Good Thursday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.
• R. Alexander Acosta, the secretary of labor, defended his role in Jeffrey Epstein’s prosecution on sex crimes charges in Florida over a decade ago, when he approved a lenient sentence for the financier. Rebuffing Democrats’ calls for his resignation, he said on Wednesday that he had faced a tough choice between accepting the plea deal and going to trial with witnesses who were scared to testify.
• Amy McGrath, who hopes to unseat Senator Mitch McConnell in 2020, set a record for money raised in the first 24 hours of a Senate campaign: $2.5 million, eclipsing the first-day totals for some heavyweight contenders in the presidential race.
• The results are in from the first big test of the Republican Party’s efforts to elect more women to Congress: Dr. Joan Perry, a newcomer seen by Republicans as a top recruit for 2020, was soundly defeated in a House primary race in North Carolina.
• Democrats running for president have ambitious plans to fight climate change. But even if their party wins the White House and Senate in 2020, effective action on global warming might require another big move: eliminating the Senate filibuster.
• Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chairman, signaled on Wednesday that interest rates could be cut soon, sending the S & P 500 stock index past 3,000 (briefly) for the first time.
• President Trump emerged from a June meeting with Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, saying that China would immediately begin purchasing American farm products in return for a trade truce. China did not see it that way.
• Sir Kim Darroch, the British ambassador who resigned over leaked diplomatic cables on Wednesday, was not alone in his criticism of the Trump administration and its habit of leaving foreign envoys in the dark.
• In a legal victory for Mr. Trump, a federal appeals court panel dismissed a lawsuit claiming he had violated the Constitution by collecting profits from government guests at his hotel in Washington.
• The C.I.A. is pushing Congress to expand the scope of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which makes it a crime to leak and publish classified information about the identities of undercover agents.
Today’s On Politics briefing was compiled by Isabella Grullón Paz in New York.
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