Nov 28, 2017

What Lankford, Flake and Corker want before voting on the tax bill

Sen. James Lankford Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Republican senators James Lankford (Okla.), Bob Corker (Tenn.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.) want a tweak to the tax bill which would allow changes to be made if in 5 years the plan doesn't produce the economic growth Republicans are banking on, Lankford told Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday. He said that if their proposal is added, the three would most likely vote yes on the bill, although he didn't want to speak for Flake and Corker.

Why it matters: Flake and Corker have become wild cards since announcing they won't run for re-election, and both have expressed reservations about the GOP tax bill. But the "changes" in 5 years would most likely include tax hikes, which could be unpopular with the public and President Trump who has always touted across-the-board tax cuts.

Yes, but securing their votes still doesn't guarantee that the bill would pass. John McCain, Susan Collins, Ron Johnson and Steve Daines are also skeptical about the bill — and it only takes three no votes to fail.

Key quote: "We are all making our best educated guess of exactly what the rates should be. We're trying to bring them down as fast, as far as possible. What I have asked for is a way to have a five year lookout. And if we get five years down the road and realize that the revenue is not coming on, the economic growth has not happened as expected, I don't want our deficits to accelerate," Lankford told Hewitt.

Go deeper: The Wall Street Journal's look at the proposal.

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Texas oil regulators poised to debate historic production controls

Workers extracting oil from oil wells in the Permian Basin in Midland, Texas. Photo: Benjamin Lowy/Getty Images

Texas oil regulators are likely to hold a hearing in April on whether to take the historic step to curb the state’s oil production amid a global market collapse fueled by the coronavirus.

Driving the news: Ryan Sitton, one of three commissioners of the Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees state oil production, told Axios that a hearing will likely be held soon in response to a renewed request earlier Monday from two oil companies to limit production as one way to stem the steep slide in global oil prices.

America under lockdown

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

If you thought March felt like the longest month in American history, just wait for April and May, when people will be forced to witness spring from the indoors.

The big picture: 28 states are in or entering lockdown, with Maryland and Virginia joining those ranks today. So is D.C., as its mayor made official this afternoon. Those states include roughly 3/4 of the American people, the N.Y. Times notes.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health

Ford, GE aim to make 50,000 ventilators in 100 days

A Model A-E ventilator, left, and a simple test lung. The ventilator uses a design that operates on air pressure without the need for electricity, addressing the needs of most COVID-19 patients. Photo: Ford

Ford and GE Healthcare announced plans on Monday to build a simplified ventilator design licensed from a Florida medical technology company, with the goal of producing 50,000 machines by early July, and up to 30,000 a month thereafter, to fight the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The companies are moving in "Trump time" to meet demand for urgently needed ventilators, says White House Defense Production Act Coordinator Peter Navarro. But with deaths expected to peak in two weeks, the machines won't arrive in large numbers in time to help the hardest-hit cities.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health