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President Trump to be a grandfather again

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 1:22 PM
Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 1:22 PM

FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2016 file photo, President Donald Trump's son Eric Trump and his wife Lara Yunaska in Statesville, N.C. Eric announced on Twitter Monday, March 20, 2017, that he and his wife Lara are expecting their first child. The baby boy is due in September.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File
FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2016 file photo, President Donald Trump's son Eric Trump and his wife Lara Yunaska in Statesville, N.C. Eric announced on Twitter Monday, March 20, 2017, that he and his wife Lara are expecting their first child. The baby boy is due in September.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

It looks like President Donald Trump is going to be a grandfather again.

Trump’s son Eric tweeted that his wife Lara and him are having a boy in September.

He will be there first child.

President Trump retweeted saying “Congratulations Eric and Lara. Very proud and happy for the two of you.

Trump has eight grandchildren. Arabella, Joseph and Theodore Kushner and Chloe, Kai, Donald III, Tristan and Spencer.

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Republican tax reform plan may be limited by GOP budget

Published: Saturday, July 22, 2017 @ 6:17 AM

Republican plans for tax reform could be less sweeping than originally envisioned by the White House and GOP leaders in Congress, as a provision in a House GOP budget blueprint would require any tax bill to be ‘budget neutral,’ which would force lawmakers to offset any tax cuts with revenue increases that could be difficult in some cases to gain approval.

Deep in the fine print of the budget resolution for next year, the Republican plan allows for a tax reform bill under budget reconciliation, “if such measure would not increase the deficit for the total of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.”

In other words, you can’t just cut taxes – which technically deprive the federal treasury of revenue, and therefore increase the budget deficit – you have to find revenue to pay for those tax cuts.

And Republicans on the House Budget Committee were actively trumpeting that message.

On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan was touting tax reform during a trip to a New Balance factory in Massachusetts.

“First and foremost, we’re going to cut your taxes,” the Speaker said.

But when a tax plan is deficit neutral – a cut for one person means that revenue must be found somewhere else to offset that reduction – in other words, some other tax increase, mainly one would assume by taking away deductions in the tax code.

And many veterans of Capitol Hill say that’s not going to be easy.

“I spent much of 2011-16 negotiating tax reform proposals in the Senate,” said Brian Reidl, a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, who used to work for Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).

“Revenue-neutral tax reform will make health care look easy,” Riedl said in a post on Twitter.

Key Republicans have made clear that they want to put together a proposal that dramatically simplifies the current tax system.

“So 96% of the people can do their tax return on a single postcard size,” said House Budget Committee Chair Rep. Diane Black (R-TN).

To do that, you would lower tax rates, and then most likely eliminate or reduce tax deductions – and that’s where things get tricky.

Do you get rid of the deduction for mortgage insurance? Lots of people talk about that, but it always goes nowhere.

What about the deduction for state and local taxes? That has bipartisan opposition in and around big cities on the East Coast.

The tax break on employer provided health care benefits? That went nowhere fast in the negotiations over the GOP bill to overhaul the Obama health law.

End or restrict the business interest deduction? Hard to imagine.

Deficit neutral tax reform – it sounds wonky. But it’s a pretty important development that may rein in the scope of a GOP tax plan.

Sean Spicer resigns: A look at his 6 months as White House press secretary

Published: Friday, July 21, 2017 @ 3:37 PM
Updated: Friday, July 21, 2017 @ 4:08 PM

Sean Spicer Best Moments

White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned Friday morning, six months and one day after he first started addressing reporters on behalf of President Donald Trump.

>> Read more trending news

Spicer was well-known for his often combative exchanges with journalists gathered for the daily White House press briefing. The briefings were considered must-see television, but in recent weeks they’ve moved to an audio-only format as Spicer took on a more behind-the-scenes role.

>> Related: Sean Spicer resigns, Sarah Huckabee Sanders named next White House press secretary

Here’s a look back at some of Spicer’s most well-known moments:

That time he misspoke and made up a terror attack in Atlanta:

Shortly after becoming press secretary, Spicer drew raised brows for referencing a terror attack in Atlanta in an effort to highlight the Trump administration’s need to act on Islamic terrorism.

>> Related: Sean Spicer says he 'clearly meant Orlando' after citing nonexistent Atlanta terror attack

“I don’t think you have to look any further than the families of the Boston Marathon, in Atlanta, in San Bernardino to ask if we can go further,” Spicer said in January. “There’s obviously steps that we can and should be taking, and I think the president is going to continue do to what he can to make sure that this country is as safe as possible."

Of course, no such terror attack has ever occurred in Atlanta. The city has seen attacks at least twice before, in 1958 and 1996. However, the terrorists in those cases were not Muslim.

Spicer later explained in an email to ABC News that he “clearly meant Orlando,” referencing the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting.

That time he kind of explained Trump’s use of “covfefe”:

The president is well-known for speaking his mind on Twitter, even when his thoughts run contrary to statements made by his own administration. In an early morning tweet in May, Trump wrote that “despite the constant negative press covfefe.”

>> Related: Sean Spicer's simple response to Trump's 'covfefe' tweet

No, covfefe is not a word, and no, Trump never explained what he meant.

But Spicer didn’t see anything wrong with the message, which was described as “incoherent” and sparked mockery across social media.

“The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant,” Spicer claimed.

That time he tried to say Hitler never used chemical weapons:

Spicer, apparently forgetting the entire Holocaust, claimed at a news briefing in April that “someone as despicable as Hitler … didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”

The comment came as he tried to highlight the horror of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of sarin gas on civilians. But Spicer’s comments drew quick rebukes on social media and from reporters in the room.

>> Related: Spicer comments on Hitler, chemical weapons become Twitter fodder 

He attempted to explain himself.

"(Hitler) was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing," he said. "He brought them into the Holocaust center, I understand that."

As you can probably guess, people did not like Spicer calling concentration camps “Holocaust centers” either.

WATCH - Spicer "Even Hitler Didn't Use Chemical Weapons"

That time he tried to explain the ridiculousness of the Trump-Russia controversy with salad dressing:

Apparently frustrated over continued scrutiny amid investigations into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election, Spicer got short in March with April Ryan, a reporter for American Urban Radio Networks.

>> Related: Sean Spicer gets spicy with reporter April Ryan: 'Stop shaking your head' 

"If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that's a Russian connection," Spicer said. He later demanded that Ryan stop shaking her head.

That time he accidentally wore his U.S. flag lapel pin upside-down:

>> Related: Sean Spicer spotted with upside down lapel pin at press briefing

That time he said President Donald Trump had the biggest inauguration audience ever:

Who can forget Spicer’s first news conference as press secretary, when he admonished reporters for comparing images of President Donald Trump’s inauguration to photos of President Barack Obama’s?

>> Related: 'Alternative facts' like differing weather reports, Sean Spicer claims

"Photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way, in one particular tweet, to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall," Spicer said on Jan. 21 at a terse news conference. "That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period. Both in person and around the globe."

Multiple fact-checking groups subsequently rated Spicer's claim anywhere from unprovable to outright false. Politifact gave his claim a "Pants on Fire" rating, the category used by the group to single out what it determines to be the most flagrant lies.

Spicer out, Sanders up, Scaramucci in, at White House

Published: Friday, July 21, 2017 @ 3:05 PM

The White House communications team underwent a major change on Friday, as Press Secretary Sean Spicer turned in his resignation, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was elevated to Spicer’s job, and Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci was brought in by President Donald Trump to be the new Communications Director, delivering a new tone in dealing with the press.

“The President is phenomenal with press,” said Scaramucci. “I love the President. The President is a very, very effective communicator.”

While Scaramucci – known by many insiders as “Mooch” – made clear that he thinks the news media does not treat the President fairly, Mr. Trump’s new Communications Director laid out that message in a totally different way in his first few minutes in the White House Briefing Room.

As for Spicer, he will be replaced at the podium by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who will move from Deputy to White House Press Secretary.

Spicer, who battle relentlessly with the press, and never seemed to have the full confidence of the President, will officially leave the White House in August.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve President Donald Trump and this amazing country,” Spicer wrote on Twitter. “I will continue my service through August.”

While there had been questions that Spicer wanted no part of working with Scaramucci, the next White House Communications Director went out of his way to praise Spicer.

Former presidential candidate to visit Ohio next week

Published: Friday, July 21, 2017 @ 11:12 AM


            Energy Secretary Rick Perry attends a news conference, Tuesday, July 18, 2017, at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
            Jacquelyn Martin
Energy Secretary Rick Perry attends a news conference, Tuesday, July 18, 2017, at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)(Jacquelyn Martin)

From nearly the moment he was nominated as Energy Secretary, Ohio’s two senators have been pestering Energy Secretary Rick Perry to visit Piketon, Ohio, home of the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant and former American Centrifuge Project facility.

On Friday, Sen. Rob Portman announced, the visit was put on the calendar.

RELATED: Funding for Piketon cleanup in jeopardy

Perry will visit Piketon July 31, said Portman, in order to “get a firsthand look at the cleanup work and to see the importance of the work to the local economy.”

Portman secured a promise from Perry that Perry would visit Piketon during his confirmation hearing. The site is home of a long-abandoned uranium enrichment plant as well as more recently home of a pilot project to enrich uranium using new technology. The site currently employs about 1,800 people who are doing decontamination work.

RELATED: Piketon: A troubled past

In January, under questioning from Portman, Perry committed “that I will become as educated on this issue as I can and in the most expeditious way that I can manage it.

“Without knowing the deep details of this, my instinct tells me that this is an issue of execution, of good management,” Perry said.

In March, Portman and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, issued a formal invitation for Perry to visit.