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."

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LeBron James on Trump NBA protest remarks: "We could care less"

The Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James kneels during the national anthem before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on Wednesday. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

LeBron James responded on Wednesday night to President Trump's comments calling NBA players "disgraceful" for kneeling during the national anthem to protest racism and that he won't watch games because of the action.

The big picture: Trump has repeatedly criticized sports players for taking the knee since 2016. But James said during a news conference, "I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership, him viewing the game." November's elections marked "a big moment for us as Americans," he said. "If we continue to talk about, 'We want better, we want change,' we have an opportunity to do that," he added. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said the league will "respect peaceful protest."

Go deeper: LeBron James forms voting rights group to inspire Black voters

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 18,752,917 — Total deaths: 706,761— Total recoveries — 11,308,298Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 4,821,296 — Total deaths: 158,249 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Public health: Florida surpasses 500,000 confirmed casesFauci calls U.S. coronavirus testing delays "totally unacceptable."
  4. Business: America's next housing crisis.
  5. States: Virginia launches contact tracing app using specs from Apple and Google.
  6. Cities: L.A. mayor authorizes utilities shut-off at homes hosting large gatherings
  7. Politics: White House, Democrats remain "trillions of dollars apart" on stimulus talks.

L.A. mayor authorizes utilities shut-off at homes hosting large gatherings

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks during a January event in Los Angeles. Photo: Sarah Morris/Getty Images

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday he's authorized the city's Department of Water and Power (DWP) to shut down utilities at locations that host large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Driving the news: Garcetti's announcement follows a fatal shooting at a house party attended by roughly 200 people last Monday, the Los Angeles Times notes.