Nov 28, 2017

Where the tax bill stands

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is still trying to persuade some of the holdouts. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Senate GOP leadership — along with President Trump — is scrambling to get the support of holdout senators for the tax bill when it reaches the Senate floor. Talks seemed to be going well on Tuesday, although no concrete commitments seem to have been made, and many members aren't showing their cards yet.

Be smart: Holdout members are being given hope for candy without vegetables. Everything they want — and seem to be potentially getting — costs money that Republicans really don't have to spend. Paying for it could end up being painful.

Here's what the holdouts are saying:

Sen. Susan Collins:

  • Trump told senators at lunch today that he would support adding in a $10,000 property tax deduction to the tax plan, as the House bill did, according to Collins. She's been calling for this.
  • Trump also told senators he would support the Alexander-Murray health care proposal and the Collins-Nelson reinsurance bill if the Affordable Care Act individual mandate is repealed, according to both Collins and Sen. Lindsey Graham. This is exactly what Collins has asked for in exchange for repealing the mandate.
  • "I am happy to report that I am making progress on the issues that matter most to me...I think they're eager to help me get to yes."

Sen. Bob Corker:

  • Told reporters he would vote for the bill in the Budget Committee markup over an "agreement" about how the tax plan will play out given different scenarios of economic growth. In a statement, Corker said it was a “trigger mechanism to ensure greater fiscal responsibility should economic growth estimates not be realized.”
  • Other Republicans say that means tax increases, and insist they’ll never vote for it. ""I'd rather drink weed killer,” Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana told reporters. "If I vote for that thing, consider me drunk.”

Sen. Steve Daines:

  • Told Axios he was "pleased" after his discussion with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today about the tax negotiations since he felt he had been "listened to on fighting on behalf of Main Street businesses," but was mum on whether he was any closer to a "yes" vote.

Sen. Ron Johnson:

  • Voted for the bill in Budget, but a spokesman said this was to keep moving the process along. It's unclear if he's been offered changes to the small business provision that he finds acceptable.

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates: Global death toll surpasses 34,000

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 and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 34,000 people and infected over 723,000 others globally, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 10,700 deaths early Monday.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Sunday that his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30,

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 722,435 — Total deaths: 33,997 — Total recoveries: 151,991.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m.. ET: 142,502 — Total deaths: 2,506 — Total recoveries: 4,856.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump says his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "panicked" some people into fleeing New York
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reports 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reports almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. 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.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Infections number tops 140,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now infected over 142,000 people in the U.S. — more than any other country in the world, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: COVID-19 had killed over 2,400 people in the U.S. by Sunday night. That's far fewer than in Italy, where over 10,000 people have died — accounting for a third of the global death toll. The number of people who've recovered from the virus in the U.S. exceeded 2,600 Sunday evening.

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