taxes

Conway: Trump to Target Red-State Dems Like Donnelly, Tester
White House counselor acknowledges president's ‘friends’ influence his decisions

White House counseor Kellyanne Conway speaks during a breakfast event with reporters Wednesday morning. (Photo provided by The Monitor)

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Wednesday said Donald Trump plans to target vulnerable red-state Democrats as the midterm election campaign heats up and denied the president is “serially untruthful.”

She also disagreed with former Speaker John A. Boehner’s stance that the Republican Party is “taking a nap” that allowed Trump to take control of it, predicted more West Wing staff upheaval and offered a window into efforts to plug a series of leaks during a breakfast event with reporters. Conway insisted the president is busily preparing for his summit with his North Korean counterpart, but struggled to provide specifics on that preparation.

Analysis: Transactional Trump Penalizes Allies, Woos Foes — And Rankles Members
GOP senator to president: ‘Europe, Canada and Mexico are not China’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in October 2017. Since then, their relationship has soured amid trade disputes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Foreign policy, for Donald Trump, is based largely on a belief that being tougher on America’s allies and more lenient on its foes will produce better results. But the president’s approach rankles both Republican and Democratic members.

“We’re being respected again. We’re being respected abroad,” Trump declared Friday. “And we are restoring our wealth at home. It’s about time.”

Analysis: Pelosi, Clinton Factor Big in Trump’s Midterm Strategy
President tries to lend a hand in Senate race that Democrat leads over GOP’s Blackburn

President Donald Trump arrives for a rally at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium for a rally for GOP Senate candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn. Polls indicate a tight race with former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump showed a few cards in his midterm election hand Tuesday night, trying to attach a competitive Democratic Senate candidate to Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton in a state he easily won.

The Republican president did call his party’s candidate for the Senate seat being vacated by GOP Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, “a great woman.” And he brought her on stage to say a few words, during which she opted to praise him. But for the most part, Trump’s message in Nashville was all about Trump, in a preview of the rallies he plans across the country where close races will decide which party controls the House and Senate for the rest of his current term.

Shovels Down: White House Drives Dagger Into Infrastructure Bill
Administration ‘optimistic’ about a farm bill this year, Short says

Workers take a break near the presidential inauguration construction site on the West Front of the Capitol on Dec. 8, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House formally drove a dagger into the passage this year of the kind of massive infrastructure package called for by President Donald Trump.

What is on the White House’s legislative agenda for the rest of the year includes another tax package, a farm bill, more federal judiciary nominations — and possibly immigration legislation.

End of an Era on Senate Finance as Longtime Staffer Departs
Mark Prater was figure in major tax debates dating to the 1990s

Mark Prater, chief tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee and a veteran of major tax debates for decades, is retiring. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Mark Prater, a fixture in GOP tax policymaking on Capitol Hill, is leaving his post as chief tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee.

“Mark has played a vital role in every major tax debate in the last quarter century,” Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch announced Tuesday in a statement, noting Prater’s work on last year’s tax code overhaul, the Bush-era tax cuts and more. He joined the Finance Committee in January 1990. Tuesday was his last day with the panel.

Opinion: Historic Tax Reform is Working
Unemployment is down and wages are up

Workers at a plant in Louisville, Kentucky, install visors on a Ford Expedition SUV in 2017. More Americans are going to work because of the Texas Cut and Jobs Act, writes Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images file photo)

Unemployed, jobless, out-of-work — words that far too many of our friends and neighbors know all too well. Whether you’re a mother or father with a family to feed, or an individual working to pay off student-loans, the face of unemployment is ruthless and does not discriminate.

However, thanks to the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, those who are unemployed are becoming few and far between.

Trump Call to Curb August Recess Picks Up Steam
Republican senators seem eager to keep Democrats off campaign trail

President Donald Trump leaves the Senate Republican policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump did most of the talking Tuesday during a lunch-hour meeting with Senate Republicans, but lawmakers said he did not prod them to cancel their August recess. He did not have to. 

That’s because the idea appears to be gaining steam for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the large number of Democratic incumbents running for re-election could find themselves off the campaign trail and in Washington at a prime time for campaigning.

Behold the Ever-Shrinking Trump-GOP 2018 Agenda
Sanders lists only an immigration bill on White House’s wish list

President Donald Trump addresses the press before departing the White House for Dallas on May 4. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

The White House’s wish list once comprised a sweeping infrastructure measure, overhauling the federal welfare program, another try at tax cuts and an immigration bill. But now, only the final item makes the list with the midterm elections fast approaching.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders essentially drove a dagger through the other items Friday, listing only an immigration bill when asked to lay out the White House’s 2018 legislative agenda.

Kombucha Industry and Others Seek Tax Breaks of Their Own
Advocates push for changes they say are in sync with GOP tax overhaul goals

Producers of kombucha want lawmakers to ensure they’re free from alcohol excise taxes. (Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for [is.] file photo)

Now that President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have redesigned the tax code, niche markets from bitcoin buyers to kombucha makers and cannabis businesses are seeking their turn at the tax cut trough.

Producers of kombucha, a fermented tea drink growing in popularity with millennials, yogis and more, want lawmakers to ensure they’re free from alcohol excise taxes. Marijuana dispensaries are aiming to ease restrictions blocking them from claiming the same tax breaks as other small businesses. And amid a growing cryptocurrency craze, advocates are seeking to exempt transactions of bitcoin and other virtual currencies from strict IRS reporting requirements.

Opinion: Americans Are Telling Both Parties — “Show Me the Money”
GOP has an opening this fall with millennials moving away from Democrats, new poll shows

Speaker Paul D. Ryan speaks with students during an event with millennials at Georgetown University in April 2016. Republicans have an opportunity to make gains among young voters this fall, Winston writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“It sounds strange to me to say this about the Republicans, but they’re helping with even the small things. They’re taking less out of my paycheck. I notice that.” So said Terry Hood, a young, African-American, Clinton voter in a recent Reuters interview about why millennials are moving away from Democrats.

Music to Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan’s ears. And luckily for the GOP, Hood is apparently not the only millennial who’s noticed. A new Reuters/Ipsos poll of 16,000 young voters, ages 18 to 34, repeating a similar 2016 survey, found that support for congressional Democrats among this key group (as measured by the generic ballot test) went from 55 percent two years ago to 46 percent today — a drop of 9 points.