Geoff Bennett

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It has now been more than three weeks since the worst mass shooting in modern American history, and the effort by Congress to ban bumps stocks, those devices used by the gunman, has not gone anywhere. NPR's Geoff Bennett reports on why.

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For more on President Trump's role in all of this, NPR's Geoff Bennett joins us now from the White House. Hi, Geoff.

GEOFF BENNETT, BYLINE: Hey, Ari.

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Republicans who might have been leery of supporting the bipartisan Dream Act got a more conservative-friendly option this week in the form of a new bill dubbed the SUCCEED Act (Solution for Undocumented Children through Careers, Employment, Education and Defending our nation).

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President Trump appears to be in the mood to make deals with Democrats — and Democrats see an opportunity to protect young immigrants.

On Wednesday, the president overruled leaders of his own party — and members of his own Cabinet — to back a plan pushed by Democrats to pair hurricane relief aid to a short-term hike in the debt ceiling along with a measure to keep the government funded until early December.

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The 2020 presidential elections are more than three years away, but President Trump was in campaign mode last night.

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And I think it's fair to say President Trump veered way off message yesterday.

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Updated at 5 p.m. ET

Anthony Scaramucci is leaving his position as White House communications director — less than two weeks after being named for the job.

Scaramucci's departure followed the Monday-morning swearing in of the new White House chief of staff, retired Gen. John F. Kelly. Scaramucci had negotiated an unusual deal to report directly to the president rather than the chief of staff (Reince Priebus at the time).

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President Trump is praising Poland as a staunch U.S. ally.

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The House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved legislation making it easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire employees for misconduct while better protecting staffers who bring wrongdoing to light.

The bill, dubbed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, cleared the Senate by a voice vote last week and is expected to be signed into law by President Trump soon.

Updated at 8:19 p.m. ET

President Trump is preparing to announce changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba, possibly tightening restrictions on travel and trade that were loosened under former President Barack Obama.

Trump is expected to announce the changes in Miami on Friday.

The move was confirmed by a congressional source with direct knowledge of the situation.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has been leading the push for a more restrictive policy, along with his fellow Cuban-American, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla.

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Here's your guide to this day's news starting with one definition of democracy. It's a way for citizens to settle their differences without violence.

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Marianne Karth and Lois Durso are two mothers on a mission to prevent truck underride collisions. Underride crashes — when a car collides with a truck and gets lodged underneath — are among the most fatal types of accidents on the road. A vehicle's passenger compartment is often crushed or ripped off.

In 2004, Durso's daughter — Roya Sadigh — was driving in a blizzard the night before Thanksgiving, when her car skidded out of control and slid under the side of a truck trailer. Roya died instantly.

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President Trump's sudden firing of former FBI Director James Comey is sending shock waves through Capitol Hill this morning. And it led to a rare public show of force staged by Democrats on the Senate floor. NPR's Geoff Bennett joins us with the latest. Geoff, good morning.

Updated 2:10 p.m. ET

The Senate approved the bipartisan $1.1 trillion spending bill that funnels money to nearly every corner of the federal government and keeps it running through the end of the current fiscal year in September. The House approved the measure on Wednesday, and it now goes to President Trump for his signature.

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