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Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Alfredo Ortiz, president and CEO of small business advocacy group Job Creators Network, told Axios he was disappointed by the National Federation of Independent Business's disapproval of the House's tax reform plan released yesterday. He said it "became the headline" for small businesses' response to the tax plan, and that the inclusion of a small business tax rate within the code is a big win.

Why it matters: JCN, which has been funded by companies who advocate for low corporate taxes, led a multi-million campaign pushing for tax policies that benefit small businesses. There are improvements that Ortiz thinks could be made, but overall he believes the plan is a big step in the right direction.

The small business debate is over two parts of the tax plan.

  1. The 70%-30% pass-through rate, which allows LLC's and similar sole-proprietor business owners to pay the 25% corporate tax for only 30%of their earnings. Ortiz would ultimately like to see a rate closer to 60-40, but said that could be worked toward after the bill is passed.
  2. The 25% corporate tax rate currently does not include professional services, which Ortiz said accounts for 3 million of the 29 million small businesses. He'd like to see professional services included under the umbrella in the final bill, but said it's not "a reason to kill the bill."

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
11 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.