2020 Trump budget reflects 2020 Trump re-election themes
White House hopeful Bernie Sanders blasts plan for ‘cruelty’ and ‘broken promises’

Copies of President Donald Trump’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020 are prepared for distribution at the Government Publishing Office in Washington on March 7. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The budget plan President Donald Trump sent to Congress on Monday reflects the messaging themes that are the early pillars of his re-election campaign.

The $4.7 trillion spending proposal includes increases for things the president uses to fire up his supporters, including a sizable military budget boost and $8.6 billion for his U.S.-Mexico border barrier that could trigger a new government shutdown fight in late September. It also calls for $2.8 trillion in cuts to non-Pentagon programs.

Financial transaction tax will be a test for Democratic presidential candidates
Questions will be asked about whether others will join New York’s Gillibrand in support

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, D-Ore., is leading the House version of a proposed trading tax. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The many congressional Democrats making runs for the White House will have to decide whether to support a new tax on traders and investors.

With Democrats on both sides of the Capitol unveiling proposed taxes on financial transactions that they say would target high frequency trading while providing new revenue for Democratic priorities, the issue could put several candidates on the record. 

Road ahead: HR 1 vote, Cohen returns, senators seek info on Khashoggi, North Korea
House Democrats to vote on top priority, while Senate Republicans continue to confirm judges

Travelers exit Union Station as the Capitol Dome reflects in the glass door on Friday, March 1, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House this week will vote on its marquee bill, HR 1, and haul Michael Cohen back in for more questioning, while senators seek information on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the latest North Korea summit.

HR 1, formally titled the For the People Act after Democrats’ 2018 campaign slogan, is a government overhaul package featuring changes to voting, campaign finance and ethics laws

After decades of taxing the rich, the ‘Big Blues’ face the music
The dismal financial situation of high-tax states has been long in the making

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should look at his state’s outdated economic policies to explain its current fiscal woes instead of blaming stock market losses and the GOP tax law, Winston writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — “Tax the rich. Tax the rich. Tax the rich. The rich leave. And now what do you do?”

Those were the plaintive words of the man in charge of guiding New York’s fiscal ship of state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as he announced earlier this month a projected $2.3 billion state budget deficit.

Damn it Jim, I’m a tax collector, not a filmmaker
After years of appropriations cuts, and a disastrous Star Trek-parody, the IRS budget is $600 million short of what it was 6 years ago

The Internal Revenue Service building as seen on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Beam me up, Mr. Speaker, as the late former House lawmaker and convicted felon James A. Traficant Jr. used to say. Congress is finally going easier on the IRS after five years of funding restrictions intended to prevent another onscreen voyage to the “planet NoTax.”

After a pricey Star Trek parody filmed by IRS employees came to light in 2013, the GOP House set its phasers to vaporize the prospect of such videos being made in the future, putting funding prohibitions into five consecutive spending bills beginning in fiscal 2014.

3 Takeaways: There’s a big 2020 hue within Trump’s anti-socialism push
'I am not a democratic socialist,' says Dem presidential candidate Kamala Harris

President Donald Trump delivers remarks to the Venezuelan-American community at Florida International University on Monday. He vowed during his speech that "America will never be a socialist country." (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks via Flickr)

ANALYSIS | President Donald Trump is vowing to rid the Western Hemisphere of socialist governments, but the early days of his push appear as much about his own re-election fight than anything happening in Central and South America.

“The twilight hour of socialism has arrived in our hemisphere,” Trump said to applause from an audience of Venezuelan-Americans Monday in Miami. “And, frankly, in many, many places around the world. The days of socialism and communism are numbered - not only in Venezuela, but in Nicaragua and in Cuba, as well.”

Green New Deal: Some Democrats on the fence
Top Democrats who would oversee legislation in the House are reluctant to endorse plan that would remake economy

Democratic Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have championed the Green New Deal on Capitol Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A resolution outlining the goals of the Green New Deal capped off its first week of a somewhat messy rollout with mixed reviews, even from typically Democratic strongholds like labor unions.

In the House, the top two Democrats who would oversee any legislation that comes out of the plan have remained reluctant to fully endorse it, stopping at lauding the goals and the enthusiasm behind them. And Republicans quickly branded the Green New Deal as an extreme, socialist plan with unrealistic proposals to eliminate air travel and cows.

Progressive groups push Democrats to full-court press for Trump’s taxes
New House Ways and Means chairman has indicated he will ‘lay out a case’ to obtain POTUS’ tax records

Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., has indicated that he won’t make a quick play for Trump’s tax returns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Progressive groups renewed their calls Thursday for the leading Democrat on the House committee with jurisdiction over taxes to “immediately” obtain Donald Trump’s tax returns, which the president refused to release during the 2016 campaign after initially promising to do so.

“As the newly appointed Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, it is your constitutional duty and responsibility to conduct effective oversight of President Donald Trump and his administration,” three leading progressive groups on the issue wrote in a letter, first seen and reviewed by Roll Call, to Democratic Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts.

Chuck Grassley reminds U.S. Olympic Committee about requirements for its tax exemption
Finance chairman fires off new questions about the USOC's handling of sexual abuse

Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley is raising questions about the U.S. Olympic Committee’s tax status. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The United States Olympic Committee might have more cause to worry about its tax exemption.

In a new letter to USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland, new Senate Finance Charles E. Grassley asks a series of questions about the committee’s work to protect athletes from abuse.

Grassley wants IRS to give taxpayers a break if they messed up witholdings

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, center, thinks the IRS should give taxpayers a break if they did not withhold enough from their paychecks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee does not want taxpayers punished if they end up owing an abnormally large amount of money to the IRS this tax season because of issues with the changes in tax withholding under 2018 tax code changes.

While Sen. Charles E. Grassley praised the efforts of the IRS and the Treasury Department to advise people of the importance of updating tax withholding figures, as well as the online calculator, he said that it was clear there could be issues.