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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said today that the White House is hoping tax reform can rally bipartisan support, but "if we can't get 60 votes we're prepared to use reconciliation to get it done... tax reform is Trump's number one priority."

At CNBC's Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha conference Tuesday morning Mnuchin also said he isn't sure the administration will be able to get the corporate tax rate down to 15%, as President Trump has vowed to do, given budget issues, but said they will get it lower. Meanwhile, he's "incredibly hopeful" they'll pass tax legislation by the end of the year.

Other takeaways:

  • On his relationship with Trump: "I feel comfortable telling him my ideas on things... he doesn't always agree... but I work for him."
  • On CEOs ditching Trump's business councils: "I personally think it was a mistake that the councils were disbanded." A Treasury Department spokesman later emailed Axios to say Mnuchin was referring to CEOs quitting councils due to disagreements, not to President Trump's decision to disband the councils.
  • Trump's debt ceiling deal with Democrats: "I give the president a lot of credit. We were in the middle of two hurricanes, we needed to get money to the states... he got out there and showed the American public we can put politics aside."
  • Hurricanes Harvey and Irma: "There clearly is going to be an impact on GDP in the short run," said Mnuchin, adding that the first round of aid was only a "down payment... we'll see what we need to spend."
  • Fed chair changes: Mnuchin dodged questions over whether Gary Cohn is being considered. Instead said the president hasn't made any decisions, but Janet Yellen "is being considered."
  • Health care reform: "The president still very much wants to get health care done. It's not the major focus at the moment."

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

Big Tech's post-riot reckoning

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Capitol insurrection means the anti-tech talk in Washington is more likely to lead to action, since it's ever clearer that the attack was planned, at least in part, on social media.

Why it matters: The big platforms may have hoped they'd move to D.C.'s back burner, with the Hill focused on the Biden agenda and the pandemic out of control. But now, there'll be no escaping harsh scrutiny.

34 mins ago - Technology

Why domestic terrorists are so hard to police online

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Domestic terrorism has proven to be more difficult for Big Tech companies to police online than foreign terrorism.

The big picture: That's largely because the politics are harder. There's more unity around the need to go after foreign extremists than domestic ones — and less danger of overreaching and provoking a backlash.

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