POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

'The 401K plan as it stands will not be touched' by tax plan, says official

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 21:43
Treasurer Jovita Carranza said on Oct. 23 that 401K savings plans are going to remain the same under President Trump's tax plan, but that "it will always be under review."

Text of a Letter from the President to the Congress of the United States

THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS OFFICE - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 21:39

TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:


     Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days of the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date.  In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency with respect to the situation in, or in relation to, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, declared in Executive Order 13413 of October 27, 2006, is to continue in effect beyond October 27, 2017.

     The situation in, or in relation to, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has been marked by widespread violence and atrocities that continue to threaten regional stability, continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States.  For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13413 with respect to the situation in, or in relation to, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,
    October 23, 2017.

In Asia, Trump to warn North Korea but not likely visit DMZ

AP POLITICS - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 21:39
NEW YORK (AP) — For all of President Donald Trump's overheated talk about North Korea's Kim Jung Un and the country's nuclear program, Trump will likely not make the customary presidential visit to the heavily fortified border between North and South Korea known as the Demilitarized Zone during his 12-day trip to Asia next month. 2017-10-23T11:25:00-04:00 2017-10-23T15:25:45-04:00

Notice Regarding the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to the Democratic Republic of the Congo

THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS OFFICE - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 21:37

NOTICE

- - - - - - -

CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO


On October 27, 2006, by Executive Order 13413, the President declared a national emergency with respect to the situation in, or in relation to, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and, pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706), ordered related measures blocking the property of certain persons contributing to the conflict in that country.  The President took this action to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States constituted by the situation in, or in relation to, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has been marked by widespread violence and atrocities and continues to threaten regional stability.  The President took additional steps to address this national emergency in Executive Order 13671 of July 8, 2014.

The situation in, or in relation to, the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States.  For this reason, the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13413 of October 27, 2006, as amended by Executive Order 13671 of July 8, 2014, and the measures adopted to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond October 27, 2017.  Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to the situation in, or in relation to, the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared in Executive Order 13413, as amended by Executive Order 13671.

This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,
    October 23, 2017.

 

Ivanka joins push for tax reform

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 21:33
President Trump's daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump spoke on Oct. 23 in Bucks County, Pa., about her father's tax reform plan.

Oregonian wins 2017 Natt Award for 'Toxic Armories' series

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 21:32

SEATTLE (AP) - The Oregonian/OregonLive is the winner of the 2017 Ted Natt First Amendment Award for its commitment to fighting for access to public records and the principles of open government.

The award to reporter Rob Davis for his series "Toxic Armories " was presented Thursday at the annual ...

Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Lee of Singapore in Joint Statements

THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS OFFICE - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 21:22

Rose Garden

1:51 P.M. EDT

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much.  Please sit.  I'm honored to welcome Prime Minister Lee of Singapore to the White House today.  Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister.

PRIME MINISTER LEE:  Thank you, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I want to thank you for visiting us, and your entire group of very, very talented people that we're dealing with.  Our friendship has never been stronger than it is right now.  

Singapore is one of our closest strategic partners in Asia.  The United States is proud of the deep and enduring partnership we have built since Singapore gained its independence more than half-a-century ago. 

Singapore’s rapid development from a poor island nation to an economic powerhouse, under the leadership of the Prime Minister’s great father -- he was a great man; he really was a great man -- has been one of the incredible economic and political achievements of the past 50 years.

Singapore’s strong commitment to the rule of law, to international [intellectual] property protections, and to the principles of fair and reciprocal -- one of my favorite words when it comes to trade -- has made the country a magnet for business.  Today, over 4,000 American companies are operating in Singapore, and we have a very large trading relationship with Singapore.

Earlier today, the Prime Minister and I witnessed a contract signing between Singapore Airlines -- a great airline -- and Boeing worth more than $13.8 billion.  I want to thank the Singaporean people for their faith in the American engineering and American workers.  And our American workers deliver the best product, by far.  Our robust partnership extends far beyond economic cooperation and trade.  

Mr. Prime Minister, as your father rightly noted, “The development of the economy is very important, but equally important is the development of the nature of our society.”  So true.

The United States and Singapore share a profound belief in a society built on a foundation of law.  A nation ruled by law provides the greatest security for the rights of citizens and the best path to shared and lasting prosperity.  Both the United States and Singapore understand the unmatched power of private enterprise to uplift the human condition.  These values have made our societies stronger, sustained our partnership through the Cold War, and laid a critical foundation for our lasting relationship today. 

Our common values and interests have led to a vital security relationship.  Throughout Southeast Asia, the United States and Singapore are currently working to enhance the capacity of law enforcement, fight terrorism, and bolster cyber defenses.  Our two nations also share an unwavering commitment to countering the North Korean threat and promoting freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. 

Singapore was the first Southeast Asian nation to join the coalition to defeat ISIS.  That was very far thinking.  You were there before most.  More than 1,000 of its military personnel train here in the United States every single year. 

When Hurricane Harvey struck our Gulf Coast in late August, Singapore deployed its own helicopters to help transport personnel and critical resources to areas in need.  And the Prime Minister told me that and called me, and made that request himself.  It was a great help, and we want to thank you very much -- the use of your helicopters.  

When the American Navy destroyer, the USS John McCain, suffered a collision at the sea, Singapore came to our immediate assistance.  On behalf of all Americans, I want to thank the Prime Minister and the people of Singapore for their support, which has been tremendous, and for their friendship.

In a few weeks, I will attend the U.S.-ASEAN Summit in the Philippines, where we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of U.S.-ASEAN relations.  I look forward to continuing our discussions at this year’s summit and to seeing the great things Singapore will accomplish as ASEAN chair in 2018.  In other words, this great gathering will take place in Singapore in 2018. 

Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for your continuing partnership and leadership.  The U.S.-Singapore relationship has made both of our people far more prosperous and secure, and our values have made us longstanding friends.  We are fortunate to have such a wonderful and loyal partner.  Thank you very much.

PRIME MINISTER LEE:  Thank you, Mr. President.  (Applause.)

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to thank President Trump for his very warm hospitality.  I'm very happy to visit him in Washington following our first meeting, which was at the G20 Summit in Hamburg in July.

We had a wide-ranging exchange in the Oval Office and then over lunch.  We reaffirmed the robust and enduring partnership between Singapore and the United States over the last 51 years.  It's a deep and wide relationship with substantial cooperation in economic, defense, and security spheres.  And we also discussed what more we could do to take it forward.

On the economic front, the U.S. is an important partner for many countries in Asia, just as Asia is an important economic partner for the United States.

Singapore is a small country -- we're just 5.5 million -- but we have sizable investments and trade with the U.S., and these continue to grow.  For example, we are the second largest Asian investor in the U.S., with more than 70 billion U.S. dollars in stock investments, and our total trade in goods and services amounted to more than $68 billion last year.

The U.S. has consistently run a substantial trade surplus with Singapore.  Last year, it stood at $18 billion.  In other words, America exported $43 billion of goods and services to Singapore.

And on a per capita basis, we must be one of the highest-buying American customers in the world -- $7,500 worth of American goods and services yearly:  iPhones, pharmaceutical products, tires, golf clubs, financial and consultancy services.  I mean the sticks, not the associations.  (Laughter.)  And I discovered recently, looking at my sports shoes, at my New Balance shoes, which are very good -- are made in the U.S., probably in New England.

And of course, we buy Boeing jets.  President Trump and I just witnessed a signing between Singapore Airlines and Boeing for SIA to purchase 39 Boeing aircraft worth 13.8 billion U.S. dollars.  It's a win-win for both sides.  It will further modernize SIA's fleet and will also support many American jobs.

Our defense ties are very strong.  Singapore supports a military presence in Asia.  Since 1990, we have hosted USAF and Navy aircraft and ships on rotational deployments.  We thank the U.S. for hosting more than 1,000 Singapore military personnel each year in training detachments in the United States.  

We have forces at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix and in Marana, also in Arizona; at Mountain Home Air Base in Idaho; at Grand Prairie in Texas; and in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where I spent three months many years ago.

In fact, our Chinooks and military personnel in Grand Prairie were deployed to assist in the Hurricane Harvey disaster relief operations, and we are glad to have been of some help to our very gracious hosts.

We have a close partnership, too, on security cooperation, including transnational security, terrorism, and cybersecurity.  Singapore has lent early and consistent support to the defeat- ISIS coalition.  We were one of the first countries to participate and are still the only Asian country to have contributed both military assets and personnel.  And as I told President Trump when we met, Singapore will extend our existing deployment to the operation into 2018 for an additional year.

President Trump and I naturally discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula.  We strongly oppose the nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, as it affects the peace and stability of the region.

And like the U.S., we condemn the DPRK's dangerous provocations.  These pose a serious threat to regional and international peace and stability. 

I shared with President Trump what Singapore has done to pressure and to isolate the DPRK, going beyond U.N. Security Council resolutions.  But there is no quick and easy solution.  Pressure is necessary but so is dialogue.  The U.S. will need to work with others, including China, South Korea, and Japan, and Russia to resolve the issue.

President Trump will be visiting China in a few weeks' time as part of his first visit to Asia.  Singapore, like many other countries, watched your relations with China very closely.  It's the most important bilateral relationship in the world.  

China is the U.S.'s third largest export market for both goods and services; for agricultural exports, it's the second largest.  They buy soybeans, grains, and cotton, as well as farming machinery.  And I am quite sure that as their incomes go up, they will buy more and more good American beef.

I express my hope that the U.S. will be able to maintain a stable and constructive relationship with China, engaging each other at the highest levels, building trust, establishing institutional mechanisms.  

Good U.S.-China relations will benefit the region and the world.  They will enable countries in the Asia Pacific, including America and China themselves, to enjoy regional stability, peace, and prosperity. 

Finally, I look forward to seeing President Trump again in Vietnam and the Philippines next month to attend the APEC and ASEAN and East Asia Summit meetings. 

His presence in Asia will mean a lot to America's many friends and allies in the region, and it will open doors and develop markets for U.S. exporters and investors.  

Although the President is not visiting Singapore this time around, I have invited him to visit Singapore at the earliest opportunity, and I'm very glad that he has accepted. 

Singapore will be the ASEAN chair next year, and we hope to strengthen our ties -- ASEAN's ties -- with the United States and further ASEAN-U.S. cooperation. 

Thank you very much. 

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much, everybody.

END                2:03 P.M. EDT 

EPA may repeal emission standards for truck components

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 21:21
Much of the trucking industry backs the Obama-era rule, but the largest U.S. manufacturer lobbied against it.

Sen. Bob Menendez's trial by the numbers

CNN POLITICS - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 21:18
To fully capture the scope of the federal bribery case against Sen. Bob Menendez, CNN will update this list each week with new totals derived from the past week's court proceedings.

Trump shoots down retirement limit to pay for GOP tax cuts

AP POLITICS - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 21:17
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump shot down a possible approach for raising revenue to finance tax cuts in politically must-do legislation for the Republicans, promising Monday the popular 401(k) retirement program will be untouched. 2017-10-23T11:07:00-04:00 2017-10-23T15:07:14-04:00

Angry soldier's widow says Trump didn't know husband's name

AP POLITICS - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 21:17
WASHINGTON (AP) — A fallen soldier's widow criticized President Donald Trump on Monday over his condolence call last week, prompting a fresh Trump Twitter rebuttal as the emotional conflict case showed no sign of abating. 2017-10-23T11:01:00-04:00 2017-10-23T15:01:30-04:00

Alaska Legislature convenes special session on taxes, crime

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 21:13

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Legislature has convened its fourth special session this year.

Gov. Bill Walker has asked lawmakers to consider a wage tax and to respond to public outcry over crime by revising a sweeping criminal justice overhaul passed last year.

Walker sees new revenue as a ...

Democrats on Trump’s voter commission say they’re in the dark about what it’s doing

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 21:12
“For all I know, we may never meet again,” said Matthew Dunlap, Maine’s secretary of state and a Democratic commissioner.

Trump to announce new refugee admissions cap, stronger vetting rules as ban expires

FOXNEWS POLITICS - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 21:11
President Trump on Tuesday is expected to announce a tighter cap on the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. and call for tougher vetting rules, as his administration’s refugee ban expires, Fox News has learned.

Dawn Blitz 2017: Realistic and Relevant Amphibious Training

(USA) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 21:08
The Navy’s Expeditionary Strike Group 3 and the Marine Corps’ 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade kicked off the joint amphibious exercise Dawn Blitz.

Trump shoots down retirement limit to pay for GOP tax cuts

AP POLITICS - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 21:03
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump shot down a possible approach for raising revenue to finance tax cuts in politically must-do legislation for the Republicans, promising Monday the popular 401(k) retirement program will be untouched. 2017-10-23T10:54:00-04:00 2017-10-23T14:54:13-04:00

Tillerson makes surprise visit to Iraq following ISIS defeats

CNN POLITICS - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 21:01
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's surprise visit to Iraq will have one particular focus: calming tensions between Baghdad and the Kurds in order to keep both parties focused on Washington's core priority: the war against ISIS.

New Hampshire governor asks Trump to stop Indonesian deportation effort

REUTERS POLITICS - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 20:57
BOSTON (Reuters) - New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu on Monday publicly called on U.S. President Donald Trump, a fellow Republican, to halt an effort to deport 69 Indonesian Christians who fled violence in that country two decades ago and are living illegally in the state.

The Point: Donald Trump's taxes are the most important story no one is talking about

CNN POLITICS - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 20:55
A week ago today was the last chance to file your 2016 federal income tax returns -- a time which, in the past, has occasioned the president to release a portion of his own taxes.

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