Dec 22, 2017

Trump signs tax cuts before flying to Florida for Christmas

Trump holds up a document during signing of military defense funding and tax reform. Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images.

President Trump signed a bill Thursday ordering $4 billion in "top of the line missile defense," before signing the $1.5 trillion GOP tax legislation. Now he's jetting off to Mar-a-Lago for the holidays.

Timing: Trump said he was planning to sign the bill in January, but after watching the news this morning and seeing "every one of the networks" ask if he will he keep his promise and sign it before Christmas, he "called everyone up and said get ready we have to sign this now ... I didn't want you folks to say I wasn't keeping my promise."

What's next: Trump said they'll have a formal signing ceremony in two weeks.

Key quotes:

  • Trump said his friend Robert Kraft, CEO of the New England Patriots, called him to praise him for the tax bill, and promised to build a "tremendous paper mill" in North Carolina after the news.
  • "I think that essentially Obamacare is over because we got rid of [the individual mandate]."
  • He made nice with reporters: "Many of you have worked very fairly."
  • He wants to see a lot more bipartisanship in 2018.

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Making sense of the UN's climate conference coronavirus delay

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The scuttling of November's pivotal UN climate conference is the starkest sign yet of how coronavirus is throwing a wrench into efforts to combat global warming. But like the wider relationship between the coronavirus and climate initiatives, the ramifications are ... complicated.

Driving the news: UN officials announced Wednesday that the annual summit to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, is postponed until some unknown time next year.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 952,171 — Total deaths: 48,320 — Total recoveries: 202,541Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 216,722 — Total deaths: 5,137 — Total recoveries: 8,672Map.
  3. Stimulus updates: Social Security recipients won't need to file a tax return to receive their checks.
  4. Jobs update: 6.6 million people filed for unemployment last week, a staggering number that eclipses the record set on March 26.
  5. Health updates: The Trump administration won't reopen enrollment for ACA marketplaces this year.
  6. National updates: The Grand Canyon closed after a resident tested positive for coronavirus.
  7. World update: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu re-entered self-quarantine after his health minister tested positive for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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

The weirdest NBA draft ever

Table: Axios Visuals

The 2020 NBA draft was already shaping up to be the weirdest draft in years, and now that the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the sports world, it could be the weirdest draft ever.

Why it matters: While most drafts have a clear hierarchy by the time April rolls around, this draft does not. There's no reliable No. 1 pick, almost every top-10 prospect has a glaring weakness and the global sports hiatus has shrouded the whole class in mystery.

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