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What makes America great is what makes American startups thrive
On Congressional Startup Day, we honor and elevate the entrepreneurs and small businesses that drive our economy

Pennsylvania Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, third from left, visits with employees at Berks LaunchBox, a startup based in Reading, Pa. (Courtesy Office of Rep. Chrissy Houlahan)

OPINION — Benjamin Franklin once said, “Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes.”

Our Founding Fathers built the greatest country in the world through harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit. They had a wholly original concept from which was borne the United States of America. Centuries later, our country, from Pennsylvania in the east to Washington in the west, continues to reap the benefits of American entrepreneurship and zeal that empowers people to take an idea and make it a reality.

Payroll tax cuts off the table? Not so fast, says Trump in another whiplash reversal
No immediate move likely on taxes, as president also distances himself from gun background checks

President Donald Trump concludes a campaign rally at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, Pa., May 20. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 4:15 p.m. | In yet another whiplash policy reversal, President Donald Trump directly contradicted his staff Tuesday by saying payroll tax cuts are on the table as he looks to stave off an election-year recession.

A White House official on Monday afternoon, responding to a Washington Post report that the White House was eyeing a payroll tax cut amid recession fears, dismissed the idea this way: “More tax cuts for the American people are certainly on the table, but cutting payroll taxes is not something under consideration at this time.”

Tom Harkin makes rare appearance with 2020 contender
Event with Kirsten Gillibrand on disability rights draws former Iowa senator

Former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin and New York senator and presidential contender Kirsten Gillibrand hug after speaking to reporters Sunday at a community discussion on disability rights at the Holiday Inn in West Des Moines, Iowa. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call).

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Bob Raker came to the Holiday Inn’s ballroom Sunday to see a Democratic senator, just not the one running for president.

“Anytime you get to see Sen. Tom Harkin, it’s worthwhile,” said Raker, a 65-year-old retired government worker. Harkin, a five-term senator who retired in 2015, has steered clear of the campaign trail as presidential hopefuls have crisscrossed his home state of Iowa.

Democrats still at square one
In wake of debates, party is largely status quo in its presidential contest

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., got a bump from the Miami debate in June, but became a target in the July debate in Detroit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — With two debates down and too many more still to go, Democrats are pretty much where they were before the June debates in Miami and the July debates in Detroit.

That shouldn’t surprise you. The Iowa caucuses are still almost six months away, and voters are just starting to tune into the campaign. They know full well they don’t have to embrace one hopeful now.

Conservative judicial group is top donor to GOP state elections arm
Judicial Crisis Network previously spent millions to support Trump’s Supreme Court nominees

The Judicial Crisis Network spent millions to support Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the face of vocal protest like this one in September 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats say support for new NAFTA depends on Trump
Trump administration will have to offer House Democrats some changes

Democratic working group on trade is led by House Ways and Means chairman Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional action on the United States-Mexico-Canada trade pact to replace the NAFTA agreement will depend on whether the Trump administration offers House Democrats changes that will achieve “substantial and real” improvements to the agreement, a trade working group said in a report to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“It is time for the administration to present its proposals and to show its commitment to passing the new NAFTA and delivering on its own promises,” the group of Democrats wrote.

Pelosi downplays Democratic divides following meeting with Ocasio-Cortez
Speaker enters August recess with message of unity following weeks of tension

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is questioned by reporters after a meeting with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., in the Capitol on Friday, July 26, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez huddled on Friday, giving Pelosi the chance to tout Democratic unity following weeks of tension between progressives and House leadership.

Pelosi said the meeting with Ocasio-Cortez went well and praised the New York freshman, calling her “a very gracious member of Congress.” She said the pair discussed issues facing their districts in California and New York, along with the challenges facing the nation on issues of immigration.

‘Squad,’ impeachment enthusiasts leave Democrats in Trump districts to fend for themselves
As party lurches further left, the ‘Forgotten 31’ will likely pay the price

Democratic impeachment enthusiasts, including members of “the squad” are not doing their House colleagues in Trump districts, like New Mexico’s Xochitl Torres Small, any favors, Winston writes. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Sixty-three lawmakers from two House committees will question Robert Mueller on Wednesday. Thirty-seven Democrats and 26 Republicans will each get five minutes to drill the former special counsel over the contents of his 448-page report and the process he put in place to complete his mission.

But the number that is more important today isn’t any of these. It’s 31. That’s the number of congressional districts that voted for both President Donald Trump and a Democrat for the House. While Republicans may justifiably question the definition, these so-called moderate Democrats, who managed to win in Trump territory, were the bellwethers of what was a good election for their party in 2018. They may play the same role in 2020 but not if the current toxic political environment overwhelms their ability to claim middle-of-the-road ideological status again.

Census question may be dead, but Trump’s backup plan could still reshape political map

The president and his administration are marching forward on a Republican plan to upend the way legislative districts are drawn nationwide. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump surrendered his legal fight earlier this month to ask about citizenship on the upcoming census, but his administration is marching forward on a Republican strategy that could upend the way legislative districts are drawn nationwide to the benefit of the party.

Trump nodded to policy issues such as health care and education as reasons he issued a July 11 executive order for the government to compile citizenship information in a different way. And he accused “far-left Democrats” of being determined to “conceal the number of illegal aliens in our midst.”

Trump says ‘thousands’ of companies are leaving China. It’s not that simple
President routinely exaggerates situation, which also has roots in rising wages for Chinese workers

President Donald Trump listens to adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner speak during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. (John T. Bennett/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump repeatedly asserts that “thousands” of companies are scurrying to flee China because of his tariffs. But Asia and trade experts say he is exaggerating data for political gain.

As the president tells it, U.S. and other firms have either moved or will move their production operations and supply chains off Chinese soil because he has slapped $250 billion worth of import duties on Chinese products. As recently as last Tuesday, Trump threatened further tariffs of $325 billion on goods from the Asian superpower. Experts, however, say the situation is not that black and white.