agriculture

Still confused about Trump’s demands of Congress? Maybe it’s you
President ‘always lays it right out there,’ but Hill slow to ‘adjust,’ Eric Ueland says

President Donald Trump — here in January 2018 with Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming and John Thune of South Dakota and Vice President Mike Pence — has clear legislative goals despite confusion at times on the Hill as to what they are, legislative affairs director Eric Ueland says. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — If you’re a Republican lawmaker or congressional aide who struggles to understand what Donald Trump wants in legislation, take a long look in the mirror.

Because it’s you. Not him.

Democrats need rural voters to put Iowa in play in 2020
Party hopes to build on midterm gains, but hasn’t settled on the right approach

John Olsen from Des Moines, Iowa, wears a vest with presidential buttons as he listens to former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Aug. 8. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GREENFIELD, Iowa — The sunlight sparkled on Greenfield Lake on a hot Sunday in August as the Democrats passed around a paper bowl, tossing in a few dollars they had in their pockets.

It was a scene that could easily have taken place in a church earlier that day, when parishioners offer donations as baskets are passed through the pews.

UK’s Boris Johnson to White House: Buy our shower trays and Scottish haggis
Prime minister tells Pence his country’s National Health Service is off the table

Then-British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson meets with then-Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., in the Capitol. Johnson is now the British prime minister and Corker has left the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday offered some cheeky — but pointed — criticism of the United States and its trade practices, telling Vice President Mike Pence he wants to rip down “barriers” that keep British goods out of the massive American market.

Johnson also echoed his predecessor, Theresa May, by stating clearly that any potential U.S.-U.K. trade agreement would not include changes to his country’s National Health Service.

Trump again signals gun background checks bill is not a top priority
Congress should pass ‘something having to do with mental illness,’ president says

President Donald Trump is signaling that legislation to mandate background checks for gun purchases is not a priority for him. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signaled he is poised to defy public support for stronger background checks for firearm purchases in the wake of several deadly mass shootings.

He also again reverted to a pessimistic outlook for his long-promised trade pact that China that has devolved from rounds of talks into a tariff “battle,” as he described it Wednesday. Trump late last month described himself as the “chosen one,” picked by a higher power to get tough on China over what he calls its “unfair” trading tactics.

The Emmanuel Macron approach to Donald Trump
Biarritz G7 summit showed approach of the French president to his elder counterpart

President Trump (center left) and other G7 leaders listen Sunday as French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during working session at a G7 summit in Biarritz, France. (Jeff J Mitchell - Pool /Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | All eyes were on Donald Trump during his G7 summit stay in a French resort town, but no one kept closer tabs on the mercurial “America first” president than Emmanuel Macron. 

The U.S. chief executive arrived in chic Biarritz during one of the most chaotic and strange weeks of his presidency. Macron might have given Trump, who was liberally lashing foes foreign and domestic, a wide berth.

Trump signals he’s open to Macron’s idea of a high-stakes meeting with Iran
U.S. president says regime change in Tehran is off the table because ‘it doesn't work’

President Donald Trump attends the first working session of the G7 Summit on Sunday in the French southwestern seaside resort of Biarritz. (Jeff J Mitchell/Pool/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump said Monday he would agree to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani over his country’s nuclear arms ambitions and actions in the Middle East — but he again threatened Tehran with “violent force.”

“I think we’re going to do something. It might not be immediately,” Trump said during a joint press conference in Biarritz with French President Emmanuel Macron, who is trying to broker the high-stakes meeting amid tensions between Trump and Rouhani that almost led to American strikes on Iran after Rouhani’s military downed a U.S. military drone aircraft.

US, Japan move closer to limited trade deal
Trump, Abe outline possible deal that could open Japanese markets to $7 billion in U.S. goods

President Donald Trump, pictured at a political rally in May, said he hoped to sign the final agreement with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when the U.N. General Assembly meets in September. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The United States and Japan have reached a tentative agreement that could give President Donald Trump a trade win for his farm constituency and could protect Japan against steep auto tariffs that the administration is threatening to impose on imported vehicles.

Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe outlined the agreement in principle on agriculture, industrial tariffs and digital trade Sunday during the G-7 summit in France. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the agreement, if finalized, would open Japanese markets to an additional $7 billion in U.S. products.

Trump increases China tariffs as stocks tumble amid latest trade tensions
President posts odd tweet blaming markets’ jitters on largely unknown House Democrat

A container ship sits docked at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, California. President Donald Trump and China traded barbs again Friday in an escalating trade battle that has prompted global recession fears. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Capping an extraordinary day of major power muscle-flexing and more odd presidential behavior, Donald Trump on Friday answered a tariffs threat from Beijing by increasing coming import duties on $550 billion worth of Chinese-made items.

“Sadly, past Administrations have allowed China to get so far ahead of Fair and Balanced Trade that it has become a great burden to the American Taxpayer. As President, I can no longer allow this to happen! In the spirit of achieving Fair Trade, we must Balance this very....” he wrote in a tweet before adding in another: “..unfair Trading Relationship. China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product (politically motivated!).”

Why do you have to come to Iowa if you want to be president?
CQ on Congress, Episode 166

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at a campaign event in Fairfield, Iowa on Thursday August 15, 2019. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The Iowa State Fair: Why do you have to come here to be president?
Political Theater, Episode 87

Iowa State Fair mascots walk by the Administration Building at the Iowa State Fair on Monday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Iowa plays a big role in presidential politics because of its first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses. Even by that standard, though, the Hawkeye State this time feels busier, more significant.

There are more than 20 Democrats running for president, and unlike in previous years, no one is writing the state off. There are also several competitive congressional races here. That means a very busy Iowa State Fair, because all these politicians want to meet voters, make their case at The Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox, flip pork chops at the pork tent and eat.