- Tax reform rolls forward.
The House passed its version of the GOP’s tax overhaul plan Thursday.
- The 227-205 vote marked a major victory for House Speaker Paul Ryan as well as Pres. Trump’s economic agenda. Only 13 House Republicans voted against what is considered the biggest tax code rewrite in three decades.
- The passage of the House bill marks a “significant leap forward” as Congress seeks to enact $1.5 trillion in tax cuts and “deliver the first major legislative achievement” of the Trump administration.
- The Senate must now vote on its own version of tax reform, and Republicans hope to “send a compromise bill for Trump to sign by Christmas.”
- Allegations, accusers & voters.
Allegations of sexual assault continue to rock Democrats and Republicans alike.
- Al Franken is the most recent politician to come under fire as allegations of sexual misconduct have surfaced. Franken almost instantly issued an apology to his accuser as fellow Democrats condemned his behaviors and withdrew campaign contributions.
- Meanwhile, Alabama’s Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore continues to deny allegations of sexual misconduct, lashing out and declaring war against his accusers and D.C. Republicans alike. Some groups condemned Moore’s response as “intimidation tactics” that can deter victims of assault from coming forward.
- As more accounts of alleged misconduct come forward, polling results show that individual voting history “colors how people view” the veracity of the allegations.
- Mueller’s subpoena.
New reports reveal that Special Counsel Robert Mueller issued a subpoena to the Trump campaign in mid-October.
- Sources say that Mueller’s subpoena would not “compel testimony before a grand jury” but surprised the Trump camp as it had been voluntarily handing over documents since September. The subpoena marked the first time Trump’s campaign was officially ordered to provide information to the investigation.
- On a separate but related issue, the Senate Judiciary Committee said that Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner has not been “fully forthcoming” in his testimonies about Wikileaks and other possible points of Russian interference.
ACA enrollments are up, and analysts say premiums could be too.
- Obamacare enrollments have nearly doubled compared to the enrollment numbers at this time last year. However, since consumers have only half the time to enroll this year final numbers could ultimately see fewer Americans enrolled in health coverage.
- The spike in ACA enrollments coincides with an added provision to the Senate tax reform bill that would repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate, eliminating penalties on those who do not buy health insurance. The measure is expected to raise up to $400 billion over the next year, but opponents warn of increased premiums should it pass.
- Keystone spill.
The Keystone Pipeline spilled about 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota Thursday morning.
- Operators said the pipeline was shut off within minutes of discovering the leak. They are working with state regulators and Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety officials “to assess the situation.”
- The spill comes at a critical time for long-delayed sister pipeline Keystone XL that is due to face a decision Monday over whether it will receive an operating permit from Nebraska’s Public Service Commission. After winning the 2016 election Pres. Trump issued an executive order clearing the way for Keystone XL, but it still requires sign off from Nebraska’s PSC.