President Trump and congressional Republicans are pinning their political hopes for their first year of unified GOP control of government on tax reform, but they are still a ways away from consensus. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill and officials from the White House are still split on whether to try to accomplish tax reform with just Republican votes (requiring the use of budget reconciliation in the Senate) or with Democrats through regular order, with a 60-vote threshold in the Senate. Trump is meeting with a bipartisan group of Senators Tuesday in hopes to trying to forge good will. But most of the details for the plan are far from ironed-out. Trump hopes for a 15 percent corporate tax rate, with budget-conscious Republicans worry about accomplishing that without blowing a hole in the deficit. Other details, such as whether and how to include personal tax rates in the package, are far from agreed to. At the end of the day, GOP lawmakers are depending on the tax bill to show voters that they can govern effectively and fear suffering the consequences at the ballot box if they cannot get it done. But even if they succeed, Republicans will need to find a way to sell what is likely to be a predominantly corporate tax cut to voters.
Some Trump lawyers wanted Jared Kushner sidelined. Trump’s voter commission meets amid increasingly vocal opposition. And Trump’s GOP civil war.
Here are your must reads:
Some Trump Lawyers Wanted Kushner Out
Aides, worried about complications arising from Russia probe, drafted statement explaining departure [Wall Street Journal]
John Kelly Fires Back at Democrat Who Called Him ‘Disgrace to the Uniform’
Chief of Staff breaks his silence [Fox News]
After an Earthquake and a Hurricane — and Trump’s Failure to Send Condolences — Mexico Rescinds Offer of Aid to U.S.
A diplomatic spat has consequences [LA Times]
Trump Plans Aggressive Road Show to Sell Tax Overhaul
White House retools communications operation for tax battle [Bloomberg]
After Nine Months, Federal Offices Are Still Waiting to Hang Trump’s Picture
A symbol of White House disorganization [Washington Post]
Trump’s Voter Commission Meets Amid Concerns About Mission
Opposition grows [Associated Press]
Hillary Clinton Is ‘Done,’ But Not Going Away
The book tour continues [NPR]
“I take ultimate responsibility for the loss. I was the candidate. I was the person whose name was on the ballot. And I’ll never get over that because I was working hard to become president in order to do the service that I believe in on behalf of our country. And it was everything from the decision to use a personal email, which got blown up. It was a dumb mistake, I think it was a dumber scandal, but it hurt.” — Hillary Clinton to NPR
“I was here in the 2004 cycle of hurricanes, four and six weeks that hit Florida. I think what’s prudent for us right now is to make sure that those response capabilities are there. Causality is something outside of my ability to analyze right now. I will tell you that we continue to take seriously the climate change—not the cause of it, but the things that we observe.” — Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert to reporters Monday on climate change and the recent hurricanes
Bits and Bites
Trump’s Republican Civil War [National Review]
Senate GOP looking for budget deal to open way to tax redo [Associated Press]
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