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Thursday, Apr 26th

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Trump to sign spending bill after earlier veto threat

Omnibus bill to be signed by Trump

President Donald Trump told congressional leaders on Friday that he would sign the $1.3 trillion spending bill, according to a source familiar with the conversation, averting a government shutdown and ending a panic that briefly gripped official Washington.

Trump stunned even his closest advisors earlier in the day when he tweeted that he was “considering a VETO“ of the bill that Congress had cleared just hours earlier.

Trump’s declaration — citing the spending bill’s lack of full funding for his border wall and attention to undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers — comes as many lawmakers who would have to override his rejection or pass a stopgap funding measure are already on the way out of Washington for a two-week recess.

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House Passes $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill

House passes spending bill

The House passed a massive $1.3 trillion spending package on Thursday, sending it onto the Senate, which is expected to act as quickly as it can. Funding for the federal government runs out on Friday night.

House action is one of the final chapters in months of often-chaotic political struggles over the federal budget — partisan squabbles that led to two short government shutdowns. With control of Congress up for grabs in November — and a president who changed position on major issues on a regular basis — there were times when it didn't look like a final deal was possible.

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Massive spending deal clinched despite Trump’s misgivings

Massive spending deal clinched

Congressional leaders have clinched an agreement on a massive $1.3 trillion spending bill that President Donald Trump, for now, appears grudgingly willing to support. Washington has until Friday to act to avoid a government shutdown.

Negotiators finally reached an accord to fund the government through September after abandoning many of the most controversial provisions that lawmakers were trying to include in the must-pass bill, which has yet to be formally unveiled — and is likely the last major piece of legislation the president will sign before the midterm elections. The full text was released Wednesday night.

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DeVos battles lawmakers in contentious hearing

De VosEducation Secretary Betsy DeVos struggled to answer tough questions in a congressional hearing Tuesday, resulting in numerous tense back-and-forths with Democrats and a few quiet rebukes from Republican committee members.

Democrats accused DeVos of lacking leadership as she repeatedly failed to provide specific answers on her positions on school gun violence, racial disparities, LGBT rights and student loan oversight.

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Graham calls for hearing on McCabe firing

Graham calls for hearing on McCabe firing

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday said the Senate Judiciary Committee should hold a hearing on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, telling CNN’s “State of the Union” that the decision merits extra scrutiny “to make sure it wasn't politically motivated.”

“I think we owe it to the average American to have a hearing in the Judiciary Committee, where Mr. Sessions, Attorney General Sessions, comes forward with whatever documentation he has about the firing, and give Mr. McCabe a chance to defend himself,” said Graham (R-S.C.), who sits on the committee.

“I believe, when it comes to this issue, we need as much transparency as possible to make sure it wasn't politically motivated.”

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Durbin blasts Trump for ‘desperate and reckless conduct’

Dick Durbin blasts Trump

President Donald Trump is “engaged in desperate and reckless conduct” against the law enforcement entities investigating his 2016 campaign, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin said Sunday morning, actions that should push Congress to take steps to protect the office of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump lashed out earlier Sunday against Mueller, accusing the lifelong Republican of filling his office with Democrats pursing a partisan agenda under the guise of an investigation into allegations that the president’s campaign colluded with Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. The president’s attacks have once again stirred speculation that he might try to fire Mueller and end his investigation, which Trump has long labeled a “witch hunt.”

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Rep. Louise Slaughter Dies at 88: A "Giant" and Trailblaizer for Women

Louise Slaughter dies at 88

Rep. Louise Slaughter, a Democrat who represented the Rochester area in Congress since 1987, died Friday morning in a Washington, D.C., hospital. She was 88.

Her office released a statement confirming her passing. Slaughter fell at her Washington residence last week and was taken to George Washington University Hospital to receive treatment and monitoring for a concussion.

Slaughter was recognized as a fierce legislator who blazed trails for other women to enter politics.

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