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The sky over the Capitol was lit up at dawn Thursday. (AP's J. Scott Applewhite)

Advertising interest groups are applauding the tax bill passed by both the House and Senate this week for not using advertising taxes as a "pay-for" to offset other tax cuts. Rumors had circulated that lawmakers were considering eliminating some advertising deductions as much as 50% over 10 years.

Why it matters: Eliminating some advertising deductions would have had a particularly negative impact on local media that relies heavily on small business advertising. For months, ad interest groups have also been urging lawmakers to reconsider the potential impact a potential "pay-for" tax would have on jobs and economic growth.

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) is happy that the new bill did not disrupt a decades-long precedent:

  • "For over a century, advertising has been a regular, deductible business expense under the U.S. tax code. Businesses of every size and scope rely on advertising as a critical ingredient for driving sales, and the American economy relies on it for growth, says Dan Jaffe, Group Executive Vice President of Government Relations for the ANA.
  • "The deductibility of advertising costs has been under serious attack for several years in the Congress. Preserving our tax treatment in the context of tax reform is a major victory for the entire marketing community."

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is relieved that the tax code won't put local publishers out of business:

  • "Local TV and radio stations and our network broadcast partners salute leaders of Congress for recognizing the importance of advertising as a principal driver of commerce by preserving the full and immediate deductibility of advertising expenses." — NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith:

Go deeper

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.