Rep. Diane Black (R) announced last week she would step down as budget chairman to focus on her campaign for governor once a replacement is decided. (release)
DISCLOSURE. Former state economic commissioner Randy Boyd (R) “and his wife had $30.1 million in taxable income in the last two years, according to federal income tax returns. … Just last year, Boyd and his wife Jenny had $25.3 million in total income and $17.2 million in taxable income. In 2015, their total income was $17.1 million, with $12.9 million as taxable income. … They also made nearly $10.3 million in charitable contributions, donating to more than 100 organizations during the same time period.”
“While Boyd did not provide his tax returns or a summary statement for 2013 and 2014, he released copies of his 1040s from 2015 and 2016. He vowed to continue to release his taxes should he be elected the state’s next governor. … Boyd also vowed to forgo a state salary and pay for his own expenses if he becomes governor.”
“Boyd owns a multitude of businesses, including Radio Systems Corp., a company that owns several brands including Invisible Fence; two minor league baseball teams; and a Knoxville-based Scottish-themed bar. Radio Systems Corp. alone employs more than 700 employees and has annual revenues in excess of $400 million.” (Nashville Tennessean)
THE OTHER GUYS. “One is a Nashville comedian, another is a former adult bookstore owner, and one is a real estate agent and longtime campaign volunteer. Among the lesser-known candidates running to be Tennessee’s next governor, all are aware of their long shot for victory, but each hope to contribute their voice to a race they say is likely to forget the average Tennessean.” (Nashville Tennessean)
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"White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly told Democratic lawmakers Wednesday that the United States will never construct a physical wall along the entire stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border and that some of President Trump’s campaign promises on immigration were 'uninformed.'”
"House GOP leaders on Tuesday night pitched a new strategy to avert a looming government shutdown that includes children's health funding and the delay of ObamaCare taxes. Lawmakers need to pass a short-term stopgap bill by midnight Friday, when money for the federal government runs out. The latest GOP plan would keep the government’s lights on through Feb. 16, and be coupled with a six-year extension of funding for the popular Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The continuing resolution or CR would also delay ObamaCare's medical device and Cadillac taxes for two years, and the health insurance tax for one year starting in 2019."
"A key Senate negotiator and White House official on Tuesday expressed little hope for an immigration deal this week but nonetheless predicted that Congress can avoid a government shutdown." Marc Short, the White House Capitol Hill liaison, said he's optimistic about a deal on DACA overall, but not this week. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn also said he doubts an agreement can be made before week's end.
"Homeland Security Kristjen Nielsen confirmed that President Trump used 'tough language' in an Oval Office meeting last week over immigration policy, but she said she did not hear him describe some African countries and Haiti as 'shithole countries,' as has been reported." When pressed she, also said she "didn't know" whether Norway was a predominately white country.