Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), “whose parents are from Cuba, and” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), “whose father was born in Cuba, are competing to be the first Hispanic in the White House — and casting unprecedented attention on the nation’s growing Hispanic vote.”
“But in several key swing states — Nevada, Colorado, Florida and Virginia — most Latinos are not Cuban. Most lean Democratic — and identify more with their country of origin than with the broader terms, Hispanic or Latino, for those from Spanish-speaking countries. Most also oppose both Rubio’s and Cruz’s positions on immigration reform. All of that, in addition to long-standing tensions between Cuban and Mexican immigrants, could dash the GOP’s hopes that Cruz or Rubio could do what few Republicans have been able to do in a presidential election: attract significant Hispanic support.” (Washington Post)
BIPARTISAN SUPPORT. “No Labels, formed after the 2010 midterm elections, is asking candidates to embrace four broad goals related to job creation, the federal budget, energy independence and entitlements, promote them in the campaign and promise to work with a bipartisan group in Congress on at least one of them within 30 days of taking office.” The group announced that six candidates have signed on.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (R), New Jersey Gov Chris Christie (R), Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), and real estate mogul Donald Trump (R) have all pledged their support.
“The poll-driven No Labels agenda calls for creating 25 million new jobs over the next decade, securing Social Security and Medicare for the next 75 years, balancing the federal budget by 2030 and making the United States energy secure by 2024.”
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R), who serves as the group’s co-chairman: “I’m totally blown away that notwithstanding the ugly talk you find during any primary campaign, you have six very diverse candidates — a bipartisan group — who are interested in a Problem Solvers promise. … That means they’re thinking beyond the primary and thinking about the process that will need to be in place to get some really important things done for the American people.” (AP)
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"The Trump administration is putting pressure on Senate Republicans to crack down on Democratic efforts to delay its agenda, fueling talk about the need for rules reform among Republicans on Capitol Hill. Republicans are in discussions with Democrats about bipartisan changes to Senate rules to speed up consideration of President Trump’s judicial and executive branch nominees, but if that effort flounders — as similar ones have in the past — they’re not ruling out unilateral action."
During his campaign, Donald Trump indicated to Washington Post reporters that he'd like to have White House employees sign nondisclosure agreements. That is, in fact, what he's done, according to a scoop by the Post's Ruth Marcus. "Some balked at first but, pressed by then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and the White House Counsel’s Office, ultimately complied, concluding that the agreements would likely not be enforceable in any event." The administration intended the agreements to remain in force beyond Trump's tenure. An early draft included penalties of up to $10 million.
"Trump is asking for a bill" that would effectively break the WTO. One of the core WTO principles — which has underpinned globalization and trade for 70 years — is an idea called 'most favored nation status.' Countries that belong to the WTO have all agreed to charge the same tariff rate for imports from all other WTO members." But Trump covets reciprocal tariffs "nation-by-nation, product-by-product." The GOP free-traders in Congress are unlikely to support such an effort.