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Private Industry Soars as Trump Slashes Taxes and Regulations, DC Grapples with Spending


WASHINGTON - Under President Donald Trump, America's economy is outperforming expectations. New jobs numbers show the U.S. economy added 2 million jobs in 2017. Experts say the president's policies have a lot to do with it. 

Meanwhile, it's the same old story in Washington as lawmakers scramble to tackle several major issues to avoid a government shutdown later this month.

Cheers rang out Thursday as the Dow Jones made history busting through the 25,000 mark. That follows a 25 percent gain in 2017.

President Trump told reporters, "30,000 must be the new number" to reach for.

Some experts credit the president's cuts in regulations for giving businesses a big boost, and the president tweets more cuts are on the way.

Trump also credits the historic tax cuts he signed into law before Christmas.     

"More than 60 companies have announced they are raising wages, including many that have voluntarily raised their minimum wage to $15.00 per hour - and I mean they did that voluntarily, which many politicians said could only be achieved by government mandate," the president said in a video message to reporters broadcasted in the press briefing room.

Speaking from the U.S. Capitol, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., noted, "What we're seeing around this country is the paychecks and the prosperity that have been promised and an American first economy."

However, as the private sector soars leaders in Washington are trying to work out the government's finances. Once again disagreements among Democrats and Republicans over spending priorities and what to do about young undocumented immigrants threaten another government shutdown.

The president called Republican leaders to the White House to discuss DACA - that's the "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" program started by President Barack Obama that Trump is ending. 

He's given lawmakers until March to come up with a solution, but Democrats say they won't go along with a budget deal unless the so-called Dreamers are guaranteed protections, and Republicans need votes from Democrats to pass a spending plan.     

"Any legislation on DACA must secure the border with a wall," the president told Republican senators before their meeting. "It must give our immigration officers the resources they need to stop illegal immigration and also to stop visa overstays - and crucially, the legislation must end chain migration," 

The president is calling a bipartisan meeting next week to try to find a solution.

"What we're talking about is the restoration of the two great pillars of American immigration policy: One is a belief that legal immigration is good, but that respect for the rule of law was equally important," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters at the Capitol. 

Democrats are also demanding nondefense government programs get increases in spending equal to those Republicans are proposing for the Pentagon.

"Nobody wants to shut the government down on either side and I'm optimistic we'll get a resolution and I'm confident we'll get resolution to many of those issues before January 19," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reassured Thursday.

Despite disagreements in Washington, the good news for Americans is the economy appears to be getting stronger and has a rosy forecast.

"These great results are just the beginning. When the dreams of the American people are unleashed, there is nothing, absolutely nothing we can't achieve," said the president.


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