Friday Top News Executive Summary
Spending bill, tariff aid package, second-quarter GDP, Democrat climate plans, and more.
Budget & Economy
SPENDING BILL CLEARS HOUSE: “The House approved new budget limits Thursday, surging spending and debt over the next two years — though the vote showed a growing rebellion among Republicans over surging deficits and President Trump’s willingness to sign hefty funding increases. … The final vote tally was 284-149, with more than 90% of Democrats backing it. More than two-thirds of Republicans defied Mr. Trump and opposed the bill.” (The Washington Times)
TARIFF COUNTERBALANCE: “The U.S. government will pay American farmers hurt by the trade war with China between $15 and $150 per acre in an aid package totaling $16 billion, officials said on Thursday, with farmers in the South poised to see higher rates than in the Midwest. The assistance, starting in mid-to-late August, follows Republican President Donald Trump’s $12 billion package last year that was aimed at making up for lower farm good prices and lost sales.” (Reuters)
2Q GROWTH SLOWS: “Growth decelerated in the second quarter, but not by as much as Wall Street thought, as tariffs and a global slowdown weighed on the U.S. economy, the Commerce Department reported Friday. GDP increased 2.1%, down from 3.1% from the first quarter, and the weakest increase since the first quarter of 2017 when President Donald Trump took office.” (CNBC)
MPG DETOUR: “Four major automakers have reached a deal with California to toughen standards for gas mileage and greenhouse gas emissions, bypassing the Trump administration’s push to relax mileage standards nationwide instead. Ford, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen signed the deal with the California Air Resources Board, the state’s air pollution regulator, which had been at odds with the Trump administration for months, in a contest that automakers fear could set up years of confusion and litigation in the industry.” (Associated Press)
CLIMATE-PLAN BOONDOGGLES: “Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) released her ‘moonshot’ plan to address climate change on Thursday, calling for $10 trillion in spending over the next decade,” The Washington Free Beacon reports. In the same manner, “Tom Steyer, the newest entrant to the presidential race, introduced a climate change plan Thursday night that is more aggressive than most of his competitors,” according to the Washington Examiner. “Steyer aims for the U.S. to cut ‘fossil fuel pollution’ from all economic sectors to reach reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the entire economy by 2045, a faster timeline than major Democratic candidates have proposed except Jay Inslee, who has set the same date. … He projects his plan to cost $2.3 trillion in government spending.”
IRAN MISSILE TEST: “Iran successfully test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile Wednesday which flew more than 600 miles from the southern part of the country to an area outside the capital. … It was not clear whether Wednesday’s test was in violation of any sanctions against Iran. The 2015 nuclear deal did not address Iran’s conventional missile program.” (Fox News)
NEW JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF CHAIRMAN: “The Senate on Thursday confirmed Gen. Mark A. Milley to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replacing Gen. Joseph Dunford as the Pentagon’s top uniformed officer and filling another key post at the top of the military command.” (The Washington Times)
RECORD BORDER FIGURES: “A record 61,000 unaccompanied migrant children have surged over the U.S.-Mexico border and been handed to federal care facilities since October, and there are still over two months left in the fiscal year, according to immigration officials. The number tops the total for fiscal year 2016, at 59,170 turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services.” (Washington Examiner)
GOOGLE SUED: “Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), a 2020 presidential contender, is suing Google over claims that the tech behemoth violated her right to "free speech.” In a federal complaint filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Gabbard alleged Google censored her presidential campaign when it suspended their advertising account for several hours last month.“ (The Hill)
COLLUSION DELUSION, PART I: Now they tell us: New York Times story says Mueller was hands off, short on stamina (Fox News)
COLLUSION DELUSION, PART II: Democrats struggle to figure out next move against Trump after Mueller hearing falls flat (The Washington Post)
POLICY: Higher taxes are not the solution to out-of-control spending. We need to address the problem at its roots. (The Heritage Foundation)
POLICY: Most people don’t think about economics when they dream about flights to the stars. They ought to start. (Bloomberg Opinion)
HUMOR: Snopes rolls out new opinion check feature (The Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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