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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign released his 2019 tax returns on Tuesday, showing that he and his wife, Jill, paid nearly $300,000 in federal taxes last year.

Why it matters: The release, timed just hours before the first presidential debate, comes days after a bombshell New York Times report said that President Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017. Biden's team is hoping to make the tax contrast a sticking point during their showdown tonight.

  • The campaign also released 2019 tax returns for Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, and her husband, Doug Emhoff.
  • Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield told reporters on a call that this marks 22 years of publicly available tax returns for Biden and 16 years for Harris.
  • Bedingfield said the release reflects Biden's commitment to "honesty and transparency" and that the campaign's message to Trump is simple: "Mr. President, release your tax returns, or shut up."

Read Biden's tax return

Read Harris' tax return

Go deeper

Congress releases text of $900 billion coronavirus relief bill

Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell. Photo: Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images

The House on Monday released the text of a $900 billion coronavirus relief package and $1.4 trillion government spending bill that Congress expects to pass before the holidays.

The state of play: The House will move quickly to pass the bill on Monday night, with the Senate likely to stay late to vote in the early hours of Tuesday morning. This gives lawmakers and their staff just hours to review a 5,593-page bill — one of the largest rescue packages in U.S. history.

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

Former Defense Secretary Esper sues Pentagon over book

Former President Trump and former Defense Secretary Mark Esper at the White House in 2020. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper filed a lawsuit Sunday against the Defense Department, accusing the Pentagon of "censoring" his First Amendment rights by redacting parts of his upcoming book on the Trump administration.

The big picture: Esper, who served as defense secretary from July 2019 until he was fired by then-President Trump in November last year, alleges in the suit that "significant text" is "being improperly withheld from publication" of the manuscript "under the guise of classification."

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