Mar 27, 2017

4 more problems for tax reform

Alex Brandon / AP

On Friday we posted four reasons why healthcare reform's failure is a giant red flag for tax reform, and things got worse over the weekend ― particularly when House Freedom Caucus leadership suggested that a tax package needn't be revenue neutral. Here are four additional challenges:

  • The White House still has not shared a draft plan with its Congressional allies (even informally), which is being viewed as evidence that the internal squabble over things like BAT have not yet been resolved.
  • Congress gets to tax reform via reconciliation which, given the healthcare debacle, means that the fiscal 2018 budget resolution might need to go first. Republicans could re-purpose the healthcare reconciliation vehicle instead but: (a) That would mean healthcare reform is really off the table; (2) It includes a massive savings requirement that tax reform will have trouble filling.
  • Did you say budget? You mean the same sort of budget that the House couldn't pass last spring because of the exact same GOP faction conflicts that we just saw on display? Defense and deficit hawks will each claw for the spending mice. Oh, and the Freedom Caucus might try to scuttle any tax deal that doesn't include a WH and leadership promise to reengage on healthcare.
  • None of this addresses the debt limit, which will very much need to be addressed.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 857,487 — Total deaths: 42,107 — Total recoveries: 178,034.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 188,172 — Total deaths: 3,873 — Total recoveries: 7,024.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
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World coronavirus updates: UN warns of recession with "no parallel" to recent past

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced together since the formation of the United Nations just after the Second World War ended in 1945, UN chief António Guterres said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 856,000 and the death toll exceeded 42,000 Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 12,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths

President Trump said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the next two weeks in the U.S. will be "very painful" and that he wants "every American to be prepared for the days that lie ahead," before giving way to Deborah Birx to explain the models informing the White House's new guidance on the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's a somber new tone from the president that comes after his medical advisers showed him data projecting that the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health