Senate To Reopen Federal Government
January 22, 2018
Senate reaches a deal to reopen the federal government; Supreme Court rules against Trump administration on Clean Water rule; U.S. economy to grow nearly 3 percent in 2018 due to Trump tax cuts, IMF says.
- Senate reaches a deal to reopen the federal government. Senate Democrats accepted a deal with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for an immigration vote, clearing the way for passage of a bill to reopen the federal government after a three-day shutdown. McConnell, early on Monday, promised to consider an immigration bill that would protect an estimated 800,000 young, undocumented immigrants (known as “Dreamers”) from deportation, under an open amendment process, if Democrats would agree to end the government shutdown. The Senate voted 81-18 to break the filibuster in exchange for the promise of Republican leaders to address the fate of Dreamers. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that this pledge was enough for the Democrats to accept a three-week government funding bill. Monday’s vote came after a weekend of work by a bipartisan group of more than 20 senators discussing a plan to open up the government through early February, coupled with a promise from Mr. McConnell to allow a vote on a measure to protect Dreamers from deportation. [NYTimes, The Hill]
- Supreme Court rules against Trump administration on Clean Water rule. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday that cases litigating the Clean Water Act should be heard by federal district courts, a hit to the Trump administration. The administration had argued that those cases should be heard in federal appeals courts. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case over an Obama-era regulation, the Waters of the United States rule, in January 2017, after debate as to whether the U.S. Court of Appeals or federal district courts held the authority to hear the lawsuits from industry groups and states that claimed the rule went too far. Industry groups argued that the Clean Water Act should first be heard by lower district courts and then appealed to the Supreme Court, while the Trump administration said the challenges were legally within the purview of appeals courts because the rule touched on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) permitting authority. [The Hill]
Economic Indicators & News
- U.S. economy to grow nearly 3 percent in 2018 due to Trump tax cuts, IMF says. According to the International Monetary Fund in a new report on Monday, the United States is projected to grow 2.7 percent in 2018 as President Trump’s tax cuts boost growth. Yet deep inequality remains in the country, and the IMF does not expect the growth to last long. The IMF had originally predicted just 2.3 percent growth for America but lifted its projection significantly after Republicans passed the largest tax reform in over 30 years. The massive reduction in the corporation tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent should stimulate business investment and growth, the IMF wrote in its latest quarterly World Economic Outlook. The U.S. should also benefit from the global economic rebound underway. However, the IMF also cautioned that the growth spurt would be short-lived and would not address the inequality problem in which the top 1 percent thrive while middle-class incomes have stagnated for two decades. The tax cuts are only expected to ramp up growth for this year and next, and then go away as the budget deficit grows and the government needs to make tough choices about spending reductions or raising tax revenue. [Washington Post]