Sep 26, 2017

Republicans agree to raise bottom tax rate, double standard deduction

Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Top White House and GOP leaders have agreed to raise the lowest individual tax rate from 10 to 12 percent, paired with doubling the standard deduction, 5 senior Republicans tell us.

Why this matters: Trump intends to sell the proposal tomorrow as a populist "tax cut." But as recently as yesterday top Republicans on Capitol Hill were nervous as they got word that Trump wasn't entirely thrilled with the product that had been hashed out in immense secrecy for weeks (with two members of his administration, Gary Cohn and Steven Mnuchin, working with GOP leaders.)

Late last night Republicans close to the process felt more confident that Trump had come around to supporting the framework — despite his misgivings about the corporate rate not being low enough and about the political risks of raising the lowest rate (even though many more people will now pay no tax because of the increased deduction, meaning they can accurately call it a tax cut for the middle class as well as for the wealthy.)Big picture details: Republicans plan to collapse the number of brackets from seven to three. The standard deduction would almost double to $12,000 for a single filer and $24,000 for married couples, meaning Trump can accurately argue that many more low income earners would pay no tax under his plan. As we previously reported, the top tax bracket would fall from 39.6% to 35%.

Yes, but: Trump won't go into great detail when he talks about the tax plan tomorrow in Indiana, leaving plenty of negotiating room for the tax-writing committees in the House and Senate. As of yesterday morning Trump hadn't signed off on the final product, and as with all policy announcements involving Trump, Republican Hill leaders will be holding their breaths to some extent until the president actually utters the words. Speaking with conservative groups at the White House yesterday Trump, reassured them of his commitment when he gushed about the "tax cut" he was planning to unveil.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: New York reports record 630 deaths in 24 hours

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York reported 630 new deaths in 24 hours, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday — an "all-time increase" that beat the previous day's record of 562 deaths in a single day.

The big picture: As expected, COVID-19 death tolls are rising in the U.S., killing more than 7,100 people in total, and over 1,000 in 24 hours alone. The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread, marking a significant change in messaging from the Trump administration.

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World coronavirus updates: Spain tracks more cases than Italy

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 and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Spain overtook Italy in its number of coronavirus cases on Saturday, as the global death toll surpassed 60,000, per Johns Hopkins data.

The latest: About half the planet's population is on lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis. Fatalities are exponentially increasing across Europe, with roughly half of deaths worldwide located in Italy and Spain.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Axios Visuals

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 1,140,327 — Total deaths: 60,887 — Total recoveries: 233,930Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 278,568 — Total deaths: 7,163 — Total recoveries: 9,920Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The federal government will cover the costs of COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured.
  4. 2020 latest: "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said of the 2020 election, as more states hold primaries by mail. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday that every county in the state has opted to expand mail-in voting for the state's June 2 primary.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: A pivotal Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Military updates: Senators call for independent investigation into the firing of Navy captain of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt. The U.S. military is struggling to find new recruits as enlistment stations are shut down.
  8. 1 🏀 thing: The WNBA is postponing the start of its training camps and season.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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