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Opinion: The Obama Effect — Pros and Cons for Republicans and Democrats
Former president could unite a party in distress

Former President Barack Obama’s influence could unite a Democratic Party that showed togetherness after President Donald Trump’s win but is already breaking apart on issues such as abortion rights, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Barack Obama, the charismatic former president, can cause a scene just by walking into a coffee shop, as the rapturous crowds in usually blase New York City demonstrated at one of his cameos. So as he gently re-entered the public and policy eye this week, it’s no surprise that he could throw both Democrats and Republicans off balance — though of course for very different reasons.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave President Donald Trump possibly his most important first-100-day achievement by spearheading the maneuver to transform Obama’s Supreme Court pick to replace Antonin Scalia into the conservative Neil Gorsuch, whose first significant vote allowed an Arkansas execution to proceed. McConnell’s obstruction and subsequent “nuclear option” may have played a part in breaking the democratic process, but isn’t that a small price to pay for a win —  at least I’m sure the president feels that way.

Opinion: A Disturbing Trend Against Women’s Health
President Donald Trump is undermining access to critical services

President Donald Trump has attacked women’s access to critical health care services, New York Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite the fact that most Americans want their leaders focused on creating jobs and boosting the economy, in his first 100 days in office, President Donald Trump has spent significant time and effort attacking women’s access to critical health care services and it is clear that women should expect even more harmful policies in the future.

On January 23, 2017, just two days after millions across the country and the world came together for the historic Women’s March, President Trump signed an executive order taking away rights from millions of women. He reinstated and expanded the global gag rule, a policy that bars both foreign nongovernmental and multilateral organizations from receiving U.S. family planning funds if — with other, non-U.S. funds — they provide abortion counseling, referrals, or even advocacy efforts.

Top Trump Aide on First 100 Days: ‘I Don’t Regret Anything’
White House busily selling first three months as productive, critics disagree

The North Lawn of the White House, the Washington Monument, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, seen from the roof of the Hay Adams Hotel. President Trump is nearing his 100th day in office. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

A top Trump aide stopped shy of admitting the new administration has made mistakes, despite a turbulent three months as President Donald Trump nears his 100th day in office.

“I don’t regret anything,” a senior White House official told reporters Tuesday evening.

Gardner Sees ‘Refreshing’ New Focus on North Korea
Senators will be briefed on North Korea threat at the White House Wednesday

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner has been a leading voice in the Republican caucus on North Korea since he entered the Senate in 2015 after serving two terms in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senators will be bused to the White House on Wednesday for a briefing on North Korea, and one Republican senator says attention on the threat is long overdue.

Sen. Cory Gardner has been among the lawmakers calling on the Trump administration to prioritize addressing the threat of North Korea launching nuclear weapons, and the Colorado Republican said it is “refreshing” to see some action.

Opinion: Congress Can Work — If Trump Gets Out of the Way
Lawmakers can make a deal and avoid a shutdown

President Donald Trump should heed Gen. George S. Patton’s advice: “Lead, follow, or get out of the way” — so Congress can function, Patricia Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

First the bad news about negotiations over the 2017 spending bill that Congress needs to pass before midnight on Friday or face a government shutdown: The last several days have been a mess of mixed messages about what should get funded, last-minute demands that cannot be met, and disagreement at the highest levels about how to proceed.

But the good news for Republicans, and really for all of us exhausted by the thought of yet another standoff over basic funding levels, is that nearly all of the bad habits of negotiating and governance on this issue have been confined to the White House.

Podcast: Trump's About-Face in His First 100 Days
The Big Story, Episode 51

The first 100 days of an administration have been used as a benchmark to gauge the progress made by a sitting president. Donald Trump’s first 100 days are punctuated by successes such as confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee and self-inflicted wounds such as the travel ban, says CQ Roll Call’s White House correspondent John T. Bennett. But what is most striking about Trump thus far, adds Bennett, is the difference between candidate Trump and President Trump.

Trump Might Accept Wall Funding Later To Avoid Shutdown
Announcement could help negotiations on fiscal 2017 spending bills before Friday deadline

President Donald Trump delivers remarks while hosting ambassadors from the 15 country members of the United Nations Security Council with his Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, left, and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster in the State Dining Room at the White House on Monday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By John T. Bennett and Jennifer Shutt, Roll Call

President Donald Trump indicated Monday that he might sign legislation that would avert a government shutdown even if lawmakers leave out the $1.4 billion he’s requested to begin construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Opinion: Scorecard — America After 100 Days of Trump
The good news is maybe the nation will endure the next four years

The good news is  despite President Donald Trump, the nation may weather the next four years, Walter Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

It may be news to Donald Trump that the original One Hundred Days ended with Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. In fact, if Trump learned about Napoleon from “Fox & Friends,” he would probably snarl, “I like my conquerors of Europe not to end up exiled to an island so remote you can’t even build a world-class hotel on it.”

The news media may be reeling in an era of fake news, but nothing halts the journalistic passion for predictable rituals like toting up presidential accomplishments after 14 weeks and 2 days in office. Trump himself would admit that he is no Franklin Roosevelt. After all, the 45th president would have spurned marrying a woman like Eleanor Roosevelt — who was never mistaken for an international fashion model when she was touring coal mines on behalf of FDR.

Opinion: Figure It Out, Mr. President
Congress isn’t built to just do what Donald Trump says

President Donald Trump must choose if he wants to be a hardcore anti-establishment president or a smart deal-maker, Allen writes. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

If it were up to President Donald Trump — and a lot of Americans — Congress might not exist. After all, the legislative branch is the kind of inert obstacle that a disruptor business executive doesn’t have to contend with as he innovates and improvises in the private sector. 

Alas, for Trump, the Founding Fathers believed that wild swings in direction could tear a fragile nation asunder. They made it difficult for a president — any president — to rewrite public policy, push the nation to war or enter into treaties.

Opinion: Weighing the Costs of War and Diplomacy
Military action is not always the courageous choice

Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly could do more listening and learning, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

John F. Kelly is getting a lot of criticism these days, and that’s understandable. As leader of the Department of Homeland Security, the retired Marine general now has to be more sensitive to the politics of any given situation.

So when he publicly said critics of his agency’s policies — whether they come from Congress, civil rights groups or the public — should “shut up,” he came off as what he once was, a military man giving orders. When the administration, Kelly’s department in particular, is challenged on its travel bans and inconsistent immigration enforcement, Kelly could do more listening and learning.