Politics & Government

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President Trump pitched a tax overhaul package on Wednesday in a speech that was heavy on politicking and light on the particulars.

Trump's tax policy ideas are still sketchy — when pitched in April, they amounted to one page of bullet points. In his Wednesday remarks, he didn't add much more detail beyond the broad strokes, saying he wants lower rates for the middle class, a simpler tax code, lower corporate rates and for companies to "bring back [their] money" from overseas to the U.S.

A friend sent a photo to Jaime Botello's phone Wednesday that confirmed his fears: The house where his family has lived for 30 years is completely flooded.

"All the way to the top," he says.

And like most people in the Houston area, Botello, a welder who was at a shelter with his wife on Wednesday, doesn't have flood insurance. He says he can't afford it.

President Trump, with a well-known fondness for golf hats bearing slogans, toured post-Hurricane Houston on Tuesday wearing white headgear emblazoned with "USA." It had a U.S. flag on one side, and on the other side — maybe this was the giveaway — the numeral 45. Trump is the 45th president.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has differed with President Trump over a number of significant foreign policy issues — North Korea, Iran and Qatar, to name a few. But when Tillerson distanced himself from the president on the question of American values — telling Fox News Sunday that the president "speaks for himself" by blaming "both sides" for violence that took place during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. — questions grew over whether he would soon be out of office.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has a tough assessment of what it's been like trying to work with the White House on manufacturing, trade and other issues that helped lure many union members to vote for President Trump in November.

Speaking at a breakfast event in Washington, D.C., Wednesday hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, Trumka said any hopes for progress ran up against another ugly reality at the White House: warring factions within the West Wing, battling for influence with the president.

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President Trump visited a manufacturing firm in Springfield, Mo., this afternoon to make the case that America needs a tax cut. It's the first of what's expected to be a series of road trips by the president to promote a GOP effort to overhaul the federal tax code.

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Jacob Rees-Mogg set a record for the longest word spoken in the British Parliament in 2012. The Conservative Party lawmaker aimed this hifalutin insult at the European Court of Justice:

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

President Trump called for a major rewrite of the U.S. tax code during a visit to Springfield, Mo., on Wednesday afternoon. The speech came a day after Trump's trip to Harvey-hit Texas and is the first in what is expected to be a series of traveling sales pitches on taxes from the president.

North Carolina's Republican-led General Assembly has approved a set of legislative district maps to replace the 2011 plans thrown out by the courts for being illegal racial gerrymanders. The problem, many critics say, is that the new maps are just as bad.

The state's battles over political geography come less than six weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in a case about the extent to which partisanship can be used to draw legislative and congressional districts.

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Regina Bateson doesn't look like a gambler, but that's what she's become — in the world of politics.

She just left her tenure-track job at MIT to run for Congress back home, in Northern California. She's a Democrat with zero campaign experience. And she needs to unseat the Republican incumbent in her solidly Republican district.

She's fighting this unlikely fight because technology — in the form of an online platform called Crowdpac.com — made her believe it's possible.

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When the floodwaters in Texas eventually recede, the cleanup and rebuilding will begin.

The cleanup bill will likely be hefty — possibly topping $100 billion — and the vast majority of those efforts will be funded by the federal government.

President Trump doesn't seem worried about Congress footing the bill. "You're going to see very rapid action from Congress," he told reporters Monday. "You're going to get your funding."

In a visit to Austin on Tuesday, Trump met with the state's two Republican senators and again alluded to the price tag for federal help.

With Republican efforts to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act stalled, tentative bipartisan initiatives are in the works to stabilize the fragile individual insurance market that serves roughly 17 million Americans.

Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who is Roman Catholic, finally got his chance to meet Pope Francis.

Spicer was at the Vatican over the weekend as part of an annual meeting of the International Catholic Legislators Network.

The nonpartisan group brings together lawmakers from across the globe to discuss the promotion of Christian principles in politics.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke has confirmed that Spicer attended an audience with the pope on Sunday.

When Big Jim was governor in the 1940s, there no interstate highways, a lot of roads weren't even paved. It took longer to get around the state by car than it does now...

President Trump pledged to rebuild Houston and Texas bigger and better than ever. However, earlier this month, he rescinded an Obama executive order that required flood-damaged property to be rebuilt higher and stronger. Trump also has proposed eliminating federal flood mapping and the federal government's top disaster agency.

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When the floodwaters in Texas eventually recede, the cleanup and rebuilding will begin. The vast majority of those efforts will be funded by the federal government. NPR's Scott Detrow reports that finding the funds might get tricky.

On Jan. 28, 1986, President Ronald Reagan was supposed to deliver the State of the Union.

Instead, he made a very different address to the nation that day, one that would transform the role of president, making it mandatory thereafter that presidents serve as consoler-in-chief.

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Over the last few days, President Trump has been tweeting a lot about rescue efforts in Texas. He's offered praise for, quote, "great coordination between agencies at all levels of government." Today, President Trump gets to see it for himself.

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A senior attorney for the Trump Organization has acknowledged sending an email to Russian President Vladimir Putin's personal spokesman during the 2016 presidential campaign about a possible real estate project in Moscow.

Michael Cohen said in a two-page statement provided to congressional investigators on Monday that he sent the email to Dmitry Peskov in January 2016 to seek his help securing government approval for a proposed Trump Tower in the Russian capital.

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