David Cay Johnston is a Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter who previously worked at The New York Times. He’s the founder and editor of DCReport.org. His most recent book is It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America. This interview has been edited and condensed.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday encountered a blitz of questions from House Democrats seeking to establish a legal basis for requesting President Donald Trump's tax returns.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that — despite more than two years of President Trump’s “America First” policies — the United States last year posted a $891.2 billion merchandise trade deficit, the largest in the nation’s 243-year history.
We’ve seen this movie before. There is widespread frustration with the performance of the economy. Traditional policy approaches are not delivering hoped-for results. A relatively unpopular president is loathed to an unusual extent by a frustrated opposition party that lost the previous presidential election while running a pillar of its establishment. And altered economic conditions have led to the development of new economic ideas that reflect a significant break with previous orthodoxy.
They'd raise $1.1 trillion, almost all from rich people.
The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates from record lows set at the depths of the 2008 financial crisis, a shift that heralds modestly higher rates on some loans. The Fed coupled its first rate hike in nine years with a signal that further increases will likely be made slowly as the economy strengthens further and inflation rises from undesirably low levels.
U.S. employment increased at a healthy pace in November, in another sign of the economy's resilience, and will most likely be followed by the first Federal Reserve interest rate rise in a decade later this month. Nonfarm payrolls rose 211,000 last month, the U.S. Labor Department said on Friday. September and October data was revised to show 35,000 more jobs than previously reported.
John Boehner might get to “clean the barn up” before he leaves, after all. The departing speaker and Democratic negotiators are closing in on a fiscal agreement that would bring budget peace—and more federal spending—to Washington for the remainder of the Obama presidency while staving off the possibility of a debt default through March 2017, according to a senior congressional official briefed on the talks. The deal could still fall through, but party leaders hope to complete it Monday night so that the House could vote by Wednesday, just a day before Boehner is expected to hand his speaker’s gavel to Paul Ryan. And in a sign of optimism, House Republicans called an emergency meeting of the conference for Monday evening to discuss the talks.
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and other congressional leaders raced to finalize a sweeping two-year budget deal and an extension of the federal debt ceiling until March 2017 before Boehner transfers power to his expected successor, Paul Ryan. If successful, the deals would mark a final act for Boehner to clear the decks of some politically divisive legislation as Ryan takes over as speaker - assuming a majority of the House of Representatives votes to put him in the top job in an election set for Thursday.
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday she does not support the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), rejecting a central tenet of President Barack Obama's strategic pivot to Asia. Clinton said during a campaign swing in Iowa that she is worried about currency manipulation not being part of the agreement and that "pharmaceutical companies may have gotten more benefits and patients fewer."
Pacific trade ministers have reached a deal on the most sweeping trade liberalization pact in a generation that will cut trade barriers and set common standards for 12 countries, an official familiar with the talks said on Monday. Leaders from a dozen Pacific Rim nations are poised to announce the pact later on Monday. The deal could reshape industries and influence everything from the price of cheese to the cost of cancer treatments.
The U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on Thursday in a nod to concerns about a weak world economy, but left open the possibility of a modest policy tightening later this year. In what amounted to a tactical retreat, the U.S. central bank said an array of global risks and other factors had convinced it to delay what would have been the first rate hike in nearly a decade.
The U.S. Federal Reserve, facing this week its biggest policy decision yet under Chair Janet Yellen, puts its credibility on the line regardless of whether it waits or raises interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. In a way it is a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation for the Fed despite months of fine-tuning its message, dissecting economic data, and carefully building a consensus around the idea of a cautious and gradual "lift-off" from near zero rates towards levels it considers normal.
The U.S. economy and job market continue to strengthen, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday, leaving the door open for a possible interest rate hike when central bank policymakers next meet in September. Following a two-day policy meeting, Fed officials said they felt the economy had overcome a first-quarter slowdown and was "expanding moderately" despite a downturn in the energy sector and headwinds from overseas.
U.S. consumer prices rose for a fifth straight month in June as the cost of gasoline and a range of other goods increased, further signs of firming inflation that strengthen the case for an interest rate hike this year. Other data on Friday suggested the economy could support a tightening of monetary policy. Housing starts surged in June and building permits soared to a near eight-year high. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen this week affirmed the U.S. central bank was keen to start raising interest rates later this year.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said he hopes to wrap up a trade deal with 11 other Pacific Rim nations soon and send it to the U.S. Congress for approval before the end of the year. Lawmakers last week granted the White House authority to close the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade deals and speed them through Congress, opening the door to a phase of intense negotiations to finalize the pact.
President Barack Obama's bid to boost U.S. economic ties with Asia neared approval on Wednesday, when a six-week congressional battle will culminate in a decisive Senate vote on legislation needed to seal his hallmark Pacific Rim trade deal. After two brushes with failure, some fancy legislative footwork and myriad backroom deals to keep the legislation alive, lawmakers are expected to grant Obama the power to negotiate trade deals and send them on a fast track through Congress.
President Barack Obama's Pacific Rim trade pact moved closer to a final U.S. Congress vote, with lawmakers agreeing on Tuesday to limit debate on legislation that would grant Obama authority to speed trade deals through Congress. A Senate vote on the legislation, known as fast-track negotiating power, was expected on Wednesday. Approval at that stage would send the bill to Obama for review. The debate-limiting motion was approved 60-37.
For President Barack Obama, an encouraging vote on his trade agenda and a harrowing tragedy in South Carolina showcased the promise and peril of his presidential end game. Hand-wringing over a stinging setback for Obama's trade package in Congress last week gave way to sighs of relief at the White House on Thursday when the House took the first steps to put the legislation back on track.
President Barack Obama and top Republicans in Congress joined forces Wednesday on a quick, bipartisan rescue attempt for the administration's trade agenda, left for dead in the House last week in a revolt carried out by Democrats and backed by organized labor. Officials said the Republican-controlled House would vote Thursday on a stand-alone bill to give Obama the enhanced negotiating authority the administration seeks as part of an effort to complete a 12-nation trade deal with Pacific Rim countries. In addition, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a firm pledge that the Republican-controlled Congress will pass legislation "in a timely manner" providing continued aid to workers who lose their jobs because of imports — a key demand of Democrats.