Bipartisan action against Russia? Pros & cons of DC statehood
Jon Lieber, managing director for the United States at Eurasia Group, provides his perspective on US politics:
How likely is bipartisan action against Russia in light of Taliban bounty reports?
I think it's probably unlikely. One of the challenges here is that there's some conflict of the intelligence and anything that touches on the issue of President Trump and Russia is extremely toxic for him. Republicans have so far been tolerant of that and willing to stop any new sanctions coming. I think unless the political situation or the allegations get much worse or more obvious, that stalemate probably remains.
What are the strongest and least political arguments for and against D.C. Statehood?
Well, on the one hand, you've got 700,000 people living in D.C. who lack any true, complete representation in Congress, and on the other hand, the founders specifically envisioned there would be a federal district that was sort of a neutral ground for the other States to get together and work out their issues. Possible compromise might be receding the District back to Maryland where residents could then get representation, but then you wouldn't get the two new senators that Democrats are likely to get should D.C. Become a state. So we'll see what happens on that next year.
What are the June job numbers mean for the odds of a phase four stimulus?
The June job numbers were very good, 4.8 million new jobs, 11.1% unemployment, not good by any historical standards, but given where we've been the last few months, pretty great. Probably this means there's a little less urgency in Congress to get a phase four bill done quickly, but members still want to get something done. State and local governments still need money, and the unemployment insurance that's expiring is likely to be extended. So look for a bill to get done by the first week of August.