March 24, 2017: What to Know 

  • Bingo Barnes
  • Today marks the 75th day of the 2017 session of the Idaho Legislature. While lawmakers had originally hoped to wrap things up by day's end, leadership has already warned both the House and Senate that—barring some unforeseen cooperation—they'll be back on Monday. The biggest to-do item still on the agenda is a $30 million GARVEE bond proposal to help finance major transportation projects. Estimates put the cost of extending the legislative session at about about $30,000 per day.
  • President Donald Trump has resorted to a strategy usually reserved for playgrounds in his last ditch-effort to convince enough Republicans to support his plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. Trump told congressional leadership that if they weren't able to muster enough votes in the House of Representatives to pass his health care plan, he'll drop the issue, leave Obamacare in place and move on to other proposals. "At the end of the day, this is the only train leaving the station that’s going to repeal Obamacare,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer told Fox News.
  • Meanwhile, Trump announced this morning he was green-lighting a construction permit for the controversial Keystone Pipeline. The Washington Post reports the $8 billion project would span 1,200 miles from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas.
  • U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is warning that Democrats will end up filibustering the upcoming vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Under Senate rules, it will require 60 votes to overcome such an obstacle. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) says he's prepared to exercise the so-called "nuclear" option, which would give the GOP leeway to pass Gorsuch on a simple-majority.
  • Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson dropped a bombshell on a Norwegian talk show when she said Trump once asked her out. “So I lift up the phone—‘Hi, it’s Donald Trump here,'” said Thompson. “And I said, ‘Really? Can I help you?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I just wondered if I could offer you some accommodation in one of my Trump Towers. They’re really comfortable.” Thompson said her only response was, "I'll get back to you." Appropriately, Thompson is currently co-starring in Beauty and the Beast.

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