Saturday, July 25, 2015

Smart Brief on Business

Bush promises to clamp down on K Street - Jeb Bush on Monday outlined a plan to rein in the federal government and make it harder for former lawmakers and public servants to take jobs on K Street. Bush said his plan was based on a law he signed as Florida governor, which he called "the strictest lobbying reforms in the country"; still, figures show that Florida lobbyists quickly figured out ways to circumvent Bush's restrictions. "It stopped us from getting coffee and a muffin but allowed us to get wheelbarrows of cash," said former Democratic House Majority Leader Dan Gelber.

Vote in this week's Business & Politics Poll - There is still time to vote in this week's Business & Politics Poll: Is NASA worth the cost? Read the poll and cast your vote. We will post the results on Friday.

Shutdown showdown looms amid legislative logjam - Lawmakers are wrestling with a long list of legislative priorities, including new spending measures for highways, defense and domestic agencies, and slip-ups along the way could trigger a fresh government shutdown. Part of the problem: Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who two years ago brokered a deal to avert a shutdown, are no longer handling negotiations for their parties, and no obvious successors are on hand. "We ought to be meeting right now," said Rep. Steny Hoyer. "We're not doing that. There have been no discussions."
Why Trump is still on top - Donald Trump has the support of almost a quarter of GOP primary voters, roughly twice as many as second-place Gov. Scott Walker, according to a new poll. That's a sign that so far, Trump's willingness to offend members of his own party isn't hurting him, writes Nate Silver. "In a 16-candidate field ... you can be in first place with 15 or 20% of the vote -- even if the other 80 or 85% of voters hate your guts," he writes.
Highway bill is on hold as Senate Dems check small print - Senate leaders put forward a 1,030-page bill to extend federal transportation funding on Tuesday, but Democrats blocked the measure on the grounds that they'd been given only two hours to review the mammoth bill before a scheduled vote. "We need time to look over alternative ideas before we move forward," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
 
Republicans put "sanctuary cities" in the spotlight - Republicans in the House and Senate are taking aim at "sanctuary cities" such as San Francisco that refuse to fully cooperate with federal immigration agencies, with some lawmakers calling for federal funds to be withheld from such cities. Some GOP lawmakers, however, fret that a sanctuary-city crackdown could hurt the party in the run-up to the 2016 election. The father of a woman reportedly shot by an illegal immigrant in San Francisco testified before a Senate hearing this morning.
How conservative is Kasich? - On paper, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is a solid prospect for the Republican presidential nomination -- but the former congressman is seen by his party's base as a Jon Huntsman-style moderate. That's a misconception: An analysis of Kasich's policy positions suggests he's ideologically much the same as Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney. "Kasich’s problem is that he sounds a lot like Huntsman. That is, he defends moderate positions -- often in a manner that comes off as condescending," writes Harry Enten.
Don't leave me now, Obama tells Jon Stewart - President Barack Obama appeared on "The Daily Show" Tuesday night and expressed his dismay that Jon Stewart was leaving the show. "I can’t believe you’re leaving before me," Obama said. "I’m going to issue an executive order: Jon Stewart cannot leave the show."
 
Clinton could face criminal probe of e-mail habits - Hundreds of Hillary Clinton's private-account e-mails likely contained classified information, an internal review has found, prompting two inspectors general to ask the Justice Department to begin a criminal probe into the matter. No decision has yet been made by Justice officials regarding the request, officials say

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