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GOP Barrels Ahead On Tax Cuts In Senate

Tax drama moves to Senate as Trump takes aim at House bill. WaPo: "House Republican tax writers are still holing up in Room 1100 of the Longworth House Office Building, racing to finish their work on a sprawling rewrite of the tax code. Yet the center of gravity Wednesday was shifting to the other side of Capitol Hill, as Senate Republicans prepare to roll out their version of an overhaul as soon as today. President Trump, 7,000 miles away from the action but never out of frame, summed up the dynamic in one line during a Tuesday conference call with Senate Democrats — a Trumpian slip, perhaps not quite unintentionally revealing, that the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday: 'You’re going to like it a whole lot more,' the president said of the forthcoming Senate version."

CBO Says Tax Bill Would Add $1.7B TO Deficit

CBO estimates impact of GOP tax bill on deficit. HuffPo: "The House Republican tax reform plan would add $1.7 trillion to the U.S. national debt over the next decade, according to a preliminary debt calculation by the Congressional Budget Office, exceeding the limits Republicans agreed to for their reconciliation bill. While the CBO has yet to score the legislation, an estimate of the bill’s impact on debt projected the tax bill would decrease revenue by nearly $1.7 trillion over 10 years. To retain the special “reconciliation” status of their tax proposal in the Senate ― which would allow it to pass with only 51 votes instead of 60 ―- Republicans would have to bring the cost of the bill down to $1.5 trillion, though the House and Senate measures are expected to be different. Republicans control only 52 seats in the Senate."

ACA Mandate Repeal Will Uninsure 13M, CBO Says

CBO says repealing health coverage mandate would save $338 billion, uninsure 13 million. NPR: "Getting rid of the requirement that everyone in the country have health insurance coverage would save the government $338 billion over the next decade, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis released Wednesday. But that savings would come with 13 million fewer people having insurance coverage by 2027, CBO analysts say. Some of those people would not want to buy insurance, but others couldn't afford it. The CBO also predicts that average premiums would be 10 percent higher in most years than they would be under current law. House Republicans are toying with the idea of repealing the so-called individual mandate — a key part of the Affordable Care Act — as part of their plan to overhaul the tax code. Including the provision could be a win-win for Republicans. The move would allow them to offset more of the tax cuts they want in their tax plan and give them the chance to claim they repealed one of the most hated parts of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare."

GOP Donors Double Down On Calls For Tax Cuts

GOP Admit Their Tax Plan Is All About Rich Donors. Common Dreams: "'All of us realize that if we fail on taxes, that’s the end of the Republican Party’s governing majority in 2018,' South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham told Fox News recently. In fact, 'that’s probably the end of the Republican Party as we know it.' If the tax giveaway doesn’t pass, adds Utah Republican Mike Lee, “We might as well pack up our tent and go home.' The thing is, that doesn’t make any sense. Gallup polls have shown over and over that most Americans think rich people and corporations should pay more, not less. Even a majority of Republican voters worry about what this wealth grab will do to the deficit. If they were looking for a win, then, Republicans would be running against their own plan. So what gives? Well, New Jersey Republican Chris Collins recently offered a clue: 'My donors are basically saying, 'Get it done or don’t ever call me again.'"

Redistricting Wars Begin

Democrats win Phase One of the redistricting wars. The Atlantic: "After Virginia, the Democratic Party is breathing a sigh of relief. The rather easy victory for Governor-elect Ralph Northam stems the tide of recent hemorrhaging of key positions across the states to Republicans, and continues their control over a blue-ish state. Northam’s victory, and that of Justin Fairfax, the state’s second black official elected in a statewide race, also offer a sign that virulent and race-baiting white-identity politics—politics that characterize the Trump era and the late portion of Republican Ed Gillespie’s campaign—are beatable, even in the cradle of the old Confederacy. Those signs are reason enough for Democrats to celebrate. But the true national significance of Northam’s victory, as well as major gains by the party in the General Assembly, might not be in the message they send, but the fact that those gains constitute the first big victory for Democrats in the political mapmaking game in at least a decade."

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