Nov 6, 2017

Brady unveils amendment to GOP tax bill, no changes to health care

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, makes a statement during the committee's tax markup session. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, unveiled a sizable amendment to the GOP tax reform bill Monday night that restores a tax break for employees who receive child care benefits and tightens restrictions on the use of the earned income tax credit, per AP. The amendment also aims to limit the bill's impact on universities with large endowments.

What's not in it: There's no repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, which President Trump has pushed for, or other changes to health care. Instead, Brady said he will introduce a "temporary and targeted bill" on ACA taxes once this tax legislation is passed.

Why not? Repealing the individual mandate would likely resurface the same issues that initially sank Republicans' health care earlier this year, making tax reform harder and putting the party's next-best chance for a legislative victory in danger.

Dems' reaction: Democrats were furious when Brady introduced the amendment, arguing they were "blindsided" by the changes. "You make a mockery out of this committee," Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) told Brady. "You're determined to pass a bill because you haven't done anything of importance all this year."

Other changes included in the amendment:

  • Self-created musicians and songwriters' compositions and copyrights will be preserved as capital assets.
  • Employees who receive stock options or restricted stock units who plan to exercise those options at a later date may elect to defer recognition of that income for up to five years, if the company's stock is not publicly traded.
  • More tailored international rules, including an exemption to foreign affiliates' routine returns and exclusion of acquisitions of property priced on a public exchange.

Go deeper: Tax Overhaul Faces Major Hurdles (WSJ)

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 5,405,029 — Total deaths: 344,997 — Total recoveries — 2,168,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 1,642,021 — Total deaths: 97,698 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
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Updated 16 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans sue California over mail-out ballot plan

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a February news conference in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump accused Democrats of trying "Rig" November's general election as Republican groups filed a lawsuit against California Sunday in an attempt to stop Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) from mailing ballots to all registered voters.

Driving the news: Newsom signed an executive order this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic ensuring that all registered voters in the state receive a mail-in ballot.

Federal judge strikes down Florida law requiring felons to pay fines before voting

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: oe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Sunday ruled that a Florida law requiring convicted felons to pay all court fines and fees before registering to vote is unconstitutional.

Why it matters: The ruling, which will likely be appealed by state Republicans, would clear the way for hundreds of thousands of ex-felons in Florida to register to vote ahead of November's election.