The White House says Pence was greeted with applause after mentioning Trump in a speech. He wasn’t.

12:18 a.m.
Maybe they meant to type “(Crickets)”?

The White House has posted online the remarks made by Vice President Mike Pence last Friday at the Munich Security Conference, but there’s a glaring error. In the beginning of his address, Pence said it was his “great honor” to speak “on behalf of a champion of freedom and a champion of a strong national defense, the 45th president of the United States, President Donald Trump.” In the transcript, it says this was followed by “(Applause).” In reality, it was followed by (Silence).

As video from the event shows, Pence expected to be met with some sort of a reaction, as he paused, awkwardly, before moving on. The White House hasn’t said why it inserted this fabrication, or why they didn’t go with something more exciting, like (Audience starts chanting, “USA! USA! USA!” while twirling star-spangled rally towels) or (German Chancellor Angela Merkel dons a MAGA cap, initiates The Wave). Catherine Garcia

33 total views, no views today

California sues Trump over national emergency declaration, border wall


John Fritze, USA TODAY Published 8:32 p.m. ET Feb. 18, 2019 | Updated 9:40 p.m. ET Feb. 18, 2019

President Trump declared a national emergency to free up funding for his border wall between the U.S and Mexico. But declaring a national emergency isn’t new — in fact, the use of emergency powers is older than the country itself. USA TODAY, Just the FAQs

WASHINGTON – California and 15 other states sued President Donald Trump on Monday over his decision to declare a national emergency to free up funding for his controversial border wall, calling the move “unlawful and unconstitutional.”

The states allege in their lawsuit that Trump’s emergency declaration exceeds the power of the president and unconstitutionally redirects federal money that Congress had set aside for other purposes. Trump made the declaration on Friday after lawmakers sent him a government funding bill that included $1.375 billion for the wall, far short of the $5.7 billion he initially requested.

White House officials said they believe they can unlock an additional $6.6 billion through the emergency declaration and other budget maneuvers. The White House believes the money would allow the administration to build at least 234 miles of the border wall, which was a central promise of Trump’s 2016 campaign.

“President Trump treats the rule of law with utter contempt,” saidCalifornia Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a Democrat. “He knows there is no border crisis, he knows his emergency declaration is unwarranted, and he admits that he will likely lose this case in court.”

During a press conference in the Rose Garden, President Trump admitted that he didn’t need to declare a national emergency to fund his border wall, but that he did it so he could “get it done faster.” USA TODAY
White House officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

California filed the lawsuit in the Northern District of California, where appeals are heard by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Trump has repeatedly claimed that his opponents would file litigation there, and he predicted on Friday that the appeals court would rule against him.

“They will sue us in the 9th Circuit,” Trump told reporters in the White House Rose Garden on Friday. “We will possibly get a bad ruling, and then we’ll get another bad ruling and then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court.”

The states’ lawsuit is only the latest, and it’s probably not the last. Hours after Trump signed the emergencydeclaration, the watchdog group Public Citizen filed a lawsuit in the District of Columbia. The suit was filed on behalf of Texas landowners who own property on the Rio Grande and others.

But the lawsuit filed by the states, whose attorneys general are all Democrats, will be especially important to watch, in part because of the legal resources attorneys general bring to major federal litigation and in part because of their standing to sue. The attorneys general argue in the suit that the president’s moves will redirect drug interdiction money and other funds that would have gone to their states.

The states joining California are: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia.

24 total views, no views today

Treasury will again borrow $1 trillion to pay for tax cuts, spending

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Photo: Eitan Abramovich/AFP/Getty Images

For the second straight year, the Treasury Department will have to borrow $1 trillion to pay for the government’s growing budget deficit, a consequence of juiced government spending and smaller revenues as a result of the late 2017 tax cuts, Bloomberg reports.

The big picture: Treasury borrowing surpassed $1 trillion during President Obama’s first term as government spending soared amid the stimulus to combat the 2008 financial crisis, but it has steadily declined in the years since, settling down to $519 billion in 2017 before nearly doubling last year.

Go deeper: U.S. borrowing spiked 84% in 2018 to nearly $1 trillion

24 total views, no views today