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Wednesday round-up

The justices will hear argument in one case this morning: Flowers v. Mississippi, which asks whether a prosecutor’s repeated use of peremptory challenges to remove black people from the jury pool violated the Constitution. Amy Howe previewed the case for this blog, in a post that was first published at Howe on the Court. Cecilia Bruni and Brady Plastaras have a preview at Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. At AP, Jeff Amy and Mark Sherman report that “[t]he state, defending the co...
Tags: New York, Mississippi, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Oregon, Court, America, Georgia, Bloomberg, Ap, Atlantic, United States, Hawaii, Liberty, New York Times


Ross Claims Ignorance To Suggestion That Aide Came Up With Census Change Rationale

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross claimed ignorance Thursday when asked about comments from his own aide, Earl Comstock, that suggested that the Commerce Department, and not the Justice Department, came up with the rationale for adding a Census citizenship question. “ I have no idea what you are  talking about,” Ross told Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) at a House Oversight Committee hearing. Sarbanes appeared to be referring to deposition Comstock gave in the lawsuits challenging Ross’ decision. C...
Tags: News, Commerce, Department Of Justice, Department Of Homeland Security, Doj, Justice Department, Ross, Tierney Sneed, Commerce Department, John Sarbanes, Census Bureau, Comstock, House Oversight Committee, Wilbur Ross, Sarbanes, Muckraker


Ross Won’t Disclose What White House Convos He Had About Census Citizenship

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday declined to elaborate on what conversations he may have had with the White House about adding a Census citizenship question —  beyond detailing his previously-known spring 2017 phone call with then-Trump advisor Steve Bannon. House Oversight Democrats sought to grill Ross on any White House conversations, given that his testimony in front of Congress last year suggested he had none. At Thursday’s hearing, Ross said that any hypothetical White House d...
Tags: News, Congress, White House, Commerce, Kansas, Department Of Homeland Security, Justice Department, Ross, Trump, Tierney Sneed, Jeff Sessions, Commerce Department, Kris Kobach, Kobach, Bannon, House Oversight Committee


Dems: Trump DOJer Reveals New Info About Draft Of Census Citizenship Request

The Justice Department official behind a December 2017 request for a census citizenship question told lawmakers that he received a draft of the request from a Trump transition official who did not work for the administration, House Democrats said Thursday. They released a portion of a transcript of an interview with Trump-appointed DOJ official John Gore on Thursday, as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was beginning testimony about the census question in front of the House Oversight Committee. ...
Tags: News, Commerce, House, Doj, Justice Department, Ross, Gore, Trump, Tierney Sneed, George H W Bush, Davidson, Commerce Department, Census Bureau, Neuman, Comstock, Mark Neuman


Trump vowed to end 'chronic trade deficits'. Well, trade deficits just hit a record high.

Commerce Department reported that America’s trade deficit for goods has been increasing, not decreasing, since Donald Trump became president: Our view            [Author: USA TODAY]
Tags: Usa, News, America, Usa Today, Donald Trump, Trump, Commerce Department


US construction spending up strong 1.3 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spending on U.S. construction projects in January posted the biggest gain in nine months, as strength in nonresidential construction and government projects offset continued weakness in home construction. The Commerce Department says that construction spending rose 1.3 percent in January following two months of declines. It was the biggest gain since spending […]
Tags: Business, News, Washington, US, Ap, Commerce Department


US rule changes could mean more startups would need government approval to hire immigrants

Jeff Farrah Contributor Share on Twitter Jeff Farrah is the general counsel of the National Venture Capital Association. Big changes in DC could mean that more startups will need the government’s permission before foreign nationals do work at the company.   In some cases, the foreign national will need to leave the company if the government is wary of granting that permission.   This is tied up in the same new law that gave ...
Tags: TC, Column, Business, China, US, Tech, Economy, Engineer, Encryption, Artificial Intelligence, United States, Telecommunications, 3d Printing, Biotechnology, National Venture Capital Association, U.s. Government


U.S. rule changes could mean more startups would need government approval to hire immigrants

Jeff Farrah Contributor Share on Twitter Jeff Farrah is the general counsel of the National Venture Capital Association. Big changes in DC could mean that more startups will need the government’s permission before foreign nationals do work at the company.   In some cases, the foreign national will need to leave the company if the government is wary of granting that permission.   This is tied up in the same new law that gave...
Tags: TC, Column, Business, China, US, Tech, Economy, Engineer, Encryption, Artificial Intelligence, United States, Telecommunications, 3d Printing, Biotechnology, National Venture Capital Association, U.s. Government


They already know the answer to citizenship question

In April, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether the 2020 census can include a question on citizenship, but it doesn’t really matter which way the justices rule. It turns out that the government doesn’t have to ask the question, because it already knows the answer. On Thursday, the Census Bureau issued a statement in response to news reports about a new agreement with the Department of Homeland Security to share information. It’s just routine, the agency said. The Census ...
Tags: Congress, California, Opinion, Sport, Soccer, United States, Social Security, Homeland Security, Social Security Administration, Department Of Homeland Security, Irs, U S Senate, Internal Revenue Service, Commerce Department, United States Supreme Court, Census Bureau


Fox News’ Lou Dobbs: ‘The White House Has Simply Lost Its Way’

Fox News host Lou Dobbs, a reliable Trump ally, said Wednesday night that the White House “has simply lost its way.” “Today, on the same day the Commerce Department reported the United States had the largest trade deficit in our history, the same day the President of the New York fed said straightforwardly that economic growth is slowing, that the certain border is being overrun by record numbers of illegal immigrants, it all means the White House has simply lost its way and that the nation’s...
Tags: New York, News, White House, Cnn, United States, Fox News, Trump, Dobbs, Commerce Department, LOU DOBBS, Kate Riga


Another Court Strikes Down Trump’s Census Citizenship Question

A federal judge in California ruled Wednesday against the Trump administration’s move to add a citizenship question to the Census. U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg, of the Northern District of California, said that the addition of the question was a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. Unlike the judge in New York who also ruled against the question, Seeborg also said that the question violated the Constitution’s Enumeration Clause, which requires the “actual Enumeration” of the ...
Tags: New York, News, Supreme Court, Congress, California, Commerce, San Jose, Justice Department, Census, Ross, Trump, Tierney Sneed, Northern District of California, Commerce Department, Census Bureau, Richard Seeborg


U.S. trade deficit soars to record $891 billion in 2018

By Jim Tankersley and Ana Swanson WASHINGTON — The United States imported more goods than ever last year, including a record amount from China, ballooning America’s trade deficit with the rest of the world to $891.3 billion and delivering a setback to President Donald Trump’s goal of narrowing that gap. The increase was driven by some factors outside Trump’s control, like a global economic slowdown and the relative strength of the U.S. dollar, both of which weakened overseas demand for U.S. good...
Tags: Washington, China, America, Sport, European Union, Soccer, United States, Donald Trump, Trump, Commerce Department, Ana Swanson, JIM TANKERSLEY


Trade Gap Balloons To 10-Year High Under Trump’s ‘America First’ Policies

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit jumped nearly 19 percent in December, pushing the trade imbalance for all of 2018 to widen to a decade-long high of $621 billion. The gap with China on goods widened to an all-time record of $419.2 billion. The Commerce Department figures released Wednesday undermined a key commitment by President Donald Trump, who promised to cut the trade imbalance on the belief that it would bring back overseas factory jobs and bolster the broader U.S. economy. But A...
Tags: News, Washington, Mexico, China, America, European Union, Ap, United States, Trade, Deficit, Donald Trump, Central America, Trump, Commerce Department, Summer Concepcion, AP story


Trump Sets Record with Highest Trade Deficit Ever

Here is a remarkable and yet entirely unremarkable story. The Commerce Department announced this morning that the country’s trade deficit last year was the biggest in US history. It’s $891 billion for merchandise, $621 billion when the service sector is added in, and $419 billion with China alone. Each is a record. The Post reports that the overall number tops the previous record of $838 billion in 2006, but it doesn’t seem like those numbers are adjusted for inflation or judged relative to the ...
Tags: Post, News, Obama, China, US, Trump, Reuters, Josh Marshall, Commerce Department, Editor’s Blog


US new-home sales rose 3.7 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new U.S. homes climbed in December to their highest pace in seven months, a sign that lower mortgage rates are helping the real estate market. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that new-home sales rose 3.7 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000. November’s sales were revised […]
Tags: Business, News, Washington, US, Ap, Commerce Department


US construction spending drops 0.6 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending edged down 0.6 percent in December with declines in residential construction and government projects. Even with the December setback, construction spending for all of 2018 reached record levels although the annual increase was the smallest in seven years. The Commerce Department said Monday that the December performance followed a […]
Tags: Business, News, Washington, US, Ap, Commerce Department


Homebuilders face affordability hurdles this spring

By Alex Veiga, The Associated Press A pullback in mortgage rates has helped boost homebuilder stocks this year after a dismal 2018, when the U.S. housing market slowed under the weight of higher borrowing costs, rising prices and a thin supply of homes for sale. Investors are betting that the decline in the average rate for a 30-year mortgage will help more Americans become owners this spring homebuying season. Still, some analysts and economists say high prices remain a significant hurdle for w...
Tags: Sport, Soccer, Associated Press, Federal Reserve, U S Treasury, Commerce Department, Hale, Lennar, FactSet, Reichardt, BTIG, D R Horton, ALEX VEIGA, Danielle Hale, Carl Reichardt, National Association of Realtors Sales


US consumer spending fell sharp 0.5 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer spending tumbled 0.5 percent in December, the biggest decline in nine years. Meanwhile, incomes were rose sharply in December but edged down in January. The Commerce Department says the fall in consumer spending followed sizable gains of 0.7 percent in October and 0.6 percent in November. December’s result means that […]
Tags: Business, News, Washington, US, Ap, Nation, Commerce Department


US housing starts plummeted 11.2 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of homes being built in December plunged to the lowest level in more than two years, a possible sign that developers are anticipating fewer new houses to be sold this year. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that housing starts fell 11.2 percent in December from the previous month to a […]
Tags: Business, News, Washington, US, Ap, Nation, Commerce Department


Monday Memo: Seattle-area home prices, Nordstrom earnings, U.S. GDP data

TUESDAY: The Case-Shiller monthly home-price index for December is released, amid a big cool down in the Seattle-area real estate market. … The Commerce Department reports on housing starts for December. … The Conference Board releases its Consumer Confidence Index for February. WEDNESDAY: The National Association of Realtors releases its pending home-sales index for January. […]
Tags: Nordstrom, Business, Real Estate, News, Markets, Economy, Retail, Seattle, Commerce Department, Shiller, The National Association of Realtors, Conference Board


Smaller tax refunds could slow U.S. economy

Some worry that smaller refunds will be a drag on our consumer-driven economy. There's a smidge of good data news for the IRSs. One category the tax agency tracks each filing season has moved into positive territory for 2019. For the week ending Feb. 15, the number of returns that were prepared and submitted directly by taxpayers hit 21.77 million. That was 18,000 more than the third week of the 2018 filing season, or a 0.1 percent increase from last year. Yay all y'all folks who plugged in...
Tags: Taxes, Gop, Ubs, Irs, Commerce Department, TCJA


Trump to EU: Expect Auto Tariffs Without Trade Deal

Earlier this week, the European Union warned that if the United States imposes any new tariffs on European-built vehicles, it can expect similar levies on American products. However, armed with the Commerce Department’s confidential report on automotive imports, President Donald Trump doesn’t appear remotely interested in backing down. While Trump previously agreed not to impose additional […] The post Trump to EU: Expect Auto Tariffs Without Trade Deal appeared first on The Truth About Cars.
Tags: Eu, European Union, United States, Tariffs, Trade, Autos, Automotive Industry, Donald Trump, Trump, Commerce Department, News Blog, Trade War Watch, Auto Tariffs, Automotive Trade


Wall Street edges higher on Amazon, Walmart gains; trade talks in focus

Shares of Amazon.com Inc gained 1.4 percent, providing the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. Walmart jumped 3.9 percent after the world's largest retailer reported an estimate-beating jump in holiday quarter comparable sales, helped by consumer spending in key categories like groceries and increased e-commerce purchases. The company's results helped lift the mood in the sector, especially after a Commerce Department report showed last week that U.S. retail sales recorded their bigge...
Tags: Science, Commerce Department, Amazon com Inc, Amazon Walmart, Nasdaq Walmart


White House gets report that could trigger auto tariffs

The White House received Monday a Commerce Department report on the auto industry that could trigger tariffs against imported cars and intensify tensions with Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has labeled as "frightening" the prospect that European car imports could be declared a national security threat to the United States. Two people familiar with the matter earlier told AFP that the Commerce Department report has concluded that auto imports pose such a threat.
Tags: Europe, News, White House, Angela Merkel, United States, Afp, Commerce Department


Automakers brace for U.S. government report on import tariffs

A confidential Commerce Department report due to be sent to Donald Trump on Sunday is widely expected to clear the way for the U.S. president to threaten tariffs on imported autos and auto parts by designating the imports a national security threat, auto industry officials said on Friday.
Tags: Money, businessNews, Donald Trump, Commerce Department


The Supreme Court just granted cert. in the case about adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 census.

Robert Barnes reports at WaPo.The census hasn’t asked the question of each household since 1950, and a federal judge last month stopped the Commerce Department from adding it to the upcoming count. He questioned the motives of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and said the secretary broke a “veritable smorgasbord” of federal rules by overriding the advice of career officials.Those opposed to the question argue the census response rate will likely fall if households are asked whether undocumented i...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Commerce, Census, New York New York, Robert Barnes, WaPo, Commerce Department, Department of Commerce, Ann Althouse, Wilbur Ross, Trump and immigration


Supreme Court fast tracks decision on 2020 census citizenship question

By MARK SHERMAN WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will decide whether the 2020 census can include a question about citizenship that could affect the allocation of seats in the House of Representatives and the distribution of billions of dollars in federal money. The justices agreed Friday to a speedy review of a lower court ruling that has so far blocked the Trump administration from adding the citizenship question to the census for the first time since 1950. Both the administration and opponents o...
Tags: New York, News, Supreme Court, Congress, Washington, Immigration, Uncategorized, San Francisco, Sport, Soccer, Commerce, House Of Representatives, Kansas, Donald Trump, Justice Department, Ross


Supreme Court to Hear Case on Census Citizenship Question

A trial judge had ruled against the Trump administration in January, saying Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s stated reason for adding the question was not his real one.
Tags: News, Supreme Court, Commerce, Justice Department, Census, Ross, Trump, Commerce Department, Wilbur Ross, Wilbur L Jr, Supreme Court (US, Voter Registration and Requirements, Redistricting and Reapportionment


Trump’s Tough Trade Talk Didn’t Stop His Admin From Waiving Steel Tariffs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite President Donald Trump’s tough talk on trade, his administration has granted hundreds of companies permission to import millions of tons of steel made in China, Japan and other countries without paying the hefty tariff he put in place to protect U.S. manufacturers and jobs, according to an Associated Press analysis. The waivers from the import tax show how pliable his protectionist policies can be. Trump has positioned himself as an “America First” trade warrior, usin...
Tags: Europe, Japan, News, Washington, China, Massachusetts, Russia, Alabama, America, Indiana, Indianapolis, Ap, Pennsylvania, United States, Commerce, United Kingdom


Humbug holidays: US retail sales drop 1.2% in December, worst since 2009

By Paul Wiseman and Anne D’Innocenzio, The Associated Press U.S. retail sales fell in December, posting the biggest drop since September 2009 and delivering more evidence that last year’s holiday sales fizzled unexpectedly. Even e-commerce suffered a big setback. The Commerce Department said Thursday that December retail sales fell 1.2 percent from November. They were up 2.3 percent from December 2017. Total retail sales for 2018 rose 5 percent from the previous year. Excluding gasoline station ...
Tags: China, US, Walmart, Sport, Soccer, Nrf, Gymboree, National Retail Federation, Commerce Department, ANNE D INNOCENZIO, Lane Bryant, Oxford Economics, Sears Holdings Corp, Jack Kleinhenz, Neil Saunders, Associated Press U S