Trump Suggests Breaking Up the 9th Circuit

President Trump told the Washington Examiner that he has “absolutely” considered proposals that would split up the 9th Circuit, where judges have blocked two of his executive actions.

Said Trump: “There are many people that want to break up the 9th Circuit. It’s outrageous.”

He added: “Everybody immediately runs to the 9th Circuit. And we have a big country. We have lots of other locations. But they immediately run to the 9th Circuit. Because they know that’s like, semi-automatic.”

No Charges for Woman Who Followed Mom’s ‘Dying Wish’

A North Carolina prosecutor said he will not bring voter-fraud charges against a woman who said she cast an illegal vote for Donald Trump last year to fulfill her mother’s dying wish, the Charlotte Observer reports.

Rick Hasen: “You can bet that if this were an African-American woman voting for Clinton, the DA would have prosecuted or been called ‘soft’ on voter fraud.”

Moore Will Run for Senate In Alabama

Roy Moore (R) announced he is resigning from his position as the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court to run in the special election for U.S. Senate, the Birmingham News reports.

Said Moore: “My position has always been God first, family then country. I share the vision of President Donald Trump to make America great again. We can make America great again, we’ve got to make America good again.”

Moore said he has submitted his papers to resign from the state supreme court, a position he was suspended from for the remainder of his term.

White House Backs Down on Obamacare Payments

“The White House has told lawmakers that it will continue paying Affordable Care Act cost-sharing subsidies, removing the biggest remaining hurdle in the negotiations to avoid a government shutdown,” Politico reports.

The Hill: “The move marks something of a shift for President Trump, who had threatened earlier this month to withhold the subsidies — known as cost-sharing reductions — as a way move Democrats to negotiate on a healthcare overhaul. But the issue had threatened to derail the ongoing talks on government funding legislation that Congress must act on this week.”

Trump May Sign Order Withdrawing from NAFTA

“The White House is considering withdrawing from NAFTA in the coming days, though President Donald Trump has not yet decided how to proceed,” CNN reports.

Politico: “A draft order has been submitted for the final stages of review and could be unveiled late this week or early next week, the officials said. The effort, which still could change in the coming days as more officials weigh in, would indicate the administration’s intent to withdraw from the sweeping pact by triggering the timeline set forth in the deal.”

House GOP Mulls Health Care Vote on Friday

“There is now discussion on the Hill and in the White House about a health care vote this Friday. The House whip team is busy counting moderate votes and gauging support within the caucus, and there should be a clearer picture of where things stand tonight,” Axios reports.

“Both the White House and GOP House leadership are cautious about setting artificial deadlines. That’s what they did last time and it backfired. They believe a vote this week is possible, though they’re unwilling to say likely.”

White House Proposes Slashing Tax Rates

President Trump “proposed sharp reductions in both individual and corporate income tax rates, reducing the number of individual income tax brackets to three — 10%, 25% and 35% — and easing the tax burden on most Americans, including the rich,” the New York Times reports.

“The Trump administration would double the standard deduction, essentially eliminating taxes on the first $24,000 of a couple’s earnings. It also called for the elimination of most itemized tax deductions but would leave in place the popular deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions. The estate tax and the alternative minimum tax, which Mr. Trump has railed against for years, would be repealed under his plan.”

Washington Post: “The proposal is an outline – key details are left unfinished – but it presents an initial offer to begin negotiations with lawmakers, as White House officials believe reworking the tax code is one of their biggest priorities to boost economic growth.”

The Swamp Is Winning

Ben Smith: “As the Trump administration scrambles to list the accomplishments of Donald Trump’s first hundred days, an awkward fact is becoming clear: To the extent that they have much to brag about, it’s because they’ve turned important roles and projects over to the swamp-dwelling Washington insiders Trump campaigned against.”

“Trump’s clearest major accomplishment is also the purest example of this trend: The appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court was a masterpiece of insider politics, steered by the longtime master of Washington conservative judicial politics Leonard Leo and guided through the Senate by the most Washington of Washington strategists, Ron Bonjean.”

“The nomination process was as slick as virtually everything else Trump touched was messy: Well-researched and coordinated, with an array of conservative groups feeding and sparring with the media and with Democrats. It was characterized by aggression and spin, but not overt lying or massive bumbles. And while it was hardly a rogue operation — Bonjean is close to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer — it was like an alternate universe from the chaos reporters are accustomed to coming out of Pennsylvania Avenue.”

Trump Speaking Style Still Flummoxes Linguists

Associated Press: “Trump’s trademark talk is full of rambling, aside-filled bursts of simple but definitive words, laden with self-congratulatory bravado and claims that have fact-checkers working overtime, all dispatched from mind to lips in such record time it seemingly bypasses any internal filter.”

“It has been a source of curiosity for language scholars and laymen alike, sparked anew by a recent Associated Press interview with Trump that has brought newfound opportunity for parsing a brand of presidential oratory not previously recorded.”

Said historian Kristen Kobes Du Mez: “This kind of pushes the limits of linguistic analysis.”

No One Thinks Trump’s Tax Proposal Will Survive

Playbook: “Yes, President Donald Trump is releasing his outlines for tax reform today. But let’s be honest: what he is releasing today will not bear much resemblance to anything that might pass in the coming year.”

“We were up on Capitol Hill and worked our White House sources yesterday, and they all see this not as a line in the sand or as a serious proposal, but as an opportunity to get the conversation started. No, Congress won’t be able to lower corporate and passthrough tax rates to 15 percent. The professionals in the White House realize this — and also realize that they’re beginning to irk Capitol Hill committees by releasing this. Without some corresponding way of paying for such low rates, these rates would blow a massive hole in the deficit. But it reflects a White House itching for action. (That explains their push for a health care vote this week.) And insiders say unlike health care reform, Trump is more personally invested in making sure something happens on tax reform.”

Republicans Optimistic About Health Care Revival

“GOP House members came out of a conference meeting Wednesday morning still optimistic about a health care vote next week, provided the deal-making amendment gets fixed to subject Congress to the same Affordable Care Act regulation waivers as everyone else,” Axios reports.

“It’s still unclear whether there are still enough moderate holdouts to block the bill.”

For members: A Nightmare Scenario for Moderate Republicans

Super PAC Pumps More Money Into Georgia’s 6th

An influential super PAC with ties to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is set to spend another $3.5 million to support Karen Handel’s (R) campaign against Jon Ossoff (D) in Georgia’s 6th congressional district, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

“The super PAC was the first major outside group to weigh in on the race, which is seen as an early test of Donald Trump’s popularity and a dry run for the 2018 midterm elections. It spent more than $3 million ahead of the April 18 special election with a wave of ads that mocked footage of Ossoff dressed as Han Solo in college and cast him as a stooge of Nancy Pelosi.”

Can Republicans Stay Unified to Pass a Tax Cut?

First Read: “The GOP plan to pass any tax cut through Congress is to use reconciliation to prevent a Democratic filibuster against the legislation, so that it will need just 51 Senate votes instead of 60. But that means, with a 52-48 majority, there’s little margin for error. And by the way, using reconciliation presents its own challenges — due to the rule that it can’t increase deficits beyond a 10-year budget window. That’s why the Bush tax cuts expired after 10 years.”

However, as the Wall Street Journal notes, “Even a temporary tax cut in the corporate tax rate as short as three years might cost the government revenue beyond 10 years and run afoul of those reconciliation rules. Lower rates mean that businesses will use fewer tax credits… As a result, they will carry those credits forward and reduce revenues in future years.”