Deal or No Deal? While both sides hint they want to resume talks, nothing has happened yet. President Trump claimed yesterday that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Minority Leader Chuck were ready to make a deal with the White House on coronavirus relief legislation, but Pelosi and Schumer denied it. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asserted yesterday that the White House and Senate Republicans are “not the ones holding this up.”
Trump the disrupter takes aim at Social Security. The president has upended much of government, but until last Saturday had left Social Security alone. Then he said he’d “terminate” the payroll tax that funds the federal retirement program (as well as Medicare Part A hospital insurance). TPC’s Howard Gleckman sorts through the consequences of Trump’s proposal.
CBO: Deficit reaches nearly $3 trillion in first ten months of fiscal year 2020. The record $2.8 trillion was more than three times higher than through the same period last year. "Revenues were 1 percent lower and outlays were 51 percent higher through July 2020 than during the same 10-month period in fiscal year 2019," the CBO said in its monthly budget review. Coronavirus-related spending drove up outlays.
Remember the budget? Congress still needs to pass some kind of budget for fiscal 2021, which begins in less than two months. House Democrats won’t bring up a spending plan before mid-September. Since the Senate has passed no spending bills, look for some sort of stop-gap funding measure.
At least some revenues are high. In Oklahoma, tax revenues from the sale of medical marijuana exceeded $12 million in July. Over 8 percent of Oklahoma residents are licensed medical cannabis patients. The state levies a 7-percent tax on medical marijuana sales.
Bipartisan senators: Drop the tariffs on European food, wine, and spirits. Thirteen senators warned the US Trade Representative that US restaurants, stores, distributors, and importers face severe economic hardship due to the increased costs while demand has declined. This is “leaving importers and distributors with months’ worth of product, much of it perishable, with no clear end date for the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Trump’s attorneys demand details from the Manhattan district attorney. His lawyers want a hearing on whether the Manhattan district attorney’s office should disclose its justifications for the subpoena of Trump’s financial records. Trump’s legal team argues that the subpoena is too broad, akin to a fishing expedition, and amounts to harassment.
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