Briefing National – October 27, 2017

  • The House narrowly passed a budget blueprint that will allow Republicans to move forward on tax reform [New York Times].
  • Republicans in the House and Senate are hoping to pass tax reform legislation by Thanksgiving, which gives them just 22 working days to accomplish that Herculean task [Washington Post].
  • President Donald Trump declares the opioid crisis a national health emergency but stops short of allocating any funds to fight the epidemic [New York Times].
  • Republicans in Congress are aiming to hamper special counsel Robert Muller‘s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election by limiting his budget [Politico].
  • Congressional Republicans are winding down their investigations into Russian involvement in last year’s election without addressing allegations of collusion with the Trump campaign [Politico].
  • John PodestaHillary Clinton‘s campaign manager, and former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz told congressional Russian investigators they did not have any knowledge about an arrangement to fund opposition research on Donald Trump which resulted in a salacious dossier alleging ties between the Trump campaign and Russia [CNN].
  • The Trump administration releases most of the remaining JFK assassination files, but some are still being withheld because of national security concerns [ABC News]. Some of the wildest information contained in the newly public files show Cuban exiles tried to put a bounty on Fidel Castro’s head, a probe into alleged sex parties held by JFK and prominent Hollywood actors and the effort to find a stripper named “Kitty” [Washington Post].
  • Democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson says she is getting threats because she criticized President Donald Trump’s remarks made to the widow of a soldier killed in Niger [ABC News].
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is setting up a voting blitz to confirm several of Donald Trump’s judicial nominees [Politico].
  • This is fishy. A computer server that is part of a lawsuit against Georgia election officials was wiped shortly after the suit was filed. The lawsuit targeted the server which was known to have a gaping security hole, and the plaintiffs are hoping to force Georgia to upgrade their antiquated election system [Associated Press].
  • More women step forward to level sexual harassment allegations against journalist Mark Halperin [Washington Post].
  • The National Weather Service is “teetering on the brink of failure” because they don’t have enough staff to accomplish their mission [Washington Post].

On this day in history:

  • 1787 – A New York newspaper published the first of 77 essays explaining the new Constitution and urging its ratification. The essays were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, and later combined as “The Federalist Papers.”
  • 1838 – Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issues the Extermination Order, which orders all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated.
  • 1904 – The first underground New York City Subway line opens.
  • 1964 – Ronald Reagan delivers a speech on behalf of Republican candidate for president, Barry Goldwater. The speech launches his political career and comes to be known as “A Time for Choosing.”
  • 1988 – President Ronald Reagan suspends construction of the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow due to Soviet listening devices in the building structure.