Happy Thursday! Today is the 230th day of 2022, which seems to be speeding by. On this date in 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified, guaranteeing a constitutional right to vote for American women.
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FBI Search at Mar-a-Lago Fuels GOP Attacks on IRS
The FBI’s search last week of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate has helped fuel GOP attacks on Democrats’ newly passed Inflation Reduction Act and its $80 billion in additional funding for the Internal Revenue Service.
The Washington Post’s Mariana Sotomayor reports:
Another line of GOP criticism: The Hill’s Emily Brooks also notes that Republicans have sought to link the new IRS funding with Trump supporters’ outrage about the FBI search, feeding anti-government sentiment by suggesting that if the feds could go after the former president they could come after anyone.
Brooks adds, though, that some Republicans have also made a different argument: That the tax code should be simplified so that the IRS doesn’t need billions more dollars for enforcement.
“It’s kind of unnecessary,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) told reporters last week. “If you think that … the tax code is so complicated and difficult to enforce, then maybe simplify the tax code. That would be the proper solution to that instead of just trying to catch Middle America in their mistakes, which you obviously will make if you do your own taxes. It’s pretty difficult.”
Quote of the Day
"I think there's probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate. Senate races are just different, they're statewide, candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome."
– Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), when asked at an event in Kentucky Thursday for his midterm election forecast, per NBC News.
Politico’s Anthony Adragna points out that McConnell is deft at dodging questions when he wants to, making this prediction notable. “It comes on the heels of a rough week for Senate Republican contenders. [In Pennsylvania,] Mehmet Oz (R), down double digits in the polls to Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), has weathered a viral video of him shopping for crudité. And the Senate Leadership Fund plans to spend $28 million in Ohio to help J.D. Vance in Ohio, as Rep. Tim Ryan (D) has proved surprisingly strong in that contest.”
White House Accelerates Its Response to Monkeypox
The Biden administration said Thursday that it is ramping up its response to the outbreak of monkeypox in the U.S. by speeding the delivery of vaccines and making another 1.8 million doses available for ordering starting August 22. Access to the new supply will be limited to locations that have already used 90% of their initial vaccine allotments and agreed to administer the vaccine intradermally — a technique that allows a single dose to be divided and used on five people, with shots going just under the skin.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra told reporters that the public health response is entering “a new phase” following the declaration of a national health emergency. “The fluid and collaborative allocation of vaccines and treatments to our partners will continue as part of this latest phase, but we will also now surge and target vaccines and treatments when and where that can be most effective,” Becerra said.
An agreement between a European manufacturer and an American packaging firm is a key part of the plan. Bavarian Nordic, the Denmark-based producer of the only vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and Michigan-based Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing will work together to package the 2.5 million doses of the Jynneos vaccine that the Biden administration ordered in July. The collaboration is expected to reduce a nine-month process to three months.
“This partnership between Bavarian Nordic and GRAM will significantly increase the capacity to fill and finish government-owned doses – for the first time in the U.S. – and allow us to deliver our current and future supply more quickly to locations nationwide,” White House monkeypox response coordinator Bob Fenton said in a statement.
New outreach program: HHS said it was launching a pilot program that aims to reach members of the LGBTQ community by providing vaccines at large social events, with a special emphasis on providing vaccines for gay and bisexual men, who account for a majority of new infections. Of the 13,500 cases identified in the U.S. so far, 93% were among men who reported recent sexual contact with other men.
- IRS Becomes GOP Boogeyman Ahead of Midterms – The Hill
- How the Mar-a-Lago Search Has Helped Fuel GOP Attacks on the IRS – Washington Post
- Allen Weisselberg, a Top Trump Executive, Pleads Guilty in Tax Scheme – New York Times
- McConnell Warns GOP May Not Win Senate, as Group Linked to Him Invests Heavily in Ohio – Washington Post
- Democrats Reset Effort to Compensate Farmers of Color as Part of New Spending Package – CNN
- DOE Invests $45 Million in Cyber Technology That Protects Power Sector – The Hill
- Two Lawyers Have Helped Build Thousands of Affordable Houses Using an Obscure Federal Tax Incentive – Washington Post
- HHS Says It Plans to Extend Covid-19 Public Health Emergency – Politico
- White House: Updated Boosters for Adults, Teens Expected in a Few Weeks – The Hill
- Biden Administration Will Stop Buying Covid-19 Vaccines, Treatments and Tests as Early as This Fall, Jha Says – CNN
- What Will the Next Generation of COVID-19 Vaccines Look Like? – The Hill
- CVS, Walgreens and Walmart Must Pay $650.5 Million in Ohio Opioids Case – New York Times
Views and Analysis
- How the Inflation Reduction Act Will (Or Won’t) Affect the Midterms – Catherine Rampell, Washington Post
- The Inflation Reduction Act’s Quiet Revolution on Public Power – Ryan Cooper, American Prospect
- Biden’s Bogus Boast of 1 Million ‘Construction Jobs’ – Glenn Kessler, Washington Post
- Monkeypox Posed Much Less Challenge Than COVID. The U.S. Still Failed to Contain It – Dr. Jalal Baig, NBC News
- What Republicans Should Do if They Win Big This Fall – Oren Cass and Chris Griswold, New York Times
- Five Ways the Inflation Reduction Act Will Reduce Business Owners’ Taxes – Gene Marks, The Hill
- How Long Will the U.S. Continue to Disrespect Its Caregivers? – Ai-jen Poo, New York Times
- The Government’s Weird Way of Encouraging EVs – Zachary B. Wolf, CNN
- The Abysmal Covid Vaccination Rate for Toddlers Speaks Volumes – Aaron E. Carroll, New York Times
- Analysis: Why We Shouldn’t Tiptoe Around Who Is at Highest Risk for Monkeypox Infection – Brandon Tensley, CNN
- It Was the Housing Crisis Epicenter. Now the Sun Belt Is an Inflation Vanguard – Jeanna Smialek, New York Times