Secy. Pompeo opens door for greater investments between U.S., Kazakhstan

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meets Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the Akorda presidential residence in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Pool Photo via AP)

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UPDATED 2:47 PM PT — Sunday, February 2, 2020

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the president of Kazakhstan on Sunday. Pompeo held a joint news conference alongside the nation’s leader, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, in the nation’s capital.

He said the United States and Kazakhstan have a long history as partners for peace and allies of NATO.

The secretary urged the country to join the U.S. in reducing its dependence on China and Russia, particularly in its use of oil and gas. He warned that investments with Russia and China could come at a cost to the country’s sovereignty.

“We fully support Kazakhstan’s freedom to choose to do business with whichever country it wants,” said Pompeo. “But I’m confident that the country will get the best outcome when it partners with American companies.”

He went on to praise the nation for its efforts in battling the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China. Pompeo will make his way to Uzbekistan to meet with more top officials in the near future.

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Spending package highlights division between ‘Squad,’ House progressives and Dem leadership

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House Democratic leaders are once again facing an uprising from members who believe the party is compromising too much on key issues.

Both the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) have reportedly signaled they wouldn't support a spending bill that funds parts of President Trump's immigration agenda — in particular, his controversial border wall.

Despite their objections, the House passed a spending package Tuesday that included provisions for both domestic and defense spending. The domestic package received 75 Democratic "nay" votes, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. — all members of the so-called progressive "squad."

Progressive Caucus co-chairs Pramila Jayapal, D-Wa., and Mark Pocan, D-Wis., also voted against the measure.

Legislation must be enacted to fund the government and avoid another shutdown beginning this weekend. According to the Washington Examiner, border security funding prompted the CPC to oppose the measure.

"We cannot and will not support more funding for President Trump’s immoral mass detention policies and unchecked and wasteful Pentagon spending," a statement from the group read.


CHC chairman Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., similarly said: “I’m not voting for it." Opposing Democrats also took issue with provisions allowing Trump to maintain funding for detention centers and transfer federal funding to border security projects.

While the bill maintains 2019 funding levels for the border wall and security initiatives, it doesn't grant Trump anywhere near the $8 billion he wanted for the wall. Instead, Trump will get $1.375 billion for a wall that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has called "immoral."

Over the past year, Democrats have been beset by intraparty conflicts surrounding the environment, health care, and drug prices.

Pelosi last week compromised on a major Democratic priority — drug pricing — in order to accommodate the demands of her progressive flank. Perhaps her most high-profile clash took place over a border funding bill that her chamber approved earlier this year.


That bill included billions of dollars in funding for immigration enforcement agencies amid criticism of the Trump administration's handling of the ongoing migrant detention crisis. Pelosi previously downplayed the political power of the Ocasio-Cortez group.


But after Ocasio-Cortez announced her opposition to the Speaker's drug pricing plan earlier this month, reports surfaced that Pelosi had negotiated a new plan based on progressive demands.

Republicans have attempted to frame the infighting as emblematic Pelosi's impotence in the face of more dynamic far-left forces in the party.

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