Jul 31, 2017

Tax reform begins today

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Never mind President Trump's weekend of after-the-whistle tweeting about health reform. The White House, Senate and House are all united in moving on full steam to tax reform this week.

Why it matters: They're doing it with heightened urgency, since Republican lawmakers are more desperate than ever to pass something substantial ahead of midterms. Republicans' House majority is in more danger than ever after the face-plant on health care. So they'll make noises about a last-ditch push. Forget it: A top congressional aide says it would take "a miracle."

Trump begins his pitch: Jonathan Swan reported in his Sunday evening Sneak Peek newsletter:

  • At a small business event Tuesday at the White House, the President is expected to demand a historic overhaul, rather than the mediocre tax cuts that most Washington veterans think are far more likely.
  • Watch for Trump to take his tax reform sales pitch on the road in August — with some top aides looking to stage a series of speeches through the Rust Belt.

The K street perspective: A K Street official tells us, "The business community is organized and activating their leadership, and associations and think tanks are making a push with their members. ... Passing tax reform will require relentless engagement ... to ensure ... political momentum."

  • "Lessons were learned during the health care process. That's why the business community has committed resources to making the public case for tax reform."

Exhibit A: The center-right American Action Network promotes tax reform, and highlights failures of the current code, by launching the Middle-Class Growth Initiative. The group will spend $5 million during August recess (TV, digital, radio and mail), beginning with a $1 million radio ad campaign in 34 House districts (listen to ad; list of districts). MCGI will be led by AAN Executive Director Corry Bliss and Kevin Madden, who will serve as an advisor. #GrowthForAll

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 679,977 — Total deaths: 31,734 — Total recoveries: 145,625.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 124,686 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per CDC, those residents should "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska issues a stay-at-home order — New York tries to nearly triple hospital capacity in less than a month and moved presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's initial handling of the virus balk at call for U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
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Hong Kong demonstrators protest a government ban on face masks in October. Photo by Laurel Chor/Getty Images

The year of the mass uprising has collided with the year of the coronavirus lockdown, leaving protest movements around the world stalled. 

The big picture: The enduring images of 2019 are of protest — from Hong Kong to Khartoum, across the Middle East and through much of Latin America. Seemingly overnight, though, social distancing has made such mass demonstrations almost unthinkable.

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The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

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