House Democrats introduce stopgap spending bill nine days before government shutdown deadline

Nonetheless, White House officials suggested Monday that they might be able to accept the so-called “continuing resolution,” or CR, even without the farm money.

“We do prefer additional farm aid in the CR…. Most of all we want a clean CR to keep the government open,” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters at the White House.

It was not immediately clear if Senate Republicans would support the legislation, if the House passes it this week as expected and sends it to the Senate.

Much of Washington’s attention is focused on the coming Supreme Court nomination battle following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and neither party has shown interest in a high-stakes government shutdown showdown weeks ahead of the election.

Democrats oppose the farm bailout money because they view it as a political payoff to farmers hurt by Trump’s trade policies. The president announced a new round of aid to farmers in a visit last week to battleground Wisconsin, coming from the same fund that would be replenished by the new funding stream the administration was seeking as part of the stopgap spending bill.

At one point Friday Pelosi and Mnuchin had appeared to reach a tentative deal to trade the farm bailout money for food assistance for schoolkids affected by the pandemic. But that agreement never materialized. Republicans accused Pelosi of backing out of a deal with Mnuchin, while Democrats insisted there wasn’t really a deal to begin with.

The short-term spending bill, as introduced in the House, also does not include any new provisions related to economic aid for the coronavirus. Talks around a new coronavirus relief bill are essentially dead, despite pressure on Pelosi from moderate House Democrats to revive them.

Congress in recent years has frequently failed to pass the 12 annual must-pass spending bills to fund government agencies on time, and has had to resort to short-term spending bills. There have also been a number of government shutdowns, with a lengthy one running from December 2018 until January 2019.

Although a large portion of the federal budget — including programs like Medicare and Social Security — runs on autopilot, funding for government agencies including the Pentagon and Department of Health and Human Services must be renewed annually by Congress.

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TikTok reaches deal with Oracle, rejects Microsoft as White House deadline looms

TikTok has reached an agreement to partner with software giant Oracle, a landmark deal that could redefine how the U.S. and China square off over the reach of their homegrown technology companies.



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The deal, which was confirmed Sunday by a source with direct knowledge, comes after the Trump administration pressured TikTok to sell its U.S. business over concerns about the threat to national security. The administration alleged that the company’s ties to China through its parent company, ByteDance, meant it would have to hand over data about Americans if asked by China’s government. TikTok has denied that it would hand over data, which it stressed is stored outside China.

The source would not detail which parts of the technology were being taken over by Oracle, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday. Microsoft had been considered a front-runner to buy TikTok US until this weekend. Microsoft said earlier that ByteDance had alerted the company that it was passing on its proposal.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview with CNBC on Monday morning that the White House had received a proposal from TikTok for an Oracle partnership.

ByteDance and Oracle still face several hurdles in completing a deal. First, they will need to win approval from the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, an interagency group that is tasked with overseeing foreign investments in the U.S. A source familiar with the negotiations said both parties believed their deal was structured to satisfy all of the committee’s national security concerns. Even then, the deal still remains vulnerable to the larger geopolitical tensions between Washington and Beijing, and both governments could move to scuttle a deal if they deemed it politically advantageous.

TikTok spokesperson Hilary McQuaide declined to comment, saying the company would not comment “on rumors or speculation.”

The short-form video app burst into popular culture in the past few years, becoming one of the few recent social media upstarts to offer a credible rival to U.S. giants like Facebook and Snapchat. The app, which gives users the ability to create short videos matched to sound or music, has created its own generation of celebrities and countless dance trends.

TikTok head of U.S. operations says they do not pose national security threat

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But its ties to China emerged in the past year as a quiet point of contention in Washington. In November, TikTok was mentioned as a national security threat, and the U.S. government opened an investigation. Since then, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the U.S. was “looking at” banning the app, and President Donald Trump has threatened to do so several times.

“There’s a bit of a reciprocity process going on here, since China doesn’t allow U.S. tech companies like Facebook and Google,” said Paul Triolo, head of global technology policy at the Eurasia Group. “All of these actions are part of an effort by China hawks

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