Jun 5, 2019

Cory Booker debuts tax credit for renters in 2020 housing plan

Cory Booker. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) released a housing plan for his campaign on Wednesday.

Why it matters: One of the flashiest policies in Booker's plan, which identifies low-income access to housing as a top priority, is a tax credit for renters to prevent them from spending more than 30% of their income on rent. The novel proposal comes as Democrats attempt to set themselves and their policies apart in a packed field.

  • The credit would make up the gap between 30% of an individual's income and the fair-market rent in their neighborhood — and it would not include an income cap to limit participation. It would apply to 57 million Americans, according to the New York Times.

Other highlights from the proposal:

  • Requiring $16 billion of current annual funding from federal aid and infrastructure programs to be "subject to local governments demonstrating progress towards reducing barriers to affordable housing."
  • Creating new units for low-income renters: Placing $40 billion in the Housing Trust Fund annually for rentals. This policy is aimed at those earning less than the federal poverty level or 30% of an area's median income.
  • Funding states and communities that provide a right to counsel for low-income tenants facing eviction, through a national Eviction Right to Counsel Fund.
  • Passing the Equality Act and amending the Fair Housing Act to criminalize discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Go deeper: Cory Booker on the issues, in under 500 words

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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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