Aug 31, 2017

Steve Mnuchin insists there is a tax plan

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin today insisted that the White House has "a very detailed" tax plan, in an interview with CNBC. But, like President Trump during his tax speech yesterday in Missouri, he declined to provide any specific details.

Mnuchin's reference to settled differences between the White House and Congress stands in contrast to what sources have told Axios, who add that plenty of significant specifics still need to be hammered out.

More interview highlights:

  • Tax timeline: Mnuchin says that details should become publicly available by the end of September with a bill passed by year-end. He acknowledged, however, earlier comments that tax reform would be done by the Congressional August recess. "Unfortunately, things got delayed a bit."
  • Balance sheet: Mnuchin says that President Trump is "absolutely committed to revenue neutrality" in the tax plan, but that only applies under the White House's optimistic economic growth projections. In other words, it sounds like Trump would sign a bill that is not revenue-neutral under more modest estimates.
  • Debt ceiling: Mnuchin reaffirmed that Sept. 29 is when the U.S. will reach the current debt ceiling, although says it could move a few days in either direction due to both Hurricane Harvey and Sept. 15 corporate tax receipts. He also reaffirmed his preference for a "clean" debt ceiling increase.
  • Dollar strength: Mnuchin says that while a weaker U.S. currency can provide a short-term boost to trade figures, he believes the long-term value of a strong dollar is that it projects broader durability of the U.S. economy.
  • Economic impact of the U.S. leaving NAFTA: "I'm not going to make any comments yet because I think the expectation is we will renegotiate in a way that is good for us an good for them."
  • Replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill: "It's not something I'm focused on at the moment."

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 5,559,130 — Total deaths: 348,610 — Total recoveries — 2,277,087Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,679,419 — Total deaths: 98,852 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Federal response: DOJ investigates meatpacking industry over soaring beef pricesMike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. Congress: House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting.
  5. Business: How the new workplace could leave parents behind.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  7. Public health: CDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets for first time

President Trump briefs reporters in the Rose Garden on May 26. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter fact-checked two of President Trump's unsubstantiated tweets that mail-in ballots in the 2020 election would be fraudulent for the first time on Tuesday, directing users to "get the facts" through news stories that cover the topic.

Why it matters: Twitter and other social media platforms have faced criticism for not doing enough to combat misinformation, especially when its propagated by the president.

House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting

Photo: Michael Brochstein / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

20 House Republicans plan to file a lawsuit late Tuesday against Speaker Nancy Pelosi in an effort to block the chamber's new proxy voting system amid the coronavirus pandemic, three congressional sources tell Axios.

The big picture: The lawsuit, led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, alleges the rules are unconstitutional because the Constitution requires a quorum, or a majority, of lawmakers to be physically present in order to conduct business. The lawsuit was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.