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First Read's Morning Clips: Let's do the tax vote again

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: Paul Ryan Addresses Media After House Tax Reform Vote
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is joined by House Republican leaders while talking to reporters following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the Will Rogers Corridor at the Capitol on Dec. 19.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

TRUMP AGENDA: Let’s do the tax vote again

NBC's Benjy Sarlin, on last night's tax vote: "The Senate voted along party lines after midnight Tuesday to pass a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax bill that slashes tax rates for corporations, provides new breaks for private businesses and reorganizes the individual tax code. The House approved the bill earlier Tuesday but will have to vote again on Wednesday. Democrats in the Senate persuaded the chamber's parliamentarian that several minor provisions in the House bill violated Senate rules, forcing the House into an embarrassing second vote."

As one of us(!) writes, the tax plan is far from popular, and Democrats have gained an advantage when it comes to who the public wants to manage the economy.

The New York Times: "It was an unsightly and painful yearlong slog, but Republicans are finally getting what they so desperately craved — a major legislative victory in the form of a consequential tax overhaul. By coupling a substantial corporate tax cut with an assortment of naked appeals to undecided lawmakers, Republican leaders pushed their tax bill through the House on Tuesday and the Senate on Wednesday, touching off a self-congratulatory tidal wave by a party that had struggled mightily through nearly all of 2017."

"America’s new tax system will go into effect in just 12 days, and payroll companies are bracing for confusion as they figure out new withholding rules that will affect millions of American paychecks," POLITICO writes. "The Treasury Department and the IRS will have to quickly write new regulations to implement the new law, governing everything from the tax regime for businesses that don’t organize as corporations to the endowments of the nation’s elite universities and how multinational corporations are taxed on the profits they make abroad. And while the vast majority of taxpayers would see a tax cut next year, Americans who are considering selling real estate or other types of capital assets, paying property taxes, taking out a mortgage or incorporating their businesses will have to quickly calculate whether these actions will cost them more or less in the coming year."

Susan Collins is calling coverage of her support for the tax bill "unbelievably sexist."

The Washington Post notes that the looming fight over the nation's debt will be the truly difficult one.

The Wall Street Journal looks at the mixed record of how tax cuts like these affect the economy — and it has a helpful breakdown of which industries are winners and losers.

And here's the latest on the spending showdown, from POLITICO: "Facing opposition within their own ranks — and a potential government shutdown — House Republicans are once again changing their strategy on a funding bill. Gone is the plan for a bill funding the Pentagon for the rest of the fiscal year and other government agencies until mid-January. Now House Republicans will extend funding only until Jan. 19 for the whole government, hoping the new strategy will produce enough support to stave off a funding lapse come midnight Friday."

"Trump, at last, looks to notch a legislative win with tax bill. But can he redirect his presidency?" asks the Washington Post.

The Washington Post also takes a look at how Trump has altered the judiciary — with some bumps along the way.

The New York Times reports on how Trump has slowed legal immigration.

NBC's Ben Popken: "Thousands of Russian trolls targeted national events during the 2016 U.S. presidential election to infiltrate the online conversations of millions of Americans, according to a new analysis of a database of recovered troll tweets by NBC News."

OFF TO THE RACES: Just 36 percent say they’ll vote to re-elect Trump

From one of us(!): "Only about a third of Americans say that they will definitely or probably vote for Donald Trump if he runs for reelection in 2020, while half indicate that they’ll definitely or probably support his Democratic general election challenger, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. The poll found that just 18 percent of those surveyed believe that they will "definitely" support Trump if he runs in the next presidential election, with another 18 percent saying that they’ll "probably" choose him. But a significant chunk — 38 percent — say they’re dead set on voting against the GOP commander-in-chief, with an additional 14 percent saying that they’ll probably vote for the Democrat on the ballot."

NM-GOV: "A political supporter of Democratic U.S. Rep. and New Mexico gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday accused a rival candidate of attempting to kiss her on the mouth at a social event. Marianna Anaya of Albuquerque said that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jeff Apodaca tried to kiss her on the mouth earlier this year at a wiffle ball game in Santa Fe that brought together staff from the Democratic Party and the American Federation of Teachers."

VA: What a story. "After flipping 15 Republican seats in the House of Delegates last month, Democrats appeared to pick up one more Tuesday after winning a Newport News-area recount by a single vote," writes the Richmond Times Dispatch. "If the stunning result is confirmed Wednesday by a recount court, it would throw the House into an extraordinary 50-50 split that would require Republicans and Democrats to share legislative power."