White House

For Deal on ‘Dreamers,’ White House Will Demand Crackdown on Child Border Crossers

WASHINGTON — The White House will demand this week that lawmakers harden the border against thousands of children fleeing violence in Central America before President Trump will agree to any deal with Democrats that allows the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers to stay in the United States legally.

Administration officials said Sunday that Mr. Trump would seek to slam shut what they described as loopholes that encouraged parents from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to send their children illegally into the United States, where many of them melt into American communities and become undocumented immigrants.

The demand is included in a list of legislative priorities for tougher immigration enforcement that Mr. Trump and his advisers were set to release on Sunday as they seek to establish their bargaining position in expected congressional negotiations later this year about the Dreamers, who were brought to the United States as small children and often have few ties to the countries of their birth.

Last month, the president abruptly ended an Obama-era policy called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, in which former President Barack Obama had used his executive authority to protect about 800,000 of the young immigrants from the threat of deportation and provide them legal work permits. If a deal is not reached by March, tens of thousands of the Dreamers will begin losing permission to work and protection from deportation.

In addition to a crackdown on unaccompanied children at the border, the document to be released on Sunday will insist that any deal to give the Dreamers a permanent legal status must include the construction of a wall across the southern border, aggressive efforts to crack down on illegal immigrants by deporting people who have stayed beyond the limits of their visas, and legislation to reduce legal immigration by creating a system that approves immigrants based on their skills, not their family connections.

Taken together, the proposals amount to a wish list for immigration hard-liners inside the White House, including Stephen Miller, the president’s top policy adviser, who has long advocated extremely aggressive efforts to prevent illegal entry into the country and crack down on undocumented immigrants already here.

The White House immigration priorities — which will be delivered to Capitol Hill in the coming week — have the potential to scuttle the effort by Mr. Trump and Democrats to reach an agreement on protecting the Dreamers. Immigration activists have long opposed many of the White House proposals as draconian or even racist, and they would most likely urge Democratic leaders to refuse a deal that included them.

But immigration rights advocates are also under pressure to do something for the Dreamers, and privately, many advocates have acknowledged that a negotiated deal with the Republican president is likely to include some increases in security at the border and other immigration changes.

The possibility of a deal emerged shortly after the president ended the DACA program early last month. But even as Mr. Trump kept his campaign promise to halt what he had described as “one of the most unconstitutional actions ever undertaken by a president,” he quickly added that he would work with Democrats in Congress to replace the executive policy with legislation.

“The president’s position has been that he’s called on Congress to come up with a permanent solution and a fix to this process,” Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said last week of the effort to help Dreamers.

It is unclear whether Mr. Trump views Sunday’s list of immigration demands as absolute requirements for an agreement or the beginning of a negotiation.

But conservatives in Mr. Trump’s administration, many of whom were advocates of his hard-line immigration rhetoric during the 2016 campaign, are clearly maneuvering to ensure that any deal on the Dreamers also results in passage of the tough immigration enforcement measures and border security enhancements that they have been seeking in Congress for decades.

A key part of the administration’s demands is the insistence that something be done about tens of thousands of children who have surged across the border with Mexico during the past several years, many of them seeking to escape gang-related violence in Central American countries. In 2014, about 60,000 children crossed the border without their parents.

Administration officials say the children — many of whom are sent by their parents to live with a cousin, aunt, uncle or sibling who is already living in the United States — must be turned back or quickly deported once they arrive. Under current law, many of them remain in the United States for years during legal proceedings to evaluate their asylum or refugee claims.

If the children are not deported quickly, officials say, many will never leave, eventually becoming a new population of sympathetic young immigrants who seek amnesty to live and work in the United States legally. That could create a never-ending cycle in which illegal immigrants demand to be given a legal status, the officials say.

They argue that allowing the children to stay in the United States simply encourages more to make the journey, believing — accurately in many cases — that they will not be returned home.

The document to be released on Sunday will endorse specific ideas to accomplish the president’s goals: It will call for new rules that say children are not considered “unaccompanied” at the border if they have a parent or guardian somewhere in the United States. They will also propose treating children from Central America the same way they do children from Mexico, who can be repatriated more quickly, with fewer rights to hearings.

Mr. Trump will also call in the document for a surge in resources to pay for immigration judges and lawyers and more detention space so that children arriving at the border can be held, processed and quickly returned if they do not qualify to stay longer.

Critics say the focus on deporting unaccompanied children is heartless and impractical. They say many of the children were sent by their parents on long, dangerous treks across Mexico in the hopes of avoiding poverty, hunger, abuse or death by gangs in their home countries.

A court settlement and a bipartisan anti-trafficking federal law passed in 2008 give the children certain rights when they arrive and require the government to give immigrant children a court hearing to determine the validity of the dangers they are said to face at home. But a shortage of judges and other resources has created a yearslong backlog in those cases. In the meantime, most are eventually relocated to family members or foster homes in the United States while they await their hearings.

Groups that advocate on behalf of the children trying to cross the border say that many of them are not represented by lawyers as they seek to prove in court that their lives and welfare would be threatened if they returned home. Those who do have lawyers are often granted the right to stay permanently in the United States, and eventually apply for citizenship.

Advocates acknowledge that more resources are necessary to speed up those hearings. But they argue that White House efforts to demand quick decisions are likely to merely result in many children being sent back to places where they are raped, beaten or killed.

Sending the children back with just a cursory hearing is “a recipe for disaster in terms of returning people to danger,” said Wendy Young, the president of Kids in Need of Defense, a group that aids young refugees.

Democrats and immigration activists are certain to assail the White House proposal on dealing with Central American children as something they cannot support and little more than a thinly veiled effort to scuttle negotiations between the president and the Democrats even before they begin.

“Promoting the protection of one group of young people at the expense of another is absolutely unacceptable and a nonstarter,” Ms. Young said in a statement.

Some activists have been pressing Democratic leaders not to make any concessions to Republicans. They are urging passage of a “clean” bill that would protect the young immigrants without accepting any new enforcement of immigration laws.

That appears unlikely to win support in the Republican-controlled Congress. But the White House call for an immigration crackdown could also split the Republican Party, where a handful of lawmakers are pushing for a compromise that would include only modest increases in immigration enforcement at the border in exchange for protecting the Dreamers.

Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, on Thursday proposed legislation that would protect the immigrants in exchange for much less aggressive enforcement efforts: $1.6 billion in funding for border security measures and new efforts to crack down on members of gangs like MS-13 for deportation.

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‘Dammit — people are dying here’: Furious San Juan mayor shreds White House response to Puerto Rico crisis

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/dammit-people-are-dying-here-furious-san-juan-mayor-shreds-white-house-response-to-puerto-rico-crisis/

 

Appearing on CNN’s New Day Friday morning, a furious and emotional mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, lashed out at the White House for congratulating itself on the job it is doing with the post-hurricane humanitarian crisis, saying people are dying while White House officials are already patting themselves on the back.

Speaking with host Alisyn Camerota, Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz blistered the White House over what it called a “good news story.”

After viewing a clip of acting secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke telling reporters this was “a good news story,” Cruz became increasingly furious as she explained the situation on the ground on Puerto Rico.

“Well, maybe from where she’s standing it’s a good news story,” Cruz began. “When you are drinking from a creek, it’s not a good news story. When you don’t have food for a baby, it’s not a good news story. When you have to pull people — I’m sorry, but that really upsets me and frustrates me.”

“I would ask her to come down here and visit the towns, and frankly it’s an irresponsible statement and contrasts with the statements of support that I have been getting since yesterday when I got that call from the White House. This is — dammit, this is not a good news story. This is a people are dying story. This is a life or death story. This is — there’s a truck load of stuff that cannot be taken to people story. This is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen because people are not getting food and water,” she explained.
“If I could scream it a lot more louder,” she continued as she began to tear up. ” It’s not a good news story when people are dying when they don’t have dialysis, and when the generators aren’t working and the oxygen is not providing for them. Where is there good news here?”

“The good news is we are getting heard. The good news is there’s boots on the ground. The good news is people from FEMA have their heart in the right place and the HHS people know what to do,” Cruz conceded. “For Heavens sakes, somebody let them do their job. Let them get the food in hands of the people and then talk about good news. When you have people out there dying literally scraping for food, where is the good news?”

Trump tells NBA star Curry he’s no longer invited to White House

SOMERSET, New Jersey (AP) — US President Donald Trump said if a basketball player doesn’t want to visit the White House to celebrate an NBA title, then don’t bother showing up.

Trump responded Saturday on Twitter to star Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors — who’s made it clear he’s not interested in a traditional post-title White House visit.

Curry told reporters on Friday: “I don’t want to go … my beliefs stay the same.”

Trump weighed in Saturday from his golf club Bedminster, New Jersey. He said: “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”

Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!

It was not immediately clear whether Trump was rescinding the invitation for Curry or the entire team.

Warriors Coach Steve Kerr said Friday that the team expected to meet as a group in the coming days to decide whether to visit Trump’s White House.

General manager Bob Myers said the Warriors have had discussions with the White House, and Golden State owner Joe Lacob also would be involved in the decision.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” Myers said. “It’s not as clear as, well I assume some people think it is and some people think it isn’t. So, from our opinion, my opinion, it deserves a proper forum. It deserves the right amount of thought.”

Curry said a decision to not visit the White House would only be a first step.Curry said that “just like our country, every opinion counts and matters.” He said he knows where most people stand, but “we want to respect the opportunity to represent not only ourselves, our own beliefs, but our organization because we’re obviously in this position because we won a championship and we did something special together. So for us to just really take the time to understand the magnitude of this decision and the right thing to do, the right way to go about it is important.”

“By acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to,” Curry said. “It’s not just the act of not going. There are things you have to do on the back end to actually push that message into motion.”

‘No joy in Trumpworld’: White House staffers looking to jump ship — and mass exodus coming

White House staffers are sending out resumes and preparing to flee the chaos of the Trump administration.

Morale has plummeted amid the widening Russia investigation and the personnel changes at the top, which has left staffers without allies in an administration characterized by mistrust, reported Politico.

“There will be an exodus from this administration in January,” said one Republican lobbyist, who has personally heard from five officials looking to leave. “Everyone says, ‘I just need to stay for one year.’ If you leave before a year, it looks like you are acknowledging that you made a mistake.”

Turnover is always high for White House political positions, which call for long hours in a high-stress, competitive environment — regardless of the president — but staffers usually wait until after an election to jump ship.

“There is no joy in Trumpworld right now,” said one adviser in close contact with staffers. “Working in the White House is supposed to be the peak of your career, but everyone is unhappy, and everyone is fighting everyone else.”
About 23 staffers have already left the White House since January, including chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon, national security adviser Michael Flynn, deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh, communications directors Mike Dubke and Anthony Scaramucci, and press secretary Sean Spicer.

“I would say about anybody looking to leave that they are probably having a hard time keeping up with President Trump,” one senior White House official told Politico. “You sign on for this, and you’ve got to be ready to go.”

The constant turnover in the White House is scaring away Republicans and top policy experts, who fear the chaos and scandals will destroy their own reputations.

“Some people are a little nervous that corporations will hold their time in the Trump White House against them, particularly companies like Google or Uber or tech players,” said one GOP strategist who has fielded calls from staffers looking to leave.

Stephen Miller (White Idiot), Captain Odious: The Last Major Alt-Right Figure in Trump’s White House

After torch-bearing white nationalists marched in Charlottesville last month and a peaceful counter-protester, Heather Heyer, was murdered by a neo-Nazi, the leaders of the black, Hispanic, Asian and progressive caucuses in Congress sent a letter to President Trump. They asked that he fire White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, deputy assistant to the president Sebastian Gorka and senior policy adviser Stephen Miller.

They wrote:

Americans deserve to know that white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis are not in a position to influence U.S. policy.

It’s hard to believe it somehow became necessary to write such a thing to the president of the United States about his high-level White House advisers, but it did. All three of those men have affiliations with or connections to white supremacists, “alt-right” groups and neofascist organizations. In the wake of those horrifying events in Charlottesville, and the president’s insistence that the neo-Nazi marchers included “very fine people” and that anti-fascist protesters had created many of the problems, it seemed important to go on the record with this request.

As it happens, Bannon was exiled from the White House shortly afterward and Gorka followed a couple of weeks later. The press reported that they were both let go as part of a staff reorganization by John Kelly, the retired general who had come in to replace the hapless Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff and put an end to the chaos that had characterized the Trump administration from the beginning. For their part, Bannon and Gorka insisted that they had made the decision to leave because they believed they could better serve Trump from the outside. Let’s just say that didn’t sound convincing.

Most political observers, even many conservatives, were relieved. Gorka was an embarrassment, a man who literally wore medals associated with Nazi collaborators to the inauguration. The Daily Beast reported this week that he had landed a new job working for a pro-Trump super PAC called the MAGA Coalition, which is best known for its promotion of conspiracy theories, notably “Pizzagate,” the imaginary child-rape ring allegedly run by Hillary Clinton out of a Washington pizza parlor. Gorka told Laura Ingraham on her radio show on Tuesday that the group plans to run primaries against “fake conservatives.”

We know where Steve Bannon went. He’s back at Breitbart making Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell miserable and plotting the apocalypse. Most observers saw Bannon as the most sinister presence in the White House, a white nationalist Rasputin with special access to Donald Trump’s id. It was assumed that getting rid of Bannon meant that Kelly had removed the main influence that stoked Trump’s darker impulses.

It turns out that Stephen Miller, the remaining member of the “alt-right” trio those House members demanded be fired, was the savviest political player among them. Rather than jockey for power with the president’s powerful son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as Bannon did, Miller was smart enough to see that family would be the last people Trump would abandon. So he moved into Kushner’s orbit.

After all the palace intrigue of the first eight months of Trump’s administration, Miller is the one left standing. Judging from the president’s “global carnage” speech this week to the United Nations — an obvious sequel to the “American carnage” inaugural address — Miller remains a highly influential adviser and a pernicious influence on our government.

Miller is a true white nationalist, going all the way back to his teenage years at Santa Monica High School, where he was known for his anti-Latino views. In college at Duke University he befriended Richard Spencer, future co-founder of the “alt-right” and the man who led a meeting of fellow fascists in a “Heil Trump” chant shortly after the election. Miller worked for the most anti-immigrant senator of the modern era, current Attorney General Jeff Sessions, before joining the Trump campaign and the administration, where his first assignment was to put together the new president’s first botched Muslim ban.

Miller hasn’t had his face on the cover of Time and nobody is parodying him (yet) on “Saturday Night Live,” so Trump hasn’t had reason to be jealous. His rare public performances have been the kind that the boss appreciates: combative, rude and extremely loyal to the president. Back in February he was dispatched to defend the president’s assertion that fraudulent voters had stolen the popular vote, and he delivered an epic performance on “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos:

George, it is a fact, and you will not deny it, that there are massive numbers of non-citizens in this country who are registered to vote. That is a scandal, we should stop the presses and as a country we should be aghast about the fact that you have people that have no right to vote in this country registered to vote canceling out the franchise of lawful citizens of this country. That’s the story we should be talking about and I am prepared to go on any show, anywhere, anytime and repeat it and say the president of the United States is correct 100 percent.

Trump tweeted later that day:

Congratulations Stephen Miller- on representing me this morning on the various Sunday morning shows. Great job!

More recently, Miller took over the podium in the White House briefing room to defend the president’s immigration policy. Most people thought his performance was creepy, but it likely made the president happy because Miller got into a spat with CNN’s Jim Acosta, the reporter Trump just calls “fake news” and whose questions he refuses to take.

Miller’s even caught up in the Russia investigation now, having been revealed to have helped Trump draft a scorching version of his letter firing FBI Director James Comey, which was rejected by White House counsel Don McGahn as inappropriate. Considering Miller’s temperament, combined with Trump’s, one can only imagine what it must have said.

Miller isn’t just giving Trump the words to express his dystopian vision, he is exerting a toxic influence on policy. The New York Times reported that the White House rejected a study prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services that found that refugees brought in $63 billion more in revenue than they cost the government over the past decade. According to the Times, Miller “personally intervened in the discussions on the refugee cap to ensure that only the costs — not any fiscal benefit — of the program were considered.” Evidently, taxes paid by refugees don’t count.

Stephen Miller is proving much more adept at seeing into Trump’s psyche and stroking his racist id than Steve Bannon ever was. He’s a smarter political player, he takes on the press, he’s more focused on the details. He’s getting the job done.

Heather Digby Parton, also known as “Digby,” is a contributing writer to Salon. She was the winner of the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism.

WHITE HOUSE PETITION TO DECLARE ELITIST GEORGE SOROS A “TERRORIST” & SEIZE HIS ASSETS IS GAINING MOMENTUM

For decades, George Soros has been funding different sides of conflicts and profiting off of division and separatism. Though his donations may seem heartfelt and sincere to some, if you look a little closer, you’ll find that many of the donations he makes have ulterior motives behind them, helping to secure his control over various political landscapes and in turn profit from them.

Soros has profited off of chaos all over the world, particularly in Europe, but now he’s doing it here in North America. However, his actions have not gone unnoticed. A recent petition launched on August 20, 2017 by “E.B.” on the White House petitions website is asking that the U.S. government declare George Soros a “terrorist” and seize all of his assets. What’s more, the petition is doing extremely well, which speaks to the level of awareness amongst U.S. citizens!

Details of the Petition to Declare George Soros a “Terrorist”

In a matter of two weeks, this petition had already reached its goal of 100,000 signatures. That means that 100,000 people believe that George Soros should be labelled a “terrorist” and all of his assets seized. It’s not just Soros implicated in the petition either, it’s all of his staff members at his companies. This means that, if successful, all of his associates would be declared “domestic terrorists” as well.

The petition, titled “Declare George Soros a terrorist and seize all of his related organizations’ assets under RICO and NDAA law,” claims that “Soros has willfully and on an ongoing basis attempted to destabilize and otherwise commit acts of sedition against the United States and its citizens” and that he “has developed unhealthy and undue influence over the entire Democrat Party and a large portion of the US Federal government.”

The petition requests that the Department of Justice “immediately declare George Soros and all of his organizations and staff members to be domestic terrorists, and have all of his personal an organizational wealth and assets seized under Civil Asset Forfeiture law.”

Since the petition has reached 100,000 signatures prior to its September 19 deadline, the White House theoretically needs to provide a formal response. However, since Trump became President, almost a dozen petitions have yet to be responded to, so who knows whether or not this petition will even be addressed, especially because the White House is considering halting this service altogether.

I believe that this petition speaks to how many Americans want change, and how many of them are aware of who controls the political landscape. Soros has certainly been involved in creating more division in the U.S. and is associated with the Democratic National Committee (DNC), so the very idea of this petition isn’t necessarily surprising.

Who Is George Soros?

If you’re unfamiliar with George Soros, he’s basically a member of the elite, or the shadow government, disguised as a philanthropic billionaire. Soros started making strategic political donations to essentially fund revolutions in different European countries and made a fortune amidst the chaos. He also made a killing off European forced migration and other colour revolutions.

Soros also profited from the Ukraine conflict, which resulted in over 10,000 casualties, the displacement of over 1.4 million people, and even a plane crash that killed 298 passengers. In 2014, a CNN interview revealed that Soros was responsible for creating a foundation that led to the overthrow of the Ukraine’s elected leader.

CNN host Fareed Zakaria asked Soros, “First on Ukraine, one of the things that many people recognized about you was that you during the revolutions of 1989 funded a lot of dissident activities, civil society groups in eastern Europe and Poland, the Czech Republic. Are you doing similar things in Ukraine?”

Soros responded, “Well, I set up a foundation in Ukraine before Ukraine became independent of Russia. And the foundation has been functioning ever since and played an important part in events now.”

Since selling his company, Soros Fund Management, in 2000, he’s been focusing on his “humanitarian efforts” through his philanthropic Open Society Foundations (OSF). Russia Todayreported that OSF has “been accused of fomenting color revolutions to install governments friendly to the US – from Serbia in 2000 to Ukraine in 2014.”

Soros has donated money to a number of “left” groups such as the Tides Foundation, Center for American Progress, and the Democracy Alliance to influence campaign finance laws. As a result, any democratic politicians that don’t support or express “progressive narrative” either receive cuts to their funding or are targeted by the media. This would be easy for Soros to influence, as he uses OSF to funnel money into Media Matters, which directly contributes to mainstream media outlets such as NBC and the New York Times.

Petition To Declare George Soros A Terrorist Gets Enough Signatures For WH Response

http://www.renegadetribune.com/petition-declare-george-soros-terrorist-gets-enough-signatures-wh-response/

 

Renegade Editor’s Note: Donald Trump borrowed $160 million from George Soros in 2004 to build a Trump tower in Chicago, and there is some question as to whether or not Trump even had to repay the debt. In 2011 he was questioned by someone at a Tea Party rally about Soros, to which Trump replied:

Oh, forget Soros, leave him alone, he’s got enough problems.”

Then you have Jared Kushner, Trump’s Chabad son-in-law and man in the Middle East, who founded Cadre in 2014, securing $250 from George Soros to get off the ground.

By Dawn Luger

A petition to declare socialist billionaire George Soros a terrorist has garnered enough signatures to get an official response from the White House. The petition, which needed only 100,000 signatures by September 19, had almost 137,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning.

The White House.gov petition created by “E.B.” states that Soros assets should be seized by the government as per RICO and NDAA laws.

Whereas George Soros has willfully and on an ongoing basis attempted to destabilize and otherwise commit acts of sedition against the United States and its citizens, has created and funded dozens (and probably hundreds) of discrete organizations whose sole purpose is to apply Alinsky model terrorist tactics to facilitate the collapse of the systems and Constitutional government of the United State, and has developed unhealthy and undue influence over the entire Democrat Party and a large portion of the US Federal government, the DOJ should immediately declare George Soros and all of his organizations and staff members to be domestic terrorists, and have all of his personal an organizational wealth and assets seized under Civil Asset Forfeiture law. –WhiteHouse.gov petition

Soros donated millions of dollars to Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign and he’s been known to be the main financier behind violent uprisings of leftist groups in the recent past. And this isn’t the first petition created by citizens asking for Soros to be punished by the government for his continued financial support of the government.

Back in February, people signed a petition demanding an international warrant be issued for the arrest of George Soros for his continued funding of violent civil unrest in the United States.

Soros may be terrorist, but don’t expect the government he pays to make him rich to actually do anything at all about the billionaire.

The White House has not yet responded to this petition and it is unclear if they will do so.


This article originally appeared on The Daily Sheeple.

White House braces for ‘long, frustrating recovery’ from Harvey

The White House on Thursday said it is preparing for a “long, frustrating recovery” process for the tens of thousands of people displaced in the Gulf region in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

President Trump’s homeland security adviser Tom Bossert warned that conditions remain as dangerous as ever for those on the ground in Texas and Louisiana, which have been battered by historic levels of rainfall and flooding.

The tropical depression, which made landfall in Texas last week as a Category 4 storm, continues to wreak havoc on the Gulf region, and has left tens of thousands displaced.

At least 100,000 homes have water damage and Bossert advised of a coming “housing challenge” in the region, as the temporarily displaced return home and insurers face a deluge of claims.

“We’re soon going to move into a long, frustrating recovery process,” Bossert said. “The important message for me to leave for the people of Texas at this point is that we’re not going anywhere.”

Relief efforts remain in the search-and-rescue phase, and the federal government is engaged in water rescues and is relocating thousands of injured and elderly people from flooded hospitals.

There are 28 search and rescue teams from 16 states helping out, including more than 7,500 federal workers and the entirety of the Texas National Guard.

The federal government is looking to transfer 7,000 hospital patients into safer conditions. An estimated 30 people have died so far but authorities expect that number to climb once the floodwaters recede and the full extent of the damage comes into view.

“Unfortunately, we will see additional losses of life if history is any precedent,” Bossert said.

Soon, the White House’s focus will turn to disaster relief funding at a time when Congress will be grappling with how to raise the debt ceiling and keep the government funded.

Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney, himself a former Congressman, is “working around the clock” with lawmakers on a spending package, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Bossert indicated that the White House would approach Congress with an initial appropriations request based on early projections and then come back at some point to request a second round of funding.

“I’m not worried at all that we won’t have the money for the operations underway and the operations that we foresee in the next month,” Bossert said.

“I think we have every reason to believe that that’s going to happen in a responsible way,” he said. “From my perspective now and from the planning session we had this morning, I don’t think there’s going to be any particular problem in our approach to the Congress in this fall.”

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said Thursday the damage may cost the federal government $80 billion, but estimated the cost to ordinary Americans would surpass $900 billion.

Meanwhile, victims on the ground are dealing with their own personal financial crises.

Bossert met with chiefs of staff of Trump’s Cabinet on Thursday to talk about housing stock in the region and how best to coordinate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state and local officials for those who have been displaced.

“We’re trying to put all those housing solutions and all those government programs together and think through what’s available and how people might utilize that,” Bossert said.

There have also been reports of jacked-up prices of everyday goods by those looking to take advantage of people who are desperate for food, water and supplies.

Bossert scolded price gougers during the Thursday briefing, saying that “law enforcement would come down on them with a hammer.”

Meanwhile, the president and vice president have taken a hands-on approach to their first natural disaster in the White House.

Trump has pledged $1 million of his own money to the effort and will make his second swing through the region on Saturday, with trips to both Texas and Louisiana planned.

Vice President Pence and second lady Karen Pence flew into Corpus Christi, Texas, on Thursday to meet with flood victims and survey the damage.

Karen Pence led a group in prayer and Vice President Pence pulled on blue work gloves to clean up branches and debris in the Texas heat near where Harvey first made landfall on Friday.

On Thursday, the president spoke with the leaders of Mexico and Canada and was said to have been “deeply touched” by the outpouring of international support.

“Coordination is happening better than any storm that we’ve seen before, and so stressing on anything that’s not working well really is … going to be ill-informed,” Trump said this week. “I’m seeing nothing but positive. I’m seeing nothing but appropriate coordination. If there is a problem somewhere, [FEMA director] Brock Long is going to get his handle around it, and he’s going to fix it.”

White House: Trump will donate $1 million to Harvey relief

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is pledging $1 million in personal money to Harvey storm relief efforts.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the announcement at a briefing Thursday. She said Trump is calling on reporters to help decide which specific organization he should give to.

But Trump could also take a cue from his own re-election campaign. Earlier this week, his 2020 political committee blasted out emails and texts to more than 10 million supporters encouraging people to donate to Harvey efforts. The messages provided links to several specific charities: the Red Cross, Salvation Army, United Way and local animal rescue operations.

Trump used a similar “reporters decide” gimmick at the beginning of his administration, that time with his presidential salary, which he is declining to accept. Then-press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at a March briefing that Trump “has kindly asked you all determine where that goes.”

A few weeks later, the White House announced that Trump had decided to give his first three months of salary to the Interior Department; his second three months worth went to the Education Department.

Trump has been criticized in the past for giving far less of his income to charitable causes than many other multi-billionaires. And he hasn’t followed through on previous charity pledges.

In one high-profile example last year, he failed to give a promised $1 million of his own money — plus another $5 million he said he’d raised — to veterans’ organizations until reporters asked questions months later about who had received the charity.

Harvey’s flood waters have heavily damaged tens of thousands of homes across Texas and killed at least 30 people. The storm is now threatening the region near the Texas-Louisiana state line.

White House unfazed by Netanyahu pledge not to evacuate settlements

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to not evacuate any further Israeli settlements in the West Bank ruffled few feathers in Washington on Tuesday, with the White House saying it would not derail efforts to restart the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

On Monday, at an event celebrating 50 years of Israeli settlements in Samaria — the biblical name for the northern West Bank — Netanyahu told a crowd of thousands, “We are here to stay forever. There will be no more uprooting of settlements in the land of Israel.” His speech came days after he met with a high-level White House delegation seeking to bring the sides back to the negotiating table.

“It is no secret what each side’s position is on this issue,” a senior White House official told The Times of Israel on Tuesday. “Our focus is on continuing our conversations with both parties and regional leaders to work towards facilitating a deal that factors in all substantive issues.”

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, denounced Netanyahu’s remarks and urged the Trump administration to intervene.

“This is an Israeli message to the US administration, which sought through an important tour in the area to do something in order to rescue the peace process,” he told the Associated Press. “We call upon the US administration to deal with these provocations,” which he said impede US peace efforts and are “an attempt to return things to square one.”

Last week, Abbas and Netanyahu separately met with Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, peace envoy Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell.

After the delegation met with Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, where Kushner told the prime minister that Trump is “very committed” to help broker a peace deal, Netanyahu responded by saying he believed peace with the Palestinians was “within our reach.”