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Amazon names 20 finalists – including surprises – in fierce contest for its 2nd headquarters

Amazon.com has short-listed 20 cities, including one in Canada, for its second headquarters and expects to make a decision this year, it said Thursday.

Major U.S. metros such as New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., made the list, along with surprising smaller cities such as Raleigh, North Carolina, and Columbus, Ohio.

Toronto, Canada's largest city, is also on the list.

The Seattle-based e-commerce company said it would work with each of the candidate locations to get more information and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership.

Amazon said in September it would build a $5 billion second headquarters in North America, kicking off a competition between cities and states to offer tax cuts and incentives that could bring 50,000 new jobs.

[Against all odds, these Anchorage women are asking Amazon to build its new headquarters here]

The company received 238 proposals in just a month after it began accepting proposals as elected officials eager for Amazon's promised investment and jobs offered the company billions in tax breaks.

The list reveals little in terms of geographic preferences, with finalists on both coasts and the heartland. Amazon found it difficult to engage with so many applicants and had to whittle the list to enter the next phase of evaluation.

"Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough – all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity," Holly Sullivan, of Amazon Public Policy, said in a statement. "Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation."

Whatever city gets chosen will be transformed by Amazon, which has already changed the character of its native Seattle, setting in motion a building boom and rising rents. High paying tech jobs can permanently transform a region and raise the political prospects of the leader who helped seal the deal.

Amazon has said its preferences for the site include a metropolitan location with a population of more than 1 million, mass transit, proximity to an international flight hub and the potential to retain and attract technical talent.

Here is a complete list of the areas Amazon is weighing:

Atlanta
Austin, Texas
Boston
Chicago
Columbus, Ohio
Dallas
Denver
Indianapolis
Los Angeles
Miami
Montgomery County, Md.
Nashville
Newark
New York
Northern Virginia
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh
Raleigh
Toronto
Washington, D.C.

Material from the Washington Post is included in this article.

Trump upends Republican strategy to avoid Friday government shutdown
President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON – President Trump upended the GOP's strategy to avert a shutdown early Thursday when he declared that an extension of a federal health insurance program for children "should be part of a long term solution" and not a stopgap spending plan.

That directly contradicts the thinking of congressional Republicans, who were eager to force Democrats to choose between a popular health care program they have pushed to renew for months and their effort to win legal protections for hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants.

The House is scheduled to vote as soon as Thursday afternoon on the short-term spending bill with the health insurance program attached. Changing the bill could delay its consideration, further reducing the margin of error less than 48 hours before the shutdown deadline.

"CHIP should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension!" Trump tweeted, using the acronym for the childhood health insurance program, known as the Children's Health Insurance Program.

The White House on Wednesday issued a statement endorsing the short-term funding extension, including the health provision: "The Administration supports the bill's multiyear funding extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program."

The prospects were equally dicey in the Senate, where several Democrats who had approved earlier short-term spending extensions announced Wednesday they would be voting "no" this time around. They were under intense pressure from immigrant activists to hold firm on demands for a solution for young immigrants known as "dreamers" who face losing protections against deportation yanked by the Trump administration.

"President Trump and the Republicans have a choice: they can either come to the table and negotiate in good faith on a responsible funding agreement and protection for DREAMers – or they can cause a government shutdown," said Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., one of those Democrats.

In the House, Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., left an evening meeting with Chief Deputy Whip Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., saying he had not been won over and that the short-term spending bill expected to come to the floor on Thursday remained short of votes.

"We're making good progress, yet still at this point if the vote were to happen today there's not the votes to fund it with Republican-only votes," Meadows said. His group is pushing for greater defense spending, among other things.

The defections left the outlook uncertain, leaving open the possibility that the government will shut down Friday at midnight for the first time since 2013. GOP leaders in both chambers insisted that outcome would be avoided, and members of the House vote-counting team expressed guarded optimism that they'd be able to round up the necessary support in time for Thursday's vote.

As negotiations continued on both ends of the Capitol, White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly expressed optimism that Congress will work out a deal to protect dreamers.

Kelly gave an upbeat assessment of the state of play in the debate over legal status for immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, while offering no timetable for when an agreement might be reached.

"The DACA deal will be worked out, I think, by the United States Congress," Kelly told reporters on Capitol Hill. "Both sides of the aisle have agreed to meet in a smaller group and come up with [what] they think is the best DACA deal, and then it'll of course be presented to the president." DACA refers to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

[Trump pushes back on chief of staff claims that border wall pledges 'uninformed']

Later, the White House expressed support for the one-month spending bill scheduled for a House vote Thursday, and congressional liaison Marc Short said he was optimistic it would pass. But at least one Republican – Sen. Lindsey O. Graham, R-S.C. – complicated the GOP outlook on the Senate side, saying he had informed leaders he will oppose the bill.

"I'm tired of it," Graham told reporters. "This is the fourth one we've done, and you're killing the military."

Still, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said there is a "good chance" the bill will pass in the upper chamber. "We'll be taking that up as soon as it comes over from the House," he said.

The bill would keep the government open through Feb. 16 while extending a popular children's health program and rolling back several taxes in the Affordable Care Act. Many rank-and-file members grudgingly accepted the plan Wednesday.

"What other choice do we have this week?" asked Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J. "I'm certainly not going to vote to shut the government down; that's irresponsible."

Meanwhile, Kelly conceded during a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that there would be no "concrete wall from sea to shining sea" and no wall "that Mexico will pay for." His comments were confirmed by four lawmakers and a senior aide who were present.

"Certain things are said during the campaign that are not fully informed," Kelly said, according to the lawmakers and the aide.

"I had a lot to do with that," Kelly said, adding that Trump "campaigned against DACA" but has "lightened up" since then.

"For right now, the first bite of the apple is to solve the DACA problem, issue, to have the border secured and [close] some of the loopholes," Kelly told reporters. "And then the next step, as we've discussed in there, Phase 2, might be the larger issue of the 11 million people who have been here for years."

The proposal of a short-term spending measure underscored Washington's ongoing stalemate over the status of dreamers. Many Democrats are expected to oppose the bill in the absence of a deal to resolve the conflict.

"It doesn't provide the necessary protection for the dreamers," said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y. "Democrats have been negotiating in good faith. . . . Instead, Republicans and the president seem intent on pursing a policy of intransigence."

In the House, passing short-term spending legislation will require votes from the Freedom Caucus, whose members have sunk previous bills by withholding their support. The group has not officially opposed the measure, but several members said they want it to provide longer-term funding for the military.

If Republican leaders can quell dissent among deficit and defense hawks and pass the measure with only GOP votes, House Democrats will lose the leverage they planned to exercise on behalf of dreamers during the current round of negotiations.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., a member of the House Armed Services Committee who wants to see a hike in defense spending, said it was "unconscionable" that military funding was being used as a political football by Democrats. But she suggested a shutdown would only play into their hands.

"They just care about scoring political points, and we've got to not let them do that," she said.

Full-year military spending is a non-starter for Democrats who want a matching increase in nondefense spending. And absent a bipartisan budget agreement, the military spending levels Republicans favor would force across-the-board spending cuts under a 2011 budget law.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., laid the groundwork Wednesday for attacks on Democrats who vote against the funding plan, arguing that failing to pass the bill would hurt the military as well as beneficiaries of the Children's Health Insurance Program, which the bill would extend for six years.

In the Senate, Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., said Schumer is giving "lots of room" to members deciding how to vote on the short-term bill, including Democrats considered vulnerable in 2018.

In a meeting of Senate Democrats, Durbin said, "a handful stood up and said, 'We're going to vote against the CR.' Another one or two said, 'Not sure.' No one stood up and said they had to vote for this thing."

Amazon names 20 finalists – including surprises – in the fierce contest for its second headquarters

Amazon.com has short-listed 20 cities, including one in Canada, for its second headquarters and expects to make a decision this year, it said Thursday.

Major U.S. metros such as New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., made the list, along with surprising smaller cities such as Raleigh, North Carolina, and Columbus, Ohio.

Toronto, Canada's largest city, is also on the list.

The Seattle-based e-commerce company said it would work with each of the candidate locations to get more information and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership.

Amazon said in September it would build a $5 billion second headquarters in North America, kicking off a competition between cities and states to offer tax cuts and incentives that could bring 50,000 new jobs.

The company received 238 proposals in just a month after it began accepting proposals as elected officials eager for Amazon's promised investment and jobs offered the company billions in tax breaks.

Here is a complete list of the areas Amazon is weighing:

Atlanta

Austin

Boston

Chicago

Columbus, Ohio

Dallas

Denver

Indianapolis

Los Angeles

Miami

Montgomery County, Md.

Nashville

Newark

New York

Northern Virginia

Philadelphia

Pittsburgh

Raleigh

Toronto

Washington, D.C.

Trump pushes back on chief of staff claims that border wall pledges ‘uninformed’
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on December 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON – White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told Democratic lawmakers Wednesday that some of the hard-line immigration policies President Donald Trump advocated during the campaign were "uninformed," that the United States will never construct a wall along its entire southern border and that Mexico will never pay for it, according to people familiar with the meeting.

The comments were out of sync with remarks by Trump, who in recent days has reiterated his desire to build a border wall that would be funded by Mexico "indirectly through NAFTA."

Trump amplified this stance Thursday in back-to-back tweets that called the North American Free Trade Agreement "a bad joke" and asserted that reworked trade deals with Mexico would somehow pay for the wall "directly or indirectly."

"The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it. Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water," Trump wrote.

"The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous $71 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S.," Trump continued. "The $20 billion dollar Wall is "peanuts" compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke!"

The mixed signals underscore the difficulty congressional Republicans have faced as they have tried to decipher what the president wants in an immigration deal. And they have contributed to tensions over how to resolve the legal status of immigrants, known as "dreamers," brought to the country illegally as children.

"I'm looking for something that President Trump supports, and he's not yet indicated what measure he's willing to sign," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters Wednesday. "As soon as we figure out what he is for, then I would be convinced that we were not just spinning our wheels going to this issue on the floor, but actually dealing with a bill that has a chance to become law and therefore solve the problem."

During a closed-door session at the Capitol with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Kelly repeatedly said that Trump supports enacting permanent legal protections for dreamers and that he has helped the president evolve on immigration policy. But the meeting ended with no resolution to what exactly the administration wants in exchange for authorizing permanent legal protections for the at least 690,000 people enrolled in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that Trump ended last year, according to several attendees.

"The president is committed to a permanent solution to DACA," Kelly said at the meeting.

Later in the day, Trump struck a tougher tone.

In an interview with Reuters, the president called a bipartisan deal worked out by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., "horrible" and "very, very weak."

"It's the opposite of what I campaigned for," Trump told Reuters.

The immigration debate was thrown into chaos last week after a tense meeting at the White House between Trump and lawmakers where the president, according to several people familiar with his remarks, expressed anger at a proposal from Durbin and Graham to allow in immigrants from what he called "shithole" African and Latin American countries. He then questioned why more of a priority wasn't being put on attracting immigrants from Norway and Asian countries.

By the end of Wednesday, Kelly confirmed his comments to Democratic lawmakers but attempted to play down any differences with the president while describing him as a willing negotiator.

"He has evolved in the way he looks at things," Kelly told Fox News. "Campaign to governing are two different things, and this president has been very flexible in terms of what's in the realm of the possible."

He also expressed confidence that an agreement on DACA could be reached soon.

"There's no doubt in my mind there's going to be a deal," he told Fox. "So long as men and women on both sides are willing to talk."

As the meeting with Democrats began Wednesday, Kelly said he had asked to meet with the group at the urging of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who told him that the group is critical to reaching a deal.

Hoyer told Kelly later that the views expressed by lawmakers in the room represent "the will of the Democratic Caucus" – a reminder that House Democrats overwhelmingly support protecting dreamers and strongly oppose Trump's calls for stricter border protections.

In a bid to assure the group that he understands their concerns, Kelly said Hispanic Caucus members should be grateful that DACA wasn't ended immediately in September, when Trump set a six-month expiration date for the program, according to several people familiar with his remarks.

"I worked to get the six-month extension of DACA. I ordered that. I managed that. And everyone has thanked me for that," he told the group.

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., the original sponsor of the Dream Act, which would permanently legalize dreamers, asked Kelly to clarify Trump's definition of a border wall.

"Certain things are said during the campaign that are uninformed," Kelly said, according to several attendees.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., later put out a statement that Kelly said Trump's views were "not fully informed."

"Kelly went on to say that many campaigns are not fully informed about every policy and that campaigning and governing are two different things and that governing is harder," Gutierrez said.

"A concrete wall from sea to shining sea" is not going to happen, Kelly said according to attendees. Instead, "a physical barrier in many places" is what the administration is requesting. Kelly used the term "physical barrier" several times during the meeting, attendees said.

"Concrete wall is not a realistic solution in many places," Kelly said – noting that topography, among other issues, makes building a physical wall difficult along certain parts of the more than 2,100 miles between the United States and Mexico.

Instead, "we need 700 more miles of barrier," Kelly said – a concession that a physical barrier does not need to stretch the entire length of the border.

"Concrete wall would be good in only certain places," he added, saying that manpower and drone technology should suffice in some parts.

Kelly also said that there will be no wall "that Mexico will pay for."

Later in the Fox interview, Kelly confirmed that the administration is seeking 700 miles of new wall and reiterated Trump's view that the United States would be able to use a renegotiation of NAFTA to get Mexico to pay for the wall.

"In one way or another, it's possible that we could get the revenue from Mexico, but not directly from their government," he said.

After serving as homeland security secretary and commander of U.S. military forces in Latin America, Kelly told lawmakers that he has helped Trump "evolve on issues of the wall."

"I had a lot to do with that," he said of Trump's change in position regarding border security, according to attendees.

"He campaigned against DACA," Kelly said of Trump, but since then, "he's lightened up."

Kelly said that the Trump administration continues to push for more border security in part because cartels are still successfully moving illegal drugs across the Mexican border.

"Drug cartels will always find a way to get their drugs in so long as there's demand in the U.S.," Kelly said.

As the conversation continued, Hispanic Caucus members asked Kelly for his assessment of a bipartisan plan brokered by Durbin, Graham, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and others. One Democrat in the room told Kelly that Graham has secured the support of at least 10 Republican senators – a sign that the plan might succeed.

But Kelly seemed unimpressed by the deal, attendees said, telling the group that Graham and Durbin have always agreed on immigration matters. What would be more impressive, Kelly suggested, is if Hispanic Caucus members worked with conservatives like Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga., and Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who introduced a conservative-backed proposal to retool immigration policy last week.

Aides to Graham did not respond to requests for comment about how many GOP senators are sponsoring the immigration plan. But Durbin told reporters Wednesday that at least six Republicans will publicly sponsor their plan once it is formally introduced as legislation.

Later Wednesday, Graham and Flake announced that their proposal would be sponsored by Sens. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and Mike Rounds, R-S.D.

Hispanic Caucus members asked Kelly what he thought of another bipartisan deal introduced Tuesday by Reps. Will Hurd, R-Texas, Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., and other members. The measure would provide legal protections for dreamers and authorize funding for border security that would be a mix of wall, fencing, security technology and more manpower.

Kelly said he knew nothing about the bill – a comment that stunned attendees, because Hurd and Aguilar have spent weeks amassing 50 original sponsors from both parties.

Once the issue of dreamers and border security is resolved, Kelly said during the meeting, he expects the administration and Congress to work together on the future of people with temporary protected status. In recent weeks, the administration has announced the end of temporary protections for hundreds of thousands of people from El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua who are living in the United States after natural disasters or violence in those countries.

As the meeting ended, one longtime Hispanic Caucus member sought to make peace with Kelly.

Gutierrez, a vocal opponent of Trump and outspoken proponent of a comprehensive immigration overhaul, apologized directly to Kelly for comments he made in the fall.

In several appearances and interviews, Gutierrez called the former Marine general "mean," a "hypocrite" and "a disgrace to the uniform he used to wear" because he supported the end of DACA.

Seated next to Kelly, Gutierrez apologized, and Kelly accepted the apology.

"We all say or do stupid things," Kelly told the group.

As Kelly got up to leave, he turned again to Gutierrez, squeezed the congressman's right shoulder and thanked him again for the apology.

"It means a lot," Kelly told Gutierrez.

Trump pushes back on chief of staff claims that border wall pledges ‘uninformed’
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on December 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON – White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told Democratic lawmakers Wednesday that some of the hard-line immigration policies President Donald Trump advocated during the campaign were "uninformed," that the United States will never construct a wall along its entire southern border and that Mexico will never pay for it, according to people familiar with the meeting.

The comments were out of sync with remarks by Trump, who in recent days has reiterated his desire to build a border wall that would be funded by Mexico "indirectly through NAFTA."

Trump amplified this stance Thursday in back-to-back tweets that called the North American Free Trade Agreement "a bad joke" and asserted that reworked trade deals with Mexico would somehow pay for the wall "directly or indirectly."

"The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it. Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water," Trump wrote.

"The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous $71 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S.," Trump continued. "The $20 billion dollar Wall is "peanuts" compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke!"

The mixed signals underscore the difficulty congressional Republicans have faced as they have tried to decipher what the president wants in an immigration deal. And they have contributed to tensions over how to resolve the legal status of immigrants, known as "dreamers," brought to the country illegally as children.

"I'm looking for something that President Trump supports, and he's not yet indicated what measure he's willing to sign," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters Wednesday. "As soon as we figure out what he is for, then I would be convinced that we were not just spinning our wheels going to this issue on the floor, but actually dealing with a bill that has a chance to become law and therefore solve the problem."

During a closed-door session at the Capitol with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Kelly repeatedly said that Trump supports enacting permanent legal protections for dreamers and that he has helped the president evolve on immigration policy. But the meeting ended with no resolution to what exactly the administration wants in exchange for authorizing permanent legal protections for the at least 690,000 people enrolled in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that Trump ended last year, according to several attendees.

"The president is committed to a permanent solution to DACA," Kelly said at the meeting.

Later in the day, Trump struck a tougher tone.

In an interview with Reuters, the president called a bipartisan deal worked out by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., "horrible" and "very, very weak."

"It's the opposite of what I campaigned for," Trump told Reuters.

The immigration debate was thrown into chaos last week after a tense meeting at the White House between Trump and lawmakers where the president, according to several people familiar with his remarks, expressed anger at a proposal from Durbin and Graham to allow in immigrants from what he called "shithole" African and Latin American countries. He then questioned why more of a priority wasn't being put on attracting immigrants from Norway and Asian countries.

By the end of Wednesday, Kelly confirmed his comments to Democratic lawmakers but attempted to play down any differences with the president while describing him as a willing negotiator.

"He has evolved in the way he looks at things," Kelly told Fox News. "Campaign to governing are two different things, and this president has been very flexible in terms of what's in the realm of the possible."

He also expressed confidence that an agreement on DACA could be reached soon.

"There's no doubt in my mind there's going to be a deal," he told Fox. "So long as men and women on both sides are willing to talk."

As the meeting with Democrats began Wednesday, Kelly said he had asked to meet with the group at the urging of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who told him that the group is critical to reaching a deal.

Hoyer told Kelly later that the views expressed by lawmakers in the room represent "the will of the Democratic Caucus" – a reminder that House Democrats overwhelmingly support protecting dreamers and strongly oppose Trump's calls for stricter border protections.

In a bid to assure the group that he understands their concerns, Kelly said Hispanic Caucus members should be grateful that DACA wasn't ended immediately in September, when Trump set a six-month expiration date for the program, according to several people familiar with his remarks.

"I worked to get the six-month extension of DACA. I ordered that. I managed that. And everyone has thanked me for that," he told the group.

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., the original sponsor of the Dream Act, which would permanently legalize dreamers, asked Kelly to clarify Trump's definition of a border wall.

"Certain things are said during the campaign that are uninformed," Kelly said, according to several attendees.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., later put out a statement that Kelly said Trump's views were "not fully informed."

"Kelly went on to say that many campaigns are not fully informed about every policy and that campaigning and governing are two different things and that governing is harder," Gutierrez said.

"A concrete wall from sea to shining sea" is not going to happen, Kelly said according to attendees. Instead, "a physical barrier in many places" is what the administration is requesting. Kelly used the term "physical barrier" several times during the meeting, attendees said.

"Concrete wall is not a realistic solution in many places," Kelly said – noting that topography, among other issues, makes building a physical wall difficult along certain parts of the more than 2,100 miles between the United States and Mexico.

Instead, "we need 700 more miles of barrier," Kelly said – a concession that a physical barrier does not need to stretch the entire length of the border.

"Concrete wall would be good in only certain places," he added, saying that manpower and drone technology should suffice in some parts.

Kelly also said that there will be no wall "that Mexico will pay for."

Later in the Fox interview, Kelly confirmed that the administration is seeking 700 miles of new wall and reiterated Trump's view that the United States would be able to use a renegotiation of NAFTA to get Mexico to pay for the wall.

"In one way or another, it's possible that we could get the revenue from Mexico, but not directly from their government," he said.

After serving as homeland security secretary and commander of U.S. military forces in Latin America, Kelly told lawmakers that he has helped Trump "evolve on issues of the wall."

"I had a lot to do with that," he said of Trump's change in position regarding border security, according to attendees.

"He campaigned against DACA," Kelly said of Trump, but since then, "he's lightened up."

Kelly said that the Trump administration continues to push for more border security in part because cartels are still successfully moving illegal drugs across the Mexican border.

"Drug cartels will always find a way to get their drugs in so long as there's demand in the U.S.," Kelly said.

As the conversation continued, Hispanic Caucus members asked Kelly for his assessment of a bipartisan plan brokered by Durbin, Graham, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and others. One Democrat in the room told Kelly that Graham has secured the support of at least 10 Republican senators – a sign that the plan might succeed.

But Kelly seemed unimpressed by the deal, attendees said, telling the group that Graham and Durbin have always agreed on immigration matters. What would be more impressive, Kelly suggested, is if Hispanic Caucus members worked with conservatives like Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga., and Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who introduced a conservative-backed proposal to retool immigration policy last week.

Aides to Graham did not respond to requests for comment about how many GOP senators are sponsoring the immigration plan. But Durbin told reporters Wednesday that at least six Republicans will publicly sponsor their plan once it is formally introduced as legislation.

Later Wednesday, Graham and Flake announced that their proposal would be sponsored by Sens. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and Mike Rounds, R-S.D.

Hispanic Caucus members asked Kelly what he thought of another bipartisan deal introduced Tuesday by Reps. Will Hurd, R-Texas, Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., and other members. The measure would provide legal protections for dreamers and authorize funding for border security that would be a mix of wall, fencing, security technology and more manpower.

Kelly said he knew nothing about the bill – a comment that stunned attendees, because Hurd and Aguilar have spent weeks amassing 50 original sponsors from both parties.

Once the issue of dreamers and border security is resolved, Kelly said during the meeting, he expects the administration and Congress to work together on the future of people with temporary protected status. In recent weeks, the administration has announced the end of temporary protections for hundreds of thousands of people from El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua who are living in the United States after natural disasters or violence in those countries.

As the meeting ended, one longtime Hispanic Caucus member sought to make peace with Kelly.

Gutierrez, a vocal opponent of Trump and outspoken proponent of a comprehensive immigration overhaul, apologized directly to Kelly for comments he made in the fall.

In several appearances and interviews, Gutierrez called the former Marine general "mean," a "hypocrite" and "a disgrace to the uniform he used to wear" because he supported the end of DACA.

Seated next to Kelly, Gutierrez apologized, and Kelly accepted the apology.

"We all say or do stupid things," Kelly told the group.

As Kelly got up to leave, he turned again to Gutierrez, squeezed the congressman's right shoulder and thanked him again for the apology.

"It means a lot," Kelly told Gutierrez.

SMIC Announces Fourth Quarter 2017 Webcast Conference Call

SHANGHAI, Jan. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Please join SMIC's earnings conference call, with: Dr. Haijun Zhao, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Dr. Liang Mong Song, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Dr. Gao Yonggang, Chief Financial...


European Medical Device Markets (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Poland, Other Markets)

Research and Markets LogoDUBLIN, Jan. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The "European Medical Device Markets (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Poland, Other Markets)" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. The heavily regulated European medical device...


BB&T reports strong fourth quarter earnings and record quarterly revenues; Diluted earnings per share up 16.1 percent annualized compared to third quarter 2017

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Jan. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- BB&T Corporation (NYSE: BBT) today reported strong earnings for the fourth quarter of 2017. Net income available to common shareholders was $614 million. Earnings per diluted common share were $0.77 for the fourth quarter of 2017, up...


Digital Door Lock Systems Market Growth to Witness High Demand for Government and Industrial Application Till 2021 | Million Insights
FELTON, California, January 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Global Digital Door Lock Systems Market is segmented, by Applications, into Government, Industrial, Residential, and Commercial. The Digital Door Lock is simply a password enabled electronic code lock built using 8051 micro...
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