Ellyn Ferguson

Candidates Get Candid About Their Cancer Diagnoses in TV Ads
Democrats open up about personal medical struggles to talk about health care

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill is just the latest candidate to talk about her own cancer diagnosis in a campaign ad this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill got personal in a recent ad, talking about something that she’s never addressed in a political spot before: cancer — specifically, her own diagnosis.

“Two years ago, I beat breast cancer,” the two-term Democrat says to camera. “Like thousands of other women in Missouri, I don’t talk about it much.”

Scalise Tells Canada Time Is Running Out to Join NAFTA Update
Trade negotiations with Ottawa remain ongoing despite pressure from Trump administration

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise wants Canada to quickly wrap up NAFTA talks. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

A top House Republican leader warned Canada on Tuesday that his chamber will move ahead with a review and vote on a U.S.-Mexico trade agreement in principle without Canada if Ottawa doesn’t quickly wrap up NAFTA talks.

“Members are concerned that Canada does not seem to be ready or willing to make the concessions that are necessary for a fair and high-standard agreement,” Majority Whip Steve Scalise said in a statement.

China Slapped Again by Trump with Tariffs
President promises additional action if China retaliates

President Donald Trump is hitting China again with tariffs. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House announced it is slapping tariffs of 10 percent on $200 billion in Chinese goods as tensions between the two economic giants rise.

“On January 1, the tariffs will rise to 25 percent,” President Donald Trump said in a statement. “Further, if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries, we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports.”

Another Farm Bill Trouble Spot: Ex-Prisoners Growing Hemp
The conference committee met Wednesday morning ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., opened the first public meeting of the farm bill conference committee Wednesday along with along with Rep. K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas (not pictured). (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Advocates for criminal justice reform hope to convince lawmakers to reject a provision by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Senate farm bill that would deny people with drug felony convictions the chance to be hemp farmers.

Nine Senate and 47 House negotiators met publicly for the first time Wednesday to lay out their positions on how to proceed in reconciling House and Senate versions of the five-year legislation. Lawmakers will push to have a compromise bill ready before the current farm and food policy law expires Sept. 30.

Canada: No Deal Yet With U.S. on NAFTA Update
Dairy central to disagreements

Canada’s Chrystia Freeland speaks with reporters Aug. 31, 2018. (Ellyn Ferguson/CQ Roll Call)

Canada’s top trade negotiator said Friday that talks to update NAFTA have yet to produce an agreement with the United States. The comments come just hours before the administration plans to notify Congress that it intends to sign a trade agreement in principle with Mexico.

“We are not there yet,” said Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland Friday morning.  “We are only going to sign a deal that is good for Canada. My job is to find the deal that works for Canada.″ 

Congress Awaits Details as Canada Looms Over NAFTA Deadline
Democrats and Republicans want northern neighbor included

Kushner enters USTR headquarters Aug. 29, 2018. (Ellyn Ferguson/CQ Roll Call)

With just a day before the Trump administration is expected to notify Congress that it plans to sign an agreement in principle with Mexico to update the NAFTA trade pact, lawmakers continue to seek more details and push for a final outcome that includes the third NAFTA partner — Canada.

“We have no exact details. Other than what’s been written in newspapers, we have no idea what’s in it,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said of the agreement in principle announced Monday by Mexico and the United States to update the North American Free Trade Agreement.  Corker said Senate Republicans were told Tuesday that they could soon receive what he called talking points on the agreement.

Trump Administration Hears Day One of China Tariff Pleas
Six public hearings on import duties began Monday amid worries, hopes

President Donald Trump departs the White House on July 31. His administration kicked off six days of hearings on proposed tariffs on imports from China. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

Importers told government officials Monday that very little product manufacturing will return to the United States, saying Chinese manufacturers have the expertise to produce at high volume and lower prices.

The comments came as the Trump administration began public hearings on proposed tariffs on $200 billion in imports from China. While business leaders in some industries are hopeful that the tariffs will offer protection against competitors using cheaper imported Chinese goods, others worry about potential financial hardships.

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.

California Wildfires Headed to Capitol Hill
Funding fire suppression a looming issue

A firefighting helicopter drops water as the Holy Fire burns near homes on Friday in Lake Elsinore, California. Wildfires continue to burn in the state. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Lawmakers thought they fixed the U.S. Forest Service’s “fire borrowing” problem earlier this year. But the breadth and intensity of fires scorching the West this year is likely to prompt the agency to raid other accounts one last time before budgetary changes go into effect in fiscal 2020.

The issue could come to a head once again on Capitol Hill in the coming weeks and months, as lawmakers and the administration weigh the need for another infusion of taxpayer dollars ahead of the midterm elections — and California’s devastating fires have already become a campaign issue.

4 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries
Voters in Michigan, Missouri, Kansas and Washington head to the polls

Besides the four states holding primaries Tuesday, the final House special election before November also takes place in Ohio’s 12th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Four states are hosting primaries Tuesday, which will decide the matchups in several contested House races and two Senate races.

Voters in Missouri, Kansas and Michigan will head to the polls, while Washington voters will head to their mailboxes, to choose nominees in a slew of competitive races.