Briefing National – November 17, 2017

  • The U.S. House passed their tax plan on a party-line vote on Thursday. Here’s what’s in the bill and how it affects every taxpayer in America [Washington Post].
  • The U.S. Senate passed their tax reform plan on Thursday evening. A non-partisan analysis of the Senate plan says the bill would drop large tax increases on Americans making under $75,000 per year while giving tax cuts to the wealthy [New York Times].
  • A woman says Democratic Sen. Al Franken forcibly kissed and groped her during a USO tour in 2006. Franken has apologized for the incident and has called for a Senate ethics investigation into his behavior [New York Times].
  • A new poll from Alabama shows Democrat Doug Jones has opened up an 8-point lead over embattled Republican Roy Moore. The Alabama GOP is standing by Moore in next month’s election [Washington Post].
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee says Jared Kushner did not turn over documents he promised to give them as part of the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election. Specifically, Kushner did not provide emails about WikiLeaks and a “backdoor overture” from Russia during the campaign [Washington Post].
  • Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak says it would take him more than 20 minutes to name every Trump administration or campaign official he’s met with or spoken to on the phone [CNBC].
  • A Turkish national who was in prison for skirting sanctions on Iran is now reportedly cooperating with special counsel Robert Muller’s probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn [NBC News].
  • President Donald Trump‘s approval ratings have dropped to a new low and have been on a downward slide for three straight months. 59% of Americans disapprove of Trump’s job performance [The Hill].
  • The public corruption case against Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez ends in a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Following the announcement, Menendez vowed to enact revenge on his opponents who sought to take advantage of the political damage from the trial [New York Times].
  • The White House plans to ask Congress for $45 billion more for disaster relief [Reuters].
  • The controversial Keystone pipeline leaked 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota [Associated Press].
  • The FCC has relaxed media ownership rules that will allow broadcasters to own more television stations in a single market [Variety].

On this day in history:

  • 1558 – The Elizabethan Age begins with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth I ascended to the throne upon the death of her half-sister, Queen Mary.
  • 1800 – The U.S. Congress holds its first session in Washington, D.C.
  • 1869 – The Suez Canal in Egypt was opened, linking the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.
  • 1871 – The National Rifle Association is granted a charter by New York.
  • 1969 – NBC angered football fans when it pre-empted the final minute of an Oakland Raiders-New York Jets game to air the movie Heidi.
  • 1989 – Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution began following the put down of a student demonstration by riot police.