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Do Debt and Deficits Matter? It Depends on Who's Minding U.S. Fiscal Policy: Podcast
CQ on Congress, Episode 116

Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, sits in front of books of the U.S. tax code, during a House Ways and Means Committee markup of the Republicans' tax reform plan in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Congressional Budget Office recently revised its earlier, already dire warning that the national debt will be 150 percent larger than the entire U.S. economy within 30 years — and GOP budget and tax proposals could make a bad situation much worse.

CQ News editors Patrick B. Pexton and Pete Cohn discuss the political landscape of debt and deficits heading into what could be a fateful midterm election.

EMILY’s List Latest to Back Katko Challenger
After fractious primary, Democrat-aligned groups coalescing behind Dana Balter in ‘key’ fight against GOP incumbent

Democrat-aligned groups are coalescing behind the challenge to Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., in upstate New York's 24th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

EMILY's list on Friday endorsed Dana Balter, Rep. John Katko’s challenger in upstate New York 24th District seat, the latest Democrat-aligned group to throw their weight behind her after months of internal party squabbles threatened to derail efforts to flip the seat. 

Barr Compares Time in Congress to Fighter Pilot Opponent’s Military Service
Kentucky Democrats say Barr has ‘obviously lost his mind’ in Toss-up House race

Republican Rep. Andy Barr said that both he and Democrat Amy McGrath “both served our country” in equating his time in Congress to his opponent’s military record. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Andy Barr is getting flak for comparing his three terms in Congress to opponent Amy McGrath’s 20 years as a fighter pilot in a hotly contest campaign for Kentucky’s 6th Congressional district. 

"We both served our country,” Barr told the New York Times Thursday. “I’ve served in a position where ideas matter. My opponent has served her country in the military, where execution matters.”

We Reviewed Andy Barr, Amy McGrath and Beto O'Rourke's New Campaign Ads
 

Space Force Could Be Compromised From the Get-Go, Watchdog Warns
Malicious actors could take advantage of Air Force’s laxity, according to report

An Air Force communications satellite is launched from Cape Canaveral in March 2017. (Courtesy U.S. Air Force)

The Air Force is not adequately monitoring the pedigree of parts that go into critical space systems, and they are consequently at risk of being compromised by America’s enemies, according to a Pentagon inspector general report released Thursday.

It was the second of four audits that Congress has ordered on the subject, and the results so far indicate a systemic failure to safeguard what goes into U.S. weapons and satellites.

Senate GOP Seeks Tax Law Fixes, Including ‘Retail Glitch’
Provision meant to reward store renovators would end up hurting them instead

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and other GOP tax writers have spotted some holes they want to plug in the new tax law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch said Thursday that Republicans are aiming to fix at least three glitches in last year’s tax code overhaul, including an error that has so far kept certain restaurants and retailers from taking advantage of a key tax break to renovate their storefronts.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter, Hatch and other Senate GOP tax writers said they will introduce legislation to plug holes in the new tax law like the so-called retail glitch.

Senate Busies Itself, Plus Chuck Norris and Some Cactus
The one-day work week is something we can all get behind

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor on Thursday for the final vote of the week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate convened around noon on Wednesday. The Senate adjourned around 4:33 p.m. on Thursday. Now THAT is a work week!

Back on June 5, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he was canceling the traditional August recess, which usually runs to the tune of four or five weeks, anywhere from the end of July to after Labor Day. 

GOP Poll Shows Competitive Race in Nevada’s 4th District
Hardy-Horsford rematch represents potential pickup for Republicans

Former GOP Rep. Cresent Hardy is running in Nevada’s 4th District. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans are largely on defense this cycle, but a new GOP poll shows they have a potential pickup opportunity in Nevada’s 4th District.

Two former lawmakers are facing off for the open seat in suburban Las Vegas: Democrat Steven Horsford and Republican Cresent Hardy. The internal poll for the Hardy campaign and the National Republican Congressional Committee showed Horsford and Hardy in a dead heat. 

America’s Largest Veterans Group Rains on Trump’s Parade
Trump appears to put blame for higher estimate on D.C. officials who ‘know a windfall when they see one’

President Donald Trump viewed a traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris — and apparently liked what he saw. (Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images file photo)

Opponents to President Donald Trump’s plans for a costly military parade in Washington now include the American Legion, the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization.

“The American Legion appreciates that our President wants to show in a dramatic fashion our nation’s support for our troops,” American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan said in a statement Thursday night. “However, until such time as we can celebrate victory in the War on Terrorism and bring our military home, we think the parade money would be better spent fully funding the Department of Veteran Affairs and giving our troops and their families the best care possible.”

Manafort Jury Stuck on Foreign Accounts, ‘Reasonable Doubt’
Jurors had four questions for judge Thursday

A protester stands outside the United States District Court on July 31 in Alexandria, Va., where President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is standing trial. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After roughly seven hours of deliberation Thursday, the six men and six women on the jury deciding the fate of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will require at least another day to hand down their verdict.

At approximately 5:06 p.m., Judge T.S. Ellis III read a handwritten note from the jury with four questions. One of the questions referred to the requirements for people filing reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, or FBARs. Another asked the judge to redefine “reasonable doubt.”