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Capitol Ink | Footnote to History

Unchecked power
CQ on Congress, Ep. 184

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, talks with reporters in the Senate subway before the continuation of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Ink | Coronation Day

Capitol Ink | Rushing Ploy

Some voters skeptical as Trump rallies with recent GOP convert Van Drew
South Jersey trip came after House freshman changed parties, opposed impeachment

With President Donald Trump looking on, Democrat-turned-Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew speaks at a Wildwood, New Jersey rally on Tuesday. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

WILDWOOD, N.J. – Prompted by President Donald Trump, the cheers for freshly minted Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew at a rally here Tuesday night were deafening. It appeared certain that the thousands who had come to see the president were fully embracing Van Drew, who is up for a second term in November.

But outside the 7,500-seat Wildwood Convention Center, some Republican voters remained skeptical of Van Drew’s conservative bona fides. Yes, he had switched parties after winning a South Jersey seat in Congress as a Democrat in 2018. Yes, he had pledged his “undying loyalty” to Trump. And yes, he had voted against the impeachment inquiry that Trump has derided as a “hoax.”

Capitol Ink | Damage Control

Capitol Ink | Case Law

Top Trump aide stops short of echoing boss’ claim that economy is ‘best it’s ever been’
But Lawrence Kudlow touts wage growth and low unemployment rate

Larry Kudlow, director of President Donald Trump’s National Economic Council, says the economy under Trump will “rank up there” with previous strong economies. (Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser on Friday stopped short of endorsing the president’s repeated claim that the U.S. economy is at its strongest point in the country’s history.

“In history? I think it’ll rank up there, yes,” Lawrence Kudlow told CQ Roll Call on Friday. But he notably did not say the U.S. economy is the strongest it’s ever been as his boss heads into what pollsters and strategists in both parties say could be a photo-finish election.

Capitol Ink | Virtual Reality

Trump signs ‘phase one’ China pact, first of two trade milestones this week
Senate to take up NAFTA replacement before impeachment trial begins

President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a “Keep America Great” campaign rally in Milwaukee on Tuesday night. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Amid the impeachment proceedings on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed the first of two significant milestones on trade — an agreement with China that amounts to a ceasefire in his war with the Asian giant.

Trump is expected to get a second win on the issue later this week, with the Senate expected to approve a revised trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. Aides say Trump plans to trumpet both as part of his reelection sales pitch that he is a good steward of the economy.