Tonight, we’re kicking things off with key findings from former President Trump’s tax records. We’ll also look at the uproar surrounding a failed effort to pass landmark marijuana banking legislation, the White House’s latest preview of its economic priorities for next year, and more.
But first, here’s how to watch Zelensky’s address to Congress.
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What we’ve learned amid Trump tax record release
The main tax committee in the House voted Tuesday night to release six years of tax returns belonging to former President Trump as part of an investigation into the presidential audit program at the IRS.
Reports from the Ways and Means Committee about the IRS’s presidential audit program as well as from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) on the content of the tax returns have already been released.
Here’s what we know from their reports and from what lawmakers have been saying:
- The IRS has a mandatory audit program for sitting presidents, but didn’t audit Trump until more than two years after he assumed the presidency, and Democrats want to know why.
- Trump was finally selected for examination by the IRS on April 3, 2019, the same day that Neal wrote a letter to the then-commissioner of the IRS, Charles Rettig, asking for Trump’s tax returns.
- Lawmakers also revealed that Trump paid nothing in tax in 2020, $558,000 in tax in 2019, $5.3 million in tax in 2018 and nothing again in 2017.
DOOM AND GLOOM
Marijuana advocates stunned after banking bill torpedoed
Marijuana advocates and executives are up in arms after opposition from Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) resulted in Congress failing to pass a key cannabis banking bill, dealing a massive blow to the industry.
The $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill includes all kinds of expenditures, but not the SAFE Banking Act, a bipartisan measure that would undo federal restrictions that make it difficult for legal cannabis businesses to access financial services.
It now faces an even steeper climb to become law in the next Congress, with Republicans taking over the House.
- The bill slipped away despite passing the House seven times and having enough GOP support to reach 60 votes in the Senate.
- Advocates blame McConnell, but also Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who withheld his support for the bill for years and never allowed a standalone vote on the bill.
- Untold numbers of smaller cannabis companies that were waiting for SAFE Banking to help them obtain capital and avoid the all-cash model that attracts robberies, may soon go out of business, industry executives warned.
FACING THE MUSIC
FTX founder Bankman-Fried agrees to extradition
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said in a Bahamian court on Wednesday that he has agreed to be extradited to the U.S.
Bankman-Fried was arrested last week in the Bahamas after a U.S. federal court in Manhattan indicted him on eight counts, including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, following the collapse of his cryptocurrency platform
- He faces allegations that largely center on his company’s purported use of customer deposits at FTX to bankroll his own hedge fund, called Alameda Research.
- The Department of Justice has also alleged that Bankman-Fried violated federal campaign finance laws by making contributions to candidates that were reported in the name of another person.
White House previews 2023 economic priorities
President Biden’s economic advisers are looking to prioritize efforts to reduce the cost of living and encourage people to return to the workforce in the new year.
- Brian Deese, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council, told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that the administration is looking for areas where it can “lower price pressures in the economy, lower costs for consumers and increase the productive potential of the economy.”
- Deese said the White House is considering a renewed push for child care benefits, which could help working parents and encourage workforce participation.
- “Providing quality, affordable child care actually helps to reduce cost burdens on families and gets more people working,” Deese said.
Good to Know
In the heightened respiratory virus season, parents are scrambling to find over-the-counter medicines as some pharmacies have placed limits on some children’s pain and fever relief medications.
As the days grow colder, the risks of the tripledemic — flu, RSV and COVID-19 — only get higher for kids. Limits on medicines at local pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens have some parents concerned over demand so high that stores can’t replenish their shelves fast enough.
Something else we have our eye on:
- White House cyber czar Chris Inglis is reportedly set to resign as head of the Office of the National Cyber Director in the next coming months.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow.