On The Money: House Dems fail to agree on budget resolution | Disaster aid bill stalls amid fight over Puerto Rico | Klobuchar releases tax returns | What to watch for as 2020 Dems disclose returns

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THE BIG DEAL--Dems fail to agree on budget: House Democrats on Monday indicated they will not put forth a budget resolution this year, the latest example of divisions between the moderate and progressive wings over spending plans for defense, climate, health care and other major policy issues.

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Democrats, who retook the House this year after eight years in the minority, have dismissed the idea that failing to reach agreement on a resolution is a sign of disunity within their ranks or an inability to govern. But Republicans quickly pounced on the news. The Hill's Niv Elis has the details here.

 

Self-imposed deadline: Midnight is the party's self-imposed deadline for presenting a budget resolution, a non-binding document that is often used for messaging to highlight a party's agenda and priorities.

 

Dems wrestled with decision: House Budget Committee Chairman John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthMcConnell accepts Democratic rep's challenge to 5 debates House Democrats blur lines on support for impeachment White House won't move forward with billions in foreign aid cuts MORE (D-Ky.) told The Hill last week that Democrats were inching toward a deal, but differences remained over spending levels.

  • Yarmuth was struggling to unify the party's progressive wing, which wants to boost domestic spending at the expense of defense, with more conservative Democrats focused on deficit reduction and defense hawks who want to keep increases for defense spending.
  • The chairman previously said that the proposed budget resolution would have to be released on Monday in order to secure a committee vote ahead of the upcoming April recess, though Democrats could always circumvent that deadline.

 

Republicans attack: Although budget resolutions do not carry the force of law and are largely political documents, House Republicans were jubilant at the prospect that Democrats would fail to advance one.

 

Dem defense: Democrats have argued that budget resolutions may be more meaningful to Washington insiders than to voters, and say they don't expect a backlash so long as they focus on passing bills on health care, climate change, gun violence prevention and other legislative priorities.

  • House Democrats on Tuesday will release details of their proposal to raise statutory spending caps, which will set the stage for the more crucial 2020 spending fight.

 

ON TAP TOMORROW

 

LEADING THE DAY

Klobuchar releases her tax returns: Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharMark Mellman: The most important moment in history? Democrats press for action on election security Antitrust enforcers in turf war over Big Tech MORE (D-Minn.) on Monday posted 12 years of her tax returns to her campaign website, becoming the latest 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to make public at least a decade's worth of tax filings.

"Amy believes that transparency and accountability are fundamental to good governance," Klobuchar's website states. "That's why she's released her tax returns for every year since she's been a candidate for federal office."

Klobuchar released her returns from 2006 -- the year she was first elected to the Senate -- through 2017.

Her website does not include her 2018 tax return, though it is unclear if she has filed it yet. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda has the numbers here.

  • The 2017 tax return for Klobuchar and her husband, John Bessler, shows the couple had total income of $292,306 and paid $62,787 in taxes, for an effective tax rate of 21.5 percent.
  • The couple's income mainly came from Klobuchar's Senate salary and Bessler's income as a lawyer and law professor.
  • The couple made $5,075 in charitable gifts, making donations to organizations including the American Red Cross, UNICEF, United Way and several universities.

 

Five things to watch as 2020 Dems release their tax returns: Democratic presidential candidates are starting to release their tax returns, drawing a deliberate contrast with President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE, the first major party nominee in decades who refused to do so.

Here are five things to watch as the 2020 Democratic candidates disclose their tax returns, from The Hill's Naomi Jagoda:

  • How much do they release? So far only a few of the Democratic candidates have made a significant amount of their documents public.
  • How much money do the candidates make? Many of the candidates are senators, who receive an annual salary of $174,000. But the returns will also lay out other forms of income, including from spouses, investments and book deals.
  • How are the candidates affected by the GOP tax law? Most taxpayers are getting a tax cut for 2018 because of the new law, and that is likely to be the case for the presidential candidates as well, though they may benefit in different ways from each other.
  • How much are candidates donating to charity? Voters may be interested in seeing what percentage of their income candidates have given to nonprofits.
  • Will the public see any of Trump's tax returns before the 2020 election? House Democrats are taking steps to try to get Trump's returns, but it's unclear how successful the attempts will be.

 

Disaster aid bill stalls in fight over Puerto Rico: The Senate rejected dueling disaster aid proposals on Monday amid a fight with President Trump over help for Puerto Rico, The Hill's Jordain Carney reports.

Senators voted 44-49 to end debate on a GOP proposal, falling short of the 60 votes needed to overcome the hurdle.

That measure includes $13.45 billion in funding to help respond to a recent spate of hurricanes, storms and wildfires, but it ran into a roadblock over funding for Puerto Rico, which was devastated by back-to-back hurricanes in 2017.

The split: The GOP proposal, spearheaded by Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbySenate Democrats demand wall-free spending allocation Senators struggle to get spending bills off ground as shutdown looms Congress set to ignore Trump's wall request in stopgap measure MORE (R-Ala.), includes $600 million for food stamp aid in Puerto Rico. But Democrats and top Puerto Rican officials have argued that isn't enough and warned they would block the Republican bill as currently drafted.

After Democrats blocked the GOP offer, Republicans subsequently blocked the House-passed disaster aid bill, which was serving as a shell for the Senate's debate. 

Republicans have warned that the House-passed disaster relief bill is a non-starter in the Senate and with the White House, with Trump criticizing the island territory's handling of previous disaster aid money.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS