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Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump said on Thursday that economic growth would make up for lost revenue from a sweeping tax cut plan proposed earlier this week.

"The growth is going to pay for it," Trump told ABC News on the White House's Rose Garden during Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, as he signed autographs for children of members of the media and administration officials. "Wait until you see the growth."

The blueprint was unveiled Wednesday as a one-page document -- which outlined a plan that would slice the corporate tax rate to 15 percent while simplifying the individual tax code -- but it gave few details on what the plan would mean for the federal deficit and national debt.

"It will happen quickly, and ... the jobs have already started," Trump said, adding that "a lot of positive things" are going to happen on tax reform. "You saw last year, GDP at 1.6 percent. That is a terrible situation for this country but last year is not this year."

But experts interviewed this week by ABC News said economic growth likely wouldn't make up for the massive loss in federal revenue. One analysis, by the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates the Trump’s plan could cost anywhere between 3 and 7 trillion dollars in lost revenue over the next decade.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin made similar comments yesterday at the White House. "This will pay for itself with growth and with reduction of different deductions and closing loopholes," he said.


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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Capitol Hill was crawling with kids Thursday. Beyond the usual school groups and tours, there were dozens of youngsters joining their parents for national Take Your Kid to Work Day.

House Speaker Paul Ryan ended his weekly press conference by asking all the "junior" reporters to come onstage for a picture.

The son of a Getty photographer was there to capture the moment.

Pretty great. @somogettynews' photog son works the angles to capture Speaker Ryan at the podium. pic.twitter.com/swkA4IVWKc

— AshLee Strong (@AshLeeStrong) April 27, 2017

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi greeted children for photos with her office too.

Among those shadowing the grown-ups were two girls from Texas who lost their father, a former Marine, a few years ago.

First Sergeant Jonathan Compton served in the U.S. Marines for 15 years, including in combat, before taking his own life in 2014. Thanks to an organization called Tuesday's Children, which was
established after 9/11 to help care for kids who lost parents, Compton's two daughters and other children of fallen military service members were able to fly to Washington go to work today with
members of Congress.

Compton's two daughters, both with long straight hair and freckles on the bridge of their noses, met with both Democrats and Republicans today. They heard speeches and even went to meetings.
Bailey, aged 7, said the best part of her day was meeting Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL). Kelly took the young girl on to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

"She took pledge of allegiance and heard each congressperson give their messages," Kelly told ABC about Bailey's visit. She said her message to all girls was that they should run for office one
day. Bailey replied by saying, “I may be the president.”

Sara Compton, Johnathan’s widow, took the girls to see the national monuments yesterday and joined her family at the Capitol today. She said her husband would have been proud and “so excited” to
see his girls in the halls of Congress.

“We think of him every day and everywhere we are. It is so important to me to shine a light on the need for mental health benefits, not only for our veterans but for our first responders,” she told
ABC News.

Compton served in the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit's maritime raid force.

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Gary Blakeley/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Trump may have called the 100-day point of his presidency a “ridiculous marker,” but on the ground this past week the White House has been engaged in an all-hands-on-deck, all-out sprint hoping to put last-minute wins on the board.

On Wednesday, the White House dispatched the Treasury secretary, the president's chief economic adviser, the commerce secretary, a top national security official and the VA secretary for in-person briefings, including a conference call with a top official in the Department of Education.

The breakneck pace of back-to-back-to-back briefings left some reporters running in and out of all of them to chase down the news of the day. Whether it involved the president popping by the North Korea briefing as a senior national security adviser briefed on the situation simultaneously, or when Sen. Chris Coons found himself ambushed by reporters on the North Lawn as more than 90 of his fellow senators began loading onto rented coach buses back to Capitol Hill.

In addition to that, in an arrangement that can only be described as Cabinet speed dating, several executive branch officials and senior staff were tasked with doing multiple radio and TV interviews, trying to fan the administration's message across the country. The effort included octogenarian Wilbur Ross moving from chair to chair for media sit-downs in the makeshift radio row in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Observing the roll-out of Wednesday's tax plan, it appeared to be the result of a staff caught off-guard by the president’s impromptu promise last week to deliver on a signature campaign promise. The one-page, multiple-font, double-spaced outline included far less detail than even the tax plan the president rolled out as a candidate.

The president, on the other hand, by all appearances coasted through the week with a relaxed demeanor. He has invited reporters into the Oval Office for private interviews, signed executive orders where he joked that he didn’t have time to read the whole text, and made off-campus visits to the Treasury Department, the Interior Department and today to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Yesterday he spent the late afternoon on the phone with the Mexican president and Canadian prime minister after Politico quoted one of his “top aides” saying he was preparing to sign an executive order withdrawing from NAFTA, and then bragged about his negotiations Thursday morning on Twitter.

The drama around the prospect of the government shutting down or the potential for a revived health care bill has been mostly kept outside the confines of the White House. Meanwhile Trump is heading for a weekend in one of his favorite settings: a campaign-style rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the fourth of his presidency.

The thought of the president “among the people” in a key state that delivered his election win as DC’s press dons black ties and gowns in the Washington Hilton has every aide grinning. For a president with few substantive policy wins on his watch, they couldn’t have drawn out better optics for the 100th day in a TV script.

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Mario Tama/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The White House today attempted to shift blame for the vetting of President Trump's former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, to the Obama administration.

"His [security] clearance was last reissued by the Obama administration in 2016 with full knowledge of his activities that occurred in 2015," press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Thursday afternoon.

When asked whether Flynn would still have his job if he hadn't been fired by the president in February, Spicer said, "I will just say they think the president made the right call at the right time and it's clearly paid off."

Spicer also said the Trump administration welcomes the Department of Defense investigation of Flynn.

Flynn, who was President Trump's first national security adviser, was fired after it was discovered that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about conversations he had with a Russian official.

Flynn had been warned in a letter from the Pentagon against receiving payments from foreign governments in 2014 after leaving the Defense Intelligence Agency, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., revealed on Thursday.

The letter, released on Thursday by Cummings, was a primer on ethics restrictions that apply to retired military officers and it warned that Flynn, a retired lieutenant general, was prohibited from
receiving foreign payments without prior approval, under the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The Defense Department's inspector general opened the probe today into whether Flynn received permission to accept foreign payments.

Documents released in March showed Flynn was paid a total of $56,200 in 2015 by three Russian firms owned by or closely tied to the Kremlin.

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tupungato/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- To avert a government shutdown at the end of the week, lawmakers are hoping that a stopgap measure would provide Congressional leadership more time to negotiate a larger funding
bill.

The deadline for Congress to pass a spending bill is midnight Friday, aligning with President Donald Trump's 100th day in office.

But this new short-term Continuing Resolution (CR), introduced by House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen late Wednesday, would extend funding to May 5, until Congress can pass a bill
that would fund the government through September.

“This Continuing Resolution will continue to keep the government open and operating as normal for the next several days, in order to finalize legislation to fund the federal government for the rest
of the fiscal year," Rep. Frelinghuysen, R-New Jersey, said in a statement released last night.

Frelinghuysen added, “I am optimistic that a final funding package will be completed soon."

"The reason this government funding bill is not ready is because Democrats have been dragging their feet," Ryan said on Thursday. "So the reason we need an extension in the first place is because
Democrats are dragging their feet. ... People need to be able to read the bill so it inevitably, under any scenario or circumstance requires a short-term extension."

While Republicans believe the CR will pass the House and the Senate, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said Democrats will support the measure but it "depends on what form it
takes."

Pelosi said the Democrats' position is if they're ready to cut a deal on the larger spending bill, they'll support the CR being pushed by Republicans and "allow another week."

"But if it's just more time kicking the can down the road to have the same back-and-forths and unknowns injected into the debate, we're not there," Pelosi said.

Pelosi acknowledged that some Democrats don't want any stopgap bill passed: "They think that ... there's been plenty of time and they're not going vote for the CR. But depending on where we are on
this bill I think some will, I will," Pelosi said.

"We are never going to shut the government down," Pelosi said. "We are hoping that we will be able to resolve these differences."

The bipartisan negotiations on an all-encompassing funding bill have focused on funding for Trump's proposed border wall and Affordable Care Act subsidies for insurers.

Ryan said the bill would not include key Obamacare subsidy payments to insurers, which Democrats were hoping to protect. However, Republicans have offered Democrats a deal that doesn't include
funding for the wall.

Ryan told reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday, "We're getting really close" to a final spending bill. "Now it's just kind of getting down to the final details."

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dibrova/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump is well versed in how to make a splash.

The former reality star-turned-commander-in-chief marked his first 100 days in office with progress on some of his promises, a surprise exit of a key member of his team and a show of force that has
started to shape his foreign policy doctrine.

Here is a review of some of the biggest moments of the Trump presidency so far.

Taking the stage

Over his three-plus months in office, Trump welcomed a dozen world leaders to the White House, holding joint press conferences with seven of them while they visited Washington, D.C. He also opened
the doors to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida -- the so-called winter White House -- inviting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe down for a night and spending the entirety of Chinese President Xi
Jinping's visit with him there.

One of the most unexpected moments of the administration so far came when he took the stage by himself, however, giving the only solo news conference so far in his term. The 75-minute news
conference on Feb. 16 covered a range of topics, including a defense of his administration’s work up through that point and a sharp criticism of the media.

He received high praise after another solo appearance, but this time he had a speech in hand: Trump addressed a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28 and spoke about the direction in which he hopes
to take the country and the action that his team had taken up until that point on a number of issues.

A historic choice

One of the clearest accomplishments of his term so far has been the confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch, though even that was not without controversy.

In order to get Gorsuch confirmed, the Senate voted to change the longstanding confirmation process and lower the 60-vote threshold to a simple majority vote because Republicans did not have enough
votes to confirm Gorsuch on their own. The move, known as "going nuclear," means that from now on only 51 votes are required for such a confirmation.

Unfulfilled promises

Throughout the campaign, Trump frequently listed off issues that he would address head-on when he took office, saying that he would accomplish a great deal on "day one," and he also regularly
listed larger measures that he was going to take to clean up Washington, protect American workers, and restore security and the constitutional rule of law” in the first 100 days in office.

Now that the 100-day milestone is approaching, however, it has become clear that there are some promises that have not come to fruition thus far.

The Republican push for a repeal and replacement of Obamacare -- which had been a routine refrain on the campaign trail -- failed to garner enough votes to pass, so it was pulled. The first
iteration of Trump's controversial travel ban -- a major part of his campaign platform -- was blocked in federal court and then withdrawn in favor of the second iteration, which has also been
blocked by a federal court.

One campaign promise that the Trump administration has started to pursue is the building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and they have solicited proposals for its construction. One key
initial proposal -- having Mexico pay for the wall -- has evolved since Trump took office, however, and for now, the Trump administration is saying that Mexico will pay for the wall eventually, but
the U.S. paying for it in the meantime to get the process started.

In terms of tangible progress, the White House released a statement saying Trump will have signed 30 executive orders by his 100th day in office. Some of the most notable included one that
restarted the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, one calling for increased border security -- which includes the hiring of 5,000 more border patrol agents -- and an order following through
on a campaign promise to stop any executive branch employees from lobbying for five years after leaving the government and a lifetime ban from foreign lobbying.

Defining his foreign policy

In the second half of the first 100 days, much attention was paid to the increasing focus that Trump and his administration were dedicating to issues overseas.

The targeted missile strike against an air base in Syria on April 6 came in reaction to the Assad regime's alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians, which Trump said "crossed many, many lines."

The next strike ordered since Trump has taken office came on April 13, when the U.S. dropped the GBU-43, or massive ordnance air blast (MOAB) bomb, nicknamed the “mother of all bombs,” on a complex
of ISIS-controlled caves in the Nangarhar province in Afghanistan. According to The Associated Press, the Afghan Defense Ministry reports that 95 militants and no civilians were killed. These
figures have not been independently verified by ABC News.

The Trump administration has also tangled with North Korea, with Trump and his team, including Vice President Mike Pence, saying that they won't allow any threats made by the country to go
unnoticed.

The rebukes from the Trump administration came after a set of intercontinental ballistic missiles were featured in a massive military display in central Pyongyang during the country's annual parade
in celebration of its founder. A subsequent missile launch failed, according to U.S. and South Korean officials.

When Trump was asked for his message to North Korea after its failed missile launch, the president responded, "They gotta behave."

High-profile personnel issues

The team around Trump has had one notable departure and one noteworthy addition during the first 100 days, both of which were memorable moments in the course of the administration.

One unexpected removal from the Trump train came when Michael Flynn, his national security adviser, was asked to resign after it became clear that he had misled Pence about the nature of his
transition-era conversations with Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the U.S.

Flynn wasn't the only one to run into trouble over his conversations with Kislyak, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any existing or future Department of Justice probes related
to Trump's 2016 presidential campaign because of questions that were raised about his alleged ties to Russian officials -- specifically Kislyak.

Sessions failed to disclose two interactions with Kislyak during his confirmation hearing when he said, "I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn't have -- did
not have communications with the Russians."

On March 9, the White House did not deny that Trump himself met Kislyak briefly at a foreign policy forum during his presidential campaign, which comes in contrast to his earlier repeated denials
that he never had any contact with Russian officials during the campaign. The White House released a statement saying Trump and Kislyak’s interaction was limited to “a short reception” before Trump
spoke, and “any conversations with Mr. Trump in that setting were inherently brief and could not be private.”

A familiar face that did formally join the team was Ivanka Trump, the president's eldest daughter whose husband Jared Kushner is already working in the West Wing as his unpaid senior adviser.

Ivanka Trump cited ethics concerns that were raised about her informal role -- during which she received security clearance, a government-issued communications device, and a White House office --
so she adopted the title of assistant to the president in order to compel her to follow government ethics rules, which she said she had already been doing voluntarily. She is not taking a salary
for the position.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- To avert a government shutdown at the end of the week, lawmakers are hoping that a stopgap measure would provide Congressional leadership more time to negotiate a larger funding bill.

The deadline for Congress to pass a spending bill is midnight Friday, aligning with President Donald Trump's 100th day in office.

But this new short-term Continuing Resolution (CR), introduced by House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen late Wednesday, would extend funding to May 5, until Congress can pass a bill that would fund the government through September.

“This Continuing Resolution will continue to keep the government open and operating as normal for the next several days, in order to finalize legislation to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year," Rep. Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., said in a statement released Wednesday night.

Frelinghuysen added, “I am optimistic that a final funding package will be completed soon."

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday he was "confident" the short-term CR would pass and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted, "We expect to pass a short-term funding bill" before Friday's deadline.

"The reason this government funding bill is not ready is because Democrats have been dragging their feet," Ryan said Thursday. "So the reason we need an extension in the first place is because Democrats are dragging their feet. ... People need to be able to read the bill so it inevitably, under any scenario or circumstance requires a short-term extension."

While Republicans believe the CR will pass the House and the Senate, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Democrats will support the measure but it "depends on what form it takes."

Pelosi said the Democrats' position is if they're ready to cut a deal on the larger spending bill, they'll support the CR being pushed by Republicans and "allow another week."

"But if it's just more time kicking the can down the road to have the same back-and-forths and unknowns injected into the debate, we're not there," Pelosi said.

Pelosi acknowledged that some Democrats don't want any stopgap bill passed.

"They think that ... there's been plenty of time and they're not going vote for the CR. But depending on where we are on this bill I think some will, I will," Pelosi said.

"We are never going to shut the government down," Pelosi said. "We are hoping that we will be able to resolve these differences."

The bipartisan negotiations on an all-encompassing funding bill have focused on funding for Trump's proposed border wall and Affordable Care Act subsidies for insurers.

Ryan said the bill would not include key Obamacare subsidy payments to insurers, which Democrats were hoping to protect. However, Republicans have offered Democrats a deal that doesn't include funding for the wall.

Ryan told reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday, "We're getting really close" to a final spending bill. "Now it's just kind of getting down to the final details."

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Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was personally warned by the Pentagon against receiving payments from foreign governments in 2014 after leaving the Defense Intelligence Agency, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., revealed Thursday.

The top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee released three new documents on Flynn, included a letter from the DIA counsel’s office in response to an inquiry from Flynn in October of 2014.

The letter, a primer on ethics restrictions that apply to retired military officers, warned that Flynn was prohibited from receiving foreign payments without prior approval under the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

"The Pentagon's warning to Gen Flynn was bold, italicized and could not have been clearer," Cummings said in a news conference Thursday.

Flynn, who was President Trump’s first national security adviser, was fired after he misled Vice President Mike Pence about conversations he had with a Russian official.

Cummings also revealed Thursday that the Defense Department inspector general has opened an investigation into Flynn and whether he sought permission to receive foreign payments, including payments in exchange for an appearance in Russia.

Another document, an unclassified letter from the Defense Intelligence Agency, indicates that the Defense Intelligence Agency "did not locate any records" relating to Flynn receiving foreign payments, or any records that he sought permission to do so.

“These documents raise grave questions about why General Flynn concealed the payments he received from foreign sources after he was warned explicitly by the Pentagon,” Cummings said in a statement.

Cummings called on the White House to provide documents on Flynn requested by the House Oversight Committee as part of its investigation into the former national security advisor.

“There’s obviously a paper trail,” he said.

A Pentagon spokesman confirmed that on April 4 the Defense Department’s Inspector General began an investigation into Flynn’s alleged violations of the Emoluments Clause.

ABC News has reached out to Flynn's lawyer for comment.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Nearly half of Americans think there’s a “deep state” in this country, just more than half think the mainstream media regularly report false stories and six in 10 say the Trump administration regularly makes false claims. Just another day in the world of alleged sneaky stuff.

Each of these claims has gained attention since the 2016 campaign and the start of the Trump presidency, and this ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that each has lots of takers.

Start with the “deep state,” described here as “military, intelligence and government officials who try to secretly manipulate government policy.” A plurality, 48 percent, think there is such a thing. Fewer, 35 percent, call it a conspiracy theory, with the rest unsure.

Whether or not it matters much is another question. Among those who see a deep state, 58 percent say it’s a major problem for the country -- but that nets out to just 28 percent who both say there’s a deep state and call it a big issue.

Then there’s false news and false information. Fifty-two percent think the mainstream news media regularly produce false stories. Fifty-nine percent say the Trump administration regularly makes false claims. And which is worse? It’s about an even split, 40-43 percent, respectively.

The poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that views among partisan and ideological groups, interestingly, are quite similar on the existence of a deep state, while vastly different on the question of media vs. administration falsehoods.

In a rare show of bipartisan suspicion, 45 percent of Democrats think there’s a deep state at work, as do 46 percent of Republicans. It nips up to 51 percent for independents. Ideologically, the story is similar: Forty-seven percent of liberals, 48 percent of conservatives and 52 percent of moderates see a deep state afoot. The main difference is by age; deep state seers peak at 59 percent among young adults (age 18-29) and drop to 37 percent among seniors.

There’s little differentiation elsewhere; percentages in the 40s to 50s across groups see a deep state, with the motivating factor for that opinion not apparent in this survey’s questions. That includes no significant differences by education, often a dividing line on political issues.

More customary divisions among political groups rear their heads big time when it comes to false reporting. Sixty-eight percent of Republicans and as many conservatives (peaking at 79 percent of strong conservatives) say mainstream news organizations regularly produce false stories. Just 30 and 32 percent of Democrats and liberals, respectively, agree. On the other hand, 81 percent of Democrats and 87 percent of liberals say the Trump administration regularly makes false claims; a quarter of Republicans and 32 percent of strong conservatives agree.

It’s notable that one in four Republicans and one in three strong conservatives ding the administration for false claims, as well. It also does poorly in the middle -- 62 percent of independents and 63 percent of moderates see false claims coming regularly from the White House.

These splits carry through to which is the bigger problem: Democrats say it’s falsehoods from the administration, rather than from the media, by 72-16 percent. Republicans say the opposite, by a nearly identical 72-12 percent. Independents are roughly divided.

There are other group differences in the results on false information, but almost all are political in nature. Seventy-eight percent of Trump voters and 69 percent of evangelical white Protestants (a core GOP group) think the news media regularly produce false stories; 47 percent of non-evangelical white Protestants and 28 percent of Hillary Clinton voters agree.

Flip the tables and 90 percent of Clinton voters, 69 percent of the non-religious, 66 percent of college graduates and 65 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds think the Trump administration regularly makes false claims. Among their counterparts, just 17 percent of Trump voters and 30 percent of evangelical white Protestants agree (as do 56 percent of non-graduates and 50 percent of seniors).

On which is the bigger problem, men say media falsehoods by 6 percentage points; women (who are more apt to be Democrats) say Trump falsehoods by an 11-point margin. And there’s a racial and ethnic gulf: whites are more apt, by 12 points, to see false media reports as the bigger problem. Hispanics instead say administration falsehoods are the bigger problem, by a 19-point margin. Blacks do so by a vast 53 points, 70-17 percent. On these, like so many current political issues, what respondents believed depended to a great extent on where they were coming from.

Methodology

This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone April 17-20, 2017, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,004 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 31-24-36 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, New York, with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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US Congress(WASHINGTON) -- House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz will be out of commission for up to four weeks as he heads back to his home state of Utah for "immediate foot surgery," he announced in an Instagram post Wednesday night.

"Almost 12 years ago, I shattered several bones in my foot which required 14 screws and a metal plate to repair," Chaffetz explains in his post, alongside an X-ray of his foot. "Yes, I wish I could say I was cliff diving in Mexico but the truth is I fell off a ladder while repairing something in my garage."

He continues, "The University of Utah doctors now recommend immediate surgery to remove all the hardware or I could be at risk for serious infection. My recovery is expected to take three to four weeks."

Chaffetz, 50, acknowledges now isn't the best time to be absent from the nation's capital.

"I'm sorry to miss the important work we are doing in Washington," he writes. "This is not an opportune time to be away but medical emergencies are never convenient. I appreciate my constituent's patience and understanding as I take time to recover."

Chaffetz's announcement comes a week after he revealed that he will not run for re-election in 2018.

"After long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018," he wrote in an April 19 Facebook post.

He didn't close the door on politics, though, writing, "I may run again for public office, but not in 2018. For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives. I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins. I have the full support of Speaker Ryan to continue as Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. That said, I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector."

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Democrats say the White House has signaled that the cost-sharing reduction subsidy payments from Obamacare will continue even if language guaranteeing them is not included in the government funding bill.

The latest move by the White House removes a major obstacle in budget talks between Republicans and Democrats ahead of the funding deadline on Friday, and significantly lowers the odds of a government shutdown.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus relayed the news to House minority leader Nancy Pelosi over the telephone Wednesday, according to Democratic aides.

"Our major concerns in these negotiations have been about funding for the wall and uncertainty about the CSR payments crucial to the stability of the marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act," Pelosi said in a statement. "We've now made progress on both of these fronts."

At a minimum, this means the administration will continue making the payments until the end of May, when the administration has to provide a status update to the court.

Appropriators are continuing to negotiate in a bipartisan fashion on a catch-all spending bill to fund the government through September.

In the event that the House and Senate cannot clear a measure by the midnight Friday deadline, Congress could pass a week-long stopgap measure that funds the government at current levels to give appropriators more time to finish negotiations.

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zabelin/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Trump has delegated to the Pentagon the authority to set the American military troop levels in Iraq and Syria. The move restores a process that was in place prior to the Bush and Obama administrations and is another sign of how the White House is giving military commanders greater flexibility in their operations.

"The President has delegated the authority for Force Management Levels (FML) for Iraq and Syria to the Secretary," said Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, referring to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Davis said the authority is being returned to the Pentagon where it had typically existed prior to the Bush and Obama administrations.

"It’s as much about auditability as it is authority," said Mattis. "The Secretary wants to ensure that we had a way to clearly understand the forces we have there and how they’re being used."

The adjustment does not mean that the numbers of troops in Iraq and Syria is going to change "nor does it change the process by which we will manage those forces" said Davis.

The Pentagon is currently authorized to have 5,262 American military forces in Iraq and 503 for Syria to train, advise and assist the Iraqi military and Syrian rebel forces fighting ISIS.

But the number of troops in those countries is actually higher because additional forces on temporary assignments lasting less than 180 days are not counted as part of the official Force Management Level. That means there are more than 6,000 American troops in Iraq and more than 900 American troops in Syria.

The capping of troops has also meant that some of the support and maintenance duties that would have been handled by military personnel are handled by contractors.

The delegation of the authority of Force Management Levels in Iraq and Syria was first reported by Buzzfeed News.

The Pentagon will now review the current system that has incrementally increased troop levels in the fight against ISIS and come up with its own system.

"It will account for the fact that there will be enduring baseline numbers and that there will be temporary enhancements above those," said Davis.

"Bringing the authority really back here where it’s historically been enables military commanders to be more agile, to more quickly and efficiently support partners, to have more rapid decision-making, and to keep units together," said Davis.

"This is not new," he added. "It simply restores authority and it’s a more effective way of managing it."

Mattis will be able to set troop levels in Iraq and Syria, but the broad strokes for the American military missions there will still be closely coordinated by the administration and other agencies.

The delegation of authority does not apply to Afghanistan where the number of troops is capped at 8,440. The Trump administration is currently reviewing its Afghanistan strategy and the authority for setting troop strengths there will still be handled by the White House.

The top U.S. military commander recently told a congressional panel that he would like to see additional troops to assist with the train and advise mission in Afghanistan.

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The CrimsonRibbon/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Experts are already taking issue with President Trump's newly-released tax plan -- in particular the White House's claim that economic growth would offset huge losses in government revenue from the proposed corporate tax cuts.

The plan calls for the corporate tax rate to be slashed from 35 percent to 15 percent. And the new plan would consolidate the seven tax brackets for individuals and reduce them to only three brackets: a 10-percent bracket, a 25-percent bracket and a 35-percent bracket.

Right now, the highest individual federal income tax rate is just shy of 40 percent. Trump's plan also doubles the standard deduction, meaning that a married couple would pay no taxes on the first $24,000 they earn.

The plan, summarized on just one page to reporters at the White House, lacks many of the details needed to make projections about its long-term effects.

Alex Raskolniknov, a tax professor at Columbia Law School, was alarmed by the lack of precision in the plan. "If this were any other president, this would have been a huge embarrassment of a "plan,'" he wrote to ABC News. "He's had more detail in his tax plan when he was running for president. What was all the hype about this time? ... It's hard to take this seriously ... except it comes from the President of the United States."

And every expert who spoke to ABC News said that the plan would result in a large drop in federal government revenue and a spike in the federal budget deficit.

“This is all candy and no vegetables,” said Marc Goldwein, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Goldwein said he thinks a 25-percent to 28-percent corporate tax rate would strike a good balance between economic competitiveness and fiscal responsibility.

Economists have estimated that Trump’s tax plan could cost between $2 and $7 trillion over the next decade. An analysis by the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C., concludes that a 15 percent corporate tax rate would reduce federal revenue by about $2 trillion over a decade, while the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center puts that estimate at $6 trillion. The bi-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget offers a range of costs from between 3 and 7 trillion dollars in lost revenue over the next decade.

“This is probably not to be taken seriously. It’s too huge a revenue loss. It is so fiscally reckless that it appears to be willful sabotage of the U.S. economy,” said Daniel Shaviro, a tax professor at NYU Law School.

Economist Doug Holtz-Eakin, who leads the Congressional Budget Office under former President George W. Bush, agreed that the economic growth won't be enough to offset the massive loss of revenue.

“Passing genuine tax reform would include structural changes. As long as those are not included, it is not reform. This bill as presented would add to the deficit. Growth alone cannot account for the loss of revenue from tax cuts. This means it cannot pass the reconciliation process and will not be able to become law,” said Holtz-Eakin.

“There was no thoughtfulness to this. It’s just cutting tax rates and wishful thinking about economic growth," said Steven Rosenthal from the Tax Policy Center. “All they can came up with was one page of platitudes.”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin argued that economic growth will pay for most of the massive tax cuts. "This will pay for itself with growth and with reduction of different deductions and closing loopholes," he said at the White House briefing today.

Some experts agree that the U.S. corporate tax rate needs to be lowered to make the American businesses climate more competitive. While the highest American corporate tax rate is 35 percent, the average effective corporate rate in the U.S. is 29 percent, the third highest in the G-20, said Goldwein.

While lower taxes can lead to higher growth, there’s also a “fiscal drag,” said Daniel Shaviro, a tax professor at Columbia Law School. “There’s crowd-out, because there’s so much public debt and that takes money from private investment and bids up interest rates.”

The experts also cautioned that lowering the tax rate for "pass-through entities" -- like sole proprietorships, partnerships, hedge funds and real estate concerns -- could cause troubling distortions and further inflate the deficit. The Trump administration has proposed dropping the tax rate for these businesses from up to 39.6 percent to just 15 percent.

“You could have partners in law firms and surgeons paying less than their secretaries,” said Shaviro. “Very wealthy people can set up phony structuring to make themselves ‘self-employed,’” he added. “It’s like a fine for being an employee -- the government is saying ‘we hate employees, so we’re punishing you for not working for yourself.’”

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eurobanks/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Several Senate Republicans described the full Senate briefing on North Korea at the White House Wednesday as a thorough accounting of the administration's diplomatic and military options when it comes to dealing with Kim Jong Un.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called it "a long and detailed briefing."

"The military is obviously planning for a number of options, as they should -- minimal military action to more significant action," Cruz said. "It's of course the hope of the administration and Congress that military action isn't necessary. If there's a clear and imminent threat to the U.S., our military needs to be prepared to act and I believe they are prepared to act to keep our country safe."

The senators were invited at the personal invitation of President Donald Trump after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, requested a briefing. The president stopped by the briefing at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House grounds.

Gardner said that one takeaway from the meeting was that "we are a long ways away from exercising all of our options on the diplomatic side."

"There were great questions within the briefing from both sides of the aisles," Gardener said. "It shows how important this issue is, to have that team assembled to talk about this and make sure North Korea knows they won't get away with this."

Separately, a senior administration official told ABC News that part of the current concern about North Korea comes from China's view of North Korea as a threat.

"I think what's different about how China is viewing the problem in North Korea today is that China is viewing that problem as the threat not only to U.S. interests and security or South Korean or Japanese interests and security, but also a threat to Chinese interests and security and so I think that is a big shift in and of itself," the senior administration official told ABC News.

White House officials say the South Auditorium would be turned into a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or "SCIF," and the briefing will be led by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats.

When asked about the bus ride to the White House ground for the meeting, Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, said it was "a unique approach to a classified briefing."

Using the White House grounds for a full briefing with the Senate is a rare move, but administration officials told ABC News that too much shouldn't be read into the choice of location.

Officials said that after hearing of McConnell's request, the president suggested nonchalantly that the senators should come to the White House because he's a "gracious host." Trump has cultivated a reputation in his meetings at the White House for relishing the opportunity to show off his historic digs.

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3DSculptor/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- North Korea's ballistic missile threats towards the United States may one day match its rhetoric, the top U.S. military commander in the Pacific told a Congressional panel, and to ensure defenses are at their best, he suggested placing ground-based missile interceptors in Hawaii.

Admiral Harry Harris, the commander of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), also told the House Armed Services Committee that he is "encouraged" by China's recent efforts to influence North Korean behavior and he believes that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "has noticed a change is afoot with regard to China."

Harris called defending the U.S. homeland his "top priority."

In light of that, he said, "I must assume that the Kim Jong Un's nuclear claims are true, I know his aspirations certainly are."

Harris noted "a mismatch” between North Korea's long range missile and nuclear capabilities and Kim Jong Un's threatening rhetoric towards other countries in the region and the United States.

"I can’t read his mind, all I can do is understand what he says," he added.

"With every test, Kim Jong Un moves closer to his stated goal of a preemptive nuclear strike capability against American cities and he's not afraid to fail in public," said Harris.

Over the past year North Korea's missile program has apparently progressed, despite some spectacular launch failures involving intermediate range mobile launched missiles.

While ground-based missile interceptors at U.S. bases in Alaska and California provide enough coverage to defend the U.S. mainland from a potential North Korean missile strike, Harris believes they might not be enough to fully defend Hawaii in the future.

The PACOM commander told the committee that North Korea is "clearly in a position to threaten Hawaii today."

"I believe that our ballistic missile architecture is sufficient to protect Hawaii today, but it can be overwhelmed," Harris said. "Somewhere, we would have to make a decision about which missiles to take out and that's a hard decision."

"I have suggested that we consider putting interceptors in Hawaii that defend Hawaii directly," he said. "We need more interceptors."

More defensive radars would also be necessary for the state, Harris said.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea will be operational "in the coming days," he told the committee. Components for the system arrived in South Korea in early March and on Tuesday they were deployed.

The system's deployment is controversial in South Korea, where it has become an issue in the upcoming presidential elections.

The deployment has also drawn major criticism from China that sees the anti-missile system's long-range radar capability being used to track China's own missile systems.

Despite the friction with China over THAAD, Harris has been "encouraged" by China's recent contacts with North Korea to try to influence its behavior.

"China is doing things," he noted without providing details.

"I think we're in a good place," said Harris. "I'm reasonably optimistic now that China is having an influence and they're working in the right direction with regards to North Korea thanks to the efforts by our president and theirs."

"We’ll just have to see how this goes," Harris said. "I’m encouraged and I believe KJU (Kim Jong Un) has noticed a change is afoot with regard to China.”

Harris pointed out that China can use its economic leverage with North Korea since 80 percent of the North Korean economy is based on interactions with China. "I believe that’s a significant lever China could employ against North Korea," he said.

Harris also took responsibility for the mixed messaging over the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson’s announced deployment to the Korean peninsula earlier this month.

"That’s my fault on the confusion, and I’ll take the hit for it," said Harris. "I made the decision to pull the Carl Vinson out of Singapore, truncate the exercise that it was going to do south of Singapore, cancel its port visit to Australia and then proceed north."

A Navy press release issued on April 8 seemed to indicate that the aircraft carrier would be sent north to the Korean peninsula after a port visit to Singapore. But in fact the carrier and other supporting ships did not head north until almost 10 days later after it completed a scheduled exercise with the Australian Navy.

"Where I failed, was to communicate that adequately to the press and media," Harris told the Committee. "So that is all on me."

"But we’ve done exactly that," said Harris, adding that the carrier is east of Okinawa, Japan, in the Philippine Sea, "in striking range, in power-projection range of North Korea if called upon to that." He said the carrier is expected to move north in a few days.

Harris also called the guided missile submarine USS Michigan's port visit to Busan, South Korea a "show of solidarity" with that country -- as well as a "show of force" should North Korea consider aggression against South Korea.

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