Business

As GOP Tax Overhaul Shapes Up, Democrats Push To End The Tax Return
Taxpayers might love return-free filing, but the tax preparation industry does not

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is leading the latest effort for return-free tax filing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin promised the “largest tax reform in the history of our country” on Wednesday as the White House and congressional Republicans gear up for a major overhaul.

But while their plans emphasize large tax cuts for corporations and more modest ones for individuals, some Democrats are promoting something far more radical: the end of the tax return.

Opinion: The Obama Effect — Pros and Cons for Republicans and Democrats
Former president could unite a party in distress

Former President Barack Obama’s influence could unite a Democratic Party that showed togetherness after President Donald Trump’s win but is already breaking apart on issues such as abortion rights, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Barack Obama, the charismatic former president, can cause a scene just by walking into a coffee shop, as the rapturous crowds in usually blase New York City demonstrated at one of his cameos. So as he gently re-entered the public and policy eye this week, it’s no surprise that he could throw both Democrats and Republicans off balance — though of course for very different reasons.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave President Donald Trump possibly his most important first-100-day achievement by spearheading the maneuver to transform Obama’s Supreme Court pick to replace Antonin Scalia into the conservative Neil Gorsuch, whose first significant vote allowed an Arkansas execution to proceed. McConnell’s obstruction and subsequent “nuclear option” may have played a part in breaking the democratic process, but isn’t that a small price to pay for a win —  at least I’m sure the president feels that way.

Trump Tax Plan Sets Up Another Battle With Congress
President would lower corporate rate, slash individual brackets from 7 to 3

President Donald Trump delivers remarks in the State Dining Room at the White House on Monday. On Wednesday, he laid out his tax overhaul plan. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By JOHN T. BENNETT and LINDSEY McPHERSON, CQ Roll Call

The Trump administration on Wednesday rolled out a massive package of tax rate reductions and code changes. Senior officials claimed it will “pay for itself,” even though details remain murky and a fight with Congress lies ahead.

One Month Until Republicans’ Latest Round of Excuses
Special election for Montana seat moves from Solid Republican to Likely Republican

If Republicans struggle to hold Montana’s at-large district, where Republican Greg Gianforte, left, takes on Democrat Rob Quist in a May special election, it would be yet another indication of the effect President Donald Trump is having on Democratic enthusiasm, Gonzales writes. (Photos courtesy Greg for Montana, Rob Quist for Montana)

When it comes to special election results, Republicans always have an excuse, and their stumbles are never a national trend.

In Kansas, Republicans turned a 27-point victory for Donald Trump in 2016 into a recent 7-point special election victory for state Treasurer Ron Estes even though Democratic lawyer James Thompson had virtually no support from local or national Democrats.

Lawmakers Wary of Russia’s Ability to Plant Cyber Dirt
Moscow’s alleged meddling not just a thing of the past, officials warn

Maine Sen. Angus King said at a hearing last month on Russian cyber operations that Americans should be concerned about being compromised by fake information planted on their computers, and not just the stealing of emails. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a brief and largely overlooked exchange between Sen. Marco Rubio and America’s top spy during a January hearing about Russia’s alleged election meddling, the Florida Republican sketched out what he fears could be the next front in the hidden wars of cyberspace.

Could Russian hackers, Rubio asked then-Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., hypothetically gain access to a U.S. lawmaker’s computer, plant criminal evidence on the device of, say, child pornography or money laundering and then tip off law enforcement?

Opinion: Scorecard — America After 100 Days of Trump
The good news is maybe the nation will endure the next four years

The good news is  despite President Donald Trump, the nation may weather the next four years, Walter Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

It may be news to Donald Trump that the original One Hundred Days ended with Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. In fact, if Trump learned about Napoleon from “Fox & Friends,” he would probably snarl, “I like my conquerors of Europe not to end up exiled to an island so remote you can’t even build a world-class hotel on it.”

The news media may be reeling in an era of fake news, but nothing halts the journalistic passion for predictable rituals like toting up presidential accomplishments after 14 weeks and 2 days in office. Trump himself would admit that he is no Franklin Roosevelt. After all, the 45th president would have spurned marrying a woman like Eleanor Roosevelt — who was never mistaken for an international fashion model when she was touring coal mines on behalf of FDR.

Opinion: Figure It Out, Mr. President
Congress isn’t built to just do what Donald Trump says

President Donald Trump must choose if he wants to be a hardcore anti-establishment president or a smart deal-maker, Allen writes. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

If it were up to President Donald Trump — and a lot of Americans — Congress might not exist. After all, the legislative branch is the kind of inert obstacle that a disruptor business executive doesn’t have to contend with as he innovates and improvises in the private sector. 

Alas, for Trump, the Founding Fathers believed that wild swings in direction could tear a fragile nation asunder. They made it difficult for a president — any president — to rewrite public policy, push the nation to war or enter into treaties.

Trump Administration Plans to Roll Out Tax Plan Next Week
Unveiling would join government shutdown threat and health care re-try on week’s docket

President Donald Trump delivers his address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28. He plans to roll out his long-promised tax reform plan next week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By JOHN T. BENNETT and LINDSEY McPHERSON, CQ Roll Call

A government shutdown deadline, maybe a second try at pushing a health care overhaul bill through the House, an image-focused president approaching his 100th day. And, now, a White House tax reform plan.

Georgia Runoff Will Test Both Parties’ Political Alliances
Parties gearing up for expensive fight in Georgia's 6th District

Karen Handel, seen her in 2014, is uniting the GOP behind her after finishing second in Tuesday’s 18-candidate primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — For a brief moment, Georgia’s 6th District was quiet.

Out-of-state journalists who flooded this suburban battleground headed for the airport Wednesday morning. After a very late Tuesday night, Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel held no public events in the district the next day. Instead, they gave interviews on cable TV — a reflection of how nationalized this race has become. 

Yvette Clarke: ‘We Can't Continue to Pay’ For Trump’s Family
Brooklyn congresswoman says it ‘won’t be long’ before Trump is impeached

Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., said she will continue to see that President Donald Trump is “removed from office as soon as possible.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. Yvette Clarke told a town hall meeting in Brooklyn that taxpayers “cannot continue to pay” for President Donald Trump’s family’s business and travel arrangements.

Clarke criticized Trump’s sons Eric and Donald Jr. for their travels, for having New York City foot the bill to protect Trump’s family at Trump Tower, and for his frequent trips to Florida, the New York Observer reported.