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politics

Courtesy Gil Aegerter

Joe Fuiten likes President Donald Trump's proposal to eliminate tax restrictions on churches' participation in politics.

Fuiten built up one of Washington's largest churches, Cedar Park Church in Bothell. He told KUOW's Kim Malcolm that he found ways around the Johnson Amendment because he knew the law and followed it.


President Trump signed two directives on Friday, ordering a review of financial industry regulations known as Dodd-Frank and halting implementation of a rule that requires financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

Trump himself made his intentions clear in a meeting with small business owners Monday. "Dodd-Frank is a disaster," Trump said. "We're going to be doing a big number on Dodd-Frank."

Of all President Trump's Cabinet choices, only one currently seems at serious risk of being denied confirmation by the Senate.

The confirmation of Betsy DeVos as education secretary is a question mark after two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, announced they plan to vote against her.

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, is under fire after making the false claim that Bowling Green, Ky., was the scene of a massacre carried out by Iraqis. Conway made the claim in an MSNBC interview that aired Thursday night, in which she argued in favor of President Trump's immigration and refugee ban.

For the second time in as many days, a Senate committee's GOP leadership has bypassed a boycott by Democrats to advance President Trump's Cabinet nominees.

The Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee boycotted the second meeting in a row to confirm Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA.

The White House moved up the president's announcement that he was nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court by two days, possibly to distract from the firestorm of criticism over his chaotic rollout of his refugee policy.

But maybe the White House didn't have to worry.

New polls show the policy may not be as unpopular as all those protests over the weekend suggested.

The late Justice Antonin Scalia may not have been the original originalist, but he popularized what had once been a fringe legal doctrine. He argued for it both on and off the U.S. Supreme Court and brought originalism into if not the mainstream then at least into the center of legal debate.

Updated at 6:40 a.m. ET

A planned appearance by far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos was canceled Wednesday at the University of California, Berkeley, after a group of protesters shot fireworks at police, broke windows, started fires and threw barricades.

It's far from the first time a Yiannopoulos speaking event was canceled because of protests, which occur regularly at his events.

In Washington, D.C., the cognoscenti confidently predict that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will be easily confirmed. But both supporters and opponents are chastened by the predictors' embarrassingly wrong prognostications over the past year. And that is presenting Senate Democrats in particular with a strategic dilemma.

Last week, President Trump signed an executive order suspending new-refugee admissions for 120 days and blocking travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia — for 90 days. Syrian refugees are banned indefinitely.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch, his choice for Supreme Court associate justice in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Bill Radke talks to Jessica Taylor, lead digital political reporter for NPR, about President Donald Trump's nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the empty seat on the Supreme Court. 

Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET.

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted planned votes on Tuesday morning to advance the nominations of two Trump Cabinet nominees.

President Trump has made his pick to fill the ninth seat on the Supreme Court.

So now what?

An executive order protecting gays and lesbians who work for federal contractors "will remain intact" at President Trump's direction, the White House says. The move could allay concerns that Trump might end recently adopted protections against an anti-LGBTQ workplace.

The White House announced the move in a relatively short statement early Tuesday, saying that the president "is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community."

Before they get to work on reforming the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Congress and the White House might want to take a closer look at the last time they tried it — a $16 billion fix called the Veterans Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, designed to get veterans medical care more quickly.

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