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  • House Republicans voted for tax reform, but asked for changes in the bill as well

    As the House voted along party lines on Thursday to approve a sweeping package of GOP tax reforms, one peculiar part of the floor debate came when a number of Republicans – who voted for the bill – took to the floor to request changes in the their party’s plan, as some highlighted unintended consequences, while others objected to the basics of the measure.

    Known in parliamentary parlance as a “colloquy,” the scripted exchanges between lawmakers are often done to clarify the legislative intent of a bill, or in this case, to urge action in a specific way in House-Senate negotiations.

    And [More]

  • White House asks for $44 billion in hurricane relief, floats offsetting budget cuts

    The Trump Administration on Friday asked Congress to approve a third major disaster aid relief package for areas hit hard by hurricanes in 2017, which would bring total federal aid to nearly $100 billion, as for the first time, the White House proposed budget savings to offset some of that cost.

    “This year’s Atlantic hurricane season has resulted in historic, widespread destruction that continues to affect the lives of millions of Americans,” said White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney in a letter to the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

    In the same letter, Mulvaney that Congress has already approved [More]

  • GOP pushes ahead on tax reform – Senate debate to start after Thanksgiving

    After winning full House approval of a GOP tax reform measure, Republicans on Thursday night took another step forward in their quest for sweeping changes to the federal tax code, as the Senate Finance Committee approved a slightly different tax reform bill, setting up a debate on the Senate floor following a Thanksgiving break in Congress.

    “This is a good bill that delivers on our promise to provide middle class tax relief and grow our economy,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), after his panel finished up an at times chippy four days of work.

    The 14-12 vote in Hatch’s Senate Finance Committee [More]

  • House passes sweeping GOP tax reform bill as focus shifts to Senate

    In a major legislative victory for Republicans and President Trump, the House on Thursday approved a sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code, sending the plan to an uncertain future in the Senate, which will try to vote on its own version of tax changes after Thanksgiving.

    In an afternoon tweet, the President called it a ‘big step toward fulfilling our promise” on tax cuts, and that was echoed by GOP lawmakers in the House.

    “A historic day,” said Rep. Karen Handel (R-GA), as cheering broke out on the House floor as the vote count went over a majority for the bill, [More]

  • L.A. radio news anchor accuses Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) of sexual misconduct

    The recent rash of accusations of sexual misconduct by high profile men hit Capitol Hill on Thursday, as a radio news anchor from California published a first person account accusing Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) of groping her and kissing her without her consent, while the two were part of a USO military entertainment tour in Iraq in late 2006.

    While rehearsing a skit backstage, Leanne Tweeden said Franken forcibly kissed her. “We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed [More]

  • Trump, GOP leaders ready for tax reform victory in U.S. House

    With the outcome seemingly in hand, President Donald Trump will go to Capitol Hill on Thursday morning to meet with House GOP lawmakers, as Republicans get ready to vote for a sweeping tax reform package which would deliver close to $1.5 trillion in tax relief over the next ten years to individuals and businesses.

    “Tax cuts are getting close!” the President tweeted on Monday night.

    Mr. Trump will trek to Capitol Hill hours before the tax reform vote in the House, where he will give a pre-vote pep talk to GOP lawmakers who have made clear they are eager to get on [More]

  • Republicans poised to push GOP tax reform bill through House

    In search of their first major legislative victory of 2017, Republicans took an initial step forward on a sweeping package of tax cuts and tax reforms, as the House on Wednesday afternoon easily moved past the first parliamentary hurdle to a GOP tax reform package, setting up a final vote on the Republican tax plan for Thursday.

    “The American people want and need something done right now,” said Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), as debate began in the full House.

    “What we cannot afford is to do nothing,” said Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), as Republican backers argued the bill will spur new economic [More]

  • Revised Senate GOP tax reform bill ends many tax cuts after 2025

    Republicans in the U.S. Senate unveiled a series of last minute changes to their tax reform plan late on Tuesday night, ending all plans for individual tax cuts after eight years, while making almost all of the proposed business tax changes permanent, as GOP leaders expressed confidence that they can push a bill through the House by Thursday, and win Senate approval of a slightly different plan soon after Thanksgiving.

    As for the newly revised Senate tax reform bill, here is the link to the summary of the revised Senate tax reform bill.

    And for true tax policy wonks, [More]

  • Attorney General frowns on GOP calls for special counsel to probe Hillary Clinton

    Addressing calls by conservative Republicans in the Congress for the appointment of a special counsel to probe Hillary Clinton over the sale of a company during the Obama Administration with American uranium reserves, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told lawmakers on Tuesday that there would need to be facts to support such a high profile investigation, giving no indication that such a probe has been authorized by the Justice Department.

    “What’s it going to take to actually get a special counsel?” asked Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who repeatedly pressed Sessions on the need for a probe to look at the Uranium [More]

  • House Republicans confident about tax reform vote, as Senate moves to repeal individual mandate

    Aiming at a vote on Thursday in the full House on a sweeping GOP tax reform package, Republican leaders expressed confidence today that they will be able to overcome opposition within Republican ranks to some of the tax details, and muster enough support for a signature agenda item of both the GOP and President Donald Trump, as Senate Republicans vowed to add a provision to the bill that would repeal the tax penalty associated with the individual mandate under the Obama health law.

    “We feel very good where we are,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, following a closed door meeting [More]

News

  • Well-known civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson announced Friday that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. >> Read more trending news “Recognition of the effects of this disease on me has been painful, and I have been slow to grasp the gravity of it,” he wrote in a statement released Friday. “For me, a Parkinson’s diagnosis is not a stop sign but rather a signal that I must make lifestyle changes and dedicate myself to physical therapy in hopes of slowing the disease’s progression.”
  • A Gwinnett County family is trying to make sense of the murder of their husband and father outside their home in a Buford subdivision overnight Thursday. The victim, identified as 43-year-old George Young, was shot dead right outside his own front door. He had just come home from working a security job and his keys were still in the front door when he was shot twice. “I heard two loud gunshots,” says his wife Tia. “At first, I thought it was gunshots, but I wasn’t sure what it was. I wasn’t sure if it was firecrackers.” Her brother, who was asleep on the couch, heard it too. He opened the door to find Young lying on the front porch. “I never heard a car speed off. My brother didn’t either,” says Tia. Gwinnett Police detectives told the woman it does not appear to have been a robbery. “We don’t know where the gunshots came from--whether they came from the porch or came from the street. But our ultimate motive, right now, is to figure out what other people heard,” says Cpl. Michele Pihera. She is asking anyone with information to come forward to police. Tia and her husband had been married close to 23 years and she wonders how she will continue alone raising their three sons. “I lost my dad a few years back to suicide, and I didn’t think it could any worse. But losing a spouse like this, I think it tops that,” she says.
  • The body of an Atlanta-based rapper who was reported missing last week has been found.  According to the Macon County Sheriff's Department, the bodies of Edward Reeves, 29, known as Bambino Gold, and Kendrick Stokes, 30, known as Skooly Kee Da Tooly, were found Friday and Saturday morning.  The first body was discovered Friday night, in a wooded area off County Road 13. The second body was found Saturday morning in the woods off Highway 80, about four miles away from where the first body was found.  TRENDING STORIES: Another cheating scandal: APS police chief disciplines 17 officers, dispatcher Lawsuit: Sun Dial restaurant ‘had no protections' to stop 5-year-old's death Woman carjacked, kidnapped while pumping gas The two were reported missing Nov. 7 and were last heard from on Nov. 5.   Channel 2's Audrey Washington spoke with Reeves’ girlfriend by phone last Friday morning. She did not want to be named, but said she last spoke to him the Sunday before.  “He seemed fine ... like nothing was wrong with him,” his girlfriend said. “I’m trying to not think about nothing being wrong. I’m trying to think positive.”  Police said they were driving a white 2016 Honda CRV with a Georgia license plate. 
  • The Latest on President Donald Trump's decision to delay new policy on importation of elephant trophies from two African countries (all times local):11:30 a.m.A Republican congressman is praising President Donald Trump's decision to delay a new policy allowing trophies of African elephants shot for sport to be brought into the country.But Rep. Vern Buchanan, who co-chairs the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, says more needs to be done to protect African elephants from extinction. He says sport hunting of the endangered species is 'shameful' and calls for a permanent ban.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday it would allow the importation of elephant trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe, arguing that encouraging wealthy big-game hunters to kill the animals would help raise money for conservation programs.After animal rights advocates and environmental groups criticized the decision, Trump said late Friday he was delaying the new policy until he can review 'all conservation facts.'___11:20 a.m.President Donald Trump says he's delaying a new policy allowing trophies of African elephants shot for sport to be imported until he can review 'all conservation facts.'He announced the delay late Friday following criticism from several quarters, including environmentalists, animal rights activists and some lawmakers from his own party.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday it would allow such importation, arguing that encouraging wealthy big-game hunters to kill the threatened species would help raise money for conservation programs.Animal rights advocates and environmental groups criticized the decision. California Rep. Ed Royce, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urged the administration to reverse the policy, calling it the 'wrong move at the wrong time.
  • President Donald Trump said he's delaying a new policy allowing trophies of African elephants shot for sport to be imported until he can review 'all conservation facts.'The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday it would allow such importation, arguing that encouraging wealthy big-game hunters to kill the threatened species would help raise money for conservation programs.Animal rights advocates and environmental groups criticized the decision. California Rep. Ed Royce, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urged the administration to reverse the policy, calling it the 'wrong move at the wrong time.'Trump tweeted Friday that the policy had been 'under study for years.' He said he would put the decision 'on hold' and review it with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.Zinke issued a statement later Friday saying: 'President Trump and I have talked and both believe that conservation and healthy herds are critical. As a result, in a manner compliant with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, the issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being reviewed.'U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Florida Republican who co-chairs the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, on Saturday said Trump's delay was a 'step in the right direction,' but more needs to be done to protect the species from extinction. In his statement, Buchanan called the sport hunting of African elephants 'shameful' and said the U.S. should support a permanent ban.Royce questioned the action because of concerns not only about African wildlife but U.S. national security, citing the political upheaval in Zimbabwe, where the longtime president was placed under house arrest this week by the military.'The administration should withdraw this decision until Zimbabwe stabilizes,' the committee chairman said in a statement. 'Elephants and other big game in Africa are blood currency for terrorist organizations, and they are being killed at an alarming rate. Stopping poaching isn't just about saving the world's most majestic animals for the future — it's about our national security.'The Fish and Wildlife Service said in a written notice issued Thursday that permitting parts of elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia to be brought back as trophies will raise money for conservation programs. The change marks a shift in efforts to stop the importation of elephant tusks and hides, overriding a 2014 ban imposed by the Obama administration. The new policy applies to the remains of African elephants killed between January 2016 and December 2018.'Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve those species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation,' the agency said in a statement.Royce said that when carefully regulated, conservation hunts could help the wildlife population, but 'that said, this is the wrong move at the wrong time.'He described the perilous situation in Zimbabwe, where the U.S. Embassy has advised Americans to limit their travel outdoors.'In this moment of turmoil, I have zero confidence that the regime — which for years has promoted corruption at the highest levels — is properly managing and regulating conservation programs,' Royce said. 'Furthermore, I am not convinced that elephant populations in the area warrant overconcentration measures.'The world's largest land mammal, the African elephant has been classified as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act since 1979.Illicit demand for elephant ivory has led to devastating losses from illegal poaching as the natural habitat available for the animals to roam has also dwindled by more than half. As a result, the number of African elephants has shrunk from about 5 million a century ago to about 400,000 remaining. And that number continues to decline each year.Two other lawmakers, Reps. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., co-chairs of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, assailed the administration's decision.'We should not encourage the hunting and slaughter of these magnificent creatures,' Buchanan said. 'We don't get a second chance once a species becomes extinct.'One group that advocates for endangered species called for more action after Trump's Friday night tweet. 'It's great that public outrage has forced Trump to reconsider this despicable decision, but it takes more than a tweet to stop trophy hunters from slaughtering elephants and lions,' said Tanya Sanerib, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. 'We need immediate federal action to reverse these policies and protect these amazing animals.'___Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.
  • LaVar Ball downplayed President Donald Trump’s role in having his son and two other UCLA basketball players released from custody after a shoplifting incident in China, ESPN reported. >> Read more trending news/ “Who? What was (Trump) over there for? Don’t tell me nothing,” Ball told ESPN. “Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.” LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley had been detained in China for the past week on suspicion of shoplifting. The three players returned to Los Angeles on Tuesday and were indefinitely suspended by the team. Trump, who returned from Asia late Tuesday, said he raised the question of releasing the players when he spoke with China’s president, Xi Jinping, during a trip to Beijing last week, ESPN reported. The players were questioned about allegedly stealing from three stores in Hangzhou, including sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team’s hotel. They were released on bail on Nov. 8, ESPN reported. 'As long as my boy's back here, I'm fine,' Ball told ESPN. 'I'm happy with how things were handled. A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there. Like I told him, 'They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.' I'm from L.A. I've seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses.  “Everybody gets stuck on the negativity of some things and they get stuck on them too long. That's not me. I handle what's going on and then we go from there.”