Feb 28, 2019

Betsy DeVos proposes tax credit to support school choice programs

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Photo: Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, alongside Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), announced Thursday a proposal for a full tax credit for people and businesses who donate money for children to attend private schools.

Why it matters: The "Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act" aligns with DeVos' school choice agenda, which supports private-school vouchers, home-schooling and public charter schools. The tax credits will be capped at $5 billion and would be matched dollar-for-dollar in contributions. States can choose to opt out of the tax credit.

Reality check: DeVos argues that freedom to choose schools funnels students out of poor-performing education systems. But the freedom to choose approach has been difficult to prove that it's successful for children. The proposal is also likely to face a lukewarm reception in the Democratic-controlled House.

Go deeper: Democrats accuse Education Department of interfering in probe of DeVos

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Scoop: Inside the Trump campaign's big hedge on Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump campaign has invested most of its advertising budget to date on Facebook, testing thousands of versions of ads per day to maximize its spending.

But behind the scenes, a source familiar with the campaign tells Axios, the thinking has shifted: "As everyone can see, we still have strong spending on Facebook, but the percentage of our total media budget [on Facebook] is shrinking."

Trump's revenge tour has the House in its sights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Contributor

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate.

But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.

Pelosi warns U.S. allies against working with China's Huawei

Nancy Pelosi, Feb. 16. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday cautioned U.S. allies against allowing Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to develop their 5G networks, arguing at the Munich Security Conference that doing so is akin to “choosing autocracy over democracy," CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Pelosi's hawkish stance marks a rare area of agreement with the Trump administration, which believes Huawei is a national security threat because the Chinese government may be capable of accessing its equipment for espionage.

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