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Key GOP senators say they’re open to corporate tax increase

Some key Republican senators won't rule out raising additional revenue from corporations, and told Axios they may be willing to close loopholes that allow big businesses to eliminate their overall tax bill.

Why it matters: While President Biden’s proposal to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% to pay for his infrastructure plan has been met with near-uniform GOP opposition, there’s some appetite to ensure corporations pay more.

  • “I'm willing to do some things on the revenue front if they can do some things on the-way-the-government-works front,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
  • “The way you do that is you sort of put some limit on write-offs,” Graham added.
  • “I believe everybody should pay their fair share,” said Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.). “I come from the world of small business. So, I scratch my head when big corporations don't pay their fair share of taxes.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) used the occasion to lobby for a flat tax.

  • “I think the tax code is filled with loopholes and subsidies that aren't fair," he said. "The answer isn't to eliminate every exemption and keep rates high — that's a massive tax increase. The answer is to eliminate the exemptions and lower rates."
  • The comments came the same day some Senate Republicans introduced their own infrastructure plan that included “protecting against any corporate or international tax increases.”

Driving the news: The president has highlighted a study from the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy showing 55 corporations actually received $3.5 billion in tax rebates, instead of paying approximately $8.5 billion in taxes on some $40.5 billion in income.

  • "It's just not fair. It's not fair to the rest of the American taxpayers," Biden said when he unveiled his corporate tax proposal on April 7.

Go deeper: The president has proposed raising an additional $2 trillion from corporations by focusing on three areas.

  • He wants to raise their basic tax rate from 21% to 28%.
  • For U.S. multinationals, he plans to increase taxes on their foreign earnings from 10.5% to 21%.
  • He has also proposed a 15% minimum tax he wants to apply to all corporations — a catchall to prevent companies from lowering their tax payments to zero.

Be smart: While the president favors a 28% rate, Senate Democrats already appear to be settling on a 25% rate, as Axios reported this week.

Israel to continue Gaza operation, officials rule out cease-fire for now

The Israeli security cabinet on Sunday decided to continue the Gaza operation, according to military plans. Israeli officials said a cease-fire is not on the table right now.

Why it matters: There was a growing feeling within the military and senior defense establishment ahead of the cabinet meeting that Israel should start moving toward ending the operation.

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Liz Cheney says she regrets voting for Trump in 2020

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who was ousted Wednesday as the third-highest ranking House Republican, told ABC's "This Week" that she regrets voting for former President Trump in 2020, although she could never have supported Biden.

Why it matters: Cheney, voted out of House Republican leadership over her repeated condemnation of Trump and his unfounded claims of election fraud, plans to challenge the former president for ideological dominance of the GOP.

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Blinken speaks with Associated Press CEO after Israeli airstrike destroys Gaza office

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt on Saturday after an Israeli airstrike destroyed the outlet's local media office in the Gaza Strip, which also housed the Al Jazeera office.

Why it matters: "The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what transpired today" Pruitt said in a statement — as fighting between Israel and Hamas continues to bring more casualties.

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Consumers and retailers alike are still trying to figure out what Americans will want to wear as they head back out into the world after a year at home, in sweatpants.

Why it matters: The choices people make about their post-pandemic wardrobes will help define what, exactly, our “new normal” is. They'll indicate how both work and socializing have changed, and will tell the story of how people expressed themselves in the aftermath of a year of massive transformation.

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UN Security Council meeting on Israel-Gaza as Netanyahu vows to continue strikes

The United Nations Security Council was preparing to meet Sunday, as the aerial bombardment between Israel and Hamas between entered a seventh day.

The latest: Four Palestinians died in airstrikes early Sunday, as Israeli forces bombed the home of Gaza's Hamas chief, Yehya al-Sinwar, per Reuters.

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In photos: Protesters rally across U.S. and the world over Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Thousands of people rallied across the U.S. and the world Saturday following days of violence in Gaza and Israel that's killed at least 145 Palestinians, including 41 children, and eight Israelis, per AP.

The big picture: Most demonstrations were in support of Palestinians. There were tense scenes between pro-Israeli government protesters and pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Winnipeg, Canada, and Leipzig, Germany, but no arrests were made, CBS News and report.

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Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

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The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

A group of high-profile scientists published a letter calling for renewed investigation into the origins of COVID-19 — including the theory that it spilled out of a virology lab.

Why it matters: The possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Chinese lab and accidentally escaped — rather than emerging naturally from an animal — was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory. But the letter shows a potential lab leak is increasingly being taken seriously.

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