Business briefing

The daily business briefing: July 18, 2017

The Senate GOP health bill dies as two more Republicans oppose it, the U.S. offers 15,000 extra visas for seasonal workers, and more

1

Two more defections kill Senate GOP health bill

Two more Republican senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas, announced Monday that they would oppose the GOP plan to repeal and replace key elements of ObamaCare, leaving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) at least two votes short of the 50 needed to pass it, or even begin debate. With four solid Republican "no" votes, McConnell said "the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful." He said the Senate will next look at repealing the Affordable Care Act first and working out a plan to replace it later, but moderates don't like that idea because it could leave millions more Americans uninsured. President Trump tweeted: "Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!" Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Republicans should abandon their plans to kill ObamaCare and work with Democrats to strengthen it. "This second failure of Trumpcare is proof positive that the core of this bill is unworkable," he said.

2

U.S. to offer 15,000 more visas for seasonal workers

The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that it would grant an additional 15,000 visas for low-wage seasonal workers this fiscal year. The news, which came at the start of the White House's "Made in America Week," marked a shift from Trump's call for hiring Americans to fill U.S. jobs. The extra visas amount to a 45 percent increase over the number of H-2B visas normally issued in the second half of a year. The visas go to people taking temporary work in seasonal industries, such as seafood, tourism, and construction, but not on farms. The move came after Trump faced intense lobbying from industries that rely on temporary foreign workers.

3

Private student loans being erased over missing paperwork

Tens of thousands of people could have private loans for college wiped clean because lenders are missing critical paperwork proving the borrowers owe them the money. Judges already have dismissed dozens of lawsuits creditors filed against former students, essentially excusing their debts, and a review of court records shows that another $5 billion in loan collection cases are marred by incomplete ownership records and mass-produced documents. Some of the issues with debts in the $108 billion private student loan market are similar to problems in the subprime mortgage crisis a decade ago, when billions of dollars in risky mortgages were ruled uncollectable in court due to missing or sketchy documentation.

4

U.S. says NAFTA renegotiation to focus on reducing trade deficits

The Trump administration said Monday that its top priority in renegotiating the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement would be reducing the trade deficit with Canada and Mexico. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a much-anticipated document sent to Congress that the U.S. would try to address the imbalance by getting better access for U.S. goods to the two neighboring countries. Trade experts said that boosting U.S. savings, not tweaking trade deals, is the way to reduce trade deficits.

5

Netflix shares soar on surge in new streaming customers

Netflix shares jumped by 10.4 percent in after-hours trading on Monday after it reported that it added 5.2 million new streaming customers in the second quarter. Netflix also predicted that the gains would continue as its foreign subscriptions exceeded those in the U.S. for the first time, with just over 52 million overseas subscribers out of a total of 104 million. The company's stock jumped by $16.82 to $178.55, setting a new all-time intraday high. Netflix said its foreign growth would result in its first full-year profit overseas this year. Netflix added more subscribers than expected partly due to the allure of its own hit TV series, including 13 Reasons Why and the new season of House of Cards.

Recommended

Inside Biden's call with Putin
Biden and Putin.
let's meet

Inside Biden's call with Putin

Chilean lawmakers legalize gay marriage
Same-sex marriage demonstrators in Santiago.
equalidad

Chilean lawmakers legalize gay marriage

Biden and Putin meet
Putin and Biden.
let's meet

Biden and Putin meet

India's proud tradition of celebrating multiculturalism is facing a crisis
The Indian flag.
Arun A.K.

India's proud tradition of celebrating multiculturalism is facing a crisis

Most Popular

Mace vs. Greene is the fight for the future of the GOP
Mace and Greene.
Picture of W. James Antle IIIW. James Antle III

Mace vs. Greene is the fight for the future of the GOP

Kathy Griffin slams CNN for firing her but not Jeffrey Toobin
Kathy Griffin
'I loved that gig'

Kathy Griffin slams CNN for firing her but not Jeffrey Toobin

The political risk in prosecuting an alleged shooter's parents
Karen McDonald.
Samuel Goldman

The political risk in prosecuting an alleged shooter's parents