Tag Archives: throws

Lee’s clutch free throws propel Warriors past Raptors

Damion Lee converted the tying and go-ahead free throws with 3.3 seconds left and the Golden State Warriors withstood a rough fourth quarter to hold off the Toronto Raptors 106-105 on Sunday night despite uncharacteristic struggles by Stephen Curry.

Curry shot 2 of 16 and missed nine of his 10 3s for 11 points after scoring 143 over his previous four games, including a career-high 62 one week earlier against Portland.

“My offence, I expect it to be there every night,” Curry said. “With how teams are defending night to night, being able to figure that out, in terms of us just having confidence across the board no matter who’s out there on the floor, I like where we’re at right now.”

Pascal Siakam missed a jumper as the buzzer sounded but finished with 25 points, and Fred VanVleet scored 21 for Toronto in a rematch of the 2019 NBA Finals won in six games by the Raptors.

WATCH | Siakam’s misses buzzer-beater as Warriors beat Raptors:

Pascal Siakam had a chance to win the game for Toronto at the buzzer but missed and Golden State won 106-105. 0:51

“It went in and out, pretty clean look,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said of Siakam’s last look.

The Raptors challenged a foul call on Kyle Lowry beyond the right side of the arc that originally would have given Lee three shots. It was determined on review the foul was before the shot — the third play that went to replay in the final 34.4 seconds. All three calls were confirmed.

Andrew Wiggins had 17 points and matched his career high with four blocked shots as Golden State nearly squandered away a game it led by 17 against an opponent that had scored a franchise-record 144 points Friday at Sacramento.

Kent Bazemore made a go-ahead lay-in with 1:06 to play for Golden State before VanVleet knocked down a jumper on the other end.

Curry turned the ball over with 34.4 seconds remaining and that went to review. Lowry missed a 3-point try and Golden State got one more chance with 7.6 ticks on the clock — another review that stood determining it was Warriors ball.

Lowry missed Friday’s game for personal reasons but returned and contributed 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists. His layup with 7:13 remaining pulled the Raptors within 94-90. VanVleet’s basket at 4:05 made it a one-point game before Kelly Oubre Jr. hit his first 3-pointer of the night moments later.

Eric Paschall scored 15 points off the bench on a night the Warriors reserves produced 46 points. Lee had 13 with three 3s.

Late in the third, Golden State’s defence showed just how much it is doing for the Warriors: drawing a 24-second violation by Toronto one possession, and then Yuta Watanabe stepped out of bounds the next. Toronto committed another shot-clock turnover in the fourth.

“We have enough talent, enough weapons to overcome a bad shooting performance,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

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U.S. federal judge throws out Trump bid to stop Pennsylvania vote certification

U.S. President Donald Trump faced a new setback on Saturday in his desperate bid to overturn the U.S. election as a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by his campaign that sought to throw out millions of mail-in votes in Pennsylvania.

U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann ruled that Trump’s campaign had failed to demonstrate there had been widespread voting fraud in the Nov. 3 election, which Trump lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

“This Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations,” Brann wrote.

Brann added that he “has no authority to take away the right to vote of even a single person, let alone millions of citizens.”


The lawsuit, spearheaded by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, sought to stop officials from certifying Biden’s victory in the state. It argued that some counties wrongly allowed voters to fix errors on their mail ballots.

“I’ve been telling everyone who will listen: these suits are baseless,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said on Twitter following the ruling.


Members of the Allegheny County Return Board process absentee and mail-in ballots in Pittsburgh on Nov. 12. (Steve Mellon/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

Trump’s lawyers said they would appeal the ruling, with the hopes of quickly reaching the U.S. Supreme Court. “We are disappointed we did not at least get the opportunity to present our evidence at a hearing. Unfortunately the censorship continues,” Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said in a statement.

Trump team requests recount in Georgia

Trump’s legal team said Saturday that his campaign has requested a recount of votes in the Georgia presidential race after results showed Biden winning the state.

Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Friday certified the state’s election results, which had Biden beating Trump by 12,670 votes out of about five million cast, or 0.25 per cent. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp then certified the state’s slate of 16 presidential electors.

Georgia law allows a candidate to request a recount if the margin is less than 0.5 per cent. The recount would be done using scanners that read and tabulate the votes. County election workers have already done a complete hand recount of all the votes cast in the presidential race. But that stemmed from a mandatory audit requirement and isn’t considered an official recount under the law.

State law requires that one race be audited by hand to ensure that the machines counted the ballots accurately, and Raffensperger selected the presidential race. Because of the tight margin in that race, a full hand count of ballots was necessary to complete the audit, he said.

Trump has criticized the audit, calling it a “joke” in a tweet that claimed without evidence that “thousands of fraudulent votes have been found.” Twitter has flagged the post as containing disputed information.

Votes that hadn’t previously been counted were found in several counties during the audit, which required recertification of the election results in those counties before state certification of the results.

Dozens of lawsuits across the U.S.

The Pennsylvania lawsuit is one of dozens filed by Trump and his Republican allies in the aftermath of the election. They are also seeking to invalidate or change the results through recounts and direct pressure on lawmakers in several states.

The campaign has not provided evidence for its claims of widespread and co-ordinated electoral fraud.

In Michigan, Republicans on Saturday asked state authorities to wait to certify Biden’s victory for 14 days to allow for an audit of ballots in Wayne County, which includes the majority-Black city of Detroit. The letter cited allegations of “irregularities” that have not been substantiated. Biden won 154,000 more votes than Trump in Michigan.

WATCH | Trump’s Michigan ploy foiled:

CBC News Network’s John Northcott speaks with Roger Fisk, a Democratic strategist who worked on former president Barack Obama’s campaigns, in the wake of Donald Trump’s refusal to concede. 6:11

That effort faces long odds. A spokesperson for Michigan’s top election authority said state law does not allow for audits before the vote is certified, which is due to take place on Monday. Allegations of widespread fraud have been found to be baseless, the spokesperson said.

Two leading Republican Michigan lawmakers who came to Washington at Trump’s behest said after meeting him on Friday that they had no information that would change the outcome of the election in the state.

In Wisconsin, an official said that poorly trained observers for the Trump campaign were slowing a partial recount by challenging every ballot and raising other objections.

“Observers are disruptive. They are asking question after question, telling the tablulators to stop, stop what they’re doing and that is out of line, that’s not acceptable,” Milwaukee County Clerk George Christianson told reporters.

Fraud claims inflame base

Trump’s accusations have continued to inflame his hard-core Republican base.

Hundreds of supporters gathered at the statehouse in Atlanta on Saturday, with video posted online showing speakers denouncing the media for calling Biden the election winner, as well as state Republican leaders for certifying the results.

Police in riot gear were deployed to separate them from counter-protesters who gathered nearby.


An officer in riot gear stands between Trump supporters and counter-protesters outside the Georgia state capitol in Atlanta on Saturday. (Ben Gray/The Associated Press)

The General Services Administration, run by a Trump appointee, has not recognized Biden’s victory, preventing his team from gaining access to government office space and funding normally provided to an incoming administration ahead of Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.

Critics say the delay and Trump’s refusal to concede have serious implications for national security and the fight against the coronavirus, which has killed nearly 255,000 Americans.

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Jessica Biel Shares PDA Pics With Justin Timberlake as He Throws Her a 38th Birthday Party

Jessica Biel Shares PDA Pics With Justin Timberlake as He Throws Her a 38th Birthday Party | Entertainment Tonight

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Buick Throws in the Towel on Cars in the US

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Sedans are out at Buick in the United States as it shifts to an all-SUV lineup in 2020. The final sedan in the US lineup, the Regal (main photo), will sell off what remains in stock. That also includes the well-regarded and soft-selling Buick Regal Tour X, a European-style sporty station wagon. Buick will end the year selling about 15,000 Regals, or one of every 14 Buicks sold and one of ever 70 GM vehicles sold.

This continues the transition of Buick from upper-echelon sedan from and for North America, below only Cadillac, to a brand with as much as 80 percent of sales coming from China in recent years. The Buick branding and tri-shield logo now cover a range of vehicles designed, built and/or sold in China and Europe. With the focus on so-called badge-engineering, Buick has little technology it can point to as exclusively Buick.

Buick.com’s new car lineup as of December shows 10 vehicles. The three Regals and two LaCrosses are gone or going.

In the past year, GM axed its other two sedans, the Buick LaCrosse and the short-lived Buick Cascada convertible. Its lineup going forward will be, from smaller to larger, Encore, Encore GX, Enclave, and Enclave Avenir. The Encore GX is not a trim line (model variant) but a separate model, based on the recently announced Chevrolet Trailblazer. See, more badge-engineering.

Buick beefs up the 2020 lineup with the Encore GX, derived from the Chevrolet Trailblazer.

For years, Buick was the next-to-last step up the General Motors ladder of success. A proper executive in the gray flannel suit followed this progression:

  • Chevrolet
  • Pontiac
  • Oldsmobile
  • Buick
  • Cadillac

Now, Pontiac (2009) and Oldsmobile (2004) are gone. So is Saturn (2009), GM’s attempt to think different. The GM ladder to success also didn’t include GMC, which provides upscale SUVs and pickups, and outsells Buick by almost 3-1. Buick added the Avenir sub-brand to three models and there has been talk that Avenir might one day replace Buick as the middle brand. As of 2019, the Buick nameplate has been dropped from the trunk or tailgate, although that’s not uncommon among car brands. Many just go with the car’s emblem, the model name, and sometimes a designator for all-wheel-drive or a sport version.

Sedans are selling well for some automakers. Among the top 10 sellers in 2018, there were three sedans. The Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, and Toyota Corolla each sold at least 300,000 units. And the just-shipping 2020 Hyundai Sonata is one of the leading contenders for some of the car of the year awards, even if it doesn’t have the sex appeal of the 2020 Corvette.

Buick currently is in the middle of GM sales in the US. Through three quarters of 2019, they are:

Chevrolet, 1,444,539, 68 percent of GM sales.

GMC, 418,070, 20 percent

Buick, 157,852, 7 percent

Cadillac, 115,697, 5 percent

While Cadillac has fewer sales, the brand has more upscale cachet. People still say (mostly old people still say), “That’s the Cadillac of blenders [or motor homes, or tennis rackets].” Also, it was Cadillac, not Buick, that was chosen to spearhead General Motors’ push into the premium end of vehicle electrification, while Chevrolet is the standard-bearer for the mainstream. It’s Cadillac also that has led the way with GM technologies such as capacitive touch screens and the innovative (if not well-received initially) Cadillac User Experience (CUE). The best thing Buick had going was the funky “That’s Not a Buick” campaign showing hip millennials and cute old people who couldn’t believe the fab-looking car that just pulled up was … a Buick.

Now one clue will be: If it’s a sedan pulling up, it’s not a Buick.

Now read:

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Blue Jays prospect T.J. Zeuch throws no-hitter for triple-A Buffalo

Toronto Blue Jays prospect T.J. Zeuch threw a no-hitter on Monday night for the triple-A Buffalo Bisons.

Zeuch walked one batter and struck out three over a 114-pitch performance in Buffalo’s 3-0 win over the Rochester Red Wings, the triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.

The 24-year-old right-hander was drafted 21st overall by Toronto in 2016 and is currently ranked the No. 17 prospect in the Blue Jays organization.

Zeuch’s no-hitter was the first thrown by a Bisons pitcher since Bartolo Colon tossed one in 1997.

Zeuch suffered a lat strain during spring training that kept him out of action until June. He has started 11 games at Buffalo since then, going 4-2 with a 3.84 earned-run average.


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Tesla Stock Hammered After Elon Musk Throws Tantrum On Conference Call

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Elon Musk has wiped billions off Tesla’s market cap since yesterday, after he petulantly refused to answer analysts and investor questions during the Q&A portion of Tesla’s Q1 2018 conference call in favor of shooting the breeze with YouTubers instead.

Tesla has been in the news for multiple reasons of late, none of them good. Elon has a history of making optimistic predictions about its own production targets and timelines. But it truly bit off more than it could chew with the Model 3, and multiple reports have detailed how Tesla has been mired in a production hell of its own creation, caused in part by an over-reliance on automation. At the same time, Tesla has been accused of falsifying injury reports to inflate its own safety record, failing to properly maintain safety standards, and its AutoPilot software has been implicated in the death of a California man. The company is still burning colossal amounts of cash on a quarterly basis, and while this burn rate is directly related to its efforts to execute smoothly on the Model 3, investors are understandably concerned about the company’s cost structure and other challenges.

Tesla’s response to these challenges has been increasingly unhinged. The company has picked unnecessary fights with the NTSB to the point that it was ejected as a partner in the Autopilot crash investigation and accused the Pulitzer Prize-finalist, non-profit Center for Investigative Reporting of launching an “ideologically motivated attack by an extremist organization.” Musk’s behavior on Wednesday will do nothing to assuage the fears of those who feel the CEO is being inappropriately distracted by challenges entirely of his own making.

The conference call started off promising. Musk’s literal first sentence of the call states: “I think we’re going to spend extra time on Q&A and try to answer as many questions as possible.” He notes that Tesla has now produced north of 2,000 Model 3’s per week for three weeks, and while that fell short of the end-of-Q1 target of 2,500 per week, it was a significant improvement over Q4 2017, in which Tesla managed to build fewer than 2,500 Model 3’s for the entire quarter.

The Q&A portion kicks off with some discussion of Tesla’s production schedule, followed by a question on how Tesla’s increased efficiency in battery assembly translates into total cost per kilowatt hour, which Musk short-circuits by declaring “We’re best, which is not a class… The best-in-class of one.” A few more analysts sound off with standard questions about gross margin, whether Tesla plans to raise capital in 2018 (Musk claims it does not and will not need to), clarifications on upcoming capital expenditures on the Model Y, and a further request for clarification on how Tesla’s plans to lower CapEx spending on the Model 3 will impact it in terms of battery and vehicle production — at which point, Musk declares:

“Excuse me. Next. Boring bonehead questions are not cool. Next?”

The next speaker asks a question about Model 3 reservations and whether Tesla is converting those reservations to sales at the expected rate. Musk then refuses to answer the question altogether and states: “We’re going to go to YouTube. Sorry. These questions are so dry. They’re killing me.”

Let’s Call This What It Is

Analyst calls aren’t the sort of thing you tune into if you’re looking for exciting entertainment, and Elon Musk has participated in dozens of them at this point in his life. Questions about CapEx discipline and the question of whether Tesla will need to raise additional capital in 2018 are not incidental to its operation. You can read a full transcript of the call above, but there’s nothing unusual, pushy, or rude about these questions. This isn’t Elon Musk being bored — these are the actions of a man who does not believe people have the right to be asking him questions.

Take, for example, the state of the Model 3. Has the vehicle’s production hell been a story? You bet. But who decided the criteria that would be used to judge Model 3 production? Why, that would be Elon Musk, both in Tweets (as below)… :

And in official company graphs declaring that it would be building 5,000 Model 3’s by December. Even if we dismiss Musk’s tweet as a joke, in other words, the “5,000 Model 3’s per week by December” was no joke. That was the company’s communicated target:

In 2017, Tesla said it would produce 5K Model 3’s per week by the end of the year. In February, they promised 5K per week by the end of March. Now they’re promising 5K per week by July, unless they miss.

Despite what Elon Musk thinks, it is newsworthy when people die in or as a result of self-driving car technology because said technology is cutting-edge and is being evaluated for deployment in the entire vehicle fleet in coming years. Contrary to what Musk claims, journalists don’t solely focus on Tesla when discussing vehicle fatalities or even self-driving vehicle fatalities. Just ask Uber. It’s noteworthy when Tesla can’t meet its own production goals for vehicles, particularly when its failure to do so appears to demonstrate that the CEO is either cataclysmically bad at predicting the production capabilities of his own company, or has so little respect for his investors that he doesn’t feel the need to attempt to do so honestly. And it’s important to the leadership of a company many people believe could change the future of self-driving cars that Elon Musk is acting so erratically and lashing out at everyone, rather than taking responsibility for the bad press his company has earned.

Has anybody checked in with Kia? They might have some engineers to help debug the car.

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Pregnant Cardi B Twerks at Coachella as Migos Seemingly Throws Shade at Nicki Minaj

Twerkin’ mama!

Cardi B didn’t let her pregnancy slow her down one bit on Sunday as she took to the stage at Coachella. The 25-year-old rapper stepped out in a strapless white jumpsuit that showed off her growing baby bump, with cutouts down the legs.

Rocking pigtails and lots of bling, the “Bodak Yellow” artist danced, twerked and even pelvic thrusted onstage to the delight of concertgoers. The performance also featured cameos from Chance the Rapper, G-Easy, and Kehlani, who are also featured on Cardi’s new album, Invasion of Privacy.

It’s been a big week for the mom to be, whose album debuted at no. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts, making her the fifth female rapper ever to achieve this success.

Later in the evening, Cardi’s fiancé, Offset, performed with his group, Migos, and while he didn’t bring Cardi on stage as expected, fans noticed that when the trio performed their song, “Motorsport,” they rapped Cardi’s verse but left out Nicki Minaj’s lyric entirely.

The move was seen as Migos throwing slight shade at Minaj, who has publicly spoken out about her feud with Cardi.

The 35-year-old rapper claimed she was “hurt” by Cardi during an appearance on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show last week, and noted that due to scheduling conflicts, she was not able to make the music video shoot for the song, leading to some supposed drama between the women.

Cardi B

Getty Images

“I texted [hairstylist Tokyo Stylez], ‘You know if I don’t show up the day she’s shooting, they’re gonna act like it’s because I’m doing it to be mean with the current Nicki hate train,’” she recalled. “They [Migos and Cardi] all knew that … and still did interviews and jumped around it just to paint Nicki as the bad person, so you could play the victim. That really, really hurt me because I really, fully supported her.”

Cardi B

Getty Images

Minaj was also spotted at Coachella, partying with Shania Twain, Timothee Chalamet and more.

Here’s more on Minaj and Cardi’s alleged feud:

RELATED CONTENT:

Cardi B Shares Advice for Khloe Kardashian Amid Tristan Thompson Cheating Scandal

Nicki Minaj Parties With Shania Twain and Timothee Chalamet at Coachella — See the Pics

Nicki Minaj Cries, Confirms Cardi B Drama: ‘I Had Never Seen Her Show Me Genuine Love’

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Oprah Winfrey Throws Best Friend Gayle King an Epic Birthday Dinner

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Oprah Winfrey knows how to throw a birthday dinner! The media mogul threw a lavish get-together to celebrate Gayle King’s 63rd birthday on Thursday. Winfrey took to Instagram to share a video of herself with her best friend, showing off the dinner menu, which included glazed carrots, braised short ribs, skillet potatoes, butter lettuce salad with pears and more delicious selections pre-chosen by the CBS This Morning host. “It’s almost Weight Watchers-approved,” Winfrey says in the clip as King,…

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Judge Throws Out Radio DJ's Lawsuit Against Taylor Swift, Singer's Countersuit Still Remains

Radio DJ David Mueller’s lawsuit against Taylor Swift has been thrown out.

A judge released Swift from the suit on Friday, determining that the singer “did not act improperly” by reporting that Mueller had allegedly groped her during a Denver, Colorado, meet-and-greet in 2013. The judge declared that there was insufficient evidence that Swift was responsible for his firing from country station KYGO-FM, which occurred two days after the alleged incident. 

WATCH: Taylor Swift Does Not Return to the Stand in Final Day of Court Testimony, Closing Arguments Set for Monday

Swift’s mom, Andrea, and her point contact with radio stations, Frank Bell, are still defendants in the case as Bell did contact KYGO following the alleged incident, and Andrea testified on Wednesday that she did want Mueller fired. Swift’s countersuit against Mueller, in the amount of $ 1 for assault and battery, still stands, and will be deliberated by the judge on Monday.

Mueller was stone faced during his attorney’s attempt to counter, while Swift pointedly look over while he accused her of making up her story against Mueller. When the judge announced that Mueller’s claims had been dropped against Swift, the singer and her legal team appeared overjoyed. Swift said, ‘holy sh*t,’ and hugged her brother, Austin, as the rest of the courtroom erupted in hugs.

“Having two daughters, a son, a wife of 32 years, I couldn’t be more proud to represent someone like Taylor Swift who is willing to step up in a situation like this,” Swift’s attorney, Doug Baldridge, said in a statement to ET. “And I am grateful to say to Judge Martinez, to the marshals, to the people of Denver for getting the law right.”

RELATED: Lena Dunham Praises Pal Taylor Swift After the Singer’s ‘Cutting Testimony’: ‘Her Example Is Powerful’

Reporting by Tracie de la Rosa and Sophie Schillaci.

See more on the trial in the video below. 

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Why the failure to repeal Obamacare throws the rest of Donald Trump's agenda in doubt

“So easy,” Donald Trump boasted last month, hyping the odds his Republican Party would pass tax reform after repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Then, a surprise: The health care law, also known as Obamacare, survived in the Senate last week, carrying on like a zombie in a Republican nightmare.

Perhaps even scarier for conservative lawmakers, though, is what that setback bodes for delivering on Trump’s biggest promises to come, particularly given the looming legislative monster ahead.

Tax reform.

“If I get what I want,” Trump told a crowd last week in Youngstown, Ohio, “it will be the single biggest tax cut in American history.”

More than six months into his presidency, that remains a big “if.”

“This failure has to focus the collective mind now on the absolute need to get something done, to deliver the policy promises that Trump made,” said Ilona Nickels, a former parliamentary adviser now with the non-partisan Congressional Research Service.

‘Crashed the momentum’

Repealing Obamacare was the Holy Grail of conservative health-care policy, while tax reform was the second major pillar on which Trump campaigned. But familiar partisan divisions look likely to crop up.

Nickels, author of Why Congress Matters, believes the collapse of the health-care efforts points to a level of “congressional dysfunction” that spells trouble for an administration yet to have scored any major legislative achievements.

“It’s a rare opportunity to have the executive, the Senate and the House” under unified party control, she said. “They have so much opportunity to get so much done, but they’re squandering it.”

Health Overhaul Protest Chicago

Protesters gather in Chicago to rally against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act in this March 2017 file photo. (Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press)

Nickels wonders whether first tackling tax reform or an infrastructure spending bill might have gone down easier than health care, which has turned out not to be the low-hanging fruit it was believed to be.

“To blow it like this, it can’t be undone. It just crashed the momentum for anything going forward and it’s hard to rebuild.”

A quick win will matter greatly to congressional Republicans as the 2018 mid-term elections near.

It’s been a tumultuous year in Washington. The party, desperate to retain its slim majorities in the House and Senate, will want something to show for it.

Early test before tax reform

That’s why the defeat on health-care reform is bad news for both Trump and the Republican Party, said Jim Thurber, founder of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University in Washington.

“It’s clear they’re in a weak position,” he said. “It’s likely that after this, they’re not going to be very successful with tax reform.”

Pulling off “tax simplification” involves navigating complex loopholes, a tangle of powerful special interests that hold dear their tax breaks, and policies that can pit fairness against the goal of helping the economy as much as possible.

The president still needs Congress to help him pass a $ 1-trillion US infrastructure spending package, as well as to move forward on appropriating the estimated $ 20 billion US for his wall along the Mexico border.

USA-HEALTHCARE/

Republican Senators Ron Johnson and Lindsey Graham speak during a news conference about their resistance to the so-called ‘skinny repeal’ of the Affordable Care Act. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

Advancing a health-care repeal bill — something Republicans were, in theory, united on — was seen to be a test of Trump’s ability to get things done on Capitol Hill.

The Trump administration is pushing to slash the corporate tax rate to 15 per cent, from its current 35 per cent.

“But tax reform, in many ways, is more difficult,” Thurber said. “It can take years to do it, and there’s no cross-party bipartisanship on this at all.”

There’s a reason comprehensive tax reform hasn’t come about since 1986, said former Treasury Department official Michael Graetz, a Columbia University specialist on U.S. tax law.

Republicans are at least united on the broad idea that rates should be cut for businesses and individuals. For the most part, the party “has been singing from the same hymnal for years,” Graetz said.

Still, a shared overall goal can be torpedoed by factions within the party, as the Senate’s health-care flameout showed.

“The original health-care bill had also been designed with this idea of making tax reform easier,” Graetz noted.

Legislative limits

To a degree, the no-go on quashing Obamacare complicates plans for rewriting the tax code. A new health-care bill might have cut about $ 1 trillion in Obamacare-related taxes over 10 years. That lower tax revenue baseline would have helped Republicans craft a tax bill that’s revenue neutral, meaning it wouldn’t increase the deficit.

Senate Republicans originally used a budget procedure called “reconciliation” to try to pass Obamacare repeal with just 51 votes, relying on the party’s 52-seat majority instead of the usual 60 votes required. They plan to take advantage of the same process to sidestep a Democratic filibuster to pass a tax bill.

The hitch is that using the reconciliation process means limiting what can be done legislatively. If the bill isn’t revenue neutral, for example, the tax cuts would have to be temporary, potentially upsetting Republicans who are seeking permanent changes to the tax code.

Trump

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has said tax reform would be ‘a lot simpler’ than health care. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press)

Consensus, in other words, isn’t guaranteed if Republicans are considering a less ambitious tax-reform push.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin originally wanted a bill outlining a historic tax cut to appear on the president’s desk this summer. At this point, any major legislative victories seem unlikely before the August congressional recess.

Trump had promised to repeal Obamacare on “Day One” in office back in January.

“The fact we would be here now, with this outcome, is unthinkable to me,” said Rachel Bovard, director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute, an organization committed to training Washington conservatives.

‘Shiny unicorn’

Bovard hopes the health-care collapse can serve as a teachable moment when it comes to tax reform, which she calls “the shiny unicorn of Republican politics.” Achieving that may depend on consensus over core principles, a more modest plan, and not getting caught up in special interests.

“Build the legislation around core goals,” Bovard argued, “not at all these little wonky loopholes, these niche points, like homing in on the border-adjustment tax,” she said, referencing a former sticking point.

Whether or not the health-care setback ultimately portends problems for tax reform, tax policy expert and Heritage Foundation senior fellow David Burton anticipates a long and complex process ahead.

“I’ve got to think members of Congress would rather go home with an accomplishment than not,” he said, noting a revised timeline for a tax bill is now the end of this year.

That now sounds optimistic to Burton — though not impossible.

“They need to start if they’re ever going to finish.”

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