Trump prepares for first State of the Union address

 

Jeff Sessions Interview
 

Investigations continue about alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.  Last week, the Justice Department confirmed that special counsel Robert Mueller had interviewed a member of the President’s cabinet, Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

   

On Wednesday, President Trump was not opposed to the idea of an interview with Mueller.

   

“There is no obstruction whatsoever,” he said.  “And I am looking forward to it.”

   

But now reports have surfaced that claim Trump tried to fire Mueller last year, adding more controversy to the investigation.

   

Sen. Mark Warner of the Senate Intelligence Committee said, “Any attempt to remove the special counsel…would be a gross abuse of power, and all members of Congress, from both parties, have a responsibility to our Constitution and to our country to make that clear immediately.”

   

The White House has continuously denied the claims.

   

On Friday, at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Trump once again dismissed the allegations, calling the reports a result of “fake news.”

 

 

DACA Deal

   

On Thursday, the White House released a facts sheet on immigration reform and border security.  Along with protecting the nuclear family and eliminating lottery and repurpose visas, the statement lists DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) legalization among its goals.

   

According to the fact sheet, the president plans to “provide legal status for DACA recipients and other DACA-eligible illegal immigrants.”

   

The preliminary conditions include a 10-12 year process, work and education requirements for those eligible, and government power to revoke legal status due to criminal activity.

   

In exchange for considering 1.8 million “dreamers,” as those eligible for DACA are called, Trump is asking for $25 billion to build a wall along the border, among other security-related requests.

   

Democrat leader of the Senate Chuck Schumer has criticized Trump’s deal as unjust.

   

“He uses [Dreamers] as a tool to tear apart our legal immigration system,” Schumer said.

   

President Trump responded to Schumer’s accusation, standing by his proposal and blaming Schumer for the setbacks in reaching a compromise.

   

"DACA has been made increasingly difficult,” Trump said, “by the fact that Cryin’ Chuck Schumer took such a beating over the shutdown that he is unable to act on immigration.”

 

 

Government Shutdown

 

Following a three-day shutdown this month, the government is funded until Feb. 8. Congress must pass another spending deal before that day, or government offices and parks will close for the second time in 2018.

 

“The midterm is usually hard for the party in office,” said Dr. James Todd, Palm Beach Atlantic University professor of politics and law.

 

Concern now lies in the divisiveness of the House and Senate. Political analysts suggest items of debate are becoming more difficult to compromise on, and politicians are becoming increasingly polarized.

 

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse reportedly told the New York Times Saturday, “Congress is weaker than it has been in decades, the Senate isn’t tackling our great national problems, and this has little to do with who sits in the Oval Office,” he said. “Both parties — Republicans and Democrats — are obsessed with political survival and incumbency.”   

 

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