Politico: “Though Senate and House leaders have been seeking a broader, two-year spending deal aimed at taking shutdowns and default off the table through the presidential election, negotiators left the huddle in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office far from a deal.”
“Democrats said Republicans were reluctant to do anything to get ahead of President Donald Trump, while Republicans said they couldn’t get a serious counteroffer from their Democratic counterparts.”
Playbook: “Does Trump realize how good of a deal Mnuchin is offering the Democrats right now? A yearlong budget deal coupled with a yearlong debt-limit package sidesteps the $100 billion in budget cuts Democrats so desperately want to avoid. It once again punts on Trump’s border wall. This seems like a too-good-to-be-true deal for Dems, given the complications in cutting a deal with the White House. Of course, Democrats have no incentive to accept this deal now, but come September, if it’s on the table, it might look pretty darn good with deadlines looming.
“U.S. Steel announced it will temporarily halt production at two domestic plants despite the boost from the Trump administration’s tariffs, as a steel industry singled out for federal support shows signs of weakening,” the Washington Post reports.
“The closure runs in sharp contrast to the narrative President Trump has offered about the steel industry. Tuesday night in Orlando, as he formally announced he was running for reelection, Trump boasted about helping the steel industry through the use of tariffs on imports.”
“America’s military budget is set to grow for a fifth consecutive year to near-historic highs in 2020, as lawmakers push increases in defense spending for next year despite opposition from some liberals in Congress and deficit hawks,” the Washington Post reports.
“The Trump administration has proposed $750 billion in defense spending as part of its budget request to Congress for next year, as well as steep cuts to domestic programs in health care and education.”
“President Trump has told confidants as recently as Wednesday that he believes he has the authority to replace Jerome Powell as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board,” Bloomberg reports.
“In Trump’s line of thinking, he could demote Powell to be a board governor, but isn’t planning to do so right now.”
“In a major provocation, Iran shot down an unarmed and unmanned U.S. RQ-4A Global Hawk drone while it was flying in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz Thursday, U.S. Central Command confirmed in a statement,” ABC News reports.
Said Gen. Hossein Salami, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps: “Shooting down the American spy drone had a clear, decisive, firm and accurate message… We do not intend to engage in war with any country, but we are completely ready for the war. Today’s incident is a clear sign of this accurate message.”
Freshman Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL), who flipped a suburban Chicago congressional district in 2018, told the Chicago Sun-Times he backs launching an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
“His public call stands out because Casten is only the third in this group of 44 to support an impeachment inquiry. Casten joins freshmen Katie Porter of California and Tom Malinkowski of New Jersey – a friend whose office is down the hall from Casten’s.”
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) also on Wednesday called for a Trump impeachment inquiry, notable since she is part of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership team and the speaker has counseled restraint.
President Trump has lost interest in Venezuela after U.S. support for a coup failed to produce immediate results, the Washington Post reports.
Trump has lost “patience and interest” in the issue as attempts to remove President Maduro from power have stalled. Trump reportedly “chewed out the staff” in a meeting shortly after the failed takeover at the end of April, and hasn’t really mentioned it much since.
Jeremy Hunt will face Boris Johnson in the race to be the next British Prime Minister after Michael Gove was eliminated in the latest Tory leadership ballot, the BBC reports.
Johnson, considered the favorite in the race, and Hunt will now compete in a run-off of the party’s 160,000 or so members, and the winner will be announced in the week of July 22.
“Oregon Republican senators have left the Capitol and scattered in various directions outside the state in order to avoid being rounded up by troopers for a high-profile climate bill vote scheduled today,” the Oregonianreports.
“Democrats hold a supermajority in both chambers of the Oregon Legislature but they still need Republicans to achieve the quorum necessary to conduct business, which is 20 members in the Senate.”
“The Senate passed the first in a series of resolutions aimed at blocking 22 arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, dealing another symbolic blow to the Trump administration’s close ties to the Middle East allies,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
New York Times: “While the Democratic-controlled House is also expected to block the sales, Mr. Trump has pledged to veto the legislation, and it is unlikely that either chamber could muster enough support to override the president’s veto.”
“Congressional investigators looking into President Trump’s ties to Russia are scheduled to hear Friday from one of the most cooperative Trump associates yet: Felix Sater, a Russian-born real estate developer who said he plans to discuss previously undisclosed details about his efforts to get a Trump tower built in Moscow,” the Washington Post reports.
Said Sater: “I will answer every question without exception. I always have and always will cooperate with anything the U.S. government asks of me.”
“Federal prosecutors in a new court filing Thursday allege that longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone has violated his gag order in his criminal case with recent social media posts,” CNN reports.
“A violation of his bail terms, which allow him to live at home in Florida, could mean Stone could await his November trial from jail, depending on how Jackson responds to the prosecutors’ request Thursday.”