GOP Tax Plan Delayed
House GOP delays tax bill rollout. Politico: "House Republicans postponed the much-anticipated rollout of their tax reform proposal Tuesday night, an ominous sign for a direly needed legislative accomplishment for President Donald Trump and his party. House Ways and Means Committee members spent all day Tuesday holed up in conference rooms trying to iron out last-minute disagreements. Senior committee staff worked through the night Monday and were expected to do the same on Tuesday to unveil the bill at a GOP Conference meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday. But in a move that foreshadows the difficulties awaiting the party of Reagan, GOP leaders and tax writers postponed their big reveal to buy themselves more time. They now hope to release the bill Thursday but privately acknowledge they have a number of disagreements to resolve first."
EPA Bars Scientists
Pruitt bars some scientists from advising E.P.A. NYT: "Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, stripped a half-dozen scientists and academics of advisory positions Tuesday and issued new rules barring anyone who receives E.P.A. grant money from serving on panels that counsel the agency on scientific decisions. The move will effectively bar a large number of academic researchers, many of them experts in fields ranging from toxicology to epidemiology, from advising the E.P.A. on scientific matters, since the agency is one of the largest funders of environmental research. Mr. Pruitt was expected to appoint several industry representatives to the panels. He did not impose any new restrictions to prevent them from offering advice on environmental regulations that may affect their businesses."
EPA Declares PR Superfund Water Safe To Drink
EPA: Water at Puerto Rico Superfund site is fit for consumption. CNN: "Water drawn from wells at a hazardous waste site in hurricane-hit Puerto Rico meets federal drinking water standards and is fit for consumption, the US Environmental Protection Agency said in a news release on Tuesday. The water being pulled from wells at the Dorado Groundwater Contamination Site, which is part of the Superfund program for hazardous waste cleanup, meets federal drinking water standards for certain industrial chemicals, as well as for bacteria, Elias Rodriguez, an EPA spokesman, told CNN. The water is 'OK to consume based on the analysis that we've done,' Rodriguez said. CNN previously reported that desperate locals had been breaking into wells on the Dorado hazardous waste site in search of water. Following Hurricane Maria, which ravaged the island about six weeks ago, 18% of households in Puerto Rico remain without working taps. Bottled water has been scarce on parts of the Caribbean island, which is a US territory."
GOP Tax Cuts Massive Giveaway To Rich Donors
The ominous absurdity of Trump's tax cuts. CNN: "Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's corporate tax cuts is akin to his request for a government plane for his honeymoon: both are adventures in avarice. Donald Trump, Mnuchin, Gary Cohn, and the key billionaire funders of the Republican Party (including the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and Robert Mercer) would each reap a fortune from the proposed tax cuts. They are out to loot the kitty, and are close to getting away with this daylight robbery. Let's face it: the entire corporate tax cut idea makes no sense. The federal budget deficit is already large and rising. The economy is growing without the tax cuts. Economic inequality is sky-high. The public wants higher, not lower, taxes on companies, according to the Pew Research Center. If ever there were a time to tame the Republican Party's addiction to unaffordable tax cuts, this is it. Yet nothing tames the avarice of this White House and the Republican Party funders."
Trump's Huge Tax Distraction
80 percent of the newest tax cut may benefit the richest 1 percent. Salon: "You know the plot: The bank robbers set off a bomb down the street from the bank, and while everyone’s distracted they get away with the loot. In the reality TV show we’re now suffering through, Donald Trump is the bomb. The robbers are the American oligarchs who bankroll the Republican Party, and who are plotting the biggest heist in American history – a massive tax cut estimated to be up to 5.8 trillion dollars. Around 80 percent of it will benefit the richest 1 percent, according to the Tax Policy Center."