corporations

Whiplashed Planners Fear GOP Swerve on Infrastructure
After close call on public-private financing tool, all eyes on 2018

Private activity bonds, or PABs, are fueling a multibillion-dollar expansion of Los Angeles International Airport. (Courtesy LAXDevelopment.org)

Los Angeles has gained national notice for a series of ambitious projects affecting all facets of southern California’s transportation network, from the city’s light rail system to Los Angeles International Airport.

Many of the projects — a multibillion dollar expansion of the airport, work on roads leading to and from the busy ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and a new light rail line, among others — were or will be financed with a tool called private activity bonds.

Analysis: Five Ways Trump Dimmed the Tax Bill Glow
Chaos returns to White House, overshadowing legislative agenda

President Trump walks along the White House's West Colonnade of the White House on Wednesday evening. (White House photo via Flickr)

President Donald Trump was excited, beaming behind the storied Resolute Desk three days before Christmas. He joked with reporters and offered camera operators presidential ink pens. And he boasted that, after a year with more downs than ups, he was starting to figure out how to be president.

“So, you know, it’s been a process,” he said after securing his first major legislative win by signing a GOP tax bill into law — and terminating the Obama-era health law’s individual mandate at the same time. “It’s been a great process. Really beautiful.” In the days that followed, he assured members of his Mar-a-Lago club in South Florida his administration was about to have a “great” second year.

Tax Bill Becomes Law as Trump Heads to Mar-a-Lago
President secures legislative win as he closes out 2017 at White House

President Donald Trump signed a tax overhaul and stopgap government funding bill into law on Friday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Donald Trump secured his first major legislative victory as president Friday, signing a sweeping Republican tax measure into law as he closed out a turbulent 2017 at the White House.

After a raucous celebration with Republican lawmakers Wednesday on the White House’s South Portico — during which senior GOP members lavished him with effusive praise — Trump opted to sign the bill in the Oval Office rather than hold another signing ceremony.

Trump Predicts He’ll Start Working With Democrats in 2018
On Tuesday, president said Dems ‘complain a lot’

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer makes a point to President Donald Trump in the Oval Office before leaving a White House meeting in September. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

Updated 2:30 p.m. | After scoring his first major legislative win without a single Democratic vote, President Donald Trump on Friday predicted Republicans and Democrats will begin working together “for the good of the country.”

And the first item the president, who has spent weeks criticizing Democratic lawmakers for opposing his tax plan and accusing them of favoring a government shutdown, sees the parties collaborating on is a massive package to upgrade the country’s infrastructure.

A Senate Christmas Present: Several Trump Nominees Confirmed
Senators finish delayed routine business, hard choices put off

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 7: The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree stands on the West Lawn of the Capitol on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At the very end of an acrimonious first year working with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, the Senate reverted to form, looking very much like the Senate.

Opinion: Thinking Small When the Big Picture Looks Cloudy
Americans are seeking comfort in the little things — and that could hurt Democrats

As the GOP takes a victory lap after their big tax bill win, voters are looking elsewhere, Curtis writes.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Polls that show a view of Congress mighty low and sinking fast invariably find voters more satisfied with their own representatives. Thumbs-down verdicts for Washington and the “swamp” in general often turn rosier when dealing with particulars.

That fact, plus gerrymandered districts and restrictive voting laws, is reason enough for Democrats to be cautious when predicting a 2018 blue electoral wave. Americans are thinking small these days, preferring to stick with the familiar and close-to-home when confronted with issues that gobble up all the oxygen in the room and the brain.

GOP Hoping Tax Plan Could Be Difference in 2018
Despite polling and opposition, benefits could bolster support

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is among the Republicans who think the tax bill will help the GOP in next year's midterm elections. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans hope a sweeping package to overhaul the U.S. tax code will be a boon for them in the 2018 midterm elections, betting that voters will appreciate higher take home pay despite the measure’s unpopularity with the public.

The rewrite of the tax code would be one of the party’s most significant achievements of President Donald Trump’s first year in office. It would also check off a number of other major priorities for the GOP, including zeroing out the penalty for not purchasing health insurance, a central plank of the 2010 health care law, and authorizing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. All of that could give Republicans momentum going into the midterms, which usually are brutal for the party in power.

Opinion: The Only 2018 Political Tax Guide You’ll Ever Need
Answers to vexing questions on the new tax bill

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., prepare for a news conference in the Capitol after the House passed the Republican tax plan on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The glorious thing about a tax bill is that it inspires one of the enduring examples of evergreen journalism — the inevitable torrent of “How Will It Affect You” analyses that will compete with predictable “Year in Review” stories until the ball descends on New Year’s Eve.

Since I never want to miss a cliché or an opportunity for public service, today’s column will be dedicated to answering your questions about the biggest tax bill since ... well ... George W. Bush. But as an added wrinkle, we will limit the queries to the 2018 elections.

Senate Passes GOP Tax Plan After Procedural Stumble
House must vote again on Wednesday

Vice President Mike Pence presided over the Senate early Wednesday as it passed a final version of the GOP tax plan along party lines. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By RYAN McCRIMMON and PAUL M. KRAWZAK

The Senate early Wednesday passed a final version of the GOP tax plan, leaving Republicans and President Donald Trump within striking distance of the most sweeping overhaul of the tax code in decades and their top policy goal for the year.

After Rosy Rhetoric, Trump Says Economy Has 'Long Way To Go'
A day earlier, the president said he is 'liberating the American economy'

A coardboard cutout of President Donald Trump, who signaled on Tuesday the U.S. economy needs a boost after describing it as going gangbusters in recent weeks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump increasingly describes the U.S. economy as going gangbusters since he took office, but he struck a different tone on Tuesday morning.

Trump tweeted that the stock market and economy “have a long way to go after the Tax Cut Bill is totally understood and appreciated in scope and size.”