The Note: Buck stops with Trump on his tax plan

PHOTO: President Donald Trump gives the thumbs up during a rally at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Penn., in this April 29, 2017 file photo. The rally marked the presidents 100th day in office.PlayTracie/EPA/FILE
WATCH The Note: Trump's battle of wits with Tillerson

THE TAKE with ABC News' Rick Klein

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It's back to rally mode for President Trump now – and with some urgency. As he heads to Pennsylvania this afternoon, the tax reform push has not so much stalled as it has failed to launch, sidetracked in a unique yet somehow familiar succession of feuds and distraction. After all that, it's easy to forget how much the Republican Party has riding on this one legislative push – the only realistic chance for a congressional achievement this year, and maybe this term of Congress. But it doesn't take an IQ test to realize the White House is not the path to getting it done. Trump can declare victory, of a sort, in his push to get the NFL to rein in protests. That counts as a genuine accomplishment compared to what he might get from a fight against Bob Corker or Rex Tillerson. That all seems like high statesmanship compared to what the White House might get out of sparring with Hillary Clinton, or Ivana Trump, or the mayor of San Juan. Republicans are rooting for the president to have fun on the road. They need the president's focus for a change.

UNDERCUTTING THE ADMINISTRATION'S CUT TO CLEAN POWER PLAN

Despite EPA administrator Scott Pruitt's decision to repeal the policy, it is entirely possible the nation will still reach some of the reduced carbon emissions goals outlined in Obama's Clean Power Plan. How? Many states are full steam – or wind – ahead. Much like how other countries reaffirmed their own commitments in the wake of President Trump's decision about the Paris Climate Accord, red and blue states alike have talked about clean energy standards that will stay in place despite new federal policies.. "New York won't go back," Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted last night, with a picture of the Empire State's plan to be powered by 50 percent of renewables by 2030. The chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission explained to The New York Times that the initial Clean Power Plan persuaded his state to expand or explore clean energy options, like wind power and carbon capture. "We need to develop options...other than sticking our heads in the sand," he told The Times. And then there's the jobs. According to the NRDC, electric power generation employs 3,156 workers in Arkansas, and wind makes up the largest segment with 825 jobs. That's followed by traditional fossil fuels (including coal and natural gas) at 640 jobs, ABC News' MaryAlice Parks notes.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • Hafta talk NAFTA: President Trump meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today as the fourth round of talks on the trade deal resumes between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
  • Trump delivers remarks on Republicans' tax reform plan in Harrisburg, Pa., tonight to an audience comprised mainly of truckers.
  • A battle of wits: The White House said Trump's suggestion in an interview that he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson take an IQ test was a joke.
  • The White House requested $5 billion from Congress to ease Puerto Rico's economic crisis after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
  • Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for California after massive wildfires swept through parts of the state. "We will be there for you in this time of terrible tragedy and need," Trump said yesterday.
  • WHAT TO WATCH TODAY

    The House Foreign Affairs Committee holds a hearing at 10 a.m. on how to confront the range of threats Iran poses.

    House Democrats will be briefed on the Iran nuclear deal by former Secretary of State John Kerry, former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and others at a 3:30 p.m. panel discussion.

    QUOTE OF THE DAY

    "It's high. Anybody who can put things together, you know, as an engineer – it's high." --State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's IQ

    NEED TO READ with ABC News' Paola Chavez

    Democrats, Republicans push compromise bill to ban bump stocks after Las Vegas. A bipartisan pair of House members has introduced a ban on the bump stock devices used to speed up the rate of fire of semi-automatic weapons –- an accessory used by the Las Vegas shooter last week. The bill, from Reps. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., would make it illegal to manufacture, transfer or possess "any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle." http://abcn.ws/2yfnhq7

    Hillary Clinton says she was "shocked and appalled" by Weinstein allegations. "I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein," read the statement from Clinton, which was later retweeted from her personal account. "The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior." http://abcn.ws/2yXi5ou

    Trump disputes Sen. Bob Corker's "path to WWIII" criticism. President Donald Trump pushed back against criticism from Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., that his approach to foreign policy could put the United States "on the path to World War III." "We were on the wrong path before. All you have to do is take a look. If you look over the last 25 years through numerous administrations, we were on a path to a very big problem — a problem like this world has never seen," Trump said during a meeting Tuesday in the Oval Office with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. "We're on the right path right now, believe me." Trump also said his feud with Corker would not hinder his administration's efforts to pass tax reform. Republicans hold a narrow majority in the Senate. http://abcn.ws/2zd20M9

    The growing list of allies Trump has praised then cast aside. President Donald Trump has built an image as a tough-talking New Yorker whose pugnaciousness, it seems, can extend to some people he has even considered allies. The latest public slight against a close ally popped up Tuesday, when he apparently challenged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to an IQ faceoff in light of allegations that Tillerson called the president a "moron," which the State Department has denied. http://abcn.ws/2yY1jWi

    Democratic National Committee memo: "Today's Republican Party does not represent our shared American values." Medium

    Supreme Court dismisses case against Trump's expired travel ban. The Washington Post

    Nunes signs off on new subpoenas to firm behind Trump-Russia dossier. CNN

    "He's better than this," says Thomas Barrack, Trump's loyal whisperer. The Washington Post

    Top GOP campaign operative joins White House press team. Fox News

    Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner host dinner on criminal reform. The Associated Press

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.

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