Sep 11, 2018

Romney assails Republicans' silence on growing deficit

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

Utah Senate candidate Mitt Romney on Monday called out Republicans for failing to fight for their longtime goal of lowering the country’s deficit, arguing that the party has "become silent" on the issue.

"Republicans have been shouting about this as long as I can remember. ... But now that Republicans are in charge in Washington, we appear to have become silent about deficits and debt."
— Romney in a statement on his Senate campaign website.

Why it matters: The national deficit grew by 20% ($75 billion) over the past year, partially due to President Trump's tax cuts, and is expected to balloon to $1 trillion by 2020, according to the Congressional Budget Office's latest report. Republicans also passed a sweeping $1.3 trillion spending bill earlier this year which has contributed to the rise.

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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.

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 continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday, while Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 as of Saturday.

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, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 47 mins ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."