In testimony on Capitol Hill this week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell repeatedly praised the strength of the U.S. economy across multiple indicators. He pointed to an historically-low unemployment rate, rising wages, and continual, moderate overall growth. Powell has a notably turbulent relationship with President Donald Trump, but his assessment should have been music to the ears of top White House and Trump campaign officials (even if the president could not help live-Tweeting his criticism of Powell’s testimony). The economy, after all, is historically perhaps the most reliable presidential election indicator.
So that didn’t go as planned. While politicos inside the Beltway and across the country were expecting to get our first real results in the Democratic presidential primary last night, problems with tallying the vote in Iowa have caused a significant delay in reporting the results. In a story posted yesterday, The Associated Press reported Iowa Democratic Party officials had promised that “an early issue with a mobile app designed to report results” would “not hinder the Iowa caucus process.”
Last year, we looked at how accurate polls going into the Iowa Caucus have been at predicting the eventual outcome of that state’s first-in-the-nation election. The conclusion, way back then, was that surveys conducted a few months out from voting have not historically been very good at telling us who was going to win.
At a celebration of the three-centuries’ long relationship between the United States and France last spring in Baltimore, Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford (R) proclaimed, “The history of Maryland is intertwined with France.” While the lieutenant governor was most likely referring to French immigration to Maryland beginning in the mid-1700s that has created a vibrant “French Town” in Baltimore, the nation and the state seem to still have a lot in common: to the chagrin of other governments, both are pursuing a digital services tax (DST).
Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced it would no longer consider China to be a currency manipulator. (That’s a big step for the U.S. president. On the campaign trail in 2016, President Trump regularly called out China for its efforts to sway the valuation of its currency; something some key Democrats, like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have echoed.) Today, President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will sign a limited, phase one trade pact between the United States and China.
Happy New Year! With 2020 having now arrived, we are in the midst, in earnest, of the presidential and congressional elections. The Iowa Caucus, set for Monday, Feb. 3, is now 32 days away. While there will be some policies enacted in Washington in 2020, because the year will be overwhelmingly dominated by politicking and primaries, we begin our updates in the new year examining where the race for the White House, and Congress, stands.
The holiday season is upon us and – though it sounds odd – despite an impeachment vote today in the U.S. House of Representatives, it has been a relatively productive one in Washington, legislatively speaking.
At a recent town hall event in Charleston, S.C.—the state that will hold, in just three months, the fourth nominating contest in the Democratic presidential primary contest—an attendee asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) whether Americans are “ready” for an all-female presidential ticket.
Moments ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), flanked by the chairs of the committees of jurisdiction over the House’s impeachment inquiry over the last several months (Oversight, Intelligence, Ways and Means, Financial Services, and Judiciary) announced her intention to have the House consider two articles of impeachment against President Trump. I thought I’d provide a quick primer on what’s happened this morning and what we can expect in the days and weeks ahead.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg officially entered the Democratic presidential primary last week, and it didn’t take long for his opponents to react. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) criticized the fact that Bloomberg, who is worth an estimated $54 billion, plans to self-finance his campaign.
Despite President Donald Trump’s pleas for the whistleblower’s identity to be revealed – and his demand that he be given the opportunity to “interview” them – it should come as little surprise that it has largely remained under wraps. As PBS Newshour recently reported, while there is “nothing that can block Trump from revealing who” the whistleblower is, federal law is meant to prevent “intimidation of witnesses and reprisals against whistleblowers.” The president, of course, is tasked with enforcing these, and all, laws as the leader of the executive branch.
If you think a potential federal government shutdown is the only potential calamity barreling down on Washington, D.C., think again.