On The Money: China poses high-risk test for Trump | White House wish list includes border wall funds | Greenspan sees negative rates on horizon | Google to pay $170 million fine to FTC over kids' privacy on YouTube

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THE BIG DEAL–China poses high-risk test for Trump: President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Biden’s record – not his gaffes – is dooming his campaign Trump defends shift of FEMA funds, citing Dorian’s change in path Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively donate M to help migrant children, social justice MORE is facing a challenge with China that could define his first term and harm his chances for reelection.

Trump has made toughening up against China a key pillar of his economic agenda. But a trade deal with Beijing has eluded him, with both sides instead ratcheting up tariffs on one another in an extended back-and-forth.


Securing a major deal with China would be a boon for Trump that he could herald on Twitter and at his campaign rallies. But failure to reach an agreement before the 2020 election, on the other hand, could dampen his chances if voters hurt by the trade war sour on the president. The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant explains why here.


The political dynamic: While Trump’s trade war with China has broad impacts across the economy, a crucial contingent of the president’s base is feeling outsized affects: farm country.

GOP strategist Doug Heye, who has been visiting states such as Iowa and Missouri, where farmers have seen sales of agricultural products dry up because of the dispute, said Trump voters are complementary of Trump’s toughness on China but at the same time suffering from the trade war.

“They give Trump credit for the fight because no other president was really willing to do that, but they’re feeling pain as a result of it,” Heye said. “What we don’t know yet and we will have to find out is what is that political elasticity with those voters.”


The prognosis: Trump and his advisers have sought to project optimism over negotiations in recent weeks while defending the administration’s trade policies amid growing fears over the economy.

But trade experts are doubtful the administration will be able to persuade China to sign on to a meaningful deal before the 2020 vote. 

“The only way you get a deal from the current situation is either for China to accept a humiliating climb down from its position, which it clearly won’t do…or for President Trump to accept an extremely weak deal that would be heavily criticized by Democrats and members of his own party,” said Edward Alden, a trade and economics expert at the Council on Foreign Relations.



White House wish list includes money for Trump wall: The White House has sent its wish list for a likely stopgap spending bill to the House and Senate Appropriations committees, highlighting their priorities as Congress barrels toward the Oct. 1 funding deadline. 

The 21-page document, a copy of which was obtained The Hill, includes requests that Congress authorize funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall outside of the Rio Grande Valley as part of a continuing resolution (CR). 

The ask will likely be a flashpoint as the administration and lawmakers begin negotiations. A funding bill approved by Congress earlier this year included more than $1.3 billion for the border but limited border barrier funding to the Rio Grande Valley. The Hill’s Jordain Carney breaks it down here.


The conflict: House Democrats have already pledged to oppose any push by the administration to loosen restrictions on border barrier funding. 

  • Border money as well as related spending like Immigration and Customs Enforcement are expected to be the two biggest hurdles to getting a spending deal. 
  • Lawmakers have until Oct. 1 to prevent the second government shutdown of the year. House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerCongress set for chaotic fall sprint House Democrats brace for short-term spending bill to avoid shutdown Republicans suffer whiplash from Trump’s erratic week MORE (D-Md.) has indicated that a CR will likely be necessary but that it wouldn’t last past early December, setting up a second shutdown deadline closer to the holidays.


Trump administration offering $15M for information to disrupt financing for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards: The Trump administration is offering a reward of up to $15 million for information that can help disrupt the financial apparatus of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

The State Department through its Rewards for Justice program is offering the funds for information on the revenue sources of the military unit, which the Trump administration sanctioned as a foreign terrorist organization in April, according to details obtained by The Hill. This includes information on the financial sources of the IRGC-Qods Force.

The administration is also seeking information on illicit oil-for-money schemes by the group; entities or individuals assisting it in evading U.S. or international sanctions; financial institutions working with the Revolutionary Guard and other topics related to the financial mechanisms of the Iranian military unit. Morgan Chalfant tells us more here. 



  • A federal judge on Wednesday formally approved CVS Health’s nearly $70 billion takeover of Aetna, clearing the last hurdle for the mega-deal among health industry powerhouses.
  • Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Wednesday that it won’t be long before U.S. Treasury bonds trade at negative interest rates, matching sub-zero levels seen across the globe.
  • GOP Utah Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSen. Mike Lee granted visa to Russia after other senators’ requests are denied Hillicon Valley: Instagram seen as top 2020 disinformation target | Facebook to let users opt out of facial recognition on photos | Dozens of states looking at Google antitrust probe | Senate panel to hold hearings on tech mergers Senate antitrust panel to hold hearing on tech mergers MORE and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Memo: Democrats struggle to find the strongest swing-state candidate Women voters spell trouble for Trump in 2020 Democrats excluded from debate face battle for survival MORE pushed back on Wednesday after the administration informed them it would be diverting money from Utah-based military projects to help pay for the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
  • A group of freshman House Democrats, largely from districts expected to be competitive in 2020, urged committee chairs Wednesday to abide by the House’s pay-as-you-go rules to ensure that legislation doesn’t add to the deficit.
  • Google will pay $170 million to settle charges that YouTube made millions of dollars over the years from violating children’s privacy laws, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and New York’s attorney general announced on Wednesday.
  • Fourteen women are suing the ride-share company Lyft over what they are calling the company’s mishandling of a “sexual predator crisis” among its drivers. 



  • Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePence’s office now says it wasn’t Trump’s idea to stay at his hotel in Ireland Hillicon Valley: Instagram seen as top 2020 disinformation target | Facebook to let users opt out of facial recognition on photos | Dozens of states looking at Google antitrust probe | Senate panel to hold hearings on tech mergers Trump sent message of congratulations to Poland on World War II anniversary MORE‘s office is engulfed in controversy set off by his two-night stay in Ireland at one of President Trump’s family properties.

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