Trump has begun 2024 campaign and is eligible to serve third term, senior Republican say•President Trump speaks during a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House on 11 December 2019: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump on Thursday called for expanded access to childcare and family leave — seeking to appeal to women voters by focusing on issues that Democratic challengers are emphasizing in their campaigns.
Speaking at the White House, the president said families are struggling to pay for care and advocated the expansion of in-home and faith-based programs for children.
“We want to expand childcare options and reduce unnecessary regulations so that parents can choose the best care for their children,” Trump said.
Trump’s comments came at a White House meeting on childcare and family leave, part of a push that administration officials say could help move forward legislation improving access to assistance for working parents. The White House event was arranged by Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, who has pushed her father to support policies that benefit working parents, including a larger child tax credit included in his 2017 tax overhaul.
“Lack of child care and paid leave is not a women’s issue — it is a family issue,” she said in a speech. “That said, they disproportionately impact women, who provide the vast majority of unpaid care to our nation’s children and adult dependents.”
Childcare and family leave have been a focus for Democrats running in 2020.
Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey has proposed legislation that would increase eligibility for the childcare block-grant subsidy and provide free childcare to some student parents. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has called for universal childcare for all children under 5, and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has proposed three months of paid family leave.
House Democrats said this week that they had struck a deal with the White House that provides 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal workers in exchange for establishing the president’s proposed space force as a new branch of the government in the defense authorization bill.
White House domestic policy adviser Joe Grogan called the possible new benefit for federal workers an “important first step” toward the administration’s priority of providing paid family leave for all Americans.
White House officials, speaking to reporters on Wednesday, said they wanted the White House meeting to spark a bipartisan effort to address childcare.
The administration is also asking lawmakers to reauthorize and overhaul a block-grant program that provides childcare subsidies to low-income working families.
Last year, lawmakers increased the amount of childcare funds distributed to states through the program by $2.4 billion to $5.6 billion overall. That was part of a $1.3 trillion spending deal struck by congressional negotiators. But the White House argues the program could benefit more families if lawmakers removed “overly stringent regulations” on facilities and staff that the administration says drive up childcare costs.
As part of the White House effort, the Council of Economic Advisers completed a report detailing the impact of childcare costs on the economy. The report found that while women with young children are about twice as likely to participate in the labor force as they were 50 years ago, some 3.8 million parents with children under the age of 6 are currently outside the labor force.
The report argues that expanding childcare options — particularly by removing some regulations — could meaningfully increase the number of Americans who work rather than stay home out of concern over childcare costs.
(Updates with Ivanka Trump remarks beginning in fourth paragraph.)
–With assistance from Jennifer Jacobs and Josh Wingrove.
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Federal prosecutors in New York asked a judge Wednesday to revoke bail for an associate of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, arguing Lev Parnas should be jailed before trial for providing false financial information to authorities.
The demand came after Parnas, charged with partner Igor Fruman and two others with campaign finance violations, asked a judge to ease the terms of his home confinement, which is a condition of his release on a $200,000 bond.
The prosecutors not only opposed that request but also argued that Parnas be jailed for making „materially misleading and false statements” about his assets and attempting to mislead the pretrial officer supervising him.
Saying Parnas had ample motive to flee, the government lawyers for the second time signaled the likelihood of additional charges being filed against him.
After once valuing his family’s financial holdings at slightly more than $450,000, Parnas later provided federal officials with bank account information, vehicle and cash reports totaling just $43,500, prosecutors wrote in a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Paul Oetken.
The Ukrainian-born defendant allegedly gave varying and erroneous additional reports about his assets.
All the while, prosecutors wrote, he failed to disclose a $1 million transfer he received from a bank account in Russia in September, as well as plans to buy a property in Boca Raton, Florida, for about $4.5 million, prosecutors wrote.
„Parnas poses an extreme risk of flight and that risk of flight is only compounded by his continued and troubling misrepresentations to … the government,” prosecutors asserted in their 10-page letter. „Accordingly, the government moves to revoke Parnas’ bail and seeks his remand pending trial.”
An attorney for Parnas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The conspiracy case against Parnas and Fruman accuses them of scheming to circumvent federal law against foreign influence by directing foreign funds to American political campaigns and committees. Two other men, David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin, were also indicted in the case.
All have pleaded not guilty.
The Democratic National Committee announced it will hold four debates for its presidential candidates in the first two months of 2020, a jam-packed schedule as voting kicks off.
One debate will be held in each of the four early voting states: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
The Iowa debate — the seventh in a series of twelve planned debates — will be on Jan. 14. It will be hosted by CNN in partnership with The Des Moines Register at Drake University in Des Moines.
The New Hampshire debate will be on Feb. 7, hosted by ABC News in partnership with WMUR-TV, ABC’s local affiliate, and Apple News at St. Anselm College outside Manchester.
The ninth debate will be on Feb. 19 in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC in partnership with The Nevada Independent.
The final early state debate announced will be at The Gaillard Center in Charleston, S.C., on Feb. 25. It will be hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute in partnership with Twitter.
Qualification criteria for the debates were not announced — nor were the format or moderators.
For the sixth debate, hosted by PBS NewsHour and POLITICO, candidates needed to hit 4 percent in four polls approved by the DNC (or 6 percent in two early state polls) and get donations from 200,000 unique contributors, with 800 in 20 states, territories or the District of Columbia.
Qualification thresholds are expected to increase after the sixth debate. However, DNC Chairman Tom Perez did not rule out changing what thresholds are used.
“One thing we will consider is: What should the rules of engagement be after people have started voting?” Perez said in an interview with The Washington Post in November. “Because right now, zero votes have been cast. The voters haven’t spoken. What should the rules be once the voters have spoken, and we have some actual data from states? That’s the question that we are considering now.”
The Jan. 14 debate could be affected if President Donald Trump faces an impeachment trial in the Senate early next year. Of the seven candidates who have qualified for this month’s debate, three are sitting senators: Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
A DNC official, who was granted anonymity by CNN, the media partner for that debate, told the network the committee „will work with” candidates if the trial interferes with the debate. „If a conflict with an impeachment trial is unavoidable, the DNC will evaluate its options and work with all the candidates to accommodate them,” the unnamed DNC official told CNN.
Getty Images / Alexander Shcherbak
- A growing number Republicans are satisfied with the cost of healthcare in the United States, according to a new Gallup poll released Wednesday.
- The increase comes as another major index from the Labor Department showed average insurance prices spiking 20% over the last year.
- The poll noted overall satisfaction with US healthcare costs is the highest since 2009 as just over one in four Americans are content with the healthcare pricing environment — though much of that boost was driven by the uptick in Republican approval.
- It suggests that heightened partisanship is swaying Republicans on healthcare just as it has been on the economy, another issue where they are much likelier than Democrats to view the situation more favorably, the Pew Research Center said.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
An growing number of Republicans are satisfied with the cost of healthcare in the United States, according to a new Gallup poll released Wednesday. The increase comes as another major index from the Labor Department showed average insurance prices spiking 20% over the last year.
The poll noted overall satisfaction with US healthcare costs is the highest since 2009 as just over one in four Americans are content with the healthcare pricing environment — though much of that boost was driven by the uptick in Republican approval.
The Labor Department’s consumer price index, which tracks the average change over time in prices paid for goods and services, said the cost of overall medical care rose 5.1% since Nov. 2018. That measure also incorporates doctors’ visits and hospital services.
The cost of health insurance had the biggest jump over the past year at 20.2%, representing one part of the broader healthcare industry. Other elements such as the price of doctors’ visits and hospital services saw more modest increases at 1.4% and 3.3%, respectively.
It suggests that heightened partisanship is swaying Republicans on healthcare just as it has been on the economy, another issue where they are much likelier than Democrats to view the situation more favorably, the Pew Research Center said.
By comparison, only 9% of Democrats were satisfied with healthcare costs in the US, according to the Gallup poll.
Tribe, appearing on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” said some Republicans were “missing the point” by claiming abuse of power (one of two articles of impeachment that House Democrats have released against Trump, the other being obstruction of Congress) is “not a crime.”
“It is the highest crime against the Constitution,” said Tribe. “And in this case the impeachment articles are carefully written to show the aggregating circumstances.”
“This isn’t just using the president’s power to benefit himself,” Tribe added. “But it’s doing that in a way that endangers our national security and that corrupts the electoral process by inviting foreign involvement.”
Tribe, who advised the House Judiciary Committee on how to draft the articles of impeachment, earlier explained why the articles were “the classic high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Abuse of power is what the impeachment clause was all about. The idea of using the power of the presidency not to protect the nation but to benefit one’s self and especially one’s reelection. In fact, in the debates around the framing of the Constitution, the big question about the impeachment power was ‘do we really need it, or is it enough, because the president will have to stand for reelection if it’s going to be ahead of him?’ The answer to that was ‘what if he corrupts the election process? What if he uses his power to reframe the election so that he rigs the system? We can’t afford to wait.’ That was the whole reason not to wait for the quadrennial election to take place.
Tribe concluded by claiming that “as a historic matter, this is the clearest case we’ve ever seen in the use of the impeachment power.”
“Especially when you add the second article, which basically says that if the president will not in any way cooperate with the process” then “we really do have a president who is a dictator and if this isn’t impeachable, as many have said, then nothing is. That’s the theory of this case.”
Check out the segment above.
House Democrats are worried that the caucus could lose six or more moderate votes on impeachment, according to multiple officials who spoke anonymously to the Washington Post.
When the House voted to formalize impeachment on October 31, all but two Democrats — Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Collin C. Peterson of Michigan — voted with House leadership. Amidst concerns from moderates, who on Monday considered reviving a proposal to censure President Trump rather than impeach him, the fate of the impeachment vote is a bit less certain.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could afford to lose 17 votes and still prevail with the vote, which will likely get the approval of former Republican Justin Amash. But House leadership is not whipping votes to ensure success, despite Pelosi saying in July that “censure is nice, but it is not commensurate with the violations of the Constitution should we decide [impeachment is] the way to go.”
“This is one of those issues where members have to come to their own conclusions; it’s just too consequential,” Daniel Kildee (D., Mich.), a deputy whip, said. “I think this is one of those votes where people are going to be remembered for a long time for how they voted on it.”
Moderates who initially voiced support for impeachment have been worried over polling which shows that support for impeachment has largely flatlined after the public hearings, the Post reports. Republican efforts to reclaim the House in 2020 have zeroed in on impeachment to target vulnerable districts, with the White House joining in in October.
On Tuesday, freshman Representative Elissa Slotkin (D., Mich.) — who represents a district which voted for Trump in 2016 — said she was “undecided” on the vote, despite signing a September op-ed in support of impeachment. Slotkin was heckled by constituents during a town hall in October for her impeachment defense, and said Wednesday that “the phones are ringing off the hook” from people on both sides of the issue.
3 female staffers sexually harassed by top Pentagon official: IG report originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
A top defense official sexually harassed three female staffers before ultimately resigning from his post last April, according to a report from the Pentagon Inspector General’s office released on Thursday.
The official, Guy Roberts, was the assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs — as well as a former Marine Corps infantry officer, judge advocate and staff officer.
In the report, the Pentagon IG said it found that Roberts „engaged in a pattern of misconduct in which he sexually harassed women on his staff” to include „deliberate, unwelcomed physical contact of a sexual nature by hugging, kissing, or touching.”
He also created a „hostile, intimidating, and offensive work environment for women” on his staff by making „deliberate, repeated, and public comments of a sexual nature to members of his staff in meetings and in a town hall forum,” according to the report.
Roberts told the IG he disagreed with the report’s conclusions and that it was not his intent to sexually harass the female employees, but he did acknowledge some jokes he made „were inappropriate.” After taking into account his response to the report, the IG decided it would not alter its conclusions and said it stands by the findings.
The investigation into Roberts’ conduct was opened after one of his female employees issued a complaint back in February. During conversations with some of the 18 witnesses interviewed throughout the investigation, the IG identified two other female employees who were also allegedly sexually harassed by Roberts.
The first employee said Roberts hugged and kissed her when they were alone, even whispering „I love you” in her ear and touching her thigh during a social event. That employee also said that Roberts invited her on dates for dinner and drinks, made comments to her about him living alone in an apartment without his wife — which she perceived as an invitation to be alone together — and expressed his desire to see her in a bikini.
The employee told the IG that she expressed to Roberts numerous times that she found the behavior inappropriate and told him to „stop.”
The second and third employees alleged similar unwanted touching — with the second employee saying Roberts routinely commented on her „looks.”
Both employees told the IG that they did not report Roberts’ behavior because of concerns that it could damage their reputation or negatively impact their careers.
“As a young female growing up in this business, you have to, whether right or wrong … be careful about what you say,” the third employee said, according to the report.
Asked about the investigation’s results during a Pentagon briefing on Thursday, chief spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said he was not aware of the report.
According to his Defense Department biography, Roberts was the principal adviser to senior Pentagon leadership on matters concerning nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs, stepping into the role in November 2017.
When he abruptly resigned last April, a Pentagon spokesperson declined to provide an explanation for Roberts’s departure in a comment to Foreign Policy.
“The department’s commitment to modernizing the department’s nuclear force and closely cooperating with allies and partners remains unwavering, and will result in the increased defense of the nation,” said Lt. Col. Mike Andrews, a department spokesperson. “We appreciate [Roberts’] service to the department and wish him continued success.”
Because Roberts has already left his post, the IG said they would give the report to the office of the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, for inclusion in Roberts’ personnel file.
The two suspects in a deadly shooting at a cemetery and kosher supermarket in Jersey City held anti-Semitic views and had expressed interest in the Black Hebrew Israelite group, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said at a press conference Thursday.
Two of the four people killed Tuesday by the shooters were members of the Orthodox Jewish faith. Thousands mourned the two at funeral services Wednesday evening.
„Based on what we have collected so far … we believe that the suspects held views that reflected hatred of the Jewish people, as well as a hatred of law enforcement,” Grewal said.
Both shooters had expressed interest in the Black Hebrew Israelites – a group with factions that have been designated as „hate groups” – but appeared to have acted alone in what was being investigated as a domestic terrorism incident with a hate crime bent, Grewal said.
Authorities did not say which sect of the fragmented Black Hebrew Israelites the shooters had expressed interest in.
Despite reports that the shooters had authored a „manifesto,” Grewal said authorities had not discovered any writing that he would characterize as a manifesto. Authorities were also working to verify the authenticity of social media accounts allegedly belonging to the shooters that „purport to espouse certain viewpoints,” he said.
On Wednesday, the FBI searched the Harlem headquarters of a Black Hebrew Israelite sect, the Associated Press reports.
Lawyer: ‘No connection whatsoever’
The Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ in New York, a Black Hebrew Israelite sect, told the USA TODAY Network through an attorney Wednesday that it has no connection to the shooting and does not know the suspects.
„There’s no relationship to the events in Jersey City,” Gerald Lefcourt said. „There is no connection whatsoever, no knowledge of the individuals” who have been named as suspects in the shooting.
Israelite member John Lightbourne, who goes by Commanding General Yahanna of the Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge, said the shooter’s actions do not represent the views of Black Hebrew Israelites and that he was unfamiliar with the two suspects.
By Andrea Shalal and David Lawder
WASHINGTON, Dec 12 (Reuters) – The White House has reached a „deal in principle” with Beijing to resolve the 17-month U.S.-China trade war, according to a source briefed on the trade talks.
The White House was expected to make an announcement later on Thursday, the source said.
„The written agreement is still being formulated, but they have reached an agreement in principle,” the source said. No details were immediately available.
In an attempt to secure a „phase one” trade deal, U.S. negotiators offered to cut existing tariffs on Chinese goods by as much as 50% and suspend new tariffs that were scheduled to go into effect on Sunday, two people familiar with the negotiations said earlier on Thursday.
The U.S.-China trade war has slowed global growth and dampened profits and investment for companies around the world.
If President Donald Trump does not suspend the new tariffs, Beijing officials will apply more tariffs on U.S. goods and may suspend talks until after the U.S. presidential election in November 2020, trade experts believe.
The Dec. 15 tariffs would apply to almost $160 billion of Chinese imports such as video game consoles, computer monitors.
China and the United States agreed in October to conclude a preliminary trade agreement, but Beijing is balking at U.S. demands that it promise to buy a specific amount of agricultural goods. Beijing is also demanding rollbacks of all existing tariffs imposed by the United States.
Beijing has said previously it would retaliate if the United States escalates the trade dispute.
In August, China said it would impose 5% and 10% in additional tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. goods in two batches. Tariffs on the first batch kicked in on Sept. 1, hitting U.S. goods including soybeans, pork, beef, chemicals and crude oil.
The tariffs on the second batch of products are due to be activated on Dec. 15, affecting goods ranging from corn and wheat to small aircraft and rare earth magnets.
China also said it will reinstitute on Dec. 15 an additional 25% tariff on U.S.-made vehicles and 5% tariffs on auto parts that had been suspended at the beginning of 2019. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder in Washington Writing by Heather Timmons Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)
More from National Review
Adults earning less than $30K spend more on vices: RPT
According to Bankrate.com’s new survey, adults earning less than $30,000 a year are spending a larger percentage of their income on items like alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, and gambling. Yahoo Finance’s Dan Roberts, Sibile Marcellus and Brian Cheung discuss on YFi AM.
Workers on the lower end of the income spectrum, earning less than $30,000 a year, spend a greater portion of their earnings on financial vices like alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and lottery tickets, according to a new survey by Bankrate.com.
And millennials (ages 23-38) spend more money annually ($1,741 on average) on alcoholic beverages than Gen Xers and baby boomers. Only the so-called silent generation spends more on alcohol: $7,982 a year, on average. Millennials also spend more of their annual income on smoking and playing the lottery than Gen Xers and baby boomers, according to Bankrate.
“Millennials are spending more on almost every vice. In general it makes sense. Millennials are younger and have more time to go out. They’re all about experiences, trying to enjoy their lives. And they have the ability to spend extra time in their lives with friends,” says Dixon. “As people get older, they have more responsibilities, more children to take care of,” she says.
Spending on financial vices can also be broken down by gender. Men gamble twice as much as women, spending on average $2,642 annually compared to $1,399 by women, the survey found.
‘People need to take a closer look at their budgets’
The survey found that low-income earners outspend workers making $80,000 or more in all four categories. And so while most Americans struggle to save $1,000 for a rainy day, such spending makes things even worse.
“Everyone has their vice but… people need to take a closer look at their budgets, and really make sure that they’re not overspending money on things that they shouldn’t be spending money on,” Bankrate.com analyst Amanda Dixon told Yahoo Finance.
Low-wage workers have seen their income rise faster than the rest of the labor force. This happened for the first time during the economic recovery in February. While earning more bodes well for economic advancement, spending habits are a better determinant of workers’ financial reality. Excluding those who don’t spend at all, workers making less than $30,000 a year spend on average 13% of their income on lottery tickets, 11% on alcohol, 13% on tobacco or e-cig products, and 4% on gambling, according to the survey. (Bankrate surveyed 2,377 adults who shared their household income).
Spending on these so-called vices is not a big deal, but moderation is key.
(MOSCOW) — Russia’s foreign ministry said Thursday that it has expelled two German diplomats in retaliation for Germany doing the same last week.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that it was making the move “due to the reciprocity principle” and ordered them to leave the country within the next seven days.
The German Foreign Ministry expelled two employees of the Russian Embassy in Berlin last Wednesday, after Russian authorities didn’t answer requests by Germany to help shed light on a brazen daylight slaying of a Georgian man in Berlin.
German federal prosecutors took over the investigation after concluding that evidence suggests involvement either by the government of Russia or Chechnya.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement last week that the “politicized approach to the investigation is inappropriate” and promised to take “reciprocal measures.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier this week that the slain man was “a bandit” and “a murderer” and said that Russia repeatedly asked Germany to extradite him, but to no avail.
The German Justice Ministry said Wednesday it is not aware of any extradition requests for the victim from Russia.