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  • Congress returns to session facing government shutdown threat

    As the Congress returns to work in Washington, D.C. after a two week break, lawmakers in both parties face a series of unsettled political battlegrounds, one of which could bring about a government shutdown by the end of the week, as President Trump and Republican leaders in the Congress grapple with the budget, money for their priorities, and unanswered questions on major issues like health reform.

    Here’s a snapshot as we begin the week in the nation’s capital.

    1. Will the government shutdown on Friday night? That will be the biggest question as lawmakers return to legislative work sessions in the House [More]

  • North Carolina investigation finds little voter fraud in 2016

    An audit of the 2016 election by the state of North Carolina found that out of 4.8 million votes cast last November, elections officials uncovered evidence that just over 500 votes were cast illegally, most of them by convicted felons who were out of prison on probation or parole, as authorities unearthed no evidence of large scale voter fraud.

    “It is important to recognize that suspected cases of ineligible voters casting ballots and/or committing fraud represent a tiny fraction,” read the report from the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

    The report broke down the ineligible voting in North [More]

  • Trump teases tax plan release, but it may not be a complete plan

    President Donald Trump on Friday promised a “big announcement” next week on his plans for major tax reform, but soon after, top administration officials were tempering expectations, indicating that the White House would be releasing broad goals of a tax plan, not the details in full legislative text.

    “We’ll be having a big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform,” Mr. Trump said as he signed several executive orders dealing with financial matters at the Treasury Department.

    “The process has begun long ago, but it really formally begins on Wednesday,” the President added, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – his [More]

  • Capitol Hill still trying to figure out departure of Rep. Jason Chaffetz

    Capitol Hill is still trying to digest the biggest news of the week from the halls of Congress, as the decision of Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) to not run for re-election in 2018 – and maybe resign his seat in Congress before the end of his term – could open up a fight for the chairmanship of a key House committee, even as many wonder why Chaffetz would just walk away from that powerful post.

    Here is a look from Capitol Hill:

    1. Chaffetz giving up a prime committee chairmanship. The House Oversight Committee has a broad charter, allowing its leader to [More]

  • Trump tax reform plan coming “very soon”

    A week before the 100 day mark of President Donald Trump’s time in office, top administration officials say they are on the verge of releasing a sweeping plan to reform the nation’s tax system, waving off questions about whether legislative troubles with a GOP health care proposal would foreshadow tax troubles as well.

    Asked when the details of the plan would be released, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “Soon, very soon.”

    “We’re very focused on it,” Mnuchin said at a Washington, D.C. event sponsored by the Institute of International Finance.

    “Big priority for the President – we will get tax reform done,” Mnuchin [More]

  • Trump on Paris attack: “What can you say? It just never ends”

    Again calling for the United States to be ‘strong’ and ‘vigilant’ when it comes to terrorism, President Donald Trump made clear the shooting of police officers in France on Thursday was an all too familiar refrain.

    “It looks like another terrorist attack. What can you say? It just never ends,” the President said at a joint news conference with the Italian Prime Minister.

    “We have to be strong, we have to be vigilant, and I’ve been saying it for a long time,” Mr. Trump added.

    The two leaders had walked into the East Room of the White House to address reporters [More]

  • For second time this week, Trump jabs at Canada over trade

    As he signed an executive order providing for a review of possible dumping of steel in U.S. markets, President Donald Trump on Thursday demanded new trade negotiations with Canada, charging American producers are being hurt in trade involving dairy, lumber, timber and energy resources.

    “We going to have to get to the negotiating table with Canada, very, very quickly,” the President said in the Oval Office.

    Mr. Trump has previously raised questions about U.S.-Canada trade in dairy products, but expanded those public complaints today to include lumber, timber and energy.

    “We can’t let Canada – or anybody else – take advantage, and do [More]

  • GOP making noise again about renewed push on Obamacare overhaul

    Almost two weeks after leaving Washington, D.C. on an Easter break without taking action on health care, the GOP effort to repeal and replace the Obama health law began rumbling again on Wednesday, both from the White House and Congress, as Republicans gave hints that they were narrowing differences on a health overhaul measure.

    “We’re very close,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan during a speech in London, as he said the GOP health care plan “is not dead – we’re still working on it.”

    Ryan noted that Republicans and President Trump had both run in the 2016 elections on the promise [More]

  • Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he will not run for re-election in 2018

    In a surprise announcement, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said he would not run for re-election to the Congress, or any other office in 2018, as the high profile chairman of the House Oversight Committee will leave the U.S. House after his current terms runs out on Capitol Hill.

    “For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives. I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins,” Chaffetz wrote in a post on his Facebook page.

    Chaffetz had been feeling political headwinds in recent weeks, as Democrats mobilized [More]

  • Uncle Sam’s spending – from high tech and subscriptions, to cooks and bathrooms

    While Congress and the White House try to work out a plan to fund the federal government for the rest of this fiscal year, spending by Uncle Sam continues on a whole host of items, from highly advanced technical research at NASA and the Pentagon, to more mundane items, like subscriptions to magazines and journals, and janitorial services.

    Here’s a few things that the federal government spent your tax dollars on in the past few days:

    1. Very smart people doing very smart people things. NASA has been very effective at sprinkling its research facilities around the country, which has spawned strong, [More]

  • The state of Arkansas plans to conduct a double execution on Monday. Two condemned killers who admit they're guilty but fear poor health could lead to extreme pain during lethal injections might become the first inmates put to death in a double execution in the U.S. in more than 16 years. Jack Jones (pictured, left) and Marcel Williams are set to die Monday night. If put to death, they would be the second and third Arkansas inmates executed this month. Arkansas originally wanted to execute eight inmates before one of its lethal injection drugs expires at the end of the month in the nation's most aggressive execution schedule since the U.S. Supreme Court restored the death penalty in 1976. Arkansas put Ledell Lee to death last week in its first execution since 2005. Another inmate, Kenneth Williams, is set for execution Thursday.
  • Saturday, funeral services were held in Tulsa, for Oklahoma State Rep. David Brumbaugh. He passed away last weekend due to an apparent heart attack. Friends, family and colleagues had nothing but good things to say about Brumbaugh. “Every time that he spoke, he did it not because of what he thought politically, but because it’s what he thought was right,” one colleague said.  “Hopefully, those of us that are still there will be able to follow that.” The service was held at Tulsa Bible Church.  During the service, Brumbaugh was remembered as a man dedicated to public service and to his faith.
  • A cashier is said to be in stable condition, after getting shot during an armed robbery Friday night. The shooting happened around 7:29 p.m., at the RK Food Mart on North Utica Avenue. “After the cashier cooperated and handed over an undisclosed amount of cash, the suspect shot him in the foot one time,” Tulsa police said.  “The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment.” A description of the suspect hasn’t been released.   Anyone with information regarding the robbery is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.
  • The heavens opened up in and around the Tulsa area on Friday, but how much rain did we actually get? National Weather Service Meteorologist Robert Darby has the answer. “We did see wide-spread 3 to 4 inches across a large portion of northeast Oklahoma and Tulsa County,” Darby said.   There is a chance of rain in the forecast for Saturday as well.   Sapulpa suffered some damage in Friday’s storms.   While driving around, we found uprooted trees, a destroyed gazebo and one resident received quite the surprise when he woke up. “Getting my dogs ready to go outside and kind of noticed I had no roof towards the bathroom area,” the resident said.   Crews were out helping with the debris around the city.
  • United Airlines is apparently trying to make the 'bumping' process a little less confrontational. A United passenger tells People magazine that when he was checking in for his flight on the airline's website, a pop-up screen asked him if he would be interested in taking a different flight in exchange for a travel certificate of at least $200. A United spokesman says they've done it for years, but the passenger said he didn't see it on the United check-in he did a few days before. Whether it’s new or not, the airline is taking other steps to try to avoid the ugly situation where Dr. David Dao was dragged down the aisle of a plane. United also now has a rule in place that passengers cannot be bumped if they're already seated on their flight. You can read more about the story here.