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Stef Kight / Axios

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, in a conversation with me yesterday morning at the debut Axios News Shapers event, said the administration will plunge into whole-hog tax reform: "We're reforming both the personal and the corporate side. We're not cutting this up and doing little pieces at a time."

  • Mnuchin slid a bit on his earlier vow to finish tax reform by the August recess, saying that's always been the optimistic goal: "And if we don't, we'll get it done right afterwards." When I asked him if that meant it'd be done by fall, he replied: "Absolutely."
  • On tackling another complex issue after health care: "In a way, it's a lot simpler. It really is. It's a lot simpler because the goals of tax reform ... creating a middle-income tax cut, about creating personal tax simplification, and making U.S. businesses competitive. ... I think there is very, very strong support."
  • I asked him: "Pretend that I shop or work at Walmart. Make the case to me that the border adjustment tax is good for me." He didn't: "[T]here's certain aspects of that tax that are attractive, and there's certain aspects ... that are concerning. ... [O]ne of our concerns about it is that if the currency moves, then the Walmart shopper shouldn't be impacted. OK. But if the currency moves, that has an impact for our exporters."
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Go deeper

Updated 55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies.

The state of play: Biden also raised arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to a White House readout. The statement said Biden and Putin agreed maintain "consistent communication," and that Biden stressed the U.S. would "act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies."

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.