trade

Green New Deal: Some Democrats on the fence
Top Democrats who would oversee legislation in the House are reluctant to endorse plan that would remake economy

Democratic Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have championed the Green New Deal on Capitol Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A resolution outlining the goals of the Green New Deal capped off its first week of a somewhat messy rollout with mixed reviews, even from typically Democratic strongholds like labor unions.

In the House, the top two Democrats who would oversee any legislation that comes out of the plan have remained reluctant to fully endorse it, stopping at lauding the goals and the enthusiasm behind them. And Republicans quickly branded the Green New Deal as an extreme, socialist plan with unrealistic proposals to eliminate air travel and cows.

Trade talks with China ‘intensive’ but tariffs still set to balloon on March 1, White House says
‘Much work remains,’ Sarah Huckabee Sanders said ahead of new round next week

U.S. and Chinese officials made “progress” in trade talks this week in Beijing, the White House said. But spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not provide details as a new round of talks is slated for next week in Washington. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images file photo)

The White House on Friday said “intensive” trade talks this week with Chinese officials yielded “progress,” but there was no indication President Donald Trump is ready to delay a substantial ballooning of tariffs on Chinese-made goods set to take effect March 1.

“These detailed and intensive discussions led to progress between the two parties,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “Much work remains, however.”

Canada and Mexico will act on new NAFTA once tariffs end, Grassley says
Country officials reaffirmed opposition to tariffs on steel and aluminum imports meetings last week

Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, arrives for the Senate Finance Committee organizational meeting and hearing on pending nominations on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Mexican and Canadian officials are serious about their countries not ratifying the proposed United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement unless the Trump administration ends steel and aluminum tariffs on their products, Senate Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley said Tuesday.

Grassley, R-Iowa, said the Mexican ambassador and the Canadian Foreign Affairs minister in meetings last week with him reaffirmed their countries’ opposition to the continuation of the 25 percent steel tariff and the 10 percent levy on aluminum imports.

The outsiders: Roll Call’s people to watch in 2019
“We need people like ourselves fighting for policies that work for us”

Sayu Bhojwani is the founder of New American Leaders, which trains first- and second-generation Americans to run for public office. (Marcia Myers/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Roll Call’s list of the People to Watch in 2019 continues with three players from outside the Beltway expected to play key roles on the political and policy fronts.

One is working to give immigrant communities greater representation in the public sphere. Another is a state attorney general squaring off with the Trump administration in the courts. And the third is a Canadian politician whose government has plenty of concerns about U.S. positions on trade, human rights and democratic principles. 

Lawmakers, businesses warn of long-term damage of tariffs
“Tit-for-tat tariffs as a negotiating tactic are very, very dangerous”

Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick J. Toomey has a bill that would limit the ability of the president to impose levies for national security reasons. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration may have pushed trading partners to come to the negotiating table with tariffs, but a Delaware soybean farmer and a Virginia distillery owner say business people like them are paying a price for the tactic.

At a Wednesday press conference by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, Senate Republicans Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin joined Democrats Thomas R. Carper of Delaware and Mark Warner of Virginia in decrying the tariffs, which they said are squeezing businesses and could eventually take a bite out of the U.S. economy. Tariffs Hurt the Heartland represents 150 organizations from several industries.

One speech, two Trumps
Despite softer touches, president’s State of the Union still divides

President Donald Trump greets lawmakers as he prepares to deliver his second State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican lawmakers stood and roared Tuesday night as President Donald Trump described the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border as a hellscape awash in drugs and violent criminals moving freely into the country. Democrats sat statuesque and silent, displaying no sign that his call for cross-party cooperation resonated inside the House chamber.

Trump stood before Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi and delivered what has become customary for Republican and Democratic presidents alike, saying that the state of the country is “strong” and that the American people hope “we will govern not as two parties but as one nation.”

5 Things to Watch: Trump could hear GOP groans during State of the Union
President might have his party sinking in their seats over border emergency, ending foreign conflicts

President Donald Trump speaks to a joint session of Congress while delivering his first State of the Union Address in 2018. He returns Tuesday night for his second. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“Visionary” and “uplifting” and “bipartisan.” Those are just a few of the adjectives President Donald Trump’s aides are using to describe the State of the Union address he will deliver Tuesday evening.

None are words typically associated with the 45th chief executive, who once stood outside the Capitol and spoke about “American carnage” during his inaugural address. Yet a senior administration official told reporters to expect a “traditional” address from a president who is anything but.

Cracks in GOP support for Trump emerge, but White House claims ‘we’re all good’
‘What was boiling under the surface … has now come to the surface,’ Republican insider says

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as Republican senators look on following a lunch meeting in the Capitol on Jan. 9. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican lawmakers are increasingly breaking with Donald Trump — through critical words and high-profile votes — but White House officials contend the president still has a grip on his party mates on Capitol Hill.

The Senate floor in recent weeks has become ground zero for GOP members jumping out of line. With a series of national security and government spending speeches and vote results, the president’s party has issued a string of stinging blows after nearly two years of mostly sticking with and defending him.

New Democrats launch task forces to help craft the House majority’s policy agenda
Task forces focus on issue areas like health care, infrastructure, climate change, national security, trade and technology

Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., will co-chair the New Democrat Coalition’s health care task force, one of eight policy-focused work groups the centrist Democrats have launched this week. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The New Democrat Coalition is ready to help the House majority craft its policy agenda for the 116th Congress, launching eight issue-focused task forces to develop proposals on party priorities such as health care, infrastructure and climate change. 

The group of centrist Democrats has used task forces to develop policy proposals in past Congresses, but they’re particularly excited about the work the task forces will do this session now that their party is in the majority.

Soybean shocker: China surprises Trump administration with Oval Office announcement
Tons or bushels question causes initial confusion inside West Wing

Amid tough trade talks with China, President Donald Trump says American farmers will be “happy” with increased Chinese purchases of U.S. soybeans — though there was initial confusion about quantity. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Chinese official surprised the Trump administration by announcing plans to increase purchases of American soybeans in an Oval Office meeting with President Donald Trump, a senior U.S. official said Thursday as a round of trade talks concluded without a deal.

“Yes. The answer is yes. It was a surprise announcement in the sense I didn’t know about it until a very short time before,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told Roll Call during a briefing with a group of reporters following several of days of talks with Chinese officials.