Apr 26, 2017

White House: GOP botched health care so Trump is taking over

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

The tax plan that President Trump will release today isn't super-specific or super-achievable. But it's a loud White House message to the Hill that the administration — after learning lessons on health reform — will now be less of a bystander.

A West Wing confidant said: "The White House is saying to Congress: You can expect us to do this on other major policy initiatives — health care; immigration; infrastructure; and the budget, particularly defense spending. We let you drive policy on health care, and you drove off a cliff."

  • The principles, based largely on campaign promises, take a Reaganite approach, with breaks for businesses big and small (The N.Y. Times lead story is "White House's Tax Plan Puts Business at the Fore"), plus a politically driven focus on individual side of the code.
  • One Republican lobbyist called it "neither comprehensive nor a plan," but more "a series of negotiating points" designed to jump-start Hill action.
  • Winners: moderate-income families (higher standard deduction, lower rates, a wider band on who gets the lower rates) ... corporations (though the proposed 15% rate isn't achievable — no way to make the math work) ... Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, left to create common ground on what one lobbyist called "achievable change."
  • Losers: The deficit ... nationalist approach (no border-adjustment tax).
  • The deets ... Wall Street Journal's Michael Bender and Richard Rubin say the plan would "cut corporate taxes on U.S. companies' foreign profits and ... slash the top tax rate on so-called pass-through businesses, including many owner-operated companies, to 15% from 39.6%."
  • "White House officials also have agreed to propose a territorial tax system, ... favored by large multinational firms ... U.S. corporations would pay little or no tax on future foreign earnings."

Frame game ... Although Trump hasn't won passage of any of his signature legislation, the White House yesterday posted a tally arguing he "has worked with Congress to enact 28 laws during the first 100 days of his Administration ... more legislation ... than any President since Truman."

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Top Trump ally sounds 2020 election alarm over coronavirus response

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

There is growing concern among top conservative leaders that the Trump administration isn't addressing the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus, several sources tell Axios. One top adviser said if the recovery is bungled it could cost President Trump the election.

What we're hearing: "The next 4-8 weeks is really going to decide whether Trump gets reelected," Stephen Moore, Trump's former nominee for the Federal Reserve board, told Axios. If the administration mishandles its economic recovery efforts, he said, Trump is "in big trouble."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,600,427 — Total deaths: 95,506 — Total recoveries: 354,006Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 465,329 — Total deaths: 16,513 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. 2020 latest: Top conservative leaders are concerned the Trump administration isn't addressing the virus' long-term economic impact.
  6. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  7. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  8. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  9. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return this weekend in a remotely produced episode.
  10. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

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