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The Senate GOP tax bill gives most wealthy people substantial tax cuts — although plenty of other people will get tax cuts as well, especially in the early years. While this seems to be making the bill unpopular with the public, Republican senators are going all out to pass the bill this week anyway, desperate to get a legislative win.

Expand chart
Data: Tax Policy Center; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Why this matters: Focusing on the distribution of cuts lacks some nuance — Republicans say their tax bill will boost the economy — but only 25 percent of voters approve of the GOP tax plan, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll. And 59 percent of voters say the plan favors the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. These kind of approval numbers don't win elections, particularly following an equally unpopular health care bill.

Yes, but:

  • The bill could get more popular if it results in economic growth. "Tax cuts pass, economy grows, jobs grow, wages rise, voters will be happy. That's the hope," a senior Senate GOP aide said.
  • Tax reform and cuts are central to the GOP brand, and many Republicans truly believe this bill is good policy.
  • The stakes are extremely high. "They will melt down if they can't do this. Calls everywhere for [Mitch] McConnell to step down, [Steve] Bannon screaming about needing to replace leadership. Trump tweeting about low energy senators. It's their last stand," one GOP lobbyist told me.

Editor's Note: Sign up for Axios newsletters to get our smart brevity delivered to your inbox every morning.

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Go deeper

The Exvangelicals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Even as evangelicals maintain their position as the most popular religion in the U.S., a movement of self-described "exvangelicals" is breaking away, using social media to engage tens of thousands of former faithful.

The big picture: Donald Trump's presidency, as well as movements around LGBTQ rights, #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, drew more Americans into evangelical churches while also pushing some existing members away.

Updated 7 hours ago - Science

Huge wildfire reaches edge of Sequoia National Park

A plume of smoke and flames rise into the air as the fire burns towards Moro Rock during the KNP Complex fire in the Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California, on Saturday. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Firefighters in Sequoia National Park were working into the night after two wildfires merged to reach the Giant Forest Saturday.

Why it matters: This forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree — the world's largest tree by volume. Park officials wrapped the redwoods in foil last week as the Paradise and Colony Fires, now known as the KNP Complex Fire, neared. Protection efforts appeared to be working overnight.

7 hours ago - World

Hong Kong holds first "patriots only" elections

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam during a news conference last Monday. Photo: Lui Siu Wai/Xinhua via Getty Images

Hong Kong's elections to choose the city's Election Committee members opened to a select group of voters on Sunday, under a new "patriots only" system imposed by China's government.

Why it matters: All candidates running to be members of the electoral college have been "vetted" by Beijing, per Reuters. They will go on to choose the Asian financial hub's next leader, approved by China's government, and some of its legislature.