No Deal
August 14, 2019

On Monday, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton emerged from a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson with a message about Britain's exit from the European Union, which appears increasingly likely to happen without a divorce agreement in place. Economists say a no-deal Brexit would be really bad for Britain, but "if that's the decision of the British government we will support it enthusiastically, and that's what I'm trying to convey," Bolton said. "We're with you, we're with you." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was notably less enthusiastic.

President Trump wants to see a successful Brexit and is eager to help cushion the financial impact by negotiating a free trade pact, Bolton said, and it could be implemented on a "sector-by-sector" basis." An agreement or "series of agreements" could be hammered out "very quickly, very straightforwardly," he added, predicting there would be enthusiastic bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress to quickly ratify any of these trade deals.

Sector-by-sector trade deals would almost certainly violate World Trade Organization rules, BBC economics correspondent Andrew Walker writes, but there's also a "substantial body of American legislators who would likely vote against any deal if they thought that Brexit had taken place in a way that posed a danger to the peace process and the open border on the island of Ireland," as a no-deal Brexit presumably would.

In a statement issued after Bolton's remarks, Pelosi reiterated that "whatever form it takes, Brexit cannot be allowed to imperil the Good Friday Agreement, including the seamless border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland," and "if Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be no chance of a U.S.-U.K. trade agreement passing the Congress. The peace of the Good Friday Agreement is treasured by the American people and will be fiercely defended on a bicameral and bipartisan basis in the United States Congress." Peter Weber

March 14, 2019

The Senate voted 59-41 on Thursday to block President Trump's national emergency declaration, sending it to Trump's desk for a likely veto.

After Trump declared a national emergency to get the funds for his border wall, House Democrats introduced and overwhelmingly passed a resolution to overturn it. All Senate Democrats voted for the resolution, as well as 12 Senate Republicans, who largely feared the precedent a national emergency would set for a potential Democratic president.

After all Democrats and 13 Republicans in the House passed the original resolution, a number of GOP senators revealed they'd be joining Democrats to block it as well. Republican Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), and Roger Wicker (Miss.) joined Democrats and 9 other Republicans at the last minute to support the termination.

Republicans largely debated the constitutionality of Trump's move and said they feared a Democratic president might declare a national emergency for their own priorities, such as climate change. Still, neither the House nor the Senate secured a two-thirds majority they'd need to overturn Trump's probable veto of the bill.

Trump has long claimed there is an ongoing "crisis" on the southern border and demanded a border wall to curb immigration through Mexico. His refusal to back down from a desired $5.7 billion to build the wall sparked a five-week-long government shutdown, but he eventually relented to a bill with less funding before declaring the national emergency to seize the rest. Kathryn Krawczyk

August 9, 2018

Tribune Media said Thursday that it would scrap its $3.9 billion merger with Sinclair Broadcast Group and sue Sinclair for "breach of contract," Fox Business reports. Tribune says Sinclair promised to make a reasonable attempt to get prompt regulatory approval, but conducted unnecessarily aggressive and slow negotiations with the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission.

The deal began to unravel last month when the FCC raised "serious concerns" about the merger, which would have created a company reaching up to 70 million households. Sinclair had said the merger would be "transformational." Tribune CEO Peter Kern said in a statement that the FCC referred "the issue of Sinclair's conduct" for a special hearing, creating unacceptable "uncertainty and delay," The Washington Post reports. Harold Maass

February 24, 2016

Swatting aside suggestions that he partner up with Ted Cruz to stop Donald Trump, Marco Rubio insisted Wednesday he won't consider any deal between candidates.

"First of all, both Ted and I are both running vibrant national campaigns, so the voters are going to have to provide the consolidation — it’s not going to be a deal between candidates," Rubio said while speaking with Fox News. "And that just never happens, and it isn't going to happen now."

Meanwhile, writing at the conservative National Review, Jonah Goldberg holds out hope for just such a partnership:

One possibility would be for Rubio and Cruz to cut a deal... If the two factions — which make up the overwhelming majority of Republican voters — could be unified, it might be enough to stop Trump.

What would the deal look like? A Rubio–Cruz ticket. Cruz won't work at the top of the ticket for the simple reason that too many GOP quislings fear Cruz more than Trump. But a unity ticket — a la Reagan–Bush in 1980 — in the form of Los Hermanos Cubanos might just do the trick. [National Review]

"Maybe there's another way," Goldberg concludes, "but I haven't heard it." Bonnie Kristian

January 3, 2015

Saying there had been "no agreement on any nuclear topic," Iran's foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham denied on Saturday reports that the country had reached a new agreement with the United States.

"Such news is spread out of political motives and its goal is to tarnish the climate of the talks and make it more complicated to reach a settlement," she said in comments reported by Reuters.

On Friday, The Associated Press reported that Iran and the U.S. had reached a tentative agreement to ship Iran's surplus enriched uranium to Russia. But Tehran denied those reports a day later, suggesting negotiations will remain tough when Iran and "P5+1" — the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany — renew low-level talks on Jan. 15. Sarah Eberspacher

August 6, 2014

Sprint's summer flirtation with buying smaller competitor T-Mobile is over, Bloomberg Businessweek reports, citing "a person with knowledge of the matter." The deciding factor in Sprint dropping its reported $32 billion bid for T-Mobile was the likelihood that U.S. antitrust regulators would block the deal.

At the same time, Bloomberg says, Sprint is replacing CEO Dan Hesse — the guy in the commercials — with Marcelo Claure, the founder of cellphone distributor Brightstar Corp. Sprint and T-Mobile are the No. 3 and 4 U.S. wireless companies, respectively, after Verizon and AT&T. Peter Weber

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