Trump voices support for immigration bill ahead of speech to Congress

President Trump voiced tentative support Tuesday for immigration legislation ahead of his address to a joint session of Congress, potentially opening up a new and contentious debate as he also vows to tackle health care, taxes and the economy.

“The time is right for an immigration bill as long as both sides are willing to compromise,” Trump said at a lunch with news anchors.

He reportedly is open to considering a pathway to legal status for some illegal immigrants. But it’s unclear how far Trump might press the issue in his address Tuesday night, as he also pushes for increased border security and other priorities.

The hint at renewing the immigration reform debate in Congress drew a mixed response late Tuesday from Senate leaders.

Asked about the prospect, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said, “If he’s got an idea, we’d be happy to take a look at it.”

But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., voiced doubt. “He’s got a lot to undo, I mean, the immigrant community is rightfully scared, of what President Trump has done,” he said.  

The speech comes at critical moment, as Trump tries to galvanize a Congress that, despite being under full Republican control, still has not advanced legislation to deal with key campaign vows to replace the Affordable Care Act and reform the tax system. He is under pressure Tuesday to unite party allies behind a common agenda. 

On ObamaCare, some Republicans already have seized on a leaked repeal plan draft to blast GOP leaders’ efforts. Conservatives like Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Mark Walker, R-N.C., both have criticized the outline, including its treatment of tax credits.

Ahead of Tuesday night’s speech, House Speaker Paul Ryan played down divisions.

“This is a plan that we are all working on together,” he told reporters. “There aren’t rival plans here. … We’re going to be unified on this.”

But Ryan, at a separate briefing, voiced some concerns about Trump’s approach to the federal budget – a day after White House officials previewed a plan to boost military spending by $54 billion, cut other agency budgets by the same amount and leave entitlements like Medicare untouched.

Asked about the president’s apparent reluctance to cut entitlements, Ryan said, “There is an open question on long-term entitlement reform.”

Trump’s forthcoming budget faces pitfalls on other fronts, as some defense hawks think it doesn’t go far enough to rebuild the military, deficit hawks think it doesn’t go far enough to cut spending and others are worried about cuts to nondefense accounts. 

Hours before the speech, McConnell cast doubt on whether the Senate could pass a budget proposal that seeks steep cuts to the State Department, one of the ways Trump might fund the increase for the military.

Aside from internal GOP tensions over legislative goals, Trump continues to grapple with numerous leaks from inside his administration and intermittent staffing controversies that most prominently included Michael Flynn resigning as national security adviser over apparently misleading Vice President Pence on past contacts with the Russian ambassador.

Multiple media reports, which Trump repeatedly decries as bogus, have raised questions about additional contacts between his allies and Moscow – another issue that has divided Republicans, with some seeking an independent probe and others rejecting those calls. And most immediately, Trump’s team is looking to rewrite and reissue his controversial executive order suspending the refugee program and admissions from seven mostly Muslim countries, after it was blocked in court amid widespread protests.

Fox News’ Mike Emanuel and Bret Baier contributed to this report.

Rihanna Honored as Humanitarian of the Year at Harvard University

It’s not just her music that Rihanna is receiving accolades for.

The “Love on the Brain” singer headed to the hallowed halls of Harvard University on Tuesday, where she received the prestigious honor of 2017 Humanitarian of the Year by the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations.

Dr. S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation, introduced Rihanna, saying, “Rihanna has charitably built a state-of-the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados… It is for these philanthropic initiatives, and other acts of compassionate sharing, that the students and faculty of the Harvard Foundation chose to honor Rihanna with the 2017 Humanitarian of the Year Award.”

“So I made it to Harvard!” the singer said as she took to the stage, where she spoke about the childhood that inspired her charitable work as an adult.

“I’m incredibly humbled to be acknowledged at this magnitude for something, in truth, I never wanted credit for,” Rihanna told the crowd. “I remember watching TV (as a child) and I would see commercials with children suffering in other parts of the world, the ones where you could give 25 cents and save a child’s life. I said, ‘When I grow up and get rich I’m gonna help kids all over the world.’ I just didn’t know I would be in the position to do that by the time I was a teenager.”

Looking chic in a gray, off-the-shoulder tweed dress and over-the-knee gray boots with her hair swept back, Rihanna challenged the crowd of students and fans to make a difference in their own lives.

“We’re all human, and we all just want a chance,” Rihanna said. “A chance at life, a chance at an education, a chance at a future, really. And at CLF [the Clara Lionel Foundation], our mission is to impact as many lives as possible, but it starts with just one. Just one. As I stare out into his beautiful room, I see optimism, I see hope, I see the future. I know that each and every one of you has the opportunity to help someone else. All you need to do is help one person and expect nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian.”

Rihanna started CLF in 2012 in honor of her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. The organization funds education, health, and emergency response programs, and seeks to improve the life of young people around the world.

And while she didn’t attend college herself, Rihanna hinted that there’s always the possibility she’ll pursue further education.

“The truth the little girl watching those commercials didn’t know, was that you don’t have to be rich to be a humanitarian. You don’t have to be famous, or college-educated,” Rihanna laughed.  “I wish I was, especially today. I might come back!”

Before the big event, Rihanna went on a tour of the university and had lunch at Henrietta’s Table in the Charles Hotel. And according to the University staff, the Barbadian singer blended in with the students quite well.

“I can’t tell you what a gracious person she’s been to our students all day,” said Dr. S. Allen Counter, executive director the Harvard Foundation.

7 Times Celebs Changed Lives With A DM

Considering her love of selfies, it makes total sense that Kylie discovered her makeup artist on Instagram. After seeing Ariel’s work, Kylie DMed Ariel a picture of a black screen with the message: “Look, whenever you’re in L.A., I want to work with you, let me know.” A week later, he flew to L.A., helped her get ready for an event, and the rest is history.

Shelter Rescues Over 60 Dogs From ‘Hoarder Situation’

National Mill Dog Rescue

Source: KKTV 11

The National Mill Dog Rescue teamed up with law enforcement to rescue 63 dogs from a brutal situation in Kansas this past week.

51 adult dogs, including several pregnant females, and 13 puppies were rescued from a home in Norton, Kansas. Authorities have yet to release specifics of who owned the home where the dogs — mostly dachshunds and chihuahuas — were found. However, details of how they survived have come out.

“Yesterday these dogs were in utter darkness. Many of them in the basement. We found some of them in cupboards; they were trying to hide them,” Theresa Strader, the founder and executive director of the National Mill Dog Rescue, told Colorado television station KKTV.

Strader expanded on the squalid conditions exclusively to Your Daily Dish.

“It’s probably the worst I’ve seen. It was filthy, filthy dirty,” he told Your Daily Dish. “When you see the animals in that situation, it changes everything. You can imagine how you’re going to feel, but when you see them there, it’s a knock. We were just devastated.”

Once the rescue was complete, many of the dogs were sent off to various care facilities. 20 of the dogs were sent to the Dumb Friends League in Denver, and another 30 will head to Phoenix and San Diego. The 12 young puppies are staying put for now, as they’re too young to travel.

“I look at these dogs and I think, ‘Yesterday and every day prior to that you lived in a virtual hell.’ Today, you see the forgiving and resilient spirit of dogs,” Strader said of the dogs.

Anyone interested in adopting a dog from the National Mill Dog Rescue can find the necessary information on the organization’s website.