Jul 9, 2017

The demise of the deficit hawks

Andrew Harnik / AP

Conservatives are curiously zen about the debt ceiling hike, which points to a tectonic shift in the politics of debt now that we've entered the Trump Era. Not a single major conservative outside group is demanding the White House slash spending in exchange for their cooperation raising the debt ceiling (which will have to happen in October). Privately, most top Trump administration officials are delighted conservatives aren't pressuring them.

One high-profile conservative leader — summing up a view I'm hearing across the movement — told me his group doesn't think it's a good idea to play chicken with Republican leadership and the President over the debt ceiling as they often did with Barack Obama. "We've been there before, and Republicans always lose," he said.

Between the lines: The politics of debt have shifted under Trump; top White House officials are now weighing tax cuts that could substantially increase the deficit in the short-term.

What's next: Conservative groups like Club for Growth, Heritage Action and the Koch network are leaving open the possibility that they'll release a set of demands over the debt ceiling; but they've not made it a top priority. Instead, they're focusing most of their firepower on tax reform and health care.

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In photos: India welcomes president with massive "Namaste Trump" rally

First Lady Melania Trump, President Trump and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend the "Namaste Trump" rally at Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, on Monday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump told a massive crowd at a rally in Ahmedabad, northwest India, Monday he hopes to reach a trade deal with his ""true friend" Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit to the country "except he's a very tough negotiator."

Why it matters: The countries are forging deeper ties, particularly in the military dimension, as India’s location, size and economic growth making it the "obvious counterweight to China" for American policymakers, per Axios' Dave Lawler and Zachary Basu. Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonstrated the importance of the visit with a "Namaste Trump Rally" at a packed 110,000-capacity Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad — the world's largest cricket venue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 22 mins ago - World

Coronavirus spreads to more countries as cases in South Korea surge

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain each reported their first cases of the novel coronavirus, Al Jazeera first reported, as infections in South Korea, Italy and mainland China continued to increase on Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, World Health Organization officials expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,619 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 34 mins ago - Health

Sanders reveals free childcare plan for preschoolers

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday a new plan to guarantee free child care and pre-kindergarten to all American children from infancy to age four.

Details: In the wide-ranging interview, Sanders told Anderson Cooper he planned to pay for universal childcare with a wealth tax. "It's taxes on billionaires," he said.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy