DC Daily: Trump to reveal tax plan, Pence reaffirms Australia alliance

Posted at 7:19 AM, Apr 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-23 11:26:12-04

Here's what's happening today in the world of politics:

Obama's Surgeon General is out, Deputy Surgeon General is in

-- Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy announced he has resigned from his post. Deputy Surgeon General Sylvia Trent-Adams, a nurse, will serve as acting Surgeon General, ABC News reports.

"As my colleague Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams takes over as acting Surgeon General, know that our nation is in capable and compassionate hands," Murthy, an Obama administration holdover, wrote in a Facebook post. "While I had hoped to do more to help our nation tackle its biggest health challenges, I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to have served."

Trump to unveil tax reform plan next week

-- President Donald Trump said he will unveil a new tax reform plan next week, following the signing of executive orders to review tax regulations and roll back Dodd-Frank regulations.

President Trump said the orders will  "help struggling Americans achieve their financial dreams, earn a great paycheck, have a job that they love going to every single day and have real confidence in the future," according to ABC News.

One of the orders directs the Treasury Secretary to review “all significant 2016 tax regulations to determine if they impose an undue financial burden on taxpayers, are needlessly complex, create unnecessary requirements, or exceed what’s allowed under law.”

He teased a "big announcement" on tax reform is expected Wednesday.

Sanctuary cities face funding cut threat

-- The Department of Justice is tightening the screws on so-called "sanctuary cities," saying cities have until June 30 to prove federal compliance or risk losing funds from 2016 justice assistance grants.

Cities will have to prove compliance requiring local authorities to share the citizenship or immigrant status of individuals with the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

In the statement from the DOJ, the agency said "(M)any of these jurisdictions are also crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime. New York City continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable consequence of the city's 'soft on crime' stance." 

However, no data was provided for the statement's claims.

Pence: U.S. will honor Australia-U.S. alliance

-- Vice President Mike Pence and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull joined forces on Saturday following a meeting in Sydney, reaffirming the partnership between the two countries.

Vice President Pence said the U.S. would honor a refugee acceptance deal, put in place by the Obama Administration, even if they do not agree with the move.

"President Trump has made it clear that we'll honor the agreement — that doesn't mean we admire the agreement," Pence said during a joint press conference with Turnbull.

VP Pence also praised PM Turnbull for calling on Beijing to be an active part in efforts to de-escalate North Korea's nuclear threat.


Russia tried to infiltrate Trump campaign

-- U.S. officials say the FBI gathered intelligence last summer suggesting Russian operatives tried to use Trump advisers, the most notable figure being Carter Page, to infiltrate the Trump campaign.

The officials said they don't know whether Page was aware Russians were trying to use him, but that Page could have unknowingly talked with Russian agents.

Page has said, "My assumption throughout the last 26 years I've been going there has always been that any Russian person might share information with the Russian government ... as I have similarly done with the CIA, the FBI and other government agencies in the past."

Trump denies ExxonMobile permission to drill in Russia

-- President Trump has rejected ExxonMobile's request to bypass sanctions in order to drill in Russia.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he consulted with the president on the decision.

Exxon was seeking to bypass sanctions from the Obama administration, in an effort to resume a joint venture with Russian state oil giant PAO Rosneft.