What We’re Following
Tillerson’s Trials: The White House is planning to force Rex Tillerson out of his position as secretary of state and to replace him with the current CIA director, Mike Pompeo, according to senior officials cited in a New York Times report. Tillerson’s future at the State Department has long seemed tenuous. Spokespeople for the administration did not confirm that his exit is coming, but the leaked plan further undermines his authority in a role where President Trump has repeatedly undercut his public statements.
Misconduct in Congress: Representative John Conyers, the 88-year-old Democrat from Michigan, is under high pressure to resign after multiple allegations of sexual harassment emerged against him—a situation complicated by his status as an icon of the civil-rights movement. What’s next for Conyers? So far, the widely varying stories of politicians accused of sexual misconduct don’t suggest a clear pattern for what it takes to force an alleged predator out of office.
Tax-Cut Costs: A group of organizations that represent more than 560,000 doctors has issued a joint statement condemning the Republican tax plan for the disruption it will likely cause to insurance markets. When the potential effects of poverty and stress are taken into account, the public-health impact of the plan may go even deeper. Though supporters say the plan is intended to simplify the tax code, the deductions it eliminates would place a heavy burden on the working and middle classes. Elite colleges, whose endowments would be taxed under the proposal, may be better able to cope, but critics say the change could hurt students. All in all, writes Ronald Brownstein, the tax plan would be a boon to older Americans that younger ones would have to pay for.