Inside Trump - August 1st, 2019

Inside Trump (Aug 1st, 2019)

Budget Deal Passes / Campaign Rally Tonight / Intelligence Director Out

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1. After a delay, the Senate has passed the Trump administration's budget deal. The deal was struck between the Trump administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the government would likely run out of cash during the Congressional recess. The bill lifts the debt ceiling for two years and adds $320 billion in spending. Despite President Trump's push for support, Republicans have been reluctant to support the bill, and not all of them voted for it this morning. – THE HILL

2. In other financial news, the Federal Reserve cut key interest rates by a quarter-point yesterday—a move President Trump has spent months pushing for. The cut was the Fed's first since the financial crisis of 2008, and it was only the fifth cut since the late '80s. Such cuts are usually reserved for periods of economic hardship, but Fed Chair Jerome Powell felt that uncertainty stemming from global trade tensions warranted the move in an otherwise healthy economy. Powell said the Fed won't cut rates as aggressively as they would in a period of economic crisis, and those comments drew criticism from President Trump. (For more on debt, spending, and the economy check out my other newsletter, Inside Finance) – YAHOO! FINANCE

3. President Trump is scheduled to host a campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, tonight. It'll be the first rally since last week's rally in North Carolina saw supporters chanting "Send her back!" The chant referred to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), and it was likely inspired by the president's racist tweet telling four American congresswomen of color to "go back" to their home countries. President Trump paused his speech for 13 seconds to let the chant continue. A congressman from the Cincinnati area, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), said he hopes the crowd doesn't break into a similar chant tonight, but if they do, "I would hope that the president would silence the crowd, tell them, ‘Hey, don’t do that.'" – AP

4. Critics say President Trump is also stoking racial tensions in his attacks on the city of Baltimore. The president took aim at the city, calling it "rodent and rat infested," as part of a broader attack against Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland). Critics say the language follows a pattern of racist rhetoric, but defenders say the president is raising real issues that the city battles every day. In an interesting twist, some Baltimore residents agree that there's a rodent infestation problem—and those resident live in apartments owned by the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Yesterday, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, who worked in Baltimore for decades, defended the president's comments at a news conference in the city. – CBS

5. The White House has unveiled two new strategies for addressing health care costs this week. One plan would allow the U.S. to import some medicine from Canada, where pharmaceutical drugs are often much cheaper. The other plan aims to force hospitals to be more transparent about costs. It would require hospitals to publicly reveal the price they charge insurers for each drug and service they provide. Democratic debates also focused heavily on health care this week, so combating ideas for how to address rising costs will likely become a key issue in 2020. – NPR

6. The latest round of trade talks between the U.S. and China ended without much progress yesterday. Both sides called the negotiations in Shanghai "constructive," but there weren't any major breakthroughs to report. The next round of talks is scheduled to take place next month in the U.S. – CNBC

7. A new law in California may keep President Trump off the ballot, unless he decides to release his tax returns. The new law, which passed through the state Legislature on a party-line vote, requires presidential candidates to submit five years of income tax filings. Legal challenges to the law are expected. California is also a heavily Democratic state, and President Trump's chances of winning the state in 2020 are most likely slim. – LA TIMES

8. On the other side of the country, a federal judge has signaled that he will block New York state officials from turning over President Trump's state tax returns to Congress. A new state law in New York would allow Congress to access the president's tax returns, but Judge Carl Nichols said "Mr. Trump cannot suffer harm" as a legal challenge to the law plays out. Separately, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts) has penned an op-ed about why his committee needs to see the president's tax returns. – CNN

9. The president is expected to nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) as the new intelligence director. On Sunday, President Trump announced that current Intelligence Director Dan Coats is resigning. The two often clashed on Russian election meddling (the intelligence community is in overwhelming consensus that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, while President Trump has said he doesn't "see any reason why" Russia would interfere). Rep. Ratcliffe has accused the intelligence community of having an anti-Trump bias. You can read Coats' resignation letter here. – CHICAGO TRIBUNE

10. Escalating tensions between Iran and the U.S. show no signs of slowing, and this week the Trump Administration imposed sanctions against Iran's top diplomat. As it unveiled the new sanctions, the Treasury Department accused Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif of implementing a "reckless agenda" on behalf of Iran's Supreme Leader. Zarif said the tariffs will have no effect on him or his family. – BBC

Schuyler Durham writes Inside Finance and Inside Trump. He got his start covering the music scene in his hometown of Portland, OR, but has since followed his writing career to newsrooms around the world. After three years in broadcast news, he's now diving back into the digital realm. You can keep up with his writing on Twitter at @SchuylerWriter or watch him goof around on Instagram at @bitterbuddha.

Editor: David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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