Jan 23, 2019

Hundreds of IRS employees skip work as tax season looms

IRS employee Donna Orton (C) holds a sign protesting the government shutdown at the James V. Hansen Federal Building in Ogden, Utah. Photo: Natalie Behring/Getty Images

Hundreds of employees at the Internal Revenue Service are being allowed to skip work, citing a "hardship" provision included in their union contract that allows them to call in absent due to financial challenges causing by a government shutdown, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Just last week, the Trump administration recalled 46,000 of the agency's furloughed workers to process tax refunds without pay. But union officials tell the Post that many workers aren't showing up, which could cause major problems as millions of Americans are expected to begin filing for tax refunds on Jan. 28. Employees who process tax refunds are among the agency's lowest paid, and are likely to miss their second straight paycheck as the shutdown continues into its 33rd day.

Go deeper: All the ways Americans are feeling the effects of the shutdown

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Warren sees bump in national poll following Nevada debate

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren surged to 19% and second place in a CBS News/YouGov national poll released Sunday, trailing front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders (28%) but edging out Joe Biden (17%) and Michael Bloomberg (13%).

Why it matters: The poll notes that only 42% of Democratic primary voters have made up their minds. While Warren underperformed in the first three states, her strong debate performance in Nevada last week may have given her campaign new life.

Pence aide says intel report of Russia helping Trump is "false information"

Marc Short. Screenshot: Fox News

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House has not received intelligence that Russia is seeking to help President Trump win re-election, calling it "false information" that has been selectively leaked by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

The big picture: Short and national security adviser Robert O'Brien both dismissed reports published in the Washington Post and New York Times last week about a briefing provided by top election security official Shelby Pierson, an aide to outgoing acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.

Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.