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Trump Claims Trade Truce With EU

Why Trump blinked. CNN: “The announcement on trade was dressed up as a huge victory, held in the Rose Garden, the traditional venue for big state announcements, and in front of a group of Republican lawmakers apparently called down from Capitol Hill to serve as a backdrop. Yet in essence, its real effect seemed to be to disguise a step back by the President who has imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on US allies in Europe, repeatedly threatened to slap a 25% tariff on European cars imports and blasted the European Union in public. The two sides said that they had agreed to discuss tearing down all tariffs, trade barriers and subsidies on non-auto industrial goods. Trump said that they had also agreed to work together to resolve the issue of ‘retaliatory tariffs’ imposed in recent months. The President’s announcement that Europe will buy more soybeans and liquid national gas could be good news for US agriculture and industry…  It would be huge news if the US and Europe ever agreed to get to the zero tariffs, zero subsidies and zero barriers standard that both leaders proposed on Wednesday. But it was also clear that the deal unveiled on Wednesday was a truce – rather than a peace treaty. It averted the trade war Trump had effectively started – and included a vague commitment for talks toward a real but distant goal. Juncker, though, said both sides agreed to hold off on future tariffs while the talks were taking place – in an apparent victory for Europe In that sense, the deal appeared more of a fix for a problem Trump had created rather than a genuine breakthrough on thorny underlying issues. Given the unpredictable nature of the President’s diplomacy it’s uncertain how long the trade amnesty will last – once the script is no longer in front of him and when he is fixating at European nations he referred to this month as foes.”

Bipartisan Bill To Curb Election Meddling

Trump allies oppose election meddling bill that curbs president’s power. Politico: “Sen. Rand Paul warned on Wednesday that a bipartisan bill meant to deter foreigners from meddling in future U.S. elections would weaken the president’s abilities to strike back at adversaries. The bill, known as the DETER Act, is backed by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). The proposed law would bar foreign governments from buying ads to influence U.S. elections, and would also give the director of national intelligence the power to deploy ‘national security tools’ like sanctions if the Kremlin interferes in another American election. But speaking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Paul cautioned that the legislation might hamstring the president’s ability to protect elections. ‘It … takes the power from the president and gives it to the director of national intelligence,’ Paul said. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in the hot seat during Wednesday’s hearing. He echoed Paul’s sentiment that transferring election security power away from the president is unwise. ‘Without having seen the legislation, I do not think that’s a good idea,’ Pompeo said.”

New Government Shutdown Looms

McConnell, Ryan pitch Trump on plan to avoid shutdown. Politico: “GOP leaders think they have a plan to avoid a government shutdown right before the November elections. Meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan presented a government spending strategy intended to minimize the threat of a politically debilitating government funding lapse over border wall funding. And Trump seemed receptive, according to lawmakers and aides briefed on the meeting. The Senate majority leader and House speaker laid out to Trump that they will prioritize less controversial bills before this fall’s Sept. 30 funding deadline. McConnell (R-Ky.) and Ryan (R-Wis.) hope to fund the majority of the government through the appropriations bill process by the end of September, and leave a brutal fight over border wall funding until later in the year. Trump made clear to the GOP leaders that he still wants a $5 billion down payment on his wall this year, but he signaled to the leaders that he might be willing to wage that fight after the midterms. Though the House plans to pass a spending bill giving Trump $5 billion for the wall, Senate Democrats are unlikely to agree to fund more than the $1.6 billion initially requested by the Trump administration — meaning any attempt to fund the Department of Homeland Security could lead to a shutdown.”

House GOP Wants To Force Foster Kids To Work

House Republicans want to impose work requirements on foster kids facing homelessness. ThinkProgress: “House Republicans are pushing a bill that would impose work and education requirements on foster youths who are facing homelessness, putting their ability to get federal housing subsidies at risk. The bill, called the ‘Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act,’ sounds positive: it attempts to prevent at-risk youths who age out of the foster care system at 18 and forced to abruptly fend for themselves from becoming homeless by placing them at the top of the long line for the limited number of federal housing subsidy vouchers nationwide. However, after the first 30 months of receiving those vouchers, those youths are required to meet certain work, training, and education requirements that are decided at the local level. Those young people would age out of the program when they turn 25. The bill also fails to increase funding for affordable housing, which would make wait times for everyone on the list longer. And it comes amid other efforts by the Trump administration to raise rents on people already in federally subsidized housing.”

DeVos’s $40m Yacht Set Adrift

DeVos’s $40m yacht set adrift from Huron dock. Toledo Blade: “A boat owned by the family of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was vandalized over the weekend while moored at a Huron dock, according to the Huron Police Department. The Seaquest was moored at the Huron Boat Basin, 330 Main St., according to a police report. The captain of the 163-foot yacht, worth a reported $40 million, called police at about 6 a.m. Sunday, telling them that he and the crew realized at sunrise that someone had untied Seaquest from the dock, setting it adrift. The crew eventually got control of the yacht, but not before it struck the dock, causing an estimated $5,000 to $10,000 in damage from large scratches and scrapes, according to the police report. Officers were searching for surveillance video that may show who untied the yacht. Betsy DeVos was born into wealth, and also married into wealth. She’s the daughter of Edgar Prince, whose Prince Corporation was incredibly successful. Her brother is Eric Prince, notorious for his ownership of controversial private military contractors. She married Richard DeVos, Jr., whose father started the Amway corporation, a multi-level marketing company. They are consistently ranked some of the richest people in the world. The Seaquest, according to a number of profiles in national publications, is one of 10 boats owned by the family.”

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