TAX REFORM: WHAT WE KNOW. As Republicans make a final effort to push through their tax reform, here’s where things stand and what we know:
DEMS FIGHTING FOR REAL REFORM. While Republicans work themselves into a tizzy giving tax cuts to their wealthy donors, Democratic Senators are fighting for real tax reform that actually benefits hardworking Americans – and they’re willing to work across the aisle to get it done.
MO – McCaskill: FACT: I want tax reform focused on Missouri’s working families.
“I want tax reform. Many of my Democratic and Republican colleagues want tax reform. This should be an area where we can leave politics at the water’s edge and get something real and meaningful done, because it will help middle-class families in every state in the union —and most definitely help families in Missouri.”
MT – WATCH: Senator Tester explain how he’s urging his Republican colleagues to work across the aisle to achieve meaningful reform.
OH – WATCH: Senator Brown call out the GOP’s hypocrisy in calling for middle-class tax cuts, while actually giving kickbacks to the wealthy.
WI – Urban Milwaukee: Tax Reform Should Put Families First.
“I believe we need to make our tax system simpler and fairer. That’s what I’ve been working for, and that’s why I will be taking a stand against this partisan tax plan this week. Overall, the Senate Republicans’ plan is largely a tax giveaway to the wealthiest few and big corporations, while millions of middle-class families would get a tax hike.
That’s not right and that’s not fair.
Tax reform should put Wisconsin first, so I’ve introduced legislation that makes the tax system simpler and fairer for Wisconsinites.
My Stronger Way Act would reward hard work, raise incomes and help working families keep more of what they earn by strengthening the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.”
WV – Metro News: Manchin pushes for bipartisan tax effort.
“Manchin said Democrats are serious about passing tax overhaul legislation and are willing to work with Republicans on reforming the tax code, which was last done in 1986. ‘I’ve never seen in my life in anything I’ve been involved — in business or in my political life — a partisan type of approach for fixing a major problem,’ he said.
Manchin added while Republicans could find themselves struggling to reach the 51-vote threshold in order to pass a bill, they could easily pass legislation requiring 60 votes if they include input from Democratic lawmakers.”
GOP FACING PROBLEMS AHEAD OF 2018. Republicans are facing a host of problems ahead of the 2018 midterms: an increasingly unpopular GOP-led Congress and Majority Leader have Republicans “fleeing… team McConnell,” as “the battle for the GOP’s soul” leaves some Republicans worried that they’re becoming “unelectable.”
Washington Post: Could the battle for the GOP’s soul leave Republicans unelectable?
AHEAD OF TOUGH PRIMARIES, AZ, NV, IN GOP SEN “EMBRACE” TRUMP. In Arizona, Nevada, and Indiana, Republican candidates are rushing to embrace Trump in an effort to survive nasty primaries.
AZ – Politico: McSally embraces Trump ahead of Arizona Senate run. “Rep. Martha McSally wants to make one thing clear before she launches an Arizona Senate campaign: She’s a big fan of President Donald Trump.
McSally’s shift to outspoken defense of Trump has been a dramatic one, as she prepares to switch from running for reelection in a House district Hillary Clinton won to competing in a Senate GOP primary with former state Sen. Kelli Ward, an arch-conservative who has aligned herself with former White House strategist Steve Bannon.”
IN – Seymour Tribune: Candidates “Jockeying to be Trumpier than the Next Guy.” The field “is all campaigning to be the closest in the voters’ minds with Donald Trump. All of the candidates are jockeying to be Trumpier than the next guy in hopes of being the Trumpiest choice for the GOP field.
Philosophical differences, qualms about character and any other doubts have been jettisoned. Now it’s all about being as much in Trump’s quarter as possible.”
GOP’S “NASTIEST PRIMARY” UPDATE. It looks as if there’s a new entrant into “the GOP’s nastiest primary” with former State Rep. Mike Braun “upending a Senate primary fight in Indiana that until now has been defined by the sparring between Republican Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita.” Braun has characterized the sparring between Messer and Rokita as “a major asset” to his campaign, but “Republicans are already signaling that he will not continue to get a free pass.”
NICHOLSON’S CONSULTING CAREER A MYSTERY. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Kevin Nicholson, who has touted his consulting career as preparation for his bid for U.S. Senate, failed to report who his clients were, which opens Nicholson up to a host of conflict of interest problems.
IN THE STATES.
AZ – USA Today: Sinema on Senate Run: “It’s about putting people ahead of party”
IN – Indiana Statehouse Newsroom: Sen. Donnelly hopes law can help prevent veteran suicides
(MORE) IN – WLFI: SEN. DONNELLY WORKING TO KEEP US JOBS AT HOME
MO – Joplin Globe: Sen. McCaskill stresses bipartisan work in Webb City town hall
MT – Daily Inter Lake: LEGISLATION AIMS TO HELP SMALL MONTANA BANKS
ND – Forum News Service: Heitkamp unveils bill to support pension plans
OH – Fremont News-Messenger: Brown joins call for quick action on Asian carp
(MORE) OH – WKSU: Sen. Brown Presses GOP Leaders on Why Renewing the Children’s Health Insurance Program Has Stalled
(MORE) OH – WTOL: Sen. Sherrod Brown introduces bill to protect American jobs from foreign investments
WI – The Pride: Tammy Baldwin Introduces Legislation Increasing Services for LGBTQ+ Elders
WV – Metro News: Manchin pushes for bipartisan tax effort
TWEET OF THE WEEK.