Andrew Harnik / AP

Vice President Pence said plainly on NBC's "Meet the Press" what has long been whispered at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue: The White House is fine with a tax cut that raises the deficit.

Pence: "[T]he early response [to the tax plan] on Capitol Hill has been very encouraging."

Moderator Chuck Todd: "I understand people are happy about it, but you are gonna increase the deficit."

Pence: "Well, maybe in the short term. But the truth is if we don't get this economy growing at three percent... we're never gonna meet the obligations that we've made today."

Why it matters: The administration's willingness to allow deficit spending to fund a tax cut makes it less likely that Speaker Paul Ryan will get his border adjustment tax. It could raise $1 trillion over a decade, but would do so in a way — making imported consumer goods more expensive — that's too painful for many key Republicans to stomach.

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Appeals court allows House Democrats to continue lawsuit for Don McGahn testimony

Don McGahn in an October 2018 Cabinet meeting. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A D.C. appeals court on Friday allowed House Democrats to continue their case for testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn before the House Judiciary Committee.

Why it matters: The ruling has broader implications beyond this specific instance, agreeing that Congress has the standing to sue to enforce subpoenas against executive branch officials even if the White House refuses to comply.

There's little consensus on TikTok's specific national security threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok has become a Rorschach test for how U.S. politicians view China, with little consensus on the specifics of its threat to homeland security.

The big picture: Much of what D.C. fears about TikTok is fear itself, and that's reflected in President Trump's executive order to ban the app by Sept. 20 if it's not sold by parent company ByteDance — alongside another focused on Chinese messaging app WeChat and its parent company Tencent.

U.S. sanctions Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

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The Treasury Department on Friday placed sanctions on Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, following months of tension as she has allowed continued overreach by Beijing to subvert Hong Kong's autonomy.

Why it matters: It's the toughest sanction yet imposed on China for its destruction of Hong Kong’s relatively free political system.