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Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (center) with Deputy Prime Ministers Luigi Di Maio (left) and Matteo Salvini (right). Photo: Simona Granati - Corbis/Getty Images

In an expected but unprecedented step, the European Commission has rejected the budget proposal put forth by Italy's populist government, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Italy's budget proposal included tax cuts and a guaranteed "citizens income" for the poor, and would have raised its annual budget deficit to 2.4% of GDP. Italy's debt is already the second-highest in Europe, and its plans to boost spending have sparked investor fears and prompted Moody's Investors Service to downgrade the country's debt to one level above junk.

The big picture: The European Commission asks all EU member states to submit budgets that keep their annual deficits below 3%. While Italy's proposal meets that limit, its overall debt currently sits at a sky-high 130% of GDP. Italy now has three weeks to revise its plans and submit a new proposal, but Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has reportedly said the government has no "Plan B" for fiscal spending, per Bloomberg.

What to watch: The budget rift between Italy and Brussels will likely fuel even stronger feelings of discontent in one of the most Euroskeptic countries in the EU.

Go deeper

Pew: Over 80% of Asian adults say violence against them is increasing

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

More than 80% of Asian adults say that violence against them is increasing, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

The big picture: The survey, conducted April 5-11, comes after the recent shootings in Atlanta in which eight people, including six Asian women were killed, as well as a yearlong spike in hate incidents against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

Danger lurks in the Democrats' police talk

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats celebrate last June after they passed the George Floyd Policing Act. Photo: Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty Images

As Congress forges ahead with police reform legislation, Democratic operatives are warning lawmakers to steer clear of any defund-the-police rhetoric since it could hurt them in the midterms.

Why it matters: President Biden and his fellow Democrats say Congress needs to pass the George Floyd Policing Act, which would ban chokeholds, prohibit no-knock warrants and generally make it easier to hold officers accountable for misconduct.

Exclusive: Harris meets Guatemalan president Monday, travels in June

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris will meet virtually Monday with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei to discuss solutions to the surge of migration, and she'll visit the region in June, a senior White House official told Axios.

Why it matters: The administration is taking a multi-pronged approach to solving the problem and also hopes to announce details about its plan for investing aid in Central America on Monday — although a final dollar amount has yet to be decided.