Capitol Report: State Department spent more than $52,000 for Nikki Haley’s curtains | Michael Bloomberg reportedly plans presidential run

Nikki Haley, United States ambassador to the United Nations, raises her hand as she votes yes to levy new sanctions on North Korea in September 2017.

The New York Times reports the State Department spent $52,701 last year buying customized and mechanized curtains for the picture windows in Nikki Haley’s official residence as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, just as the department was undergoing deep budget cuts and had frozen hiring.

A spokesman for Haley said plans to buy the curtains were made in 2016, during the Obama administration. Haley had no say in the purchase, he said, according to the Times.

Bloomberg plans a White House run: Michael Bloomberg is preparing to run for president as a Democrat, the Times of London reported. Bloomberg, 76, a former mayor of New York, has previously considered running as an independent but decided against it in 2012 for fear of splitting the Democratic vote. The Times report said he has told confidants that he is planning to join the presidential race. As the New York Post points out, Bloomberg considered independent runs in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

Sanders allies say he’s likely contender: Bloomberg could have company if he decides to run. The Hill reports allies to Bernie Sanders say the Vermont independent senator is increasingly likely to make a second bid for the White House in 2020 — once again as a Democrat. “I expect him to run,” said Larry Cohen, the chairman of Our Revolution, a movement formed by Sanders operatives after their candidate lost the Democratic primary to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Tax bill’s price tag: The Wall Street Journal reports House Republicans advanced a measure to lock in last year’s tax cuts on individuals beyond their scheduled expiration date at the end of 2025, moving to build on their biggest legislative victory ahead of the November midterm elections. The full House plans to vote by the end of the month, but the lack of interest in the Senate means the bill’s fate is uncertain, the Journal said.

The second round of tax cuts would reduce federal revenues by $631 billion in fiscal years 2019–28, and by almost $3.2 trillion over the subsequent decade, according to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center.

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