OnPolitics: Will the billionaires income tax last?

·4 min read

Happy hump (🐪) day, OnPolitics readers!

Democratic leaders on the Hill are still haggling over the Build Back Better Act. USA TODAY Congress reporter Savannah Behrmann reports "the billionaire tax has raised serious logistical and viability questions." Democrats were hoping to have an agreement passed before President Joe Biden left for Europe this week. That may or may not happen.

Meanwhile ...

Biden’s pick to represent the federal government at the Supreme Court is poised for confirmation despite Republican criticism that she abandoned legal positions staked out by the Trump administration before the high court.

Elizabeth Prelogar, who Biden nominated to be solicitor general in August, has sailed through her confirmation process, avoiding the bitter partisan brawls that accompanied some of his other Justice Department nominees. Senate Democrats on Monday queued up a vote on Prelogar for this week.

Prelogar isn't the only one the upper chamber is confirming: The Senate confirmed two prominent anti-Trump Republicans to serve in the Biden administration on Tuesday, with former Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona approved to serve as the ambassador to Turkey and Cindy McCain, the wife of the late Sen. John McCain, approved to serve as the ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture.

The Senate also voted to confirm former Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico to serve as ambassador to New Zealand and Victoria Reggie Kennedy of Massachusetts, the widow of former Sen. Ted Kennedy, to serve as ambassador to Austria.

It's Amy and Mabinty, with the day's top news.

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What we know about the proposed 'billionaires income tax'

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has introduced a new “billionaires income tax” that would force the wealthy to pay taxes each year as their assets grow rather than waiting until they sell off their holdings.

Wyden released the details of the proposal on Tuesday as Congress weighs how to pay for the bulk of President Joe Biden’s agenda: a vast expansion of the social safety net and improvements to physical infrastructure such as roads and bridges.

Who is getting taxed? The change would apply to taxpayers who have either $100 million in income or $1 billion in assets for three consecutive years. Taxpayers need only hit one of those two marks in each of those three years to trigger the tax. About 700 taxpayers would meet those criteria, according to Wyden’s office.

How much money are we talking? Precisely how much Wyden’s proposal would generate – and how likely it is to win support – is unclear. His office said it would raise “hundreds of billions of dollars.” On Wednesday, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., denounced the plan as “divisive.”

Real Quick: stories you'll want to read

  • Manchin against Medicaid: One Senate Democrat, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, could block an effort by his colleagues to extend health care to millions of poor people in a dozen states.

  • How many Americans are still in Afghanistan? Some are questioning the State Department's estimates and believe the number of Americans stranded after Kabul fell to the Taliban was much higher than State Department officials revealed.

  • DOJ memo on threats to school boards: Attorney General Merrick Garland defended his memo about assisting local school officials against violence and threats of violence, as Senate Republicans blasted the memo as "shameful" and "intimidating," and one called for his resignation.

  • Supply chain snags: USA TODAY's Fact Check team debunked claims that the backlog of cargo at US ports is because of Trump-era executive orders.

GOP members who voted to impeach Trump out raise opponents

Nine House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump outraised their GOP challengers over the summer months, new federal election data shows.

Who's not happy: Trump.

The incumbents are being targeted by Trump and his allies, who want to unseat them for their decision to vote with Democrats to impeach Trump for the "incitement" of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. Of the 10 House Republicans who backed Trump's impeachment, nine are running for reelection, and some are facing candidates endorsed by the ex-president.

Who's happy: Liz Cheney.

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., leads the group in fundraising, amassing more than $1.7 million in the third quarter. She was by far the top fundraiser among those who voted for impeachment, bringing in more than $1 million more than her nearest counterpart. The other eight Republicans who supported impeachment in some cases raised double or nearly double the amount as their Republican primary challengers.

PB&J sandwiches are a classic. But is it healthy? USA TODAY asked the experts. — Amy and Mabinty

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Will proposed 'billionaire income tax' be able to fund Biden's agenda?

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