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Trump's Troubles In 2019

Trump's Troubles In 2019

Donald Trump enters 2019 locked in political combat. He says he won't sign a bill that reopens and funds the federal government unless Congress apportions enough money to build a "wall" to halt illegal immigration across the US border with Mexico. New House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a simple message: "Forget it."

She's confident this is a fight the Democrats can't lose.

The president has plenty at stake. Influential voices in conservative media warn they'll abandon him if he backs down on the wall. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said this week that "If he gives in now, that's the end of 2019 in terms of him being an effective president. That's probably the end of his presidency." That's overstated, but it highlights the high political stakes in the fight over border funding.

Trump has other problems. With the opening of the new Congress yesterday, Democrats now have the subpoena power that comes with their majority in the House of Representatives. They can now add to the pressures Trump already faces from ongoing investigations of his campaign, his White House, his businesses, his associates, and his family.

His biggest challenge may come from the political calculations of fellow Republicans. The midterm election losses, reemergence of Pelosi, and fevered speculation about the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's widely expected report could lead Republicans to distance themselves from the president, diminishing the size of his political base.

Trump's biggest opportunity? Early this year, we'll see a dozen or more Democrats announce their candidacy for president in 2020. To distinguish themselves from rivals, they'll attack the president and announce policy proposals that shift their party to the left, reminding conservatives—lawmakers and voters—why they continue to support a president who sometimes appalls them.

That's President Trump's best chance to enter 2020 as a formidable candidate for re-election.

Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.

Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

As we enter the homestretch of the US presidential election — which is set to be the most contentious, and possibly contested, in generations — Americans are also voting on 35 seats up for grabs in a battle for the control of the Senate. The 100-member body is currently held 53-47 by the Republican Party, but many individual races are wide open, and the Democrats are confident they can flip the upper chamber of Congress.

Either way, the result will have a profound impact not only on domestic policy, but also on US foreign relations and other issues with global reach. Here are a few areas where what US senators decide reverberates well beyond American shores.

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On September 23, GZERO Media — in partnership with Microsoft and Eurasia Group — gathered global experts to discuss global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in a livestream panel. Our panel for the discussion Crisis Response & Recovery: Reimagining while Rebuilding, included:

  • Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
  • Ian Bremmer, President and Founder, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media
  • Jeh Johnson, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP and former Secretary of Homeland Security.
  • John Frank, Vice President, UN Affairs at Microsoft
  • Susan Glasser, staff writer and Washington columnist, The New Yorker (moderator)

Special appearances by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde, and comedian/host Trevor Noah.

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Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, offers insights on the Supreme Court vacancy:

Will Senate Republicans, who stopped a Supreme Court nomination in 2016, because it was too close to an election, pay a political price for the change in tactics this time around?

Not only do I think they won't pay a political price, I think in many cases, they're going to benefit. Changing the balance of power on the Supreme Court has been a career-long quest for many conservatives and many Republicans. And that's why you've seen so many of them fall in line behind the President's nomination before we even know who it is.

At this point, do Senate Democrats have any hope of stopping President Trump from filling the ninth seat on the Supreme Court?

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In a special GZERO Media livestream on global response and recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media president Ian Bremmer discussed the difference between Europe's unified approach to economic stimulus and the deeply divided and political nature of the current conversation in the US. While initial stimulus support was bipartisan, there is little chance of Democrats and Republicans coming together again ahead of the November 3 presidential election. "It's red state versus blue state. President Trump's saying that coronavirus isn't so bad if you take the blue states out. He's president of the blue states, you can't take the blue states out," Bremmer told moderator Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.

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Panel: How will the world recover from COVID-19?

UNGA Livestream