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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

54 mins ago - Health

U.S. ahead of pace on vaccines

A health care worker administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Ruleville, Mississippi. Photo: Rory Doyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. is now vaccinating an average of 2 million people a day, up from 1.3 million in early February.

Why it matters: That puts us on track to hit President Biden's goal of 100 million doses a month ahead of schedule.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.

The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is forcing the Senate clerk to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, a procedural move that will likely add 10 hours to the 20 hours already allotted for debate.

4 hours ago - World

Netanyahu campaigns against Biden's plan to save Iran deal

Netanyahu campaigns at a gym last month. Photo: Pool/AFP via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indirectly criticized the Biden administration for its intention to return to the Iran nuclear deal and told his supporters he was prepared to "stand against the entire world" to stop it.

Why it matters: This is a major change of tune for Netanyahu, who had been careful in his statements on the Iran deal and avoided publicly criticizing President Biden. The statement was part of Netanyahu's attempt to rally his base ahead of Israel's election on March 23.

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