I'm Gabe Fleisher, reporting live from WUTP World HQ in my bedroom. It’s Wednesday, April 17, 2019. 292 days until the 2020 Iowa caucuses. 566 days until Election Day 2020. Have comments, questions, suggestions, or tips? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trump's second veto: President Donald Trump on Tuesday vetoed a resolution that would have ended U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. It was the second veto of his presidency, after rejecting a resolution that would have overturned his national emergency at the southern border last month. The Yemen war resolution, which was introduced after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was implicated in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, passed the House in a 247-175 vote (with the support of 16 Republicans) and the Senate in a 54-46 vote (with the support of seven Republicans). The measure was the first time that both chambers of Congress voted to invoke the War Powers Act in an attempt to end U.S. military engagement in a foreign conflict.
"This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future," Trump said in his veto message.
--- The latest veto comes as Trump's relationship with Congress has taken a downturn. The White House is aggressively moving to resist a growing number of subpoenas from the Democratic-led House, as the Washington Post reports. But it's not just Democrats: his administration's recent snubs to congressional investigators have left both parties "aghast," per CNN, and Trump's relationship with the Republican-led Senate is "at an all-time low in his presidency," according to Axios.
Latest immigration moves: "The Trump administration on Tuesday took another significant step to discourage migrants from seeking asylum, issuing an order that could keep thousands of them in jail indefinitely while they wait for a resolution of their asylum requests."
"The order issued by Attorney General William P. Barr was an effort to deliver on President Trump’s promise to end the 'catch and release' of migrants crossing the border in hopes of escaping persecution in their home countries." (New York Times)
--- "The Trump administration is resuming its controversial 'Remain in Mexico' policy requiring certain non-Mexican migrants who claim asylum at ports of entry along the southern border to wait in Mexico while their cases are processed in the U.S., a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesperson told CBS News Tuesday."
"The administration had halted the policy, officially known as the 'Migrant Protection Protocols,' for a few days after a federal judge blocked the government from implementing it. On Friday, however, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the government's emergency motion to stay the lower court's ruling, allowing the administration to resume the practice." (CBS News)
2020 Central: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' Fox News town hall on Monday was controversial among some in the Democratic Party, especially on the heels of the Democratic National Committee's decision not to partner with the network for a primary debate. But the town hall was the most watched candidate event of the 2020 campaign so far: about 2.55 million people were tuned in, per Nielsen ratings. The previous high for a 2020 candidate town hall? California Sen. Kamala Harris' CNN town hall in January, which was seen by 1.95 million viewers. Sanders' town hall was also seen as a successful venture into Trump-friendly territory: "Sanders takes on Fox — and emerges triumphant," Politico declared. According to the Daily Beast, at least four other Democratic contenders are now in talks with Fox News about participating in events of their own.
At least one high-profile Fox viewer was watching Sanders on Monday night: his potential future rival, President Trump, who tweeted about Sanders four times on Tuesday. "So weird to watch Crazy Bernie on @FoxNews," Trump said in one such tweet. "Big complaints about [Trump supporters] not being let in-stuffed with Bernie supporters. What's with @FoxNews?" he asked in another. The president also offered a Democratic primary prediction in a tweet on Tuesday: "I believe it will be Crazy Bernie Sanders vs. Sleepy Joe Biden as the two finalists... May God Rest Their Soul!"
--- South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg drew a crowd of more than 1,000 in Des Moines, Iowa on Tuesday, a significant increase since his first visit to the early caucus state in February, the Des Moines Register reports. The event gained attention after Buttigieg, who is gay, was heckled by a small group of anti-gay protestors. "The good news is, the condition of my soul is in the hands of God but the Iowa caucuses are up to you," Buttigieg calmly said to the crowd after the disturbances.
Recommended read: "Gina Haspel Relies on Spy Skills to Connect With Trump. He Doesn’t Always Listen." (New York Times)
White House schedule
--- At 2 p.m., President Trump participates in an "Opportunity Zone" conference with state, local, tribal, and community leaders. The "opportunity zone" program was created by the GOP tax bill in 2017 to spur long-term investments in economically distressed communities.
--- Vice President Mike Pence travels to Texas today. At 2 p.m., he delivers remarks at a Trump campaign event in Dallas. At 4:40 p.m., he visits the Permian Basin Oil field and Diamondback Oil rig in Midland. There, he will "receive a briefing on the rig’s operation, tour the rig, and give remarks to employees regarding the positive impacts of the Administration’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement," per the White House. At 6:30 p..m., he delivers remarks at a Trump campaign event in Midland.
Both chambers of Congress are on recess.
Supreme Court schedule
--- New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker continues his "Justice For All" tour with an event on voting rights and reproductive justice in Atlanta, Georgia.
--- South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg attends a house party in Marshalltown, Iowa and an Asian & Latino Coalition reception in Des Moines, Iowa.
--- Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard holds meet and greets in four Iowa cities: Fairfield, Mount Pleasant, Fort Madison, and Burlington
--- New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand holds a meet and greet at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
--- Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke visits Virginia today, holding meet and greets in Fredericksburg and Fairfax; a roundtable with state legislators in Dumfries; and a town hall in Alexandria.
--- Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, a newly-announced candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, attends a house party in Windham, New Hampshire.
--- Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren holds an organizing event in Salt Lake City, Utah.
*All times Eastern
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