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President Donald Trump makes his way to W. Va. for GOP retreat

US immigration deal by deadline 'could very well not happen' - Trump

"They want to use it for an election issue, but it's now an election issue that will go to our benefit", Trump said. Now the Trump presidency is motivating both his supporters and his critics in the race to replace former Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned in October after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the congressman, an opponent of abortion rights, asked a woman he had an affair with to get an abortion.

Even as Republicans left the retreat with a jolt of optimism about the midterms, the divisions and distractions that slowed their legislative agenda in 2017 and created a series of political headaches threatened to complicate the next nine months.

Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the House Transportation Committee, gamely told reporters that Trump's history as a developer makes him the ideal person to push a major infrastructure plan. Enthusiasm to vote this year ranges sharply within each party.

For now, though, many Republicans are relieved to be treading water after a deluge of negative indicators over the past year.

In districts the Republican Party holds, by contrast, it's a tight 45-51 percent Democratic vs. His probe focuses not only on whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation but also on whether the president sought to obstruct justice.

"That's one example of how things are getting better", Stivers said.

Republicans had mixed legislative success previous year: enacting a $1.5 trillion tax overhaul but failing to make good on a key campaign promise to repeal and replace Obama's signature healthcare law. "That's risky to do internally", she said. Part of the problem was those candidates had nothing to sell as a signature party achievement, like Republicans are now trying to do with the new tax law.

Likewise, the Black Caucus' reaction to Trump's boasts about black unemployment hitting "its lowest rate ever recorded" was underwhelming.

"Not to me, it doesn't, and I was pretty integrally involved in the drafting of it", Gowdy said in a preview of an interview to be aired on the CBS Face the Nation program on Sunday.

It helped that Trump's joint address to Congress focused not on Trump, but Americans and their future. "They'd rather see us not do well than see our country do great and that's not good, that's not good".

As lawmakers rush to come up with a solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, there's disagreement just on the scope of the deal - even weeks after President Donald Trump gathered lawmakers to discuss his "four pillars".

The president covered a variety of topics in his speech, which lasted about an hour and a half. "You can not sustain a majority on such a pathetic and desperate strategy".

One of his demands is to protect dreamers' parents from deportation - a contentious issue as many Republicans view them as lawbreakers for bringing their children to the USA illegally.

While Ronald Reagan started this, no president has done it as Trump did. But that is a risky bet that Trump's controversies will not eclipse those matters as the elections grow near. Not only do they oppose the massive cuts to legal immigration and hardship for families such a plan would entail, they say, some suspect the President has ulterior motives, especially after his "sh-hole countries" comments. He later released a statement in which he quipped that while he disagreed with "almost everything he said, for Trump the speech was clear and well-delivered".

Republicans believe their 51-49 Senate majority is in less danger than control of the House.

That said, by expressing a preference for experienced politicians, Democrats seem to be signaling antipathy toward political newcomer Donald Trump rather than thinking about their local congressional races. Who are these Democrats?

Some Republicans have indicated they want a full-year of defense spending attached to a short-term bill, and conservatives in the House have suggested they won't support another short-term bill unless the House votes on the hardline immigration bill they support.

Steve Vladeck, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Texas-Austin, said it was unprecedented for the president to feud so publicly with leaders of the United States intelligence agencies.

Democrats have pressed since a year ago for separate legislation to deal with the fate of 690,000 "Dreamer" immigrants who are registered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, established by president Barack Obama in 2012 to protect their presence in the country.