The talks centered on a complicated procedural plan to use a different legislative vehicle – a trade preferences bill with Africa that many House Democrats support – to pass the worker retraining program blocked by House Democrats on Friday.
Here’s how the latest plan would work: The Senate could amend a House-passed trade preferences bill that promotes trade with Africa by attaching the worker retraining program. The House would then vote on a stand-alone version of the fast-track legislation it already passed. Then, the two chambers would switch bills. Back in the House, lawmakers would vote on the new worker retraining and preferences bill presumably approved by the Senate. The Senate would then vote on fast-track.
Democrats are set to meet this morning to figure out a path forward.
CBO FORECAST DOWN, AGAIN. The Congressional Budget Office released its long-term budget outlook on Tuesday with yet another downward revision for growth. The changes weren’t drastic but it is the second time in a row they have adjusted their numbers down, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“The CBO didn’t make major revisions to last year’s forecasts, but it has continually revised down its estimates of economic output and interest rates,” WSJ reports. “The agency now projects that nominal gross domestic product in 2039 will be around 3 percent lower than forecast last year, when it revised down the same growth estimate by 4 percent.”
WHITE HOUSE NOT READY TO HAND TRADE OVER TO U.N. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), had trade watchers scratching their heads on Tuesday with an op-ed in USA Today that suggested the United Nations should take over trade negotiations. The White House isn’t exactly singing the same tune. USA Today reports that White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters he wasn’t aware of Pelosi’s editorial and the White House is still working on a path forward on the current trade talks.
“Over the last six-and-a-half years, the president has had no stronger or more reliable ally than Nancy Pelosi,” Earnest said. “Their professional and personal relationship is more than strong enough to sustain a difference over one policy issue, even if it is a policy issue that the president has strong feelings about.”
TRUMP ON TAXES. Most of the coverage of real estate mogul Donald Trump’s Tuesday announcement that he’s running for the Republican nomination for president focused on the spectacle. But where does the Donald stand on tax policy? Trump hasn’t said just yet, but Tony Nitti at Forbes has a look at his previous positions.
“During the buildup to the 2000 presidential election eventually won (won??? OK, won) by George W. Bush, Trump made a claim that surprised many given his exorbitant wealth — a one-time tax of 14.25 percent should be assessed on the assets of every American individual and trust in excess of $10 million,” Nitti writes. “Trump would have permitted the resulting tax, estimated at that time to be $5.7 trillion – to be paid over 10 years, with the revenue used to pay off America’s deficit.”
A one-time tax on the wealthy would put Trump way afield of his low-tax loving competitors.