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McConnell says no shutdown, Senate Finance to release IRS report, and how a tax cut could pay for itself

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MCCONNELL TRIES TO SHUT DOWN THE SHUTDOWN TALK. Senate Republicans have been talking about insisting that funding for the federal government should be tied to defunding Planned Parenthood, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that he is not interested in letting that happen. McConnell made clear in his last weekly news conference ahead of a month-long August recess that funding the government is critical. But as Roll Call’s Niels Lesniewski reports there will be a lot to do when the Senate returns in September.

“But in addition to the August recess, two legislative debates are ahead of the government funding battles, including a September battle over what McConnell said would most likely be a bill to disapprove of the multinational agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program.”

SENATE SET TO RELEASE IRS NONPROFIT REPORT. It has been more than two years since scandal ripped through the IRS over the treatment and targeting of conservative groups that applied for nonprofit status, and the Senate Finance Committee is getting ready to release a report on their investigation. The Hill’s Bernie Becker reports that the committee will decide Wednesday morning if they will release the report.

“IRS officials have long said they wanted the Finance panel to release the report, which would be the first bipartisan congressional inquiry to come to a close,” Becker writes. “John Koskinen, the IRS commissioner, has said repeatedly that it’s up to the Finance panel to decide whether the agency intentionally targeted conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status, and that the IRS would follow any recommendations from the report.”

SENATE EXTENDERS BILL COULD PARTIALLY PAY FOR ITSELF. The Congressional Budget Office released an estimate on Tuesday that a Senate bill to extend several dozen expired and expiring tax breaks would lead to enough growth to pay for part of the underlying cost. Bloomberg’s Richard Rubin explains that the analysis represents a new kind of report from the nonpartisan scorekeeper.

“The analysis released Tuesday is an early test of Republicans’ focus on what’s known as dynamic scoring. It refers to the principle that legislation can be significant enough to change the size of the economy and affect the U.S. budget,” Rubin writes. “Republicans say that’s a more accurate way to study bills, and they’ve changed budget rules to include the analyses. Democrats are dubious, citing the uncertainty of projections.”
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