The DC: Two days, two mass shootings
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by Countable | 8.5.19
Welcome to Monday, August 5th, electorate...
Two communities are reeling from a pair of mass shootings over the weekend.
On Saturday, a gunman opened fired at an El Paso Walmart, leaving 20 dead and 26 injured.
13 hours later, a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, left nine people dead, including the shooter.
Federal authorities are treating the El Paso shooting as a case of domestic terrorism, as the shooter is believed to be behind a racist manifesto written as a "response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas."
“We are treating [the El Paso shooting] as a domestic terrorism case and we’re going to do what we do to terrorists in this country, which is deliver swift and certain justice,” said John F. Bash, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas.
Gun control advocates marched on the White House and Capitol Saturday night demanding action from Washington.
On the Radar
President Donald Trump plans to levy 10% tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods beginning September 1, effectively placing a tax on all Chinese products coming into the U.S.—including toys, sneakers, and iPhones.
"Trade talks are continuing, and during the talks the U.S. will start, on September 1st, putting a small additional tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 billion dollars of products coming from China into our country," Trump tweeted.
Trump also repeated his unfounded claim that tariffs have cost Chinese rather than American consumers.
"We're taking in many billions of dollars. There's been absolutely no inflation and frankly it hasn't cost our consumer anything. It cost China," Trump said. The president added that companies are moving out of China to avoid the taxes.
However the White House's Economic Report of the President, released in March, found that any benefits from the tariffs are offset by "costs paid by consumers in the form of higher prices and reduced consumption."
Hong Kong Protests
As Hong Kong braces for what will be its ninth straight weekend of mass protests against efforts by China to undermine its autonomy, the Chinese military signaled that it is prepared to deploy troops to quell the unrest.
The Hong Kong Garrison of the People’s Liberation Army released a three-minute video this week showing Chinese troops firing guns & rocket launchers, using explosives, and erecting barricades. This comes after pro-Beijing officials in Hong Kong and PLA leaders condemned the protesters for endangering public safety and said PLA units could be deployed if Hong Kong’s leaders request it, prompting concerns about a Tiananmen Square-like massacre.
Under the Radar
End of INF Treaty
The State Dept. announced Friday that the U.S. is following through with its planned withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty “due to the Russian Federation’s continuing violation of the treaty.”
A statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “Russia is solely responsible for the treaty’s demise” because of its recent development of a ground-launched, intermediate-range cruise missile which violates the INF Treaty ban on ground-launched nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges between 310 and 3,420 miles.
Balanced Budget Agreement
On August 5, 1997, President Bill Clinton signed the Balanced Budget Act & Taxpayer Relief Act into law, which enacted a combination of reforms to Medicaid & Medicare along with tax cuts to balance the budget.
The bills, negotiated in partnership with House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), laid the economic & fiscal groundwork for four years of federal budget surpluses from 1998-2001―the first consecutive surpluses since 1956-57 and the last time the federal government didn’t operate at a budget deficit.
Things have changed since then.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the 2019 budget deficit will exceed $1 trillion for the first time since 2012, and with the sequestration budget caps now eliminated by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, annual deficits will likely remain above $1 trillion until the federal government once again moves to restrain spending.
Your Gov at a Glance 👀
The White House: President Trump in D.C.
- At 10:00am EDT, the president will deliver remarks from the White House.
- At 11:45am EDT, the president will receive his intelligence briefing.
- At 12:30pm EDT, the president will have lunch with the vice president.
The House of Representatives: Out
- The House will return Monday, September 9th.
The Senate: Out
- The Senate will return Monday, September 9th.
What You're Saying
Here's how you're answering Should Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Grizzly Bears Be Removed From the Endangered Wildlife List?
(Follow Larry's comment here.)
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But wait, there's more!
- The Turbulent Nomination of John Ratcliffe
- HOT CARS Act: Should There Be a Warning System For Children Left in Cars?
And, in the End…
It's Assistance Dog Day.
Here's late President George H.W. Bush and his beloved service dog, Sully:
Enjoy the assistance dog days of summer,
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