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GOP within striking distance on tax reform

Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Republican House members return to Washington on Monday — a day earlier than previously planned — to vote to proceed to a conference to hash out a final tax bill with the Senate.

None of my best sources — inside or out of Republican leadership — think there's much of a chance the GOP tax effort collapses.

Per a senior administration source: "There's always a chance for this Congress to f--- things up, but I don't think it will happen. Have one vote to spare in Senate. Lots of momentum." Republicans are saying they'll have final legislation on Trump's desk by the end of this month.

Per sources close to leadership:

  • Everyone agrees it's a good thing the Senate ditched Bob Corker's idea of inserting a "trigger" into the bill to automatically increase taxes if the growth fueled by tax cuts didn't bring as much money into the Treasury as Republicans promised. They lost Corker's vote — he was the only Republican senator to vote against the tax package — but the Republican House would have never agreed to his idea.
  • "They're really not all that far apart and it's easy to see what Senate provisions are better and what stuff the House needs. I still don't think the House could pass the Senate bill as-is."
  • "One thing no one is talking about — the Senate bill is super complex and they gave a lot back to get votes. House is still committed to their post card."
Mike Allen 22 mins ago
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Why Trump added a streetfighter to his legal team

Screenshot via Fox News

A new addition to President Trump's legal team — Joe diGenova, a former U.S. attorney who is well-known in Washington and has argued for the president on Fox News — reflects three White House realities.

The state of play: (1) The White House is digging in for a fight that looks to be longer and messier than officials had expected. (2) This is another example of the president responding to televised cues. Trump has spent most of his adult life in litigation, and obsesses about legal positioning in the same way that he is consumed by his press coverage. (3) It's another pugilistic voice at the table, and suggests that this weekend's attacks on Mueller won't be the last.

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Facebook reaches a tipping point

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios 

Of all the news crises Facebook has faced during the past year, the Cambridge Analytica scandal is playing out to be the worst and most damaging.

Why it matters: It's not that the reports reveal anything particularly new about how Facebook's back end works — developers have understood the vulnerabilities of Facebook's interface for years. But stakeholders crucial to the company's success — as well as the public seem less willing to listen to its side of the story this time around.