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Trump's missing infrastructure plan

Trump puts on a miners hard hat during a campaign rally in West Virginia. Photo: Steve Helber / AP

In early April — nearly eight months ago — President Trump told the New York Times: "[W]e're going to have a very big infrastructure plan. And bill. And it's going to come soon. And I think we'll have support from Democrats and Republicans."

  • It's late November, and we're still waiting.

Senior administration officials met last week in the Roosevelt Room to discuss when they might finally turn the president's infrastructure promises into reality, and how a communications plan might be developed.

  • Two sources who were present said Gary Cohn barely spoke during the meeting, which included officials such as D.J. Gribbin, who leads the White House's infrastructure drive.
  • Per one source, White House political director Bill Stepien said the group needed to consider the midterm elections when deciding when to finally make their big push. Some in the White House are skeptical that infrastructure will drive Republican voters to the polls.

Bottom line: The White House doesn't seem any closer to having an infrastructure bill than it was six months ago. When I asked one senior official when infrastructure would happen, he laughed and said: "Good question!"

  • When I asked the White House about this story, a spokeswoman listed a number of infrastructure-related accomplishments in lieu of the big bill, including moving forward on the Keystone pipeline and having federal agencies speed up the permitting process for builders.
  • The spokeswoman said: "We'll be ready to move forward on infrastructure legislation as soon as Congress is, but we're not waiting on them to get started on the bigger picture."

What's next: Lots of Very Important Meetings.

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Trump: Transgender people "disqualified" from the military

SecDef Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford. Photo: Andrew Harrer-Pool / Getty Images

President Trump late Friday issued an order disqualifying most transgender people from serving in the military.

"[T]ransgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria -- individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery -- are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances."

Why it matters: Anything short of an inclusive policy for transgender troops will be viewed as a continuation of the ban Trump announced on Twitter in August.

Haley Britzky 3 hours ago
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Both Bush and Obama also requested line item veto power

Donald Trump.
Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday evening that to avoid having "this omnibus situation from ever happening again," he wants Congress to re-instate "a line-item veto."

Why it matters: This would allow him to veto specific parts of a bill without getting rid of the entire thing. Trump was deeply unhappy with the $1.3 trillion spending bill approved by Congress early Friday morning, but signed it anyway on Friday afternoon.