obama-era program designed to protect from deportation young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn is the second court ruling blocking the administration's September order rescinding the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals... He said President Trump's termination of DACA was 'arbitrary and capricious.' Under the judge's order, the government is required to continue processing DACA renewal requests for people who already are enrolled in the program and those whose enrollment lapsed before Sept. 5, 2017. The ruling has no impact on young immigrants who never enrolled in DACA or those who had been rejected."

WH Shields Top Aide From FBI Reports Of Violence

WH let Rob Porter keep job even after receiving final F.B.I. report. NYT: "The White House changed its story on Tuesday about how it handled allegations of spousal abuse against Rob Porter, the staff secretary who resigned in disgrace last week, conceding that the F.B.I. told White House career officials last summer about problems in Mr. Porter’s background check. But members of President Trump’s team said top advisers in the West Wing were kept in the dark... Mr. Wray’s testimony also raised questions about the credibility of Mr. Trump’s most senior advisers and the degree of tolerance they may have shown to a colleague apparently eager to cover up a past. According to Mr. Wray, the F.B.I. updated the White House three times in 2017 — in March, July and November — about Mr. Porter’s background check as it progressed."

Conficts In Senate Immigration Debate

Will Trump make or break an immigration deal? NYM: "For all the talk of a free-flowing debate over immigration policy, any actual “deal” would involve legislation that can command the support of 30 Senate Republicans, 30 Senate Democrats, 120 House Republicans, 97 House Democrats, and Donald J. Trump. That is a stretch, to put it mildly... the math for a successful compromise is just impossible, and it’s made worse by the fact that Democrats are already smarting from criticism for failing to go to the mat for Dreamers when they could wield a government shutdown as leverage, and Paul Ryan can’t undercut the Goodlatte bill without endangering his gavel. The big and crazy wild card, of course, lives in the White House."

Russia Actively Meddling In 2018 Elections

Dan Coats, nation's top spy, expects Russia interference. Vox: "The nation’s top spy just said Russia will try to influence, and potentially undermine, the 2018 midterms. Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that Russia believes it did so well trying to influence the 2016 presidential election that it will try to do so again as hundreds of politicians contest for House and Senate seats throughout the year. 'There should be no doubt that Russia perceives that its past efforts have been successful and views the 2018 midterm US elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations,' Coats, the nation’s top spy, said on Tuesday... Let’s be clear about what Coats just said. First, he reiterated that Russia purposely tried to sway the last presidential election. Recall that President Donald Trump famously denies that Russia tried to interfere, even though American intelligence agencies unanimously believe Moscow wanted Trump to win and worked hard to ensure he did. Second — and more worryingly — Coats is saying that the Kremlin thought its last influence campaign went so swimmingly that it plans to do it again in November... Last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Russia was already meddling in the midterms, adding that the US was not ready to stop the Kremlin’s campaign."

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