SENATE FOOD STAMP AND EDUCATION PROGRAM CUTS LEFT OUT OF HOUSE BUDGET: Some of the cuts in the budget plan that has passed the N.C. Senate aren’t included in a partial budget released by the N.C. House Thursday – setting up negotiations between Republican leaders over the fate of food stamps, the Governor’s School and other programs. The House did not include a budget provision that changes eligibility requirements for the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP – commonly known as food stamps. The Senate’s proposal would have resulted in 133,000 people losing access to food stamps, including 51,000 children.
INSTEAD OF WORKING HARDER ON OPIOID CRISIS AS HE PROMISED, TRUMP'S BUDGET SLASHES PROGRAMS: Trump also would cut funding for addiction research and eliminate support for the training of addiction professionals. He wants to cut prevention programs by more than 30 percent, according to one advocacy group's analysis. Trump would cut millions of dollars of federal support of drug courts, prescription drug monitoring programs and state programs aimed at prescription drug overdoses. Those most frustrated include parents who shared their stories with Trump. "We want to help those who have become so badly addicted," Trump insisted during a late-March "listening session" on opioid and drug abuse at the White House.
TRUMP SON-IN-LAW FOCUS OF FBI INVESTIGATORS IN RUSSIA PROBE: Investigators are focusing on a series of meetings held by Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and an influential White House adviser, as part of their probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and related matters, according to people familiar with the investigation. Kushner, who held meetings in December with the Russian ambassador and a banker from Moscow, is being investigated because of the extent and nature of his interactions with the Russians, the people said. FBI agents also remain keenly interested in former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, but Kushner is the only current White House official known to be considered a key person in the probe.
MONTANA GOP CANDIDATE WHO BODY-SLAMMED REPORTER WINS ELECTION: A Montana Republican businessman won the state's U.S. House seat after being charged with assaulting a reporter on the eve of the election, a victory that may temper Democrats' hopes for a massive anti-Trump wave next year. Greg Gianforte apologized late Thursday for attacking a reporter who had asked about the GOP health care bill. "Last night, I made a mistake. I took an action I can't take back and I am not proud of what happened," he said.Yet Gianforte's single-digit win paled to President Donald Trump's 20-point romp in Montana in November, a sign that Republicans will have to work hard to defend some of their most secure seats to maintain control of Congress.
GOP CONGRESSMAN MARK WALKER TO HOLD A FLURRY OF TOWN HALLS ON TUESDAY: Walker, a Republican, will meet with citizens from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday in the auditorium at Alamance Community College, 1247 Jimmie Kerr Road. “Staff assured us that the meeting(s) would be held when working people could attend,” said Trina Harrison of the county group Indivisible NC6. “I don’t quite know how that works with this schedule.” Tuesday’s other meetings are: 8:30–9:30 a.m. at Wentworth Town Hall, 124 Peach Tree Road, Reidsville. 2–3 p.m. at Sanford Public Works Department, 601 N. Fifth St., Sanford. 6:30–7:30 p.m. at Randolph Community College’s Corporate Training Center, 413 Industrial Park Ave., Asheboro. Attendees must register online and secure tickets beforehand.