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TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► The State Senate is on the verge of grinding to a halt because Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham is completely abdicating responsibility on taking action against members of his caucus accused of sexual harassment. Both the Denver Post and Aurora Sentinel published editorials on Wednesday afternoon that were highly critical of Grantham’s inaction.
► President Trump appears to be wavering on his proposals for imposing strict steel and aluminum tariffs. As the Washington Post explains:
President Trump said Thursday he would soon announce tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, but he said he would be “very flexible” and exempt Canada, Mexico and an unspecified number of other allied nations, including possibly Australia.
Trump’s remarks at a midday Cabinet meeting came as his White House was enveloped in an air of uncertainty over when Trump would effectively launch a trade war with the tariffs and how many countries would be affected by them.
Trump reiterated that the tariffs would be 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports, but he promised flexibility in how the government levies them…
…Republican congressional leaders and even some of Trump’s own advisers were scrambling to convince the president to hold off on his announcement and abandon his plan for tariffs, warning of severe domestic economic ramifications and possible retaliation from global trade partners.
► Florida lawmakers approved a mixed bag of changes on gun control, as NBC News reports:
Florida’s House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to approve a gun and school safety bill that would raise the age to buy all firearms to 21 and impose a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases — and potentially put guns into the hands of some educators…
…The bill passed by the Florida House also provides new mental health programs for schools and provisions to keep guns away from people who show signs of mental illness or violent behavior.
The measure also prohibits “bump stocks,” devices which allow semi-automatic firearms to fire faster, and which police said were used in an Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead.
It also would create a so-called guardian program that would let some school employees and teachers carry handguns if they go through law enforcement training and if the school district decides to participate in the program.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he is unsure about whether he will sign the legislation because of his disagreement over the provision that would put guns into the hands of teachers and support staff.
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) is taking a lot of heat from Democrats over his support for legislation that would weaken oversight of the banking industry. Critics say the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act would significantly weaken the Dodd-Frank Act that was passed after the last recession.
Get even more smarter after the jump…