May 22, 2019

Trump to Dems: Pass USMCA trade deal before infrastructure

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Photo: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Just one day before they are scheduled to discuss U.S. infrastructure, President Trump sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer saying he wants Congress to first pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal.

Why it matters: Trump is trying to leverage the Democrats' hopes of securing a strong infrastructure plan as a way to ensure that his USMCA trade deal passes and replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Read the letter:

Go deeper: Scoop: Trump's $2 trillion spending dream

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to reflect that NAFTA is the North American Free Trade Agreement (not the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement).

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Netanyahu says July 1 deadline for West Bank annexation won't change

Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday at a Likud Party faction meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, that his July 1 deadline for starting the process of annexation in the West Bank will not change, according to people in attendance.

Why it matters: The White House and the State Department have stressed over the last few weeks that the deadline set by Netanyahu is "not sacred" to the Trump administration — and that any discussion of annexation needs to be in the context of renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina if capacity reduced

President Trump on stage during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Ohio. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

President Trump threatened in a series of Monday tweets to move this summer's Republican National Convention from Charlotte if North Carolina's Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, doesn't allow the event to be held at full capacity.

The state of play: Mandy Cohen, the state's health and human services secretary, said last week that the GOP should "plan for the worst" as mass gatherings will be a "very big challenge" if the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to increase, per NPR.

The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.