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Schumer Stance on Gorsuch Heightens Threat of 'Nuclear Option' | RealClearPolitics

A “nuclear” confrontation is brewing in the Senate over the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court — with Democrats threatening a historic filibuster, and Republicans pledging a historic rules change in return.

Republican leaders have warned that they would resort to a “nuclear option” to avert an impasse, changing Senate rules to require a simple majority to end debate on the nomination, rather than 60 votes. President Trump has endorsed the option, last month urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to “go nuclear” if needed.

via www.realclearpolitics.com


Trump administration to give green light to Keystone XL pipeline - LA Times

Reviving a big oil project which environmentalists had hoped was dead and buried, the Trump administration plans to announce Friday that it has issued a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

The project, which would ship 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada's tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries, had been rejected by the Obama administration last year, a move heralded by climate activists. The rejection came just before the former president signed an international agreement on global warming in Paris.

But Trump vowed to undo the previous administration’s work on climate change. He announced soon after taking office that he would seek to restart the pipeline project, a clear signal that he would move aggressively to promote oil development.

via www.latimes.com


Here's the truth about Meals on Wheels in Trump's budget

WASHINGTON — President Trump's first budget proposal to Congress last week specifically identified steep cuts to hundreds of domestic programs, but Meals on Wheels wasn't one of them.

The popular program — which mainly uses volunteer drivers to provide hot meals to older Americans across the country — doesn't directly receive federal funding. As Trump's budget director, Mick Mulvaney, told reporters Thursday, "Meals on Wheels is not a federal program."

via www.usatoday.com


Does border drop mean Trump's tough talk is working?

Washington (CNN) Illegal Southwest border crossings were down 40% last month, according to just released Customs and Border Protection numbers -- a sign that President Donald Trump's hardline rhetoric and policies on immigration may be having a deterrent effect.

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly himself announced the month-to-month numbers, statistics that CBP usually quietly posts on its website without fanfare.
According to CBP data, the 40% drop in illegal Southwest border crossings from January to February is far outside normal seasonal trends. Typically, the January to February change is actually an increase of 10% to 20%.

via www.cnn.com


Hundreds of millions of Android users at risk, according to CIA docs released by WikiLeaks

Earlier this week, WikiLeaks shocked the world by releasing a treasure trove of alleged classified CIA documents that appear to have pulled back the curtain on a startlingly wide range of tools the agency uses to spy on people through their smartphones, computers, smart TVs and even cars. According to the documents, the CIA takes advantage of dozens of dangerous software vulnerabilities in Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, smart TVs, Wi-Fi routers and more, and exploits them in order to spy on device owners.

The documents exposed in this latest leak are still being analyzed by security experts, but users already have plenty of cause for concern at this point. Among them is the apparent fact that hundreds of millions of Android devices are currently exposed to a wide range of security holes. And according to a new report, Google has very few leads as it launches a massive effort to begin patching them.

via bgr.com


Trump to sign order reviewing EPA water rule - CNNPolitics.com

Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump will sign Tuesday an executive order requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to review Obama-era water regulations to make sure they are not harming the economy, according to an internal EPA email obtained by CNN.

The order -- which is currently in draft form and subject to change before Tuesday afternoon, when Trump is expected to sign it -- addresses the "Waters of the United States" rule, which applies to 60% of the bodies of water in the US.

via www.cnn.com


EPA set to ax Obama policies

U.S. environmental chief Scott Pruitt has unveiled plans to roll back at least three Obama-era rules at the EPA while vowing to give businesses “regulatory certainty.”

Those policy reversals, set to start this week, will empower the Environmental Protection Agency to focus on its core mission of protecting the air and water, Pruitt said Saturday in a speech and question-and-answer session on the final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland.

 

“The previous administration was so focused on climate change and so focused on CO2, some of those other priorities were left behind,” Pruitt said in his first detailed remarks since being sworn in to lead the EPA on Feb. 17. “I really believe that at the end of eight years, we’re going to have better air quality, we’re going to have better water quality because it’s going to be vested in a partnership” with states.

via www.startribune.com


Trump administration makes first tangible step to building border wall | Fox News

President Trump’s administration on Friday made its first tangible step towards developing and implementing one of the president’s chief campaign promises: to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.

Bloomberg reported that the administration issued a preliminary request for proposals to contractors. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it plans to start awarding contracts by mid-April.

The agency said it will request bids on or around March 6 and that companies would have to submit "concept papers" to design and build prototypes by March 10.

The field of candidates will be narrowed by March 20, and finalists must submit offers with their proposed costs by March 24.

via www.foxnews.com


White House set for 'big immigration launch' to focus on DHS memos, official says | Fox News

The White House is planning a “big immigration launch” Tuesday morning that will focus on the implementation of the recent Department of Homeland Security proposal that called for the hiring of thousands of officers and fast-tracking deportations, a senior administration official said.

The DHS plan was signed Friday by the agency's new secretary, John Kelly. If approved by President Trump, it would give federal authorities more power to aggressively detain and deport illegal immigrants inside the country and along U.S. borders.

Kelly called for 10,000 additional ICE officers and agents and 5,000 new hires at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.

via www.foxnews.com