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Evan Vucci / AP

Sources familiar with the Republican tax negotiations say there's an acknowledgment within the working group that setting the corporate rate at less than 25 percent may be unworkable if the tax reform is going to be revenue neutral.

Why it matters: This is far from the number the administration wants, but a source familiar with the discussions said it's a simple numerical cash problem. They've done away with the border adjustment tax, health care repeal is failing, and there are no politically-palatable alternatives to fill more than $1 trillion in missing revenue.

None of this is to say that Trump has given up on radical tax cuts. He wants the federal corporate rate to move from 35 to 15 percent, and top economic adviser Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin want cuts of historic proportions. Neither Trump adviser is especially concerned about adding to the deficit in the short-term. The problem is finding the votes for that in Congress.

What we're hearing:

From a source close to Republican leadership: "I don't even know how they get to 25 [percent]! It costs about 110B per point. So, they need to come up with about 1.1T to do a ten point cut."National Economic Council spokeswoman Natalie Strom: "Discussions between the White House and Congress are progressing in a very positive direction. We have always had more areas of agreement than disagreement and we feel confident we will develop a unified plan that will deliver on our goals of economic growth and tax relief for hard-working middle-income families. Decisions are best made through discussions with Members of Congress and staff, not hashed out in the press, and that's exactly what we're doing."A source who recently met with White House tax officials: Their mood as one of "irrational optimism." The source said the reality is they're still having immense problems finding revenues, and figuring out how to eliminate incentives for US companies to park money overseas.A senior administration official believes the impending collapse of health care negotiations will create a sense of urgency among members to ram through tax cuts before the 2018 midterms. He also thought health care's probable failure meant the administration would have a better chance at convincing fiscally cautious Republicans to abandon their demand that tax reform cannot add to deficits.It appears the BAT — a centerpiece of the House GOP tax plan — has had its funeral. An administration official involved in the tax reform effort said there's no point even including it as a topic of conversation.

Go deeper

57 mins ago - Health

Cuomo advisers reportedly altered July COVID-19 nursing homes report

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Seth Wenig/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's advisers successfully pushed state health officials to exclude certain data on the number of COVID-19 nursing home deaths from a July report, the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday.

Why it matters: The changes resulted in a "significant undercount of the death toll attributed to the state’s most vulnerable population," the WSJ wrote.

Ro Khanna wary of Biden approach on Middle East

Rep. Ro Khanna. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

An outspoken progressive Democrat is wary of President Biden’s approach to the Middle East, arguing it’s like “conceding defeat of the aspiration” to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Why it matters: A number of members of Biden’s own party dislike his Middle East strategy, as his administration signals the region is no longer the priority it was for President Obama and his predecessors.

Democrats eye reconciliation for immigration

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Comprehensive immigration reform is a pipe dream, but some Senate Democrats are hoping to tie key immigration provisions to the next big reconciliation push.

Why it matters: Immigration is one of the most controversial and partisan issues in U.S. politics, which is why the budget reconciliation process — which allows for bills to pass the Senate with a simple majority rather than the usual 60 votes — is so attractive.