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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.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
20 mins ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.

Mike Allen, author of AM
51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden-Harris, Day 1: What mattered most

President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden arrive at the North Portico of the White House. Photo: Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images

The Axios experts help you sort significance from symbolism. Here are the six Day 1 actions by President Biden that matter most.

Driving the news: Today, on his first full day, Biden translates his promise of a stronger federal response to the pandemic into action — starting with 10 executive orders and other directives, Caitlin Owens writes.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Read: Pete Buttigieg's opening statement ahead of confirmation hearing

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to be secretary of transportation, in December. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/AFP via Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to lead the Transportation Department, will tell senators he plans to prioritize the health and safety of public transportation systems during the pandemic — and look to infrastructure projects to rebuild the economy — according to a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: Buttigieg will testify at 10 a.m. ET before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He is expected to face a relatively smooth confirmation process, though GOP lawmakers may press him on "green" elements of Biden's transportation proposals.