Briefing National

  • Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has put the survival of the GOP tax overhaul plan in serious doubt after announcing he would not vote for the bill unless they can find $80 billion for a larger child tax credit [NBC News].

  • The GOP tax bill is projected to add $1.4 trillion to the deficit over 10 years, but it might cost much more than that. Many of the assumptions about cost are based on ending individual tax breaks which some argue will never happen. The bill also relies on higher revenue estimates than many say are reasonable [Axios].

  • House Speaker Paul Ryan is denying reports he may retire from Congress next year [Associated Press].

  • The FCC voted Thursday to kill Obama-era rules regulating the internet. The rules prevented internet providers from blocking or slowing down some websites. ISPs could also charge more for customers to access certain content online [USA Today].

  • Republicans and Democrats in Congress are fighting over funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program. Money for the program ran out at the end of September, and it might not be replenished until next year [Politico].

  • Black women voters powered Democrat Doug Jones to his unlikely victory in Alabama. Now they want the party to start addressing their issues [Associated Press].

  • Republican Senators are joining the push to lift the veil of secrecy on sexual harassment accusations against members of Congress and force members to pay for their own legal settlements instead of using taxpayer money [Reuters].

On this day in history:

  • 1791 - The Bill of Rights became law when it was ratified by the Virginia General Assembly.

  • 1890 - Sioux Indian leader Sitting Bull was killed in a skirmish with U.S. soldiers along the Grand River in South Dakota.

  • 1933 - The Twenty-first Amendment becomes effective, repealing the Eighteenth Amendment that prohibited the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol.

  • 1939 - Gone with the Wind premiers at Loew's Theater in Atlanta.

  • 1961 - Adolf Eichmann is sentenced to death after being found guilty by an Israeli court of 15 criminal charges, including charges of crimes against humanity.

  • 1973 - The American Psychiatric Association reversed its longstanding position and declared being gay isn't a mental illness.
  • Republicans are closing in on a final tax overhaul package. Expect the House and Senate to vote on the final bill next week. The deal, which goes into effect in 2018, lowers the corporate tax rate to 21-percent and drops the top tax rate to 37-percent [New York Times].

  • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was grilled by a Congressional panel on Wednesday. Republicans are ramping up their attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller over text messages by former members of his team that were critical of President Donald Trump [Fox News].

  • The shocking win by Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama Senate race on Tuesday is energizing Democrats ahead of next year's midterm elections [Washington Post].

  • The loss of a Republican-controlled seat in Alabama has touched off an internal GOP fight over who is to blame [Politico].

  • Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is refusing to concede following his narrow loss on Tuesday [Fox News].

  • White House aides are worried that President Trump's refusal to accept the conclusion from multiple intelligence agencies that Russia interfered with the 2016 election is harming the ability to prevent similar meddling in the future [Washington Post].

  • The White House puts the kibosh on two controversial nominees for the federal bench after Senate Republicans make it clear they won't be confirmed [Politico].

  • The FCC will vote on whether to repeal the policy of "net neutrality" on Thursday. If the rules are repealed, it could allow big telecom companies to slow down or even block some content on the internet [Politico].

  • Ohio Democrat Marcy Kaptur says some of the clothing her female colleagues wear is an "invitation" to harassment [Politico].

  • Minnesota's governor taps Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to fill Sen. Al Franken's seat in the Senate after he resigns [Real Clear Politics].

  • A Kentucky state lawmaker died in an apparent suicide after allegations surfaced that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl in 2013 [CNN].

  • Whoops! Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's security detail lost track of him last week in the Hamptons, which led to an awkward search for him in a takeout joint [Page Six].

  • Drama! Depending on who you listen to, White House appointee Omarosa Manigault Newman either resigned or was fired from her job this week. There are reports that after the firing Newman tried to storm into the White House residence to confront President Donald Trump [Daily Beast].

On this day in history:

  • 1799 - George Washington died at his Mount Vernon home in Virginia.

  • 1819 - Alabama becomes the 22nd U.S. State.

  • 1911 - Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen's becomes the first to reach the South Pole.

  • 1940 - Plutonium is first isolated at Berkely, California.

  • 1964 - The Supreme Court rules that Congress can use the Constitution's Commerce Clause to fight discrimination.

  • 1972 - Apollo 17 commander Eugene Cernan re-entered the lunar lander and was the last person to walk on the moon.

  • 2012 - Twenty-eight people, including twenty children, are killed in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Conn.
  • It's game day in Alabama. Nobody seems to know what is going to happen in Tuesday's special Senate election because polls are all over the place [New York Times].

  • President Donald Trump's legal team plans to push for the FBI to appoint a second special counsel to investigate special counsel Robert Muller's investigation [Axios].

  • GOP lawmakers are racing to hammer out a final tax agreement by the end of the week [Politico].

  • The GOP tax proposal could make anonymous "dark money" political contributions tax deductible [CNN].

  • 56 female members of Congress want the Oversight Committee to probe allegations of sexual misconduct by President Donald Trump [The Hill].

  • New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand calls on President Donald Trump to resign following allegations he sexually assaulted several women [CNN].

  • A federal judge rules that the Trump administration cannot block transgender Americans from enlisting in the armed forces. The Pentagon is scrambling to get an emergency order to halt those enlistments on January 1 [Politico].

  • Democrats are warning that some pension plans are facing insolvency, and could lead to a government shutdown if Congress doesn't move to fix the problem [Politico].

  • The bomber who detonated a pipe bomb in New York City on Monday morning says he was retaliating for U.S.-led airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria [New York Times].

  • The New Yorker Magazine fires star reporter Ryan Lizza over allegations of "improper sexual conduct" [CNN].

  • President Donald Trump signed a directive to send U.S. astronauts back to the moon [New York Times].

  • Merriam-Webster picks "feminism," as 2017's "Word of the Year" [Merriam-Webster].

  • White House counselor Kellyanne Conway's use of the term "alternative facts" was named Yale Law School's "Most Notable Quote of 2017" [Associated Press].

On this day in history:

  • 1787 - Pennsylvania becomes the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

  • 1870 - Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina becomes the first black member of the House of Representatives.

  • 1901 - Guglielmo Marconi receives the first transatlantic radio signal (the letter "S" in Morse Code) in Newfoundland.

  • 1913 - Two years after it was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa was recovered in a Florence, Italy hotel room.

  • 1917 - Father Edward Flanagan founds Boys Town in Nebraska.

  • 1941 - Adolf Hitler declares the imminent extermination of the Jews at a meeting in the Reich Chancellery.

  • 2000 - The U.S. Supreme Court releases its decision in Bush v. Gore.
  • In a stunning upset, Democrat Doug Jones shocks Republican Roy Moore to apparently win the Alabama Senate race. If the results hold, Jones will become the first Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate from that state in 25 years. Jones's win was also a stinging defeat for President Donald Trump, who went all-in with his support of Moore [Washington Post].

  • Jones's apparent win in Alabama was driven by suburban and black voters, who came out for Jones in significant numbers [New York Times].

  • So far, Roy Moore has refused to concede the election. A recount is only possible if the margin of victory is within 0.5%, and that may not happen [Election Law Blog].

  • The knives are coming out for Steve Bannon among Republicans who are blaming the former White House strategist for the GOP losing a Senate seat in reliably Republican Alabama [The Hill].

  • FBI agents investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election exchanged text messages that referred to President Donald Trump as an "idiot." One of the agents was removed from the investigation after the messages came to light while the other had already moved to another assignment. Republicans say the texts should prompt the FBI to appoint a second special counsel to investigate political bias in the Department of Justice [New York Times].

  • Sen. Chuck Grassley is urging President Donald Trump to not move ahead with two controversial nominees for federal judgeships [The Hill].

  • Republicans in Congress are considering a plan to set the corporate tax rate at 21% while dropping the top individual rate to 37% as part of their tax overhaul package [The Hill].

  • Republicans want to make their changes to the tax code effective as of January 1, 2018, which could cause chaos for employers and taxpayers [Politico].

  • Donald Trump Jr. wants the House Intelligence Committee to investigate how information was leaked from his closed-door interview with the committee last week [New York Times].

  • President Donald Trump's slow pace of filling key government jobs has left interim employees filling many slots. Now, some of those stand-ins may be violating time limits on how long acting appointees can stay in those positions [Bloomberg].

  • Sen. Chuck Schumer has contacted law enforcement after an apparent effort to push a fake sexual harassment claim against him [Axios].
     
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the United States is open to possible talks with North Korea [Fox News].

  • The Palestinian president says he will not accept any role for the United States in the Mideast peace process "from now on" following President Donald Trump's declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel [Associated Press].

On this day in history:

  • 1545 - The Council of Trent begins.

  • 1577 - Sir Francis Drake sets sail from England on his round-the-world voyage.

  • 1636 - The Massachusetts Bay Colony organizes three militia regiments to defend the colony against the Pequot Indians. This is recognized as the founding of the National Guard in the United States.

  • 1816 - The first savings bank in the U.S., the Provident Institution for Savings, opened in Boston.

  • 1937 - The Nanking Massacre began, during which Japanese troops killed between 40,000 and 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers.

  • 1981 - Martial law was imposed in Poland.

  • 2000 - The Supreme Court halted the Florida presidential vote recount, giving the presidential election to George W. Bush.

  • 2003 - Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. troops in a small underground hideout southeast of his hometown of Tikrit, ending an eight-month manhunt.
  • BREAKING MONDAY MORNING: A device exploded at the entrance to the Port Authority bus terminal near Times Square in New York City [New York Post].

  • Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore appeared on a conspiracy-mongering radio show in 2011 where he said many of the problems in America could be solved by eliminating constitutional amendments after the Tenth [CNN].

  • Republicans are choosing speed over diligence as they rush to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions [Washington Post].

  • The Senate's tax bill could impose a marginal tax rate on some business owners of more than 100%. Lawmakers are working to change that [Wall Street Journal].

  • The last time Congress cut taxes on the middle class, most of them didn't notice it. Will they notice a tax cut this time around? [Bloomberg]

  • The White House is targeting January to begin the push to sell President Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure overhaul [Wall Street Journal].

  • Following Senator Al Franken's decision to resign in the wake of multiple women alleging he sexually harassed them, three Senators have called on President Donald Trump to resign [Washington Post].

  • Special counsel Robert Muller is reportedly trying to piece together what happened during the time in the White House before former national security adviser Michael Flynn was fired on Feb. 13 [NBC News].

  • President Donald Trump reportedly watches between four and eight hours of TV daily and consumes up to a dozen cans of Diet Coke [New York Times].

  • President Donald Trump and conservatives have been blasting several media outlets for errors in their reporting [The Hill].

  • President Donald Trump is taking credit for killing hundreds of federal regulations that were actually eliminated before Trump took office [Bloomberg].

  • Alabama GOP Senator Richard Shelby refuses to vote for fellow Republican Roy Moore [CNN].

  • The wildfires in California are burning an area larger than New York City and Boston combined [CNN].

On this day in history:

  • 1792 - King Louis XVI of France is put on trial for treason by the National Convention.

  • 1815 - The U.S. Senate creates a select committee on finance and a uniform national currency, predecessor of the Senate Committee on Finance.

  • 1816 - Indiana becomes the 19th state.

  • 1941 - Germany and Italy declare war on the United States. In turn, the U.S. declares war on those countries.

  • 1972 - Apollo 17 becomes the sixth and final Apollo mission to land on the moon.

  • 2008 - Bernie Madoff is arrested and charged with securities fraud in a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.