Dec 20, 2017

Losing on health care helped Republicans unite on taxes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (in front on right side) stands with other Republicans. Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

The negotiations this month over Republicans' tax reform were entirely amongst themselves, the New York Times reports. When Democrats laid out "strict conditions for working with them" last summer, Republicans left behind the idea of a bipartisan bill, per the Times.

Why it matters: Republican leadership has been working tirelessly to get this bill passed, especially after their loss with health care earlier this year. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saw the tax plan "as the key to appeasing furious Republican voters," per NYT.

Key moments in pulling together Republican support:

  • Accepting a budget "that allowed for much higher deficits." Sen. Bob Corker negotiated with Sen. Patrick Toomey to get Toomey's proposed $2.5 trillion limit down to $1.5 trillion, the Times reports. Corker reportedly thought it "was the best deal he could get."
  • President Trump's negotiations with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to prevent a government shutdown, which avoided "a protracted fight in both chambers."
  • Getting Sen. John McCain on their side, which was a big win after his famous thumbs-down on health care earlier this year. McConnell said McCain was "getting urged by everybody center-left ... to do it to us one more time."

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 1,347,803 — Total deaths: 74,807 — Total recoveries: 277,402Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 368,196 — Total deaths: 10,986 — Total recoveries: 19,828Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned White House colleagues in late January the coronavirus could take over half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, memos obtained by Axios show.
  4. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting delayed until June.
  5. States latest: West Coast states send ventilators to New York and other states with more immediate need — Data suggest coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  6. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen.
  7. Stocks latest: The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.
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Docs: Navarro memos warning mass death circulated West Wing in January

Image from a memo to President Trump

In late January, President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned his White House colleagues the novel coronavirus could take more than half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, according to memos obtained by Axios.

  • By late February, Navarro was even more alarmed, and he warned his colleagues, in another memo, that up to two million Americans could die of the virus.

Driving the news: Navarro's grim estimates are set out in two memos — one dated Jan. 29 and addressed to the National Security Council, the other dated Feb. 23 and addressed to the president. The NSC circulated both memos around the White House and multiple agencies.

Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor from delaying state's primary

Tony Evers. Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Wisconsin's Supreme Court on Monday blocked an executive order by Gov. Tony Evers (D) that attempted to delay in-person voting for the state's primary election — currently scheduled for Tuesday — until June 9.

Driving the news: Judges ruled 4-2 along ideological lines that Evers does not have the power as governor to unilaterally postpone the election, despite the fact that the state has a stay-at-home order in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health