Fox News Halftime Report -- House approves Harvey relief, debt ceiling package

Fox News Halftime Report

September 8, 2017

By Fox News Staff


On the roster: House approves Harvey relief, debt ceiling package - Trump plays blame game with GOP - Closed-door tax overhaul may slow Senate's timeline - Poll: Voters feel safer, yet still expect terror attack - Puppy see, puppy do

Fox News: "The House on Friday gave final approval to a $15 billion Hurricane Harvey relief bill that includes a short-term suspension of the debt ceiling and funding to keep the government running for the next three months, sending the measure to President Trump's desk. The package passed on a 316-90 vote, with all opposing votes coming from Republicans. Congress moved with uncharacteristic speed on the bill to avert several looming crises – the prospect of not only triggering a government shutdown, but hitting the debt limit as the federal government burns through cash it needs to respond to both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma which is barreling into Florida. The $15.25 billion approved Friday represents an initial payment as Texas recovers from its devastating storm and residents across the southeast brace for impact from Irma – a storm sure to require billions more from the federal government. Separately, the package includes money to fund the government through Dec. 8, while suspending the debt ceiling through that same period."

Former presidents team up for Harvey, Irma relief - Politico: "All five living former U.S. presidents united in a call for donations to relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey and the looming Hurricane Irma on Thursday. The online campaign, called the 'One America Appeal,' brought together former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter in a singular plea for donations to ongoing recovery efforts in Texas and likely future efforts in Florida and U.S. territories in the Caribbean in the wake of Irma. … The initiative serves as the first joint public effort by the five former leaders since Obama left office in January. According to the group, the campaign will not set up a new organization to for post-disaster efforts, but rather contribute to existing funds, such as the Houston Harvey Relief Fund and the Rebuild Texas Fund."

Trump plays blame game with GOP - NYT: "President Trump on Friday rejected Republican complaints about his decision to work with Democrats on fiscal and immigration issues, chiding his own party for failing to advance major legislation and calling on congressional leaders to begin overhauling the tax code immediately. As the rift between the president and Republican lawmakers widened, the president argued that he had no choice but to collaborate with the Democratic minority to get business done… 'Republicans, sorry, but I've been hearing about Repeal & Replace for 7 years, didn't happen!' he wrote in a series of morning messages on Twitter, referring to the failure of party leaders to pass legislation overturning former President Barack Obama's health care program. 'Even worse, the Senate Filibuster Rule will never allow the Republicans to pass even great legislation. 8 Dems control — will rarely get 60 (vs. 51) votes. It is a Repub Death Wish!'"

"It rests upon axioms as simple as they are universal; the MEANS ought to be proportioned to the END; the persons, from whose agency the attainment of any END is expected, ought to possess the MEANS by which it is to be attained." – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 23

Today marks the 51st anniversary of Star Trek. The American, science-fiction television series is still known as the most "successful failure in television history." We take a look back at its history. Smithsonian: "…the original 'Star Trek' lasted just three seasons before it was canceled—only to be resuscitated in syndication and grow into a global entertainment mega-phenomenon. … Over the decades 'Star Trek' merchandise alone … has reportedly brought in some $5 billion. This is quite an outpouring for a concept that its creator, the Los Angeles police officer-turned-TV-writer Gene Roddenberry, pitched to producers as a 'space western' and once described as a ''Wagon Train' to the Stars.' There's much, much more to the appeal of the original 'Star Trek' than gunplay in the wilderness … but in one key respect Roddenberry's notion was right on target: People everywhere, especially Americans, are fascinated by the frontier, whether final or not."

Flag on the play? - Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.

Trump net job-approval rating: -19.4 points
Change from one week ago: down 0.6 points

[President Trump's score is determined by subtracting his average job disapproval rating in the five most recent, methodologically sound public polls from his average approval rating, calculated in the same fashion.]

Roll Call: "The closed-door process under which Republican congressional leaders and the Trump administration are crafting an overhaul of the United States tax code could impede the Senate's timeline for the effort. Lawmakers say they have yet to receive key details, making it difficult to craft a fiscal 2018 budget resolution that will ultimately serve as the vehicle to advance the tax bill. 'From my standpoint, it probably pushes it back in terms of when you pass a budget resolution,' Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson said. 'We need some kind of indication, and some sort of feel of a consensus within the Senate and House conferences in terms of how much static loss in revenue are people willing to tolerate.' While there is a renewed commitment to get a tax overhaul complete this year, Republican senators expressed concern that the secretive process that ultimately doomed the effort to repeal the 2010 health care law will happen again."

Senate appropriators rebuke Trump on abortion policy - POLITICO: "Senate appropriators on Thursday dealt a twofold rebuke to the Trump administration on abortion policy, though it is almost certain the changes won't become law. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a fiscal 2018 foreign relations funding bill containing language that would undo a Trump administration prohibition on funding for nongovernment organizations that perform or promote abortion. The committee also adopted an amendment by Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire that would undo the Republican policy known as the 'Mexico City policy' or the 'global gag rule' in a 16-15 vote. Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted with panel Democrats to scrap the policy while West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin voted to retain it."

Fox News: "Most voters think a terrorist attack is imminent and likely to kill many Americans, according to the latest Fox News Poll. At the same time, more voters than not feel the United States is safer than before 9/11. By a 6-point margin, more voters feel the country is safer today (47 percent safer vs. 41 percent less safe).  That's a significant improvement from last August when a record 54 percent felt the country was less safe.  Not since March 2014 have more felt safer than before the September 11 attacks (49-39 percent). … While voters overall feel safer, partisanship appears to be the biggest factor driving opinions:  Republicans (65 percent) and independents (48 percent) are more likely than Democrats (29 percent) to feel safer.  The exact opposite was true last August when more Democrats (52 percent) than Republicans (25 percent) and independents (41 percent) felt the U.S. was safer."

Meanwhile, Trump says a war with North Korea is 'certainly' possible - Roll Call: "War with North Korea is possible as that country continues its nuclear arms and long-range missile programs, President Donald Trump said Thursday. 'Military action would certainly be an option. Is it inevitable? Nothing is inevitable,' Trump said during a joint press conference with his Kuwaiti counterpart. 'But it's something certainly that could happen.' The commander in chief said 'it would be great if something else could be worked out.' And he later signaled a willingness to 'negotiate with someone' — though he did not specify if he is open to his administration having direct talks with Pyongyang or ones involving other countries."

Team Trump to have working weekend at Camp David - WashTimes

Extended relatives can now enter under Trump's travel ban - WaPo

Rep. Charlie Dent, co-chair of Tuesday Group, to retire - The Philadelphia Inquirer

Rep. Mike McCaul emerges as a leading candidate for DHS secretary - Politico

DeVos to scrap Obama-era school sexual assault policy - Politico

Watch "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace" Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.

#mediabuzz - Host Howard Kurtz has the latest take on the week's media coverage. Watch #mediabuzz Sundays at 11 a.m. ET.

"You know, I rarely do this, but I'm deeply disappointed in my good lady from Washington. [She] doesn't know a damn thing what she's talking about." – Rep. Don Young R-Alaska, referring to Rep. Pramila Jayapal D-Wash., during a House floor debate late Thursday night.

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[Ed. note: Chris Stirewalt is away. He and FROM THE BLEACHERS will return on Sep. 11.]

UPI: "An Illinois woman shared video of her dog displaying an unusual behavior -- rescuing earthworms from the hot road. The video, recorded amid sunny weather in East St. Louis, shows Holliday the border collie/German shepherd mix gently picking up earthworms from the hot asphalt with her mouth and placing them in the grass. 'On walks, she will run around the neighborhood and look for stray earthworms and bugs to save,' Holliday's owner wrote. 'She will spot the worms far in advance, and run over as fast as she can to save them. Sometimes, she even tries to save the dried, dead ones.' The owner had a theory as to how Holliday learned to save the worms. 'She was never taught this behavior, although when she was a puppy, my mom would take the earth worms from the road and throw them in the grass,' the woman wrote."


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