ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
81°
Thunderstorms
H 92° L 75°
  • clear-night
    81°
    Current Conditions
    Thunderstorms. H 92° L 75°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    88°
    Afternoon
    Thunderstorms. H 92° L 75°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    79°
    Evening
    Isolated Thunderstorms. H 88° L 74°
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

National Govt & Politics
House approves GOP tax bill, Senate vote expected tonight
Close

House approves GOP tax bill, Senate vote expected tonight

House approves GOP tax bill, Senate vote expected tonight
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

House approves GOP tax bill, Senate vote expected tonight

Setting the stage for a major legislative victory for GOP leaders in Congress and President Donald Trump on taxes, the House on Tuesday afternoon approved a sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code, as Republicans declared that it would spur new job creation, ending what they argued has been a period of unimpressive economic growth in the United States.

"Don't vote for the status quo," said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). "Vote for a tax cut."

"It's going to be a huge economic engine for us in driving job creation," said Rep. Karen Handel (R-GA), as most GOP lawmakers embraced the Republican plan.

"It's good for hard-working families, they get to keep more of their money up front," said Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL).

The final tally in the House was 227-203, sending the bill to the Senate for an expected vote tonight. 12 House Republicans voted against the GOP plan, joining all Democrats in opposition.

"17 years ago, I got elected to Congress, campaigning on tax reform," said Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH), as Republicans repeatedly reminded voters that it had been 31 years since the last major change in the tax code.

"Absolutely, this is why we came here," said Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), who said he had told voters he was "fed up" with federal government policies when he first ran for Congress in 2012.

On the House floor, Democrats argued in vain against the deal, saying it was nothing more than a boon to the rich.

"The GOP has proposed a tax bill that Ebeneezer Scrooge would love," said Rep. Cathy Castor (D-FL).

"The Republicans have provided a new across-the-board tax cut for billionaires," said Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), one of many Democrats who charged that middle-income Americans would actually see a tax increase.

"This bill should be named the Republican Donor Class Relief Act," said Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), as Democrats labeled the bill as a "tax scam."

While no Democrats supported the GOP tax bill, opponents were unable to convince enough Republicans to join them in an effort to derail the bill, as this plan seems headed for approval in the Senate by tonight.

"I think we've got the votes," said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), as unlike the GOP debacle over plans to overhaul the Obama health law, this bill seems to be on course, headed ultimately to President Trump for his signature, as Republicans close in on what would be their first - and maybe only - major legislative victory in the Congress in 2017.

"It is a great day," said Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA). "It is a big day."

Some of the highlights of the GOP plan include:

+ Seven individual tax brackets of 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%.

The current individual brackets are 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35% and 39.6%.

Jamie Dupree
Close

tax238

Jamie Dupree

+ Standard deduction almost doubled $6,350/$12,700 to $12,000/$24,000

+ State and local taxes change will only allow you to deduct up to $10,000 for sales, income and property taxes - this is a big change for those who itemize.

+ Mortgage interest deduction limit lowered to $750,000 from $1 million. No change for current mortgages (they are grandfathered in).

+ Zeroes out the individual mandate tax penalty in 2019 under the Obama health law - note the date - not in 2018. Still in effect next year.

+ Does not change tax exemption on reduced tuition awards for graduate students, and employer tuition aid at colleges and universities.

+ Alternative Minimum Tax lives on for individuals, but the exemption limit is increased.

+ Federal estate tax is not abolished, but the plan doubles the amount of the inheritance exemption.

+ Corporate tax rate lowered to 21% - original plan was 20%.

+ Almost all business tax changes are permanent in the GOP bill.

+ Almost all individual tax changes in the bill expire after 2025 (8 years).

If you want to read more about the details of the bill, this is the 570 page explanation that has been put out by Republicans in the Congress.

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A north Alabama man was arrested Friday in connection with two homicides after patrol officers in another part of the state said they found him driving around with his dead wife’s body in the front seat beside him. Fred Sommerville, 47, is accused of killing his estranged wife, Lakresha Sommerville, 39, of Ardmore, Tennessee, who was reported missing Thursday in Limestone County, Alabama. Ardmore sits on the southern Tennessee state line and abuts its sister city of the same name in Alabama. Law enforcement officials have spelled the couple's name Sommerville, though their social media profiles show the spelling as Somerville. Fred Sommerville was taken into custody following a police pursuit in Pickens County, more than 150 miles away in west Alabama. “His wife, Lakresha, was in the front seat of the vehicle. She was dead and had been dead for several hours,” Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said during a news conference Monday evening. As of Tuesday morning, Fred Sommerville remained in the Pickens County Jail on charges of abuse of a corpse, attempt to elude, first-degree theft of property and reckless endangerment. He is expected to be transferred to Limestone County, at which point he will face a charge of first-degree murder for the murder of two or more people. Blakely said along with the slaying of his estranged wife, Fred Sommerville is also a suspect in the Thursday night killing of Bruce Cosman, 74, of Ardmore, Alabama. The News Courier in Athens reported that Cosman and his wife were inside their home around 7:30 p.m. Thursday when they heard suspicious noises outside. Cosman went outside to investigate the noises and his wife heard gunshots. According to the newspaper, Cosman was shot multiple times, dying in the yard. Blakely said Monday that investigators have evidence placing Fred Sommerville at Cosman’s home at the time of the shooting. He did not say what that evidence is. “There’s a lot of things we can’t go into at this time because it’s still an ongoing investigation,” Blakely said. He said a lot more legwork needs to be done in the case, but he is confident that the killer is in custody. Blakely said one reason he held the news conference was to calm the fears of residents in Ardmore. “We don’t have a murderer running loose up there in Ardmore. We have the person. He is in custody,” Blakely said. “We’re very confident he is the one that murdered Mr. Bruce.” >> Read more trending news  The timeline of the killing of Lakresha Sommerville is still not nailed down, Blakely said. He told reporters Monday that the victim’s mother reported her missing, with a possible kidnapping by her estranged husband, late Thursday night. Fred Sommerville was apprehended in Pickens County, in the town of Aliceville, around 11 a.m. Friday. Lakresha Sommerville had obviously been dead for hours at that point, the sheriff said. Blakely said there is no indication Fred Sommerville knew Cosman or his family. “We have some theories and possibly some evidence that’s going to indicate why he wound up at that residence, but we’re not prepared to discuss those at this time,” Blakely said. Watch the entire news conference with Limestone County officials below.  It was unclear why Fred Sommerville drove to Pickens County, though investigators said he has an uncle who lives there. Blakely said Sommerville also drove through other areas of Alabama for hours before his capture. The News Courier reported Fred Sommerville was caught after Aliceville police officers, who had heard reports regarding Lakresha Sommerville’s missing vehicle, spotted him downtown and attempted to pull him over. The officers ultimately fired at the car to stop it, the newspaper reported. The sheriff said Lakresha Sommerville had filed several complaints against her estranged husband alleging domestic violence and stalking. “According to the reports we’ve received so far, she was scared of him,” Blakely said. It was not yet clear exactly where Lakresha Sommerville was slain. According to investigators, she was shot once in the head. A Facebook page apparently belonging to Fred Sommerville, listed under the name Fila Somerville, shows multiple angry public posts that appeared to be directed at his estranged wife over the past few months. “All the slander you do towards me only gonna make that number bigger,” he wrote less than a week before Lakresha Sommerville was slain. “Get your lawyer, ‘cause you gonna pay dearly. Bet that.” Several people have commented on the post since the slaying last week. 'Why, Fred? Why?' Lakresha Sommerville's mother, Cindy Surles, wrote. 'Why would you take away the only person that was taking care of your son?' She wrote that Fred Sommerville did not care about the boy, who, according to Lakresha Sommerville's Facebook page, turned 13 earlier this year. 'All you care about is Fred and if it's not about Fred, then it ain't about nothing,' Surles wrote. On July 2, Fred Sommerville posted that he was in a domestic partnership with Lakresha, who appeared to express surprise at the relationship status. A friend asked Fred if he was OK. Fred Sommerville wrote that he had some business to take care of. 'This (expletive) the reason y,' he wrote, indicating his estranged wife. Other friends wrote that Lakresha Sommerville was not the source of his problems and urged him to accept that the relationship was over. On Friday, a woman named Stacey Smith commented on the status, along with several others on the Facebook page, telling those who saw her posts that Fred and Lakresha Sommerville were missing. 'No one has heard from them since yesterday afternoon,' Smith wrote. 'Their son was left behind and haven’t heard from them! If anyone knows or heard anything please let us know!' The following day, after news of Lakresha Sommerville's slaying emerged, the comments on Fred Sommerville's page turned to anger and anguish. 'You sorry (expletive), you didn’t have to kill her,' one person wrote. 'You could’ve thought of your son.' A friend of Lakresha's, April Robison, wrote on a Facebook fundraiser to help Surles fund her daughter's funeral and raise her son, that Lakresha Sommerville was loved and respected by many. 'Kresha was dedicated to her son, her mom, her whole family,' Robison wrote. 'She could light up a room with her smile. Her laugh was infectious. She will be missed by this entire town. We have lost a truly beautiful soul.' In a December post thanking her friends for birthday wishes, Lakresha Sommerville wrote that she thanked God for life and was looking forward to what the next year of life held for her. 'Just being honest I'm not living my best life yet, but if it's in God's will, I'm on my way,' she wrote. She wrote that she was looking forward to new and exciting things and a drama and stress-free year. 'May Chapter 39 be the best year yet!' she wrote.
  • An 18-year-old who was born in Dallas has spent weeks in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection over a paperwork mix-up that has left immigration officials questioning whether he is an American citizen, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news  Officials detained Francisco Erwin Galicia at a CBP checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas, on June 27, the Dallas Morning News reported. He was stopped with friends and his 17-year-old brother while headed to North Texas for a soccer scouting event, according to the newspaper. His brother, Marlon, is not a U.S. citizen and had only a school ID card on him, according to the Morning News. Galicia's attorney, Claudia Galan, told The Washington Post that her client showed authorities a wallet-sized Texas birth certificate, his state ID card and his Social Security card, but she said they rejected the documents as likely fake and took him and his brother into custody. 'They just didn't believe they were real. They kept telling him they were fake,' Galan told the Post. 'He's been here all his life.' Marlon agreed to be voluntarily deported to Mexico within days of his detention, according to the Morning News. 'I didn't imagine this could happen, and now I'm so sad that I'm not with my family,' Marlon told the newspaper by phone from Reynosa, Mexico, where he's staying with family. 'Now, we just have to wait and see and hope that they release my brother.' Galicia was born in December 2000 at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, according to a birth certificate reviewed by the Morning News. Galan told CBS News that she's provided U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials with several documents to prove Galicia's American citizenship, including his birth certificate, health insurance cards and high school ID. 'He's going on a full month of being wrongfully detained,' Galan told the Morning News. 'He's a U.S. citizen, and he needs to be released now.' According to the Post, authorities might not have been able to immediately confirm the authenticity of Galicia's paperwork because his mother, who is not a U.S. citizen, took out a tourist visa in his name when he was younger, which falsely listed his place of birth as Mexico. Galicia's mother, Sanjuana, told the Post she got the visa because she believed it was the only way to allow her son to travel across the border to visit family and added that she couldn't get him a U.S. passport because she gave a different name for herself on her son's birth certificate. Sanjuana told the Post that her son is 'desperate' to leave detention and that he fears he might be deported to Mexico at any moment. 'I need my son back,' she told the Morning News. 'I just want to prove to them that he is a citizen. He's not a criminal or anything bad. He's a good kid.' It's not the first time authorities have detained a person claiming American citizenship, though the cases make up a fraction of ICE detentions each year, according to a 2018 report from the Los Angeles Times. Between 2012 and April 2018, ICE officials released 1,480 people from custody after investigating their claims of American citizenship, the Times reported. A review of Justice Department records and interviews with immigration attorneys 'uncovered hundreds of additional cases in the country's immigration courts in which people were forced to prove they are Americans and sometimes spent months or even years in detention,' the newspaper reported. 
  • Authorities arrested 35 people earlier this month in a series of nationwide immigration raids that targeted 2,000 families suspected of entering the country illegally, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news  Citing government figures, The New York Times reported 17 people who were apprehended were part of families that crossed the border together while 18 people were considered 'collateral apprehensions.' An unidentified Homeland Security official also confirmed to CNN that 35 people were arrested in the raids, which were slated to take place in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco. The Times previously reported the operation was aimed at apprehending families that recently crossed the border and which were notified in February to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office and leave the United States. Officials do not typically announce planned immigration raids ahead of time, according to The Associated Press. President Donald Trump, however, confirmed the raids were set to take place and touted the effort as a major operation in his efforts to stymie illegal immigration. 'If the word gets out, it gets out. Hundreds of people know about it,' he told reporters July 12. 'It's a major operation. … They're going to take people out and they're going to bring them back to their countries or they're going to take criminals out, put them in prison or put them in prison in the countries they came from.' The advanced notice spurred action from immigrant advocates and might have prompted some of those targeted to flee.  'There is no way to quantify the impact that had but you could turn on any TV station for several weeks (and learn about the raids), this being one of the lead topics,' acting ICE Director Matt Albence told BuzzFeed News on Tuesday. 'It's very difficult to locate those individuals who don't want to be found.' Albence told the Times on Monday that he was unaware of 'any other population where people are telling them how to avoid arrest as a result of illegal activity.' 'It certainly makes it harder for us to effectuate these orders issued,' he said. From mid-May to mid-July, nearly 900 people were arrested by ICE officers as part of cross-check operations in which regional field offices dedicate resources toward a goal like picking up people who remain in the U.S. despite final deportation orders or people suspected of entering the country illegally who have criminal records, according to BuzzFeed News. White House officials on Tuesday said 605 people who have criminal records and who were suspected of entering the country illegally were recently picked up by ICE officers.
  • At 11 a.m. Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center announced that Tropical Depression 3 has lost organization and continues to weaken. The system is no longer a tropical depression and its remnants will continue to move over water, then turning east as it is swept away from land by a frontal boundary exiting the U.S. Across Central Florida, expect a soggy afternoon, with some storms becoming strong. High temperatures will reach the low to mid-90s.  The same cold front that will sweep the remnants of tropical depression 3 away from the U.S. coastline, will also bring a much-needed relief from the heat across the Central and northeastern U.S. The front will not make it all the way down to Central Florida, stalling just north of the state. Enough instability will remain nearby, which will ignite some strong afternoon thunderstorms on Wednesday. Expect higher than average rain chances Wednesday afternoon. The increased rain is forecast to keep temperatures slightly lower with highs in the lower 90s for the rest of the week. Expect a similar setup Wednesday, with storms moving from west to east, starting late morning and lasting through the afternoon commute. Overall storms will be moving a bit more rapidly to the coast, but there could still be some minor flooding, especially where storms ‘train’ for a bit longer.

Washington Insider

  • The White House on Tuesday defended the details of a major budget deal worked out between President Donald Trump and Democrats in the Congress, even as conservative groups and some GOP lawmakers denounced it as a budget boondoggle which would only increase spending and further raise deficits and debt. 'This deal on the discretionary spending caps is nothing short of a surrender by Republican “leadership” in the House and Senate and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin,' said the group Freedom Works. The plan would raise spending levels to $320 billion more than the budget caps in current law for 2020 and 2021 - though the actual increase in spending from 2019 would be much less. With no briefings at the White House, the public argument on behalf of the deal was carried in the rain on Tuesday by the President's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow. On Capitol Hill, Republicans said it was the best deal possible. 'In a compromise, neither side gets 100 percent of what they want,' said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA). But the details produced a lot of grumbling from GOP lawmakers in the House, who want to see less spending - not more. 'The spending deal before us would continue Washington’s reckless spending with an unlimited line of credit,' said Rep. Mark Green (R-TN). 'This deal irresponsibly jacks up spending by $320 billion,' said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who complained 'this deal just kicks the can down the road again.' 'This proposal digs the US deeper into debt,' said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), who said it was hard for budget haws to support a deal that adds more money to the deficit. 'Our credit card is maxed out,' said Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC). 'What this budget deal does is ask the credit card company for another $320 billion in credit.' A House vote is expected on the plan by Friday, with Senate action expected next week. Lawmakers needed to act now - before going home on an extended summer break - because Trump Administration officials were worried that the debt limit needed to be expanded soon after Labor Day.