No “cave,” no movement on the partial government shutdown. Both President Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi are not budging from their positions on the shutdown and border security funding. The Senate may vote this week on President Trump’s bill to fund his desired border wall and on a Democratic alternative. Neither is likely to pass. Separately, a handful of moderate House Democrats are urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi to end the impasse, perhaps by promising a future vote on border wall funding in return for Trump’s agreement to reopen the government.
More queries on the shutdown’s impact on Treasury and the IRS. The House Ways & Means Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on the partial government shutdown’s impact on the Treasury Department and US taxpayers. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has declined the invitation to testify. On the other side of the Capitol, Democratic Senator Mark Warner asked Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to explain why they are recalling some employees (who are not being paid).
An Arizona state senator would fund a border wall with porn. Senator Gail Griffin proposes to tax anybody viewing adult films on an electronic device in Arizona. A user would confirm his or her adult age and pay $20 in order to unblock software that prevents adult websites from loading. Revenue estimates are as yet unavailable.
Two Democratic North Dakota lawmakers propose a higher oil extraction tax. Their plan would raise the state’s oil extraction tax from 5 percent to 6.5 percent, the rate prior to 2015. It would raise $600 million for the 2019-21 budget cycle and the legislators would use the money for K-12 education, water projects, health care, and other projects. The overall tax on oil in North Dakota would increase from 10 percent to 11.5 percent.
A Democratic Kentucky candidate for Lieutenant Governor won’t release his tax returns. The candidate, businessman Gill Holland, is a wealthy Louisville developer married to heiress Augusta Brown. Holland says he won’t make his personal income tax returns public to protect his family’s privacy. He is filing other financial disclosures required by law.
Virginia’s Republican House Speaker says Democratic Governor Northam is overestimating the cost of a GOP tax plan. The Northam administration estimates that letting taxpayers itemize deductions on their state income tax returns even if they take the federal standard deduction would reduce tax revenues by $603 million and add $1.8 million in administrative costs over two years. The Speaker wants the state’s fiscal watchdog agency to redo the estimates “using current budget revenues as a baseline… not revenues based on tax policy changes that haven’t been adopted into law yet.”
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