ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
64°
Sct Thunderstorms
H 78° L 64°
  • clear-night
    64°
    Current Conditions
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 78° L 64°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    77°
    Afternoon
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 78° L 64°
  • cloudy-day
    70°
    Evening
    Cloudy. H 78° L 64°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Latest from Jamie Dupree

    Congressional Republicans left Capitol Hill late last week excited about the prospects for sweeping legislation which would deliver tax cuts and tax reform, as with approval of a House tax bill, the focus has shifted to the Senate, and whether GOP leaders can muster the needed votes to approve a slightly different GOP tax measure after Thanksgiving. “This bill gives Americans more take home pay by cutting taxes and preserving deductions for home mortgage interest and charitable contributions,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) – while he’s on board, only a handful of GOP Senators are expected to determine the fate of this legislation. Here’s where things stand on Capitol Hill: 1. Remember, there is more to do than tax reform. Yes, Republicans want to get tax reform done by the end of the year. But there are other measures which will need attention as well after the Thanksgiving break. For example, the Children’s Health Insurance program needs to be reauthorized, and has been in limbo since October 1. A temporary federal budget runs out on December 8, and there still hasn’t been a deal announced on how much Congress will decide to spend on the discretionary budget, which is what funds pretty much everything outside of mandatory spending items like Social Security and Medicare. There had been talk earlier this year of a possible government shutdown showdown, but that seems unlikely right now, because it would really get in the way of GOP efforts on tax reform. House Speaker Paul Ryan still wants all that spending work – a giant omnibus funding bill – done by the end of the year. House Speaker Ryan: Don't intend on stopgap government funding into next year. — DailyFX Team Live (@DailyFXTeam) November 14, 2017 2. A rush of spending seems likely. In order to get a deal on the discretionary budget for 2018, it’s expected there will be a sizeable increase in defense spending in any final spending deal for next year – President Trump had asked for $54 billion in extra military funding, but there’s no sign of any budget cuts to immediately offset the cost of that. Not only is that extra money likely to be approved, but a third hurricane disaster relief bill seems likely to be voted on by Congress in December as well. The latest White House request was for $44 billion, much less than what Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico have asked for in terms of hurricane aid. That would make total aid close to $100 billion just this year. In the latest disaster aid plan, the White House for the first time is seeking offsetting budget cuts to pay for some of that extra spending. The plan unveiled last Friday has $14 billion in cuts now, and another $44 billion in cuts later – later, as in between 2025 and 2027, after President Trump is gone from the Oval Office. White House wants $44 billion in hurricane relief, offers some cuts now, more in 2025-2027 https://t.co/wg7ggSUI0C — Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) November 17, 2017 3. Some Senators to watch on tax reform. When lawmakers return to legislative sessions the week of November 27, the main political game on Capitol Hill will be figuring out where everyone stands on the GOP tax reform bill in the Senate. This is a similar scenario to what went on with Republicans on health care reform, and many of the same players are involved. On the bubble right now would be Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ). Also, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has said he wants major changes on how small businesses and pass through businesses are dealt with. Don’t count the bill out yet, but there is a lot of work to do. And one thing is for sure – someone will be watching them very closely. Republican Senators are working very hard to get Tax Cuts and Tax Reform approved. Hopefully it will not be long and they do not want to disappoint the American public! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2017 4. Some items you probably won’t see in 2017. One item that won’t be acted on this year is an infrastructure bill. President Donald Trump has talked about his grand $1 trillion infrastructure program since the 2016 campaign, but at this point, there is still no detailed plan, and there is no bill in the Congress. On immigration, there’s still lots of talk about wheeling and dealing on DACA and border security, but I’m not sure there’s the political will to do that. Don’t look for funding for the border wall, but instead for something that sounds like border security, but isn’t the wall. With tax reform dominating the agenda, don’t look for anything on DACA until 2018. DACA: 3 whole months left to come up w/something. Of course there is also Thanksgiving; Christmas: New Years; etc…..no pressure. — David Gee (@CurtG345) November 18, 2017 5. One issue that has disappeared – the deficit. It used to be that Republicans were all about reigning in spending, and cutting the size of government. Now that they have had control of the House, Senate and White House, they are poised to, to, to, do nothing in 2017 on that front. The budget doesn’t balance for at least ten years (if not more), there were no major spending cuts enacted by the Congress, there was no appetite for savings in mandatory spending programs, either. The cuts included in the President’s budget have pretty much been ignored by lawmakers, and it took the White House three disaster aid bills before any offsetting budget cuts were proposed. Meanwhile, the yearly federal deficit is trending back up, and with the disaster relief bills, and an increase in the federal budget caps, there will be more red ink in 2018. Only a few Republicans have stuck with their familiar call for budget discipline. Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) on adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit: “If this was a Democratic bill we wouldn’t even be voting for it. That’s how hypocritical this place has become.” https://t.co/H5FduNppVH — MainStream Coalition (@ksmainstream) November 17, 2017
  • 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 for some Republicans in this week’s tax reform debate, it was clear they wanted some provisions altered. Some requests were specific, like Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), who made the case for historic preservation tax credits, which were eradicated by the House GOP tax reform bill. “Without the credit, projects that transform communities in all 50 states, from West Virginia to Texas, to Wisconsin, simply will not happen,” McKinley said on the House floor, as he asked for Brady’s word that he would help reverse the decision. That didn’t happen. “I commit to working with him and continuing to work with him on this issue because I know the importance of it,” Brady responded, making sure not to guarantee anything in some of these floor exchanges. For Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), a staunch advocate of the GOP bill, he was assured by the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee that more would be done in terms of tax help for the people of Puerto Rico, whose island was devastated by Hurricane Maria. “I look forward to working with you on ideas to best serve the people of this island,” said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), who thanked fellow GOP lawmakers for their concerns, but made no promises. For Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), the issue was with a new excise tax from Republicans that would be levied on the endowments of private colleges and universities. Barr said that would harm Berea College in his district, a ‘work college’ that uses its endowment money to pay the tuition of all students. It was noted in press stories back home. Barr Fights for Berea College in Tax Reform Bill – https://t.co/YoBgs5CWvp – — BereaOnline.com (@bereaonline) November 16, 2017 “I was pleased to learn that the Senate version of the bill exempts schools with fewer than 500 tuition-paying students from the excise tax,” Barr said, urging Brady to accept that position in any House-Senate negotiation. Brady said he would try. “Mr. Speaker, we will work together for a mutually accepted solution to make sure we exempt work colleges to use their endowments to provide tuition-free education,” the panel chairman responded. For Rep. Don Young (R-AK), the problem he brought to the House floor was under the heading of unintended consequences, as the GOP tax bill would subject native settlement trusts in Alaska to a higher rate of taxation. “This would make it more difficult for Alaska Native Settlement Trusts to provide long-term benefits to Alaska Natives,” Young said on the House floor, asking Brady to include provisions of a bill to remedy that and more. Unlike some of the other requests, Brady acknowledged that the GOP tax bill would “unintentionally” change the tax rate for the Alaskan settlements, agreeing to focus on this in conference as we finalize individual rate structures between the House and the Senate.” Others weren’t so lucky to get a guarantee of action, as they pressed for changes in maybe the most controversial part of the GOP plan, which limits a deduction for state and local taxes. “I am concerned about its impact on some of my constituents in Maryland who pay high state and local income taxes,” said Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), the only Republican member of the House from that state, which would be one of the biggest losers on the SALT issue. That subject also drew two California Republicans to make the same appeal to Brady later in the debate; Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) and Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) echoed the concerns of Harris – all of them got a murky assurance of help. “I am happy to commit to working with both of them to ensure we reach a positive outcome for their constituents and families as we reconcile our differences with the Senate,” Brady said, making no promises. Other Republicans brought up education, and a provision in the GOP tax reform bill that would hinder colleges and universities from providing tax free tuition waivers and reimbursements, a matter that has drawn more and more attention in recent days. Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) – whose district includes Dayton University – and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) – whose district includes the University of Illinois – both appealed to Brady to make a change. “I believe that an unintended consequence of this bill would hinder middle class Americans pursuing a higher education degree in an attempt to better their lives,” Turner said. “I am worried it is going to have an impact on the custodians and the assistants in the Registrar’s Office who are just working at these institutions to be able to send their son or daughter to college,” said Davis. There was no guarantee that the provision would be changed. “I have a keen interest in this issue,” Brady told Turner and Davis. “I will work with you toward a positive solution on tuition assistance in conference with the Senate.” Democrats noted the exchanges on both days of the House tax reform debate, arguing that it showed off the haphazard nature of how the bill was put together. “I also was intrigued by the colloquy where Members came to ask the leadership if they will work with them to take out egregious elements of this tax proposal,” said Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI). “We get this sort of, “Yes, I will work with the gentleman,” answer,” Kildee added, raising his voice on the floor. “Why did you put it in in the first place?” Kildee yelled. “Why are you cutting historic tax credits in the first place? Why did you put it in in the first place? You just wrote the bill. You just wrote it,” he said. GOP lawmakers said this past week that anyone can find a reason to vote against a big bill like this tax reform plan – we’ll see in coming weeks whether these publicly voiced concerns become an issue for the final version of tax reform in the Congress.
  • 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 over $53 billion in disaster relief this year, and that it’s time to find a way to pay for some of that. “The administration believes it is prudent to offset new spending,” Mulvaney added, sending a list of plans that would save $14.8 billion by using budget funds from past years which were never spent, and by canceling other programs. BREAKING: White House requests $44B hurricane aid package for Texas, Puerto Rico, smaller than requested. — AP Politics (@AP_Politics) November 17, 2017 The extra $44 billion is far less than what has been requested by officials in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico; just this week, Puerto Rico’s Governor traveled to Washington, D.C. to personally request $94 billion in aid. “We would just like to stress that this is a conservative estimate,” said Gov. Ricardo Rossello of the disaster aid request, as his island continues to struggle in the aftermath of devastation from Hurricane Maria. Even before the latest White House disaster request was official, it was getting less than rave reviews in the Congress. “We’ve been continually told to wait, wait, wait,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) about new disaster relief, as Lone Star State officials asked in October for $19 billion just for the state, and say infrastructure repairs could total $61 billion. Meanwhile, officials from Florida last month asked Congress for $27 billion in relief aid. Cornyn said Thursday night that his staff had reported this latest request from the White House was “wholly inadequate.” As for the budget cuts proposed by the White House – $14.8 billion would happen now, with an additional savings of $44 billion projected between 2025 and 2027. disaster11 Here is the list of budget cancellations and changes that the Trump Administration would make to save $14.8 billion: + Emergency farm conservation activities from Hurricane Sandy – $204 million + Advanced Tech Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program – $4.33 billion + Obama stimulus loan program for innovative tech – $479.4 million + Obama stimulus program for National Emergency health Grants – $23 million + Excess money at the Army Corps of Engineers – $210 million + Army Corps, flood control after Hurricane Sandy – $519 million + Agricultural Research Service – $212 million + Rural Economic Development Grants – $196 million + Rural Business Program – $25 million + Rural Energy Savings program – $8 million + Unspent money at Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – $72 million + Watershed & Flood Prevention – $90 million + Farm conservation programs – $1.42 billion + Supplemental WIC funding – $800 million + Unspent education money in Student Financial Assistance $3.9 billion + Unspent funds at HHS – $560 million + Justice Department working capital fund – $410 million + State Department, Democracy Fund – $99 million + Federal transportation highway aid – $1 billion + EPA state and tribal assistance grants – $150 million + EPA Environmental Programs and Management – $100 million Here is the full budget request for offsets on this latest hurricane aid plan. Those offsets amount to $14.8 billion, far short of the $53 billion that’s already been approved, without even including this latest request for another $44 billion.
  • 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 came nine hours after the House had voted along party lines to approve a Republican tax reform package, as GOP lawmakers cheered when they reached a majority. “We voted to cut your taxes, because it’s time that the hardworking people of this country get a break,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan. Big win today in the House for GOP Tax Cuts and Reform, 227-205. Zero Dems, they want to raise taxes much higher, but not for our military! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2017 Ryan and his top lieutenants were able to keep the tax bill moving by convincing some GOP lawmakers to vote for the bill, even though they had concerns about the details of the measure. “This is not the bill I would have written,” said Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), “but the cuts in this bill are very broad, and the substantial reduction in the complexity of the tax code will benefit even those who do not see direct cuts to their income taxes.” In fact, during two days of debate on the House floor, a number of Republicans – who voted for the bill – publicly took time to express their hope that a variety of provisions would be changed in the measure. The biggest flashpoint in the House for Republicans remains the changes that block most state and local tax deductions, which drew sharp opposition from GOP lawmakers in New York, New Jersey and California. “Adding back in the property tax deduction up to $10,000 was progress, but not enough progress,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), who voted against the bill. “This fight is not over,” Zeldin added. I voted NO on the tax bill today to protect Long Island and NY. While the bill passed, I will continue the fight. — Rep. Pete King (@RepPeteKing) November 16, 2017 Next stop for tax reform will be the Senate floor, where the magic legislative formula may prove a bit trickier for GOP leaders, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said his party’s plan “will bring lasting relief to middle-class families, small businesses and American workers.” “When the Senate returns after Thanksgiving, I will bring this must-pass legislation to the floor for further debate and open consideration,” McConnell added. But like an earlier debate over health care, McConnell can only afford to lose two Republican votes, and already there are rumblings from more than that, like from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who is demanding changes on how small business and pass through businesses are impacted by tax reform. “People realize we have a problem here,” Johnson told reporters, saying he’s been getting a lot of people telling him, “stand firm, you are absolutely right” on helping small business. “Not necessarily what I was expecting,” Johnson admitted with a smile. Other Republicans on the bubble on tax reform include Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who blocked health care reform earlier this year, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who voted against that health care plan as well. Also, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who publicly rebuked President Trump in recent weeks. If the GOP tax reform bill is going to be changed at all, it will have to come from within Republican ranks in the Senate, leaving Democrats stewing on the sidelines. “The public always knows that when the Republicans are in power, the first thing they want to do is give tax cuts to the rich,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who got into a late night spat with the Senate Finance Committee chairman. Tense moment between Sen. Brown and Sen. Hatch after Brown says GOP tax cut is 'for the rich.' Hatch responds: 'Don’t spew that stuff on me' pic.twitter.com/57zEA03a6b — ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 17, 2017 “This is such a scam,” said Sen. Clare McCaskill (D-MO), as Democrats could only express their frustrations, unable to stop the GOP tax effort. Adding to the aggravation of Democrats is the inclusion of a provision in the Senate bill that would repeal the tax penalty from the individual mandate under the Obama health law. In a speech on Thursday night to tax group, Vice President Mike Pence made clear the White House wants that provision in a final bill. “Repealing the individual mandate tax at the heart of Obamacare is a tax cut for millions of hard working Americans,” the Vice President said.
  • 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. “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, which has been a top agenda item for Republicans and the White House. “This is a promise made, and a promise delivered,” added Handel, who stood by the GOP drive for tax reform in a heated special election earlier this year. “We’re going to see the economy take off,” said a smiling Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) just after the vote, as he praised the help of President Trump in convincing GOP lawmakers to stick with the tax reform plan, despite a lot of provisions that could have proved nettlesome for the GOP effort. There were 13 Republicans who voted against the bill, most of them from states which would be hit hard by changes in the state and local tax deduction – New Jersey, New York and California.
  • 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 his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth,” Tweeden wrote on the website of KABC Radio in Los Angeles . “All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth,” saying she “felt disgusted and violated” by what had happened backstage. I’ve decided it’s time to tell my story. #MeToo https://t.co/TqTgfvzkZg — Leeann Tweeden (@LeeannTweeden) November 16, 2017 The incident occurred in December 2006 at a USO event in Mosul, Iraq, two years before Franken ran for the U.S. Senate, and won in a closely contested election. Franken, who routinely avoids reporters in the hallways of Congress, quickly issued a written statement, apologizing to Tweeden. “I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann,” Franken stated. “As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it,” the Minnesota Democrat added. Tweeden said she especially felt humiliated by a photograph that was included in a review of the USO trip, which showed Tweeden asleep on a plane, and Franken seemingly grabbing, or pretending to grab her breasts.
  • 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 with the business of tax cuts and tax reform. “It’s about time we get something real done for the American people,” said Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), as the GOP Congress has struggled to deliver on the Trump agenda in 2017. The House has begun floor debate on the House GOP tax bill H.R. 1 — voted expected Thursday early afternoon on passage — Alex Moe (@AlexNBCNews) November 15, 2017 While GOP leaders are confident that they have the votes to win, there will certainly be Republicans who won’t be on board with the tax plan, many of them unhappy with the end of deductions for state and local taxes, except for a $10,000 write-off allowed on property taxes. “I want nothing more than to vote for a tax plan that unleashes our country’s full economic potential, but not if it’s paid for by my constituents,” said Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY), one of a group of Republicans from New York and New Jersey who are ready to vote against the tax reform bill. “Unfortunately, I do not believe the current tax bill being considered by the House ensures that New York families will be better off,” said Rep. John Faso (R-NY). Four New York GOP congressmen — DONOVAN, KING, ZELDIN & FASO — will speak about their opposition to the GOP tax reform bill, at 9:45 tomorrow — Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) November 16, 2017 While Republicans should be able to overcome those objections in the House, the picture quickly became muddy in the Senate, even as a key committee there was working its way through a newly revised tax reform measure. The first sign of dissent came from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who said he opposes the details on how pass-through businesses are treated in both the House and Senate versions of the tax reform bill. Johnson wasn’t ruling out that he would back the bill, but made clear he wants changes. “These businesses truly are the engines of innovation and job creation throughout our economy, and they should not be left behind,” Johnson said. Bob Corker at #TimesTalks says of tax bill, 'it's not a good process.' If I feel the growth assumptions are out of line … I'm not going to vote for it.' — Jonathan Weisman (@jonathanweisman) November 16, 2017 Other GOP Senators who might not be in support of the current version of tax reform include Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). A vote in the full Senate would not happen until after Thanksgiving; the Senate Finance Committee is expected to approve a plan this week – then it will be time to count votes. As for Collins, she has made clear that the addition of the repeal of the individual mandate under the Obama health law does not help the bill’s prospects in her mind, saying on Wednesday that it “does not make sense.” So, while Thursday may bring a big victory in the House – and for the President – Republicans hope it’s not a repeat of health care, where the House passed a bill, and the Senate was unable to do the same.
  • 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 GOP 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 growth and needed job creation. Unlike the House debates earlier this year on health care, where GOP leaders struggled repeatedly to wrangle the votes for a plan to overhaul the Obama health law, the tax debate got underway on the House floor with no suspense, as Republicans were feeling good about a Thursday victory. House passes tax rule 235-191. Four hours of debate to come. Final vote tomorrow. — Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) November 15, 2017 The House GOP bill would streamline the tax code, taking it from seven to four income tax brackets, do away with most personal deductions to simplify tax filing for individuals, and give businesses a dramatic tax cut in hopes of spurring new job creation and economic growth. “I’m cautiously – not even cautiously – I’m quite confident we pass it tomorrow,” said Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), a top ally of President Donald Trump. Still, there will be Republicans who vote against the plan, not pleased with the changes in deductions for state and local taxes, though the GOP plan would allow up to $10,000 in property taxes as a deduction. But that wasn’t enough for some GOP lawmakers in high tax states like New York, New Jersey and California. Issa’s a no and expects 2-3 more California GOP noes. Won’t name names. — Jim Newell (@jim_newell) November 15, 2017 But there was no groundswell against the plan, as Republicans have made clear in recent days that they – and President Trump – need a win, and the combination of tax cuts and tax reform seems to be a perfect place to start. “The vote will be strong,” said Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK). “Our whip count came back really good.”
  • 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, here is the link to the detailed budgetary score of the revised Senate plan. Now let’s go through some of the changes in the bill: 1. The individual tax cuts are not permanent. In an effort to squeeze more tax relief into the 10 year GOP plan, Republicans decided to ‘sunset’ most of the individual tax cuts after the end of 2025 – in other words, in 2026, these tax cuts would snap back to current tax law right now – if nothing is done by the Congress. Remember the Fiscal Cliff with the end of the Bush tax cuts in 2013? This is the same thing. 26 different individual provisions would have an eight year time limit, while only four business tax provisions would end early. The business tax cuts are permanent. The individual tax cuts are not. Here’s just a few examples of what would end for individuals on December 31, 2025. (I might get to spend another New Year’s Eve at the U.S. Capitol.) 2. The Senate plan knocks out the individual mandate – in 2019. One of the late changes from Senate Republicans deals with the Obama health law, as the new Senate language would zero out the tax penalty that is levied against people who do not buy health insurance, as required by the individual mandate under Obamacare. But the fine print of the new Senate plan shows that the end of that tax penalty would not take place immediately, as the effective date is after the end of 2018. This provision gives Republicans an extra $318 billion in budget savings, which helps to bring the Senate plan under the $1.5 trillion that can be added to the deficit by the tax reform bill. 3. Tax breaks for individuals get off to a slow start. Of the $886 billion in individual tax relief in this bill, just $49.4 billion comes in 2018, the first year of the revised Senate tax proposal. That’s just 5.5 percent of the overall tax cuts in year number one of this tax cut plan. That is much like the House tax reform bill, where just $52.5 billion of the plan’s $964 billion in individual tax relief comes in 2018. 4. The Senate plan allows college funds for unborn children. Mirroring a provision in the House tax reform bill, the Senate plan would now allow the establishment of a 529 college savings plan for a child in utero. 5. Beer and alcohol interests win new provisions. One of the few special provisions aimed at one specific group to pop up in the GOP tax reform effort surfaced on Tuesday night in the Senate bill, with a series of provisions under the nondescript heading of “CRAFT Beverage Modernization.” Beer would see a reduced excise tax, as would certain wines and distilled spirits. But it’s just a temporary booze tax provision that expires after the end of 2019, costing $4.2 billion. It appears that the details come from a bill sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). We will hear more about these revisions on Wednesday morning, when the Senate Finance Committee reconvenes.
  • 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 One matter, the Clinton Foundation and more. “It would take a factual basis,” the Attorney General replied, in an extended back and forth with the Ohio Republican. “The only thing I can tell you Mr. Jordan, you can have your idea, but sometimes we have to study what the facts are.” Rep. Jordan: 'What's it going to take to actually get a special counsel' on FBI/DOJ handling of Clinton probe? Jeff Sessions: 'It would take a factual basis.' https://t.co/d8zYEQ87cn pic.twitter.com/xM64LSv31E — ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 14, 2017 The call by Jordan and other conservative GOP lawmakers for a full review of the Uranium One story has been supported publicly by President Donald Trump, as some Republicans argue there is more than enough evidence to support a broader investigation. But in his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Sessions seemed to indicate otherwise. “I would say, ‘looks like’ is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel,” the Attorney General said, weighing in more directly than before on an issue that has drawn repeated public interest from President Donald Trump, who has often argued that Clinton’s ties to Russia need more investigation than questions of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections, and any ties to the Trump campaign. Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama Administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn't want to follow! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 19, 2017 Sessions was asked about the same issue four weeks ago during an appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee; that time, he gave more of an extended ‘no comment’ response on whether there was even an ongoing investigation of the Uranium One matter. “The Department of Justice will take such actions as appropriate,” Sessions said, as he seemed to take pains to say his answer should be taken “without confirming or denying the existence of any such investigation.” Today was much different. Republicans in October announced that a pair of committees in the House would investigate the issue, hoping to hear from an FBI informant who reportedly brought information of possible wrongdoing to the feds during the Obama Administration’s decision-making on whether to allow the sale of a company with U.S. uranium reserves to a Russian government business. “The American people deserve answers,” Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) said at the time. No schedule has been given for any hearings into the case.
  • Jamie Dupree

    Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog.

    A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989. Politics and the Congress are in Jamie’s family, as both of his parents were staffers for members of Congress. He was also a page and intern in the House of Representatives. Jamie has covered 11 national political conventions, with his first being the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta. His political travels have had him on the presidential campaign trail every four years since 1992, chasing candidates throughout the primary calendar.

    He is heard on Cox Radio stations around the country: WSB-AM Atlanta, WDBO-AM Orlando; WOKV-AM/FM Jacksonville; WHIO-AM/FM Dayton, Ohio; and KRMG-AM Tulsa, Oklahoma.

    Jamie and his wife Emily live just outside the Beltway with their three children. Some may know Jamie from his other on-air hobby, as he is a licensed amateur radio operator. When not at work or playing with his kids, you can often find him with a golf club in his hands.

    Follow Jamie on Google+

    Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Rahmael Sal Holt, the suspect in the shooting death of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Officer Brian Shaw, is in custody after a days-long manhunt. >> Watch the news report here Police had been searching for Holt since Friday night’s shooting. Holt’s family made a public plea Monday for him to turn himself in. >> Visit WPXI.com for complete coverage Shaw, 25, was killed after he pulled over a Jeep on Friday in a traffic stop on Leishman Avenue. According to court documents, the Jeep never stopped and Holt, who allegedly killed Shaw, fled and Shaw pursued him on foot.  >> Suspect named in Pennsylvania police officer's shooting death Tavon Harper, who police say was driving the Jeep, took off, police said. Holt then fired multiple shots, killing Shaw, according to court documents. Shaw was transported to Allegheny Valley Hospital, where he later died.  >> Read more trending news WPXI confirmed with multiple sources that Shaw was ambushed that night and at least one of the bullets went through a soft spot in his body armor. Read more here.
  • Jacksonville, Florida, officers say a man was high on 'loveboat' when he shot and killed a driver on I-95. >> Watch the news report here Police said 32-year-old Tyrell Brown was sleeping in the passenger seat of 25-year-old Steven Shawn Grady's car as they drove through Jacksonville on Sunday. The group was traveling from Orlando to North Carolina. At one point, Brown woke up and shot Grady in the face, a witness told police. The witness, who was in the backseat of the car, tried to gain control of the wheel. The car ran off the interstate and crashed near the Union Street exit around 3:15 a.m. >> Read more trending news Officials said Brown violently resisted officers when they got to the scene. There was no indication of a prior altercation between Brown and Grady, officers said. A Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokesperson said Brown smoked a cigarette dipped in formaldehyde and marijuana before the shooting. He was taken to UF Health Jacksonville for his safety, officers said. Brown is facing a murder charge. His next court date is Dec. 12.
  • A dentist in Washington state didn't show up for an appointment Saturday, so just after 7 p.m., a family member called the King County sheriff. >> Watch the news report here What they found has devastated a family and touched people in Sammamish and Seattle, where he and his wife worked. Dr. Rick Nicolini, his wife and adult son were all found dead inside their home in Sammamish's tony Broadmoore neighborhood. It is a development where neighbors say they know each other by name. But few people knew the Nicolinis well. 'They kind of kept to themselves,' said neighbor Rick Willard. 'I saw the kid when he was going to school.' And Willard said he saw nothing that foreshadowed this.  'And you never heard, you never saw anything between, among them, that would make you say ...' he was asked.  He interrupted the question and said, 'Never heard them yelling or screaming. Nothing, yeah. Just heard them doing yard work.' >> Read more trending news He said the entire neighborhood was surprised to see King County sheriff's deputies surrounding their home Saturday night.  On Monday, investigators said all indications are that Richie Nicolini killed his parents, then took his own life.  Nicolini and his wife, Mary Ellen, worked at his dental office on Olive Way near downtown Seattle. KIRO-TV went to Sound Dentistry.  'Hi there,' said reporter Deborah Horne. 'We're from KIRO 7.' But the receptionist said everyone was grieving too much to talk. No patients were waiting; the Nicolinis didn't work Mondays.  Back at their home in Sammamish, a second car was parked in the driveway. The people in it said they had nothing to say. All of this is a sorrowful coda to three lives. 'Yeah, it's sad,' said Willard.  'Sad and, as you said, a surprise?' he was asked.  'Yeah,' he replied. 'I don't know what would drive somebody to do that.' That is what detectives are trying to determine, too: why Richie Nicolini shot his parents and himself in the head. The case remains an active investigation.
  • Police are investigating a Facebook Live video that shows at least two men with guns inside a mall in Memphis, Tennessee. >> Watch the news report here >> On Fox13Memphis.com: PHOTOS: Video shows men with guns in Oak Court Mall The 39-minute video was broadcast live Saturday at the Oak Court Mall in East Memphis. The video shows a man and several friends walking inside the mall. Several minutes into the video, he pulls out a gun. A few moments later, a second man pulls out another gun. >> Watch the video here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised.) The video has been viewed more than 7,000 times. One of the suspects has been identified as 19-year-old Artavius Lynshun Lipsey, police said. He is wanted for questioning. >> Read more trending news  He has two active felony warrants for domestic violence and failure to appear in a felony case. WHBQ reached out to the Oak Court Mall. The mall said it will not be releasing a statement.
  • Charles Manson’s infamous “family” numbered around 100 people in 1969, when Manson orchestrated a series of murders in Los Angeles that, over two nights, left seven people dead.  Nearly five decades later, the names of only a few family members are remembered, mostly due to the grisly nature of the crimes for which they were convicted. >> Read more trending news Here’s where the most notorious Manson family members are now: Charles Manson Manson, 83, died Sunday night at a hospital in Bakersfield, California. He was taken there last week for treatment of an undisclosed illness from the California State Prison at Corcoran, where he was serving a life sentence. Manson, along with several of his followers, was convicted of multiple counts of murder for the Aug. 9, 1969, killings of actress Sharon Tate, celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, her partner Wojciech Frykowski and Steven Parent, as well as the Aug. 10, 1969, murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.  Manson was also convicted of the unrelated murders of music teacher Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea.  Though Manson was not present for the Tate-LaBianca homicides, he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. That sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1972, when the California Supreme Court ruled the death penalty was unconstitutional.  According to the Los Angeles Times, Manson’s stay in prison was not a peaceful one. He racked up hundreds of infractions and over the years was denied parole 12 times.  His next parole hearing was scheduled for 2027, the Times said.  Susan Atkins Susan Atkins, who was 21 at the time of the crimes, died of brain cancer at the Central California Women’s Facility at Chowchilla in September 2009, just a week shy of 40 years after her conviction. The longest-serving female inmate in California, she was denied compassionate release by the state parole board. Described by a former prosecutor as the “scariest of the Manson girls,” Atkins played a large role in the murders, particularly that of Sharon Tate, who was nearly nine months pregnant when she was killed. The Times reported that Atkins confessed to stabbing Tate to death as the young actress pleaded for her life and that of her unborn son. “Woman, I have no mercy for you,” Atkins testified she told Tate.  Atkins also participated in the LaBianca murders the following night.  The Manson family became suspects in the murders, in part, due to Atkins’ confession to cellmates while she was jailed on unrelated charges.  Atkins, who embraced Christianity while incarcerated, married twice while behind bars, the Times said. Despite prison staff advocating for her release as far back as 2005, Atkins was denied parole 13 times before she died.  Charles “Tex” Watson Tex Watson, 71, is imprisoned at Mule Creek Prison, where he is an ordained minister, the Times reported. A model prisoner, he works as a janitor at the facility.  Watson, who described his position in the family as Manson’s “right-hand man,” was the Manson-appointed leader at both the Tate and LaBianca murder scenes. According to testimony in the murder trial, Watson shot Parent, Sebring and Frykowski, who was also pistol-whipped. He also inflicted some of the stab wounds on the victims in the Tate murders. Manson also put Watson in charge the next night at the LaBianca house, where he killed Leno LaBianca and participated in the slaying of Rosemary LaBianca. Watson, who was married and divorced in prison, and fathered four children, has his own ministry, Abounding Love. His website, run by an administrator outside of the prison, states that he “testifies that anyone can be forgiven and transformed by Christ, even a former member of the Manson family.” Watson has been denied parole 17 times, most recently in October.  Leslie Van Houten Leslie Van Houten, 68, remains jailed at the California Institution for Women at Corona, where she has spent her entire sentence as a model prisoner, the Times said. She was convicted of murder and conspiracy in 1978, following her third trial on the charges. A former homecoming princess and the youngest of Manson’s followers, Van Houten held Rosemary LaBianca down as Tex Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel stabbed her to death. Testimony at trial indicated that Van Houten also stabbed the victim, but did so after she was already dead.  Van Houten once told a parole board she was “deeply ashamed” of her role in the slayings, the Times reported.  “I take very seriously not just the murders, but what made me make myself available to someone like Manson,” she said.  The state parole board recommended Van Houten for parole in April after 19 previous tries, but California Gov. Jerry Brown reversed the decision.  The parole board again recommended her for parole in September, and Van Houten is awaiting Brown’s response, the Times said. Patricia Krenwinkel Patricia Krenwinkel, who became the longest-serving female inmate in California upon Susan Atkins’ death, remains at the California Institution for Women at Corona, where she works in the prison’s rehabilitative programs, the Times said. She has condemned Manson in the years since the murders. “What a coward that I found myself to be when I look at the situation,” Krenwinkel told the New York Times in 2014. “The thing I try to remember sometimes is that what I am today is not what I was at 19.” Krenwinkel participated in the murders at both the Tate and LaBianca murder scenes. Testimony at trial showed that she chased an injured and screaming Abigail Folger from the house onto the expansive lawn, where she continued to stab her 28 times, CNN reported.  The following night, Krenwinkel stabbed Rosemary LaBianca to death, testimony showed. She later scrawled “Death to Pigs” on the wall in Leno LaBianca’s blood. Krenwinkel has been denied parole 14 times, most recently in June.  Linda Kasabian Linda Kasabian, who drove the killers to both the Tate and LaBianca scenes because she was the only family member with a valid driver’s license, was offered immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony at trial.  Kasabian, who Watson ordered to remain outside during the Tate murders, later recalled seeing some of the victims run screaming from the house, followed by their killers. She also remained outside at the LaBianca house.  The Times reported that, as of 1994, Kasabian was a mother of four. She was believed to be living on the East Coast.  Robert “Bobby” Beausoleil and Bruce Davis Bobby Beausoleil, 70, who was convicted of murdering Gary Hinman on Manson’s orders, is housed at California Medical Facility in Vacaville, according to CNN. In jail awaiting trial for Hinman’s slaying in August 1969, he was not involved in the Tate-LaBianca murders.  Bruce Davis, 75, is imprisoned at the California Men’s Colony at San Luis Obispo, where he is serving a life sentence in the murders of Hinman and Shorty Shea. Davis, who the Times reported has been denied parole 30 times, became a born-again Christian in prison and earned a doctoral degree in religious philosophy.  Steve “Clem” Grogan Clem Grogan, who rode along with Manson and the other killers the night of the LaBianca murders, did not participate in the killings. He did help Manson, Watson and Davis kill Shorty Shea, however.  Grogan, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, was released on parole in 1985 after he helped authorities recover Shea’s remains by drawing a map to where the stuntman’s body was buried.  Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme Squeaky Fromme, who was one of Manson’s most devoted followers, did not participate in the murders, but was present outside the courthouse every day during the murder trial of Manson and the other defendants.  Fromme achieved her own notoriety in 1975 when she attempted to assassinate then-President Gerald Ford during a visit to Sacramento. Her gun did not fire and Secret Service agents wrestled her to the ground.  The Times reported that Fromme, who was sentenced to life in prison, escaped from a West Virginia federal prison in 1987, but was recaptured two days later. She continued to write to Manson while in prison.  Fromme, now 68, was paroled in August 2009 after serving 34 years in prison, the newspaper said.