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Newscast II

In New York, I’m Camila Kerwin

This afternoon, President Trump addressed the National Rifle Association. He was the first sitting president to do so since Ronald Reagan in 1983. At the NRA’s annual convention in Atlanta, Trump thanked the influential lobbying group for its support throughout his candidacy for president.

Trump: We have news that you’ve been waiting for a long time. The eight year assault on your 2nd amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end (00:19)

President Trump also took the opportunity to reiterate his intention to build the wall. This, despite having recently softened his position as a bargaining chip in Congress to avoid a government shutdown over the spending bill. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer called the speech a “good way to end an incredible week.

A new order was signed by the president this afternoon authorizing offshore drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. Trump said renewing offshore energy production will reduce energy costs and create more jobs. The order could potentially lift restrictions imposed by the Obama administration, allowing drilling access to millions of marine acres currently designated national monuments.

Overseas, all eyes are on North Korea and its nuclear and missile development. Today, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged the UN to take a stand against Pyongyang. He warned that failing to put pressure on Kim Jong-Un’s regime could lead to “catastrophic consequences.”

Rex Tillerson: We’re calling globally for all countries to put pressure on NK. this is the way you get your voice heard. It’s through action. Any Failure to take action, it diminishes your vote for these resolutions of the past and diminishes your vote for future resolutions and it devalues your seat at this council. We must have full complete, compliance by all members of the council. (00:28)

Chinese government officials have also urged the UN to put pressure on North Korea. But the tension surrounding the region has shed light on international divisions between China and the U.S. While the Trump administration has called for an immediate halt of North Korea’s nuclear program, China is pushing for talks, and cautions against using military force.

The U.S. economy saw a major dip in its January to March quarter. The GDP pointed to the weakest growth in three years. Analysts say slower consumer spending may be partly the result of a warmer winter. Higher temperatures mean less money spent on utilities. President Trump has claimed his program for major tax cuts for individuals and businesses would help boost the GDP.

Congress passed a stopgap measure today to avoid the first government shutdown since 2013. It gives lawmakers until next Friday to finish negotiations on the spending bill that will fund the government through September 30th. Major items on the negotiating table include defense spending and Puerto Rico’s struggling Medicaid program.

Tomorrow marks the first hundred days of the Trump administration. House and Senate Democratic representatives held a meeting today to discuss Trump’s performance. Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi said Trump has succeeded in one way: mobilizing the American people. Especially the Democratic Party. President Trump has repeatedly  discounted the hundred day mark as a ridiculous standard.   

Camila Kerwin, Columbia Radio News


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