President Trump sues the House Ways & Means Committee and New York State officials. The President is suing in order to keep his state tax returns out of the view of the congressional panel. Specifically, the suit seeks an injunction to block the New York State law that allows the Ways & Means chairman to obtain the tax returns.
Will the $320 billion budget deal pass? Conservative lawmakers are not pleased with the budget deal brokered by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Speaker Nancy Pelosi and confirmed by President Trump. The Freedom Caucus met yesterday to discuss the deal, but its leadership may be more focused on today’s hearing with former special counsel Robert Mueller. They face a hard sell by White House and Congressional leadership to pass the deal before the August recess.
A trade war hangover before anybody can take a sip. The combined tax rate on a bottle of American wine in China is now 93 percent, thanks to retaliatory tariffs imposed after President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports. Between 2017 and 2018, when China first retaliated, the value of US wine exports to China fell by 25 percent. The tariffs hit California the hardest, as it accounts for over 90 percent of US wine sales to other countries.
Also in California: After-school programs still wait for recreational marijuana tax revenue. They weren’t necessarily in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana in 2016, but supporters of California’s After School Education and Safety Programs were led to believe that the programs were first in line to receive marijuana tax revenue. Problem is, the state is not required by law to direct funds to the programs, first or at all. In the 19 months since legalization, after school programs haven’t seen a single dollar of the tax revenue. State lawmakers are working on legislative fixes—but will they help? Marijuana tax revenue is falling short of state estimates.
Speaking of Pot: Harris, Nadler propose federal marijuana reform legislation. Presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Jerry Nadler propose the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, which would legalize and regulate marijuana at the federal level, expunge marijuana convictions, and levy a 5 percent sales tax on marijuana and marijuana products. Revenue from the tax would fund social support and marijuana business and licensing programs.
Warren, Clyburn offer another plan to cancel student debt. While presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders would cancel all student debt, fellow contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren has introduced a more targeted plan in the Student Loan Debt Relief Act, a bill cosponsored with House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn. The measure would forgive up to $50,000 in student loan debt for those with total household income under $100,000. Those with such debt and household incomes between $100,000 and $250,000 would be forgiven a smaller amount. The measure would eliminate student debt entirely for 76 percent of households with student debt. That bill does not treat forgiven debt as taxable income. Outstanding student loans total nearly $1.5 trillion.
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