Jan 26, 2017

Spicer's take 2 on the import tax for Mexico

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

After mentioning a 20% border tax for Mexico and then claiming it wasn't an actual policy proposal, WH press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters the plans to pay for the wall are still in the works. BUT an import tax was the best plan.

He added that any country the U.S. has a deficit with would be taxed, and claimed a 20% tax would bring in $10 billion, which would "easily pay for the wall."

Plus, the wall would keep immigrants out, Spicer said, which would save more tax dollars spent on deportations.

This is something that we've been in close contact with both houses in moving forward and creating a plan. But again as I've said before I mean we are still working together. This is the beginning of this plan to make sure it is done right. But, it clearly provides the funding and does so in a way that ensures that the American taxpayer is wholly respected.

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Judge rules against Trump policy limiting public comment on energy leasing

Photo: Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday overturned a 2018 Trump administration directive that sought to speed up energy leases on public land by limiting the amount of time the public could comment.

Why it matters: U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush's decision voids almost a million acres of leases in the West, according to The Washington Post. It's a victory for environmentalists, who tried to block the change as part of an effort to protect the habitat of the at-risk greater sage grouse.

  • The ruling invalidated five oil and gas leases in Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, and affected 104,688 square miles of greater sage-grouse habitat, per The Associated Press.
  • Leases in greater sage-grouse habitat will return to allowing 30 days of public comment and administrative protest.

The big picture: From Axios' Amy Harder, this is the latest in a long and convoluted list of regulatory rollbacks the Trump administration is pursuing on environmental rules that courts are, more often than not, rebutting. With Congress gridlocked on these matters, expect the courts to be the default way Trump's agenda faces checks (unless, of course, a Democrat wins the White House this November).

Your best defense against coronavirus

Photo: Adrian Greeman/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Washing your hands is the best way to protect against the novel coronavirus, according to doctors and health officials, as the virus continues to spread around the globe.

Why it matters: Frequent hand washing can stop germs from spreading in a community, a known preventative for COVID-19 and influenza.

Major League Soccer embarks on its 25th season

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As Major League Soccer begins its 25th season, the league is financially stable and surging in popularity, and its 26 teams have gorgeous facilities and rapidly increasing valuations.

  • It also continues to expand, with David Beckham's Inter Miami and Nashville SC set to debut this season as the 25th and 26th teams. Plans are in place to reach 30 franchises by 2022 — triple the number from 2004.
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