Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Republicans have exploded the deficit since taking control of Washington, despite being the party that campaigned on reining in government spending — and is about to vote on a balanced-budget amendment in the House today. Yet, the party thinks tax reform was worth the gamble and doesn't expect to be punished for it at the polls.

Expand chart
Data: Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Between the lines: President Trump is livid about the recent spending bill, and could inspire some voters to channel his anger if he stays that way. But there's really no case to be made by Democrats that they'll rein in spending, leaving those concerned about debt and deficits without a champion.

Since Trump took office, Republicans have substantially decreased federal revenues and increased spending. The Congressional Budget Office estimated Monday that the annual deficit will now top $1 trillion by 2020, exceeding deficit spending compared to when President Obama left office.

  • The GOP can correctly say it fulfilled half of its fiscal promise – lowering taxes – with the tax law. However, it not only just oversaw the passage of a $1.3 trillion spending bill, but it also failed to accomplish any reform of entitlement programs.
"This administration likely – unless they change course rapidly – they're going to be known as the most fiscally irresponsible administration, or one of the most, in our country, ever.”
— Sen. Bob Corker

Context: The deficits under Trump still won't reach the heights that they did during Obama's first few years in office, right after the financial crisis, as the graphic shows.

What's next: The House will vote today on the balanced budget amendment, and a bill to scale back some of the spending included in the recent omnibus is being discussed, but few think either have a chance of becoming law.

  • “It’s all nothing but face-saving. Look, we’re in charge, we ought to develop a way to balance the budget," said Corker, who is retiring.

Why it matters, per the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget's Marc Goldwein: "It's scary. We'll approach trillion-dollar deficits next year, and even under current law have debt approaching the size of the economy by ~2030. More realistically, debt will be well into uncharted waters by that time."

Yes, but: Few Republicans are concerned about payback. Rather, many are casting blame elsewhere while touting tax reform and enhanced defense funding.

  • "It’s a reminder of how often the CBO gets it wrong," said Sen. Pat Toomey on the tax law cost estimate component of Monday's report. But on the spending side, "That’s just math. And they're right about that, we’re spending way too much money.”
  • But, Toomey continued, "We can’t pass legislation in the Senate without Democrat votes, and they hold us up for more spending."
  • Some Republicans, as Sen. Roy Blunt pointed out, have the advantage of being able to brag to voters about their vote against the must-pass spending bill. "They sort of get the best of both worlds: ‘We increased defense spending, as we needed to, and since we were also spending a few other dollars' ... they didn’t vote for the bill.”

The bottom line, per Rep. David Schweikert, a member of the House Freedom Caucus: "We’ve both become the entitlement parties."

Go deeper

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.

Updated 51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Health: CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use" — Death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased testing can reduce transmission.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Cities: Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.
2 hours ago - Health

Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate

Golden Gate Park. Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty

Counties around the San Francisco Bay Area will adopt California’s new regional stay-at-home order amid surges in cases and ICU hospitalizations, health officials said Friday.

The big picture: California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a three-week stay-at-home order on Thursday that would go into effect in regions with less than 15% ICU capacity. Despite the Bay Area’s current 25.3% ICU capacity, health officials from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco and the city of Berkeley are moving ahead with a shelter-in-place mandate in the hopes of reducing risk.