Capital Journal: Trump’s Border Calls; U.S. Urges Allies to Shun Huawei; Comey, Lynch Get Subpoenas

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What We’re Watching

Trump’s Day: President Trump is in Florida. Yesterday, he offered gratitude along with complaints about the judiciary and talk about border security in phone calls to members of the military. This morning, he has been tweeting about the border and criminal-justice reform.

Stocks: Futures pointed to lower openings  for the Dow industrials and S&P 500, after China shares fell amid fresh trade fears with the U.S. Financial markets in the U.S. close at 1 p.m. ET.

Climate Report: The U.S. Global Change Research Program, a federal program mandated by Congress, releases its national climate assessment.

Congress & the Midterms

Lawmakers are cobbling together a year-end grab-bag tax bill, Richard Rubin reports. They’re aiming for a bipartisan deal soon so tax provisions can be tacked onto December’s must-pass spending bill.

-They are seeking consensus on retirement policy and lapsed tax breaks, assistance to disaster victims, minor IRS changes, and technical corrections to last year’s tax law.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed former FBI Director James Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch to testify. The committee has been investigating what they term “decisions made and not made” by the Justice Department and FBI during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Harriet Torry reports.

Tens of millions of voters opted not to cast their ballots in the midterms, and new data casts some light on who they are. Nonvoters are far more likely to be younger, less educated, less wealthy, less partisan and black or Hispanic than the country’s voters as a whole, Reid J. Epstein reports.

-An analysis conducted on and before Election Day by AP VoteCast found 37% of nonvoters are ages 18 to 29, compared with just 12% of people who voted in the midterm election.
-Those voters said they would have supported Democratic candidates 39% to 28%, with the rest unsure of how they’d vote.

Nancy Pelosi’s bid to become House speaker continues. Here’s a guide  to the dynamics the House Democratic leader will have to navigate.

Two of President Trump’s picks for top national security posts are being held up by Senate Republicans over issues unrelated to their qualifications, with the nominations set to expire this year and the current session of Congress winding to a close, report Byron Tau and Joshua Jamerson.

Business & the Economy

Washington has asked allies to drop China’s Huawei Technologies Stu Woo and Kate O’Keeffe. Citing cybersecurity risks, the U.S. government—in an extraordinary outreach campaign—is trying to persuade wireless and internet providers in friendly countries to avoid telecommunications equipment from the company.

-One U.S. concern centers on the use of Chinese telecom equipment in countries that host American military bases.

China’s global investment and infrastructure program is about to face scrutiny in a New York courtroom, James T. Areddy reports. The Justice Department says Patrick Ho Chi-Ping furthered deals for CEFC China Energy Co. Ltd. by disguising $ 2.9 million in bribes as charitable donations.

State and local governments could have to pay millions of dollars more to finance infrastructure projects, Kris Maher reports. The Trump administration’s steel tariffs combined with a strong economy and a tight labor market have pushed construction costs higher.

What We’re Reading

While President Trump has been criticized for not visiting troops in war zones, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has advised him to stay away from certain overseas locations for security reasons. (Bloomberg Government)

California Republicans will hold at most eight of the state’s 53 House seats after this year’s midterms, the smallest share since 1883. (The Atlantic)

Though there are two years before the next presidential election, the company that makes “Make America Great Again” merchandise has sold President Trump’s re-election campaign nearly $ 1 million in MAGA merchandise so far this year. (Quartz)

About Us

This newsletter is a production of the WSJ Washington bureau. The newsletter’s editors are Tim Hanrahan, Kate Milani andTroy McCullough. Send feedback to

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