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Trump’s First 100 Days Mostly Lags Predecessors
A look at the 45th president’s report card, compared to the five before him

The White House planned a flurry of activities for the week leading up to President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office. One event he attended was on the Hill — a Days of Remembrance ceremony to commemorate the Holocaust. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The first 100 days benchmark that President Donald Trump will pass on Saturday, in so many ways, sums up his presidency to date: he has both dismissed it as “ridiculous” while also endorsing its value through planned events, policy announcements and even a statement regarding his accomplishments.

In the week leading up to his 100th day, the 45th president signed executive actions aimed at rolling back Obama-era federal monument designations, and ones that aim to crack down on other countries' steel and aluminum “dumping” into U.S. markets. He ratcheted up his tough talk on Canada’s trade practices, threatened to withdraw from NATO and rolled out a tax plan.

As GOP Tax Overhaul Shapes Up, Democrats Push To End The Tax Return
Taxpayers might love return-free filing, but the tax preparation industry does not

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is leading the latest effort for return-free tax filing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin promised the “largest tax reform in the history of our country” on Wednesday as the White House and congressional Republicans gear up for a major overhaul.

But while their plans emphasize large tax cuts for corporations and more modest ones for individuals, some Democrats are promoting something far more radical: the end of the tax return.

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.

Should Democrats Turn to South Carolina’s Special Election Next?
Next week’s primaries could set up another competitive contest

Archie Parnell is the leading Democrat running for the seat left behind by former Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who’s now the director of the Office of Management and Budget. (Screenshot, Courtesy Archie Parnell for Congress)

Democrats enthused by last week’s primary in Georgia, and their strong showing in Kansas earlier this month, have been making noise about playing more aggressively in upcoming elections that were previously dismissed as long shots — specifically Montana.

Mentioned less often, however, is South Carolina.

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.

Ossoff Campaign Steps Up Field Efforts for June Runoff
Georgia Democrat’s campaign spent $2 million in field for primary

A volunteer for Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff arrives at a campaign office to canvass the district the day before the April 18 open primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ahead of the June runoff in Georgia’s 6th District, Democrat Jon Ossoff’s big-spending campaign is ramping up its “field-first” strategy for the next two months.  

Ossoff’s team spent nearly $2 million on its field efforts for last week’s primary, including paying for a Lyft code in the district so that voters without a ride could get to the polls on Election Day.

Podcast: Here's Why Congress Is Facing an Unprecedented Budget Puzzle
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 14

An unprecedented situation is developing in Congress as lawmakers are confronted with not only finishing the fiscal 2017 budget but beginning work on a fiscal 2018 budget, says CQ’s senior budget reporter Paul M. Krawzak. But adding uncertainty to the work are the so-called reconciliation instructions attached to the 2017 budget resolution that spell out how Republicans can repeal Obamacare. At what point do these instructions expire and it's game over for an easy health care repeal? Krawzak explains why this question has become so important, and offers a prediction on when President Trump will present his full budget to Congress.

Why Republicans Don’t Fear a Shutdown, But Should
HealthCare.gov rollout shifted attention back to White House before midterm elections

Republicans didn’t suffer at the ballot box because the rollout of HealthCare.gov was a disaster. They now don’t fear a shutdown — but they should, Nathan L. Gonzales writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For many Republicans, it’s a fairly simple calculation: There was a supposedly catastrophic government shutdown in 2013 and the GOP gained 13 House seats a year later. So what’s the big deal if the government shuts down again?

With another funding deadline on the horizon, selective memory loss could have negative consequences for the Republican Party if there is another government shutdown.

What’s Next for Jason Chaffetz?
Utah Republican has opportunities in business, lobbying, TV, or more politics after 2018

A frequent guest on cable news, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has the experience to move into a regular role. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As he prepares to leave Capitol Hill after 2018, Rep. Jason Chaffetz has a number of options open to him in his life after Congress.

The Utah Republican announced Wednesday he wouldn’t run for re-election or for any other political office in 2018 and would instead rejoin the private sector.