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On The Money: Biden releases 2019 tax returns hours before first debate | COVID relief talks hit do-or-die moment | Disney to layoff 28K workers

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THE BIG DEAL—Biden releases 2019 tax returns hours before first debate: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), released their 2019 federal and state tax returns on Tuesday, hours before the former vice president meets face-to-face with President Trump in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race.

  • Biden and his wife reported an adjusted gross income of $985,233 and paid a total of $299,346 in taxes, for an effective tax rate of about 30 percent.
  • Harris and her husband, lawyer Doug Emhoff, reported an adjusted gross income of $3,095,590 in 2019 and owed taxes of $1,185,628, giving them an effective tax rate of about 38 percent.

The context: The release comes days after a bombshell New York Times investigation showed that Trump paid just $750 in federal income tax in both 2016 and 2017 and paid no taxes in 10 of the 15 previous years. The newspaper detailed questionable tactics that the president reportedly used to lower his tax bill over multiple years.

  • With the latest disclosure on Tuesday, Biden has now released tax returns covering the past 22 years, while Harris has released 16 years of tax returns.
  • Their decision to release their 2019 tax returns came just before Biden prepares to take the stage in Cleveland for his first debate against Trump.

Speaking to reporters on a conference call on Tuesday, Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director, cast the move as one intended to contrast Biden’s “honesty and transparency” with Trump’s years-long refusal to make his own tax returns public.

The Hill’s Max Greenwood and Naomi Jagoda have more here.


COVID relief talks hit do-or-die moment: Democratic and Republican negotiators seeking an elusive deal on emergency coronavirus aid showed signs of progress on Tuesday, a glint of fresh hope that the parties can secure some relief for Americans ahead Election Day.

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke by phone for nearly an hour Tuesday morning in hopes of breaking the eight-week impasse.
  • Pelosi and Mnuchin also agreed to speak again on Wednesday. 

The renewed negotiations mark a Hail-Mary effort by both leaders to iron out the stubborn differences that have blocked a deal, most notably the Democrats’ demand for almost $500 billion in help for state and local governments — funding opposed by President Trump and his Republican allies in the Capitol.

“Our conversation was a positive one,” Pelosi told MSNBC. “We’ll get back together tomorrow to see how we can find common ground and how we, again, help state and local government play the role it does. They’re our heroes.”

The Hill’s Scott Wong and Mike Lillis fill us in here.

Disney to lay off 28,000 employees: Disney plans to lay off 28,000 employees, an executive announced on Tuesday, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect attendance at its parks around the world.

Josh D’Amaro, the chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, sent a letter to Disney employees obtained by CNBC saying the company made the “difficult decisions” to end furlough for thousands as the sudden pandemic continues to cast uncertainty on the future and on tourism.

“We initially hoped that this situation would be short-lived, and that we would recover quickly and return to normal,” he wrote. “Seven months later, we find that has not been the case. And, as a result, today we are now forced to reduce the size of our team across executive, salaried, and hourly roles.”

Here’s more from The Hill’s Justine Coleman. 

RSVP FOR OUR CENTURY OF THE WOMAN SUMMIT ON 9/30: On Wednesday, September 30, The Hill Virtually Live hosts a three-part program bringing together remarkable women leaders and decision-makers to discuss progress and the barriers that remain. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, Rep. Terri Sewell, Lilly Ledbetter, Ellevest’s Sallie Krawcheck, Hilda Solis, Tina Tchen and many more. RSVP today for event reminders.


  • The Washington International Trade Association hosts a webinar entitled “Reengaging the Asia-Pacific on Trade: A TPP  Roadmap for the Next Administration,” 9 a.m.
  • The House Small Business Committee holds a hearing on COVID-19’s impact on small businesses within the food system, 10 a.m.
  • Federal Reserve Board Governor Michelle Bowman speaks at a conference on community banking, 1:40 p.m.


  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s top political adviser has been forced out of his post just weeks before Election Day, sources confirmed to The Hill.
  • Consumer confidence staged a major comeback in September, rising 15.5 points in The Conference Board’s monthly index to reach 101.8. 
  • Restaurant groups are scrambling to secure funds to help an already hard-hit industry make the transition from summer to winter, when outdoor seating that helped many owners stay afloat during the pandemic will become much harder if not impossible to continue offering.
  • Google is set to win European Union antitrust approval for its $2.1 billion acquisition of FitBit, a Google spokesperson confirmed Tuesday. 
Tags Donald Trump Elaine Chao Joe Biden Kamala Harris Nancy Pelosi Steven Mnuchin Terri Sewell

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