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AP

President Trump begins his tax reform roadshow this week. He'll give a speech in Springfield, Missouri, on Wednesday, pitching the need to overhaul the tax code and bring down rates for middle America.

It's Trump's first outing of what his staff expects will be a tax reform sales tour covering the Rust Belt and other legislatively important states.

The reason Trump starts in Missouri: It has symbolic resonance and legislative importance. A White House official told me Trump is likely to mention in his speech that Springfield is the birthplace of Route 66 — crucial to the American economy and a symbol of "America's Main Street."

  • Trump is also very popular in Missouri and the White House views the state's Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, who's up for re-election in 2018, as a senator worth pressuring to support the GOP-led tax reform efforts.

Between the lines: The White House and Republican leaders on the Hill plan to pass tax reform using a budget bill that would require 50 votes in the Senate rather than the 60 needed to pass normal legislation and avoid the filibuster. It means they'll rely almost exclusively on Republicans, but expect them to try pick off a few Democrats, too.

A senior administration official, referring to the recent failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, told me, sarcastically: "It seems that relying on a strict party line vote has worked really well for us so far."

Go deeper

Dead malls get new life

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Malls are becoming ghosts of retail past. But the left-behind real estate is being reimagined for a post-pandemic world.

Why it matters: As many as 17% of malls in the U.S. "may no longer be viable as shopping centers and need to be redeveloped into other uses," per Barclays.

White House now says Biden will move to increase refugee cap by May 15

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The White House on Friday afternoon said President Biden plans to lift the Trump-era refugee cap by May 15.

Driving the news: The announcement follows stinging criticism from several Democrats and rights groups, who said Biden was walking back on his pledge to raise the limit. Earlier Friday, Biden signed a directive to speed up the processing of refugees, but kept the Trump administration's historically low cap of 15,000 refugees for this year.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Suspect in FedEx shooting identified as 19-year-old former employee Brandon Hole

Crime scene investigators walk through the FedEx parking lot in Indianapolis the day after a mass shooting left nine dead, including the gunman, who took his own life. Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images.

The suspected gunman who killed at least eight people and wounded several others in Indianapolis before killing himself has been identified by local police as 19-year-old Brandon Hole, a former FedEx employee, a company spokesperson told the AP.

The latest: At least 100 people were in the FedEx warehouse at the time of the shooting, authorities said Friday. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Deputy Chief Craig McCartt told reporters that Hole worked at FedEx through 2020. He did not specify the circumstances of Hole’s departure.