3/11/2019

ESSENTIAL #1: “TRUMP PROPOSES A RECORD $4.75 TRILLION BUDGET” JIM TANKERSLY AND MICHAEL TACKETT, THE NEW YORK TIMES

From the article: “President Trump sent Congress on Monday a record $4.75 trillion budget request that calls for increased military spending and sharp cuts to domestic programs like education and environmental protection for the 2020 fiscal year.

Mr. Trump’s budget, the largest in federal history, includes a nearly 5 percent increase in military spending — which is more than the Pentagon had asked for — and an additional $8.6 billion for construction of a border wall with Mexico. And it contains what White House officials called a total of $1.9 trillion in cost savings from mandatory safety net programs, like Medicaid and Medicare.

The budget is unlikely to have much impact on actual spending levels, which are controlled by Congress. Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate pronounced the budget dead on arrival on Sunday, and Mr. Trump’s budgets largely failed to gain traction in previous years, when fellow Republicans controlled both chambers.”

ESSENTIAL #2: “FORMER VP CHENEY CHALLENGES VP PENCE ON TRUMP FOREIGN POLICY AT PRIVATE RETREAT” ROBERT COSTA AND ASHLEY PARKER, THE WASHINGTON POST

From the article: “A chummy discussion between Vice President Pence and former vice president Richard B. Cheney quickly turned into a vigorous back-and-forth over President Trump’s foreign policy at a private gathering on Saturday, with Cheney comparing the president’s isolationist instincts to those of his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, according to a transcript obtained by The Washington Post.

At the closed-door retreat hosted by the American Enterprise Institute on March 9 in Sea Island, Ga., Cheney respectfully but repeatedly and firmly pressed Pence on a number of the president’s foreign policy decisions — over which Cheney expressed concerns — from taking a harder line toward U.S. allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to deciding to withdraw troops from Syria during what Cheney fretted was “the middle of a phone call.”

Cheney also worried aloud to Pence that “we’re getting into a situation when our friends and allies around the world that we depend upon are going to lack confidence in us,” and then offered a blunt criticism of the current administration’s response to foreign policy.”

ESSENTIAL #3: “TRUMP ADMINISTRATION PLANS SERIES OF EXECUTIVE ORDERS” JONATHAN SWAN, AXIOS

From the article: “Senior Trump administration officials are crafting a plan ahead of the president's re-election bid that sounds like a blend of Bill Clinton's "triangulation" and Barack Obama's "pen and a phone."

The big picture: The plan — which acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and policy staff are developing, and which is in its early stages — would have Trump sign a series of executive orders on issues including education, drug pricing, the opioid epidemic and veterans affairs. Aides say the moves would appeal to Democrats and Republicans.”

ESSENTIAL #4: “SPEAKER PELOSI OPPOSES IMPEACHMENT IN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW JOE HEIM, THE WASHINGTON POST

From the article: “I’m not for impeachment. This is news. I’m going to give you some news right now because I haven’t said this to any press person before. But since you asked, and I’ve been thinking about this: Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.”