Nov 27, 2017

Rand Paul to vote for tax bill

Paul says it’s not a perfect tax bill, but it has changed for the better. Photo: AP file

Sen. Rand Paul is one Republican the GOP leadership and the White House won’t have to worry about when the Senate votes on the tax bill later this week. "I'm not getting everything I want — far from it,” Paul wrote in an opinion piece for Fox News. “[But] I've fought for and received major changes for the better — and I plan to vote for this bill as it stands right now.”

Why this matters: The piece shows a pragmatic side to Paul that many in leadership and the administration have been hoping for. Paul was never on the list of senators that Republican leaders were most worried about. But, as a source close to leadership told me on the weekend: "You never know with Rand.”

What he meant by that is that Paul has voted against the president on major items this year, including the attempt to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act.

Behind the scenes: Even though Paul has stymied parts of the GOP agenda, President Trump regards him as one of his closest friends in the Senate. They talk regularly by the phone and golf together. Trump has always insisted to sometimes skeptical associates that "Rand will be with us" on tax cuts.

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Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

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 novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.