The U.S. Congress has adjourned for a two-week Easter/Passover break, with the House unable to pass a budget plan for the new fiscal year that begins October 1.

Both the House and Senate have begun the process of talking about a plan to forestall sequestration cuts that are required under the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Without a budget agreement, huge and painful cuts of over $100 billion could be implemented on all federal spending. Yes, over $100 billion. A billion here and a billion there and pretty soon you’re talking real money, as the saying goes.

The Democratic control of the House, and President Donald Trump’s willingness to seek confrontation over border wall funding, could add a new level of drama to this year’s budget debate. I’ll have more on that as it develops.

Trade is the issue that won’t go away. US/China trade talks optimism continues as Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has suggested that an enforcement mechanism, which is a major sticking point, is close to resolution.

And what about NAFTA, or what will soon be formally known as USMCA? In terms of the political reality of getting the new NAFTA/USMCA deal through Congress, perhaps no issue demonstrates the changed DC dynamics more than the Democrats taking control of the House more....

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