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Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., responds to questions. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

House and Senate Republicans are trying to keep the deficit impact of their tax plans under the budget's $1.5 trillion limit, in part by proposing sunsets on some of the plan's major cuts and exclusions. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said some of those sunsets won't actually happen.

Why it matters: The nonpartisan think tank Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says extending the sunsets in the future would "add over $350 billion to the cost of the bill" and bring the deficit impact closer to $2 trillion. A Penn Wharton Budget Model analysis similarly found the plan would add more than $2 trillion over 10 years.

  • Columbia Law School Professor Michael Graetz, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the U.S. Treasury, told Axios Republicans are underestimating "the cost of this exercise" because the sunsets are included in many estimates making top headlines. "The sunsets are "going to clearly get extended," he says, and if they do, "they're going to start costing some real money."
  • History: The sunsets proposed in the Bush tax cuts in the early 2000s were not ultimately implemented.
  • Be smart: Republicans all want to cut taxes, but many also have deep concerns about blowing up the deficit, so these calculations matter. The question is when they will matter: it might not matter to Republicans right now since the consequences (blowing up the deficit) of extending the sunsets won't face them for years. But make no mistake, no lawmaker wants to be caught pulling away family credits or standard deductions.

Go deeper

White House removes Trump-appointed scientist from overseeing climate report

U.S. President Joe Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has removed Trump-appointed atmospheric scientist Betsy Weatherhead from her role overseeing the government's "definitive report on the effects of climate change," the Washington Post first reported Monday.

Why it matters: While Weatherhead has not been fired — merely reassigned to the U.S. Geological Survey — the move represents an effort by the Biden administration to remove Trump-era appointees from scientific roles, per CNN.

Dave Lawler, author of World
56 mins ago - World

Castro era officially ends in Cuba

Diaz-Canel (L) with Raul Castro in 2018. Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa/Getty Images

The Castro era ended in Cuba on Monday after six decades, with Raúl Castro handing over the reigns of a party founded in 1965 by his brother Fidel.

Why it matters: Miguel Díaz-Canel, 60, now assumes the challenge of maintaining Communist rule while grappling with growing discontent over Cuba's economic stagnation.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Global coronavirus cases hit new high as India's surge continues

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

More COVID-19 cases are now being recorded globally each day than ever before in the pandemic, surpassing the previous global peak in early January.

The big picture: At that time, the U.S. and Europe were driving the surge. This time, the biggest source of new cases is India.

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