Jul 18, 2017

Pence: "Senate should vote to repeal now"

Alex Brandon / AP

Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday that he and President Trump, while frustrated with the GOP's unsuccessful health care efforts, "fully support" Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's call for a repeal bill. He also drove home that Congress is not doing enough, and the gridlock in Washington needs to end — now.

Pence's bottom line: "The Senate should vote to repeal now and replace later" or take up the House health care bill. "Either way, inaction is not an option. Congress needs to step up. Congress needs to do their job. And Congress needs to do their job now."

Highlights from Pence's speech at the National Retail Foundation's Annual Summit:

Health care:

  • "Since Day 1 of this administration President Trump has been fighting tirelessly to repeal and replace... Every day Obamacare survives is another day the American economy and American families struggle."
  • "Obamacare has failed. And Obamacare must go. President Trump and I are grateful for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell... most republicans were loyal, terrific and worked really hard."
  • Repeal bill: "The Senate passed the same bill in 2015 and sent it to the President's desk, and they should do it again."

Tax code:

  • Pence says the administration's tax code will cut the corporate rate to 15%, cut taxes on funds overseas, eliminate the death tax, and enact "territorial tax in line with the rest of the world."
  • "This president is going to work with this congress this year and we're going to pass the largest tax code since Ronald Reagan."

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Why it matters: Per the BBC, a police officer and six civilians "died in the capital's deadliest day" since last year's passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act — which allows religious minorities but excludes Muslims from nearby countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted for their religion — hours before President Trump and members of the U.S. first family were due to visit the city as part of their visit to India.

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Why it matters: It's a welcome boost for Buttigieg ahead of Tuesday's Democratic debate in South Carolina and the state's primary on Saturday.

White House requests $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus as U.S. cases rise

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. rose to 53.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,699 people and infected more than 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health