corporations

At the Races: The Unending Primary Season
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

AT-THE-RACES-LOGO-01

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

NAFTA Talks Hit One-Year Mark as Trump Keeps Canada Hanging
Mexican officials are in D.C. this week amid push for bilateral agreement

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump pose for photos in 2017. A year into negotiations, the fate of NAFTA remains uncertain. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Top U.S. and Mexican negotiators are meeting this week in the latest effort to finish a bilateral trade agreement amid unanswered questions about the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement on the first anniversary of the Trump administration’s launching of negotiations to revamp the 1994 trade pact.

Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, secretary of the economy, made a late afternoon arrival at the office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Wednesday. Guajardo is leading a Mexican delegation comprised of negotiators from the current administration and a transition team from the new administration that takes office in December.

Trump’s Turkey Spat Could Rouse Army of Well-Paid, Connected Lobbyists
Turkey has spent millions to promote its interests in Washington

Former Rep. Jim McCrery, R-La., shown here in October 2005 with House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is one of numerous retired lawmakers who have signed lucrative agreements to lobby on behalf of Turkey. (Ian Hurley/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Whatever the result of President Donald Trump’s tariff fight with Turkey, it is almost certainly going to rouse a well-financed and deeply entrenched influence-peddling operation in Washington.

The Republic of Turkey spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on well-connected D.C. lobbyists to promote its interests in Washington. It makes major gifts to American think tanks that do not have to be reported under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Trump Goes to War With Koch Brothers
In angry tweets, president dubs conservative megadonors as ‘total joke’ after they pivoted toward bipartisan policies

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk across the South Lawn to Marine One on Friday on their way to Joint Base Andrews. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted influential conservative donors Charles and David Koch, dubbing them a “total joke” who are “against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade.”

The president’s harsh words for the powerful brothers came a day after they signaled an intention to shift away from their practice of pushing for Republican-only bills and policy solutions, saying they would seek and push bipartisan proposals, which is seen as a repudiation of Trump.

Foreign Lobbying Overhauls Stall as Manafort Goes to Trial
Critics say no measure gets to the root of 1938 law’s problems

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 6: Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse after a court hearing on the terms of his bail and house arrest on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

This Congress has a crush on the idea of overhauling the nation’s foreign lobbying regulations, but lawmakers apparently can’t seem to find the one bill they want to commit to.

The 5 M’s for Describing Why Congress Is Broken
Remembering the root causes of Hill dysfunction will surely be easier than correcting them

Explaining what ails Capitol Hill can be distilled to five elements: money, maps, media, mingling and masochism, Hawkings writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Thirty years covering Congress leave me totally convinced the institution is more badly broken today than at any other point in my career, which means getting asked time and again to enumerate the causes for the deepening dysfunction.

Proposing how to cure the place of its metastasizing polarization and partisanship is up to the politicians who work there. But decoding what ails Capitol Hill is the central work of today’s congressional correspondent. And after plumbing the topic with hundreds of people in recent years — senators and House members, staffers and think tankers, lobbyists and advocates — I have reduced what’s a pretty complex diagnosis to five elements.

Why Party Brand Matters
Both major parties have a product to sell, but neither is doing a good job selling it

People want to vote “for” someone or something, but what they get from the two major parties has more to do with why the other side is so bad, Winston writes. Above, balloons drop at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Why do some companies seem to make Barron’s and Fortune’s annual “Most admired” and “Most respected” lists year after year? Why are most of them iconic brands, whether it’s newer tech giants Apple and Alphabet or generational companies like Johnson & Johnson and Walt Disney?

Successful companies build their brand based on three key fundamentals: innovative products that meet people’s needs, strong values that drive company decision-making, and a responsiveness to changing times and changing customers.

Republicans Go For Broke on Tax Cut Message With 2.0 Effort
Making individual tax cuts permanent is centerpiece of developing 3-bill package

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, briefed House Republicans Tuesday on his panel’s developing “Tax Reform 2.0” plan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call fie photo)

House Republicans have made clear that the tax overhaul bill their party passed last year is their primary selling point to voters on why they should keep them in the majority come November. 

Now they’re doubling down on the tax cut message as they prepare a three-bill package they’re calling “Tax Reform 2.0.”

Kavanaugh Confirmation Fight Promises to Be Intense — and Expensive
Outside advocacy groups on both sides are already coming out swinging

President Donald Trump nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy at an announcement ceremony in the White House on Monday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Outside advocacy groups began making hefty down payments overnight in the multimillion-dollar fight over President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, but the cash is unlikely to determine the fate of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The fierce fundraising appeals and grass-roots mobilization from both sides, including advertising buys in pivotal states, show the high stakes as senators prepare to weigh the potential successor to retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

Analysis: Big Flashpoints in the Judicial Confirmation Wars
Filibusters, blockades and recriminations set stage for SCOTUS skirmishes

The refusal of Senate Republicans to consider Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland was one of the biggest flashpoints in the judicial confirmation wars. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Like any long war, the one over Supreme Court nominees can be defined by its bloodiest battles.

As Congress braces for a bruising high court confirmation fight, a few recent congressional episodes have provided ammunition for both sides in the contentious process of staffing the judicial branch of government.