News Wrap: House passes USMCA trade deal with broad bipartisan support


JOHN YANG: In the day’s other news: The House
approved one of President Trump’s top priorities less than 24 hours after impeaching him. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement modernizes
NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. It won overwhelming bipartisan support, plus
the backing of labor unions and business. REP. RICHARD NEAL (D-MA): Trade agreements can
achieve broad bipartisan support if they empower workers, protect patients, provide access
to affordable health care and improve our shared environment. I’m proud of what we did here, 14 months of
negotiating. REP. KEVIN BRADY (R-TX): It’s not a perfect agreement. No trade agreements are. And we will continue to work to improve the
areas that we think can be in future agreements. But, in any event, American workers have a
major victory in USMCA. And I’m proud to support it. JOHN YANG: The Republican-led Senate is expected
to take up the trade agreement next year. Today, the Senate moved to fund the federal
government for the rest of the fiscal year, and avert a partial shutdown this weekend. The package totals some $1.4 trillion, with
major increases for both domestic and defense programs. It also includes another $1.4 billion for
a southern border wall. The package already passed the House and now
goes to President Trump for his signature. One of President Trump’s biggest allies in
the Congress, Republican Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, said today he won’t
run for reelection. Instead, he said he’s open to taking a job
in the Trump campaign or in the White House. Meadows helped found the conservative Freedom
Caucus. He is the 25th House Republican to say he
is not seeking another term. In Britain, Conservative Prime Minister Boris
Johnson and his new majority in Parliament laid out their agenda, headlined by leaving
the European Union on January 31. Lawmakers gathered in the House of Lords for
Parliament’s official opening and the queen’s speech, which spells out the government’s
priorities. Later, Johnson spoke in the House of Commons,
and said that British people expect action. BORIS JOHNSON, British Prime Minister: If
there was one resounding lesson of this election campaign, one message I heard in every corner
of these islands, it’s not just that the British people want their government to get Brexit
done, though they do. They want to move politics on. JOHN YANG: The Tory agenda also includes a
new immigration system and increased spending on Britain’s National Health Service, after
10 years of a funding squeeze. There is a breakthrough in Lebanon’s political
stalemate. College Professor Hassan Diab was tapped today
to be prime minister, backed by Hezbollah, the Shiite militia allied with Iran. The former education minister arrived at the
presidential palace and said he would consult both politicians and protest leaders to form
a new government. Protesters are demanding that political elites
give way and enact economic reforms. Police across India detained more than 1,200
protesters today, after a ban on demonstrations against a new citizenship law. At least three people died in the protests. The police crackdown intensified as thousands
took to the streets. They are protesting a law that favors non-Muslim
migrants, saying it’s part of a push to make India a Hindu state. A plague of wildfires in Australia shows no
sign of ending. Scores of fires were burning today, putting
new pressure on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to act on climate change as he vacationed
in Hawaii. Alex Thomson of Independent Television News
reports. ALEX THOMSON: The Fire Service said, we can’t
put them out. And they haven’t, six weeks now, and record
temperatures across Australia twice in the past week. Two more people killed today. That’s eight now. Close on a thousand homes destroyed, and we
are barely into the fire season. GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN, Premier of New South Wales:
New South Wales will be in a state of emergency from today for the next seven days. ALEX THOMSON: The Australian government insists
Mr. Morrison is receiving hourly updates on the fire crisis, and his deputy is in place
handling the situation. In the east, hectares turn to ash hour by
hour. In the interior now, indigenous leaders in
Australia say their ancient homelands are becoming uninhabitable. MAN: We want to be listened to. We want a future. LISA MUMFORD, Australia: Our bushfire season
is creeping into spring and winter. We are living in a dangerous climate, and
it is time for our prime minister to get out of the pocket of the coal and gas lobby groups
and to start thinking about the future of Australians. ALEX THOMSON: Australian fire chiefs want
a summit with the prime minister to address the climate emergency. He’s declined to meet. Sydney wreathed today in bushfire smog. The economic cost for Australia mounts daily. JOHN YANG: That report from Alex Thomson of
Independent Television News. In this country, the Pentagon said today it
finished a review of Saudi Arabian military trainees in the United States and found no
additional threats. Nearly two weeks ago, a Saudi officer killed
three American sailors at the Naval air station in Pensacola, Florida. Some 850 other Saudis have been grounded ever
since, pending the security review. Prosecutors in California have finished reviewing
a spate of horse fatalities at Santa Anita Race Track. They found no evidence of animal cruelty or
other crimes. In all, 49 horses died at Santa Anita in the
12 months ending last June. The report says that was more than the national
average, but fewer than in some other recent years. General Motors is recalling more than 900,000
pickup trucks and cars, nearly all of them in the United States. It involves problems with brakes and battery
cables. The affected vehicles are Chevrolet Silverados
and GMC Sierras from the last two model years, plus Cadillac CT6 sedans from 2019. And on Wall Street, upbeat earnings reports
pushed stocks higher. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 137
points to close near 28377. The Nasdaq rose 59 points, and the S&P 500
added 14. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: uncertainty
returns for the Affordable Care Act, and the president moves to rewrite the rules on prescription
drugs; and on the ground in California for tonight’s “PBS NewsHour”/Politico Democratic
debate.

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