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Politics

Updated at 8:46 p.m. ET

The House passed a stopgap funding bill Thursday evening, though the measure now faces uncertainty in the Senate as Republican congressional leaders work to avert a government shutdown by late Friday night.

Republicans need 60 votes in the Senate to proceed on the four-week continuing resolution, which would extend funding only until Feb. 16. That is looking more and more difficult after most Democrats and at least three Republican senators have said they won't vote for the bill.

As President Trump approaches his first anniversary of taking office, he and others are taking stock.

"2017 was a year of tremendous achievement, monumental achievement, actually," Trump told members of his Cabinet last week. "I don't think any administration has ever done what we've done and what we've accomplished in its first year."

The president has delivered on some of his major campaign promises. Other pledges are still works in progress, while some commitments have been quietly discarded.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal speaking to reporters in Hartford on November 13, 2017.
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is prepared to vote against a short-term funding bill that would prevent a government shutdown at the end of the week.

Americans are split on whether they think the Justice Department's Russia investigation is fair and are unsure of special counsel Robert Mueller, but they overwhelmingly believe he should be allowed to finish his investigation, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Fewer than half of Americans (48 percent) think the Russia probe has been fair, more than a quarter (28 percent) think it has not been and another quarter are unsure (23 percent).

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort may not be headed for trial on money laundering and conspiracy charges until late autumn. The judge in his case expressed puzzlement over some of the legal positions he has taken.

Lawyers for Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller have turned over thousands of pages of material to Manafort and his former business partner Richard Gates, a process that prosecutors said is continuing.

But at least part of the holdup in the case is Manafort's own making, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said.

Multiculturalism / Creative Commons

Race is a myth; racism is not. I'm stealing this line from Gene Seymour, one of our guests on our show today. 

President Trump has called it the "one of the worst deals" he has ever seen — but for now, he is keeping the U.S. in the nuclear deal with Iran.

The president decided Friday to continue waiving — that is, easing — some economic sanctions against Iran. That is part of the U.S. commitment in the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Under the deal, Iran allows strict limits on its nuclear program in return for easing of economic sanctions.

Updated at 6:55 a.m. ET

President Trump announced early Friday that he has canceled a trip to the U.K. next month, citing a "bad deal" the Obama administration made for a new U.S. Embassy in London.

The president accepted the queen's invitation for a state visit when he met with Prime Minister Theresa May in July at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. The trip had tentatively been planned to begin around the end of February.

Updated at 7:10 p.m. ET

President Trump on Thursday referred to African nations as "s***hole countries" during a meeting on immigration with a bipartisan group of senators, according to a Democratic aide and another person familiar with the conversation.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, already under indictment by Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller, now has a new legal worry: a civil lawsuit filed by a company linked to a Russian oligarch.

Oleg Deripaska, the oligarch, is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Joe Arpaio, the controversial former sheriff from Arizona, announced this week that he will run for the U.S. Senate to help advance President Trump's agenda.

But he is breaking from the president on the future of people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

"Deport them," Arpaio told NPR Morning Edition's Rachel Martin in an interview that aired Thursday morning.

On the Friday before Christmas, Fox News confirmed that its chief Washington correspondent, James Rosen, had left the network. He had worked there for 18 years and become something of a legend. The U.S. Justice Department under the Obama administration was so frustrated by his reporting on U.S. intelligence about North Korea that it conducted a leak investigation into his sources.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Malloy administration is halting work on hundreds of transportation infrastructure projects, because the state’s Special Transportation Fund has run out of money. 

The Vermont Senate has given its approval to legislation legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. On a voice vote, the Senate backed a bill Wednesday that allows individuals to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow two mature plants.

Mara Lavitt / WNPR

This week, Governor Dannel Malloy called for a ban on "bump stocks" -- devices that can make semi-automatic weapons fire like machine guns. Pfizer announced plans to end research into treatments for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases -- and they announced several hundred layoffs including at their facility in Groton. 

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