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Hot Start With Trump 'Pep Rally' Burns Out as Tax Bill Cruises
Before passing tax bill, GOP members gush about president

President Donald Trump, accompanied by his chief of staff John Kelly, arrives at the Capitol to speak to House Republicans before a floor vote on a GOP-crafted tax overhaul bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two fireplaces outside the House chamber told the story Thursday a few minutes before members streamed in to vote on a sweeping tax bill. Orange embers were still just visible in both beneath scorched logs and ash. For Republicans, what had started with a white-hot visit by President Donald Trump ended with the anti-climactic passage of their tax plan.

But there was nothing anti-climactic a short time earlier in the basement of the Capitol, where House GOP members gather weekly as a group. They scurried in — mostly on time, with a few notable exceptions — for the presidential visit, and many emerged just before noon strikingly giddy about the scene during the president’s roughly 20 minutes of remarks.

Let Us Now Praise President Donald Trump
Republicans describe their rally with president

President Donald Trump makes a brief statement to the media as Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., left, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, right, look on, after a meeting with the House Republican Conference in the Capitol to discuss the GOP’s tax reform bill on November 16, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Unbelievably engaging.”Mark Meadows, N.C.

Senate Ethics Committee Could Get Real Busy, Real Soon
Inquiries of Franken, Menendez and maybe Roy Moore loom

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken likely faces a Senate Ethics Committee investigation, which even he has requested at this point. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Ethics Committee may soon become one of the most active panels in the chamber.

It is all but assured the committee will investigate allegations that Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken groped and kissed a Los Angeles news anchor during a 2006 USO tour. (Franken was not a U.S. senator at the time.) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Franken himself have all called for the panel to take up the case.

Why the RNC Has Been Slower than NRSC to Respond to Moore
The NRSC was quick to cut ties; it took the RNC four days longer

The RNC didn’t cut ties with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, seen here during a visit to the Capitol last month, until five days after The Washington Post published allegations against him. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Republican National Committee are theoretically supposed to be working toward a shared goal of growing the party. 

But the committees’ differently timed responses to allegations against Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore illustrate just how much President Donald Trump has complicated traditional alliances within the Republican Party.

Sen. Al Franken Accused of Sexual Misconduct
‘He mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth’

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken is facing allegations of sexual misconduct. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

UPDATED 11/16/17 2:04 p.m. | A Los Angeles radio news anchor accused Sen. Al Franken of groping and kissing her without consent in an open letter Thursday on the radio station’s website.

Leeann Tweeden, a 790 KABC morning host, wrote that she was on a 2006 USO tour with the Minnesota Democrat, and the former Saturday Night Live cast member had written material for a joint sketch that involved a kiss. Franken insisted on rehearsing, she said.

Senate GOP Throws Health Care Curveball Into Tax Debate
Bid to repeal individual mandate to pay for tax cuts roils Capitol

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch is presiding over a tension-filled committee markup of the GOP’s tax bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A complicated tax overhaul debate got more complicated Tuesday when Senate Republicans injected health care politics into the equation. 

With a growing number of Senate Republicans seeking bigger tax cuts for individuals and families, but short of ways to finance it, GOP leaders gave the go-ahead to repeal the 2010 health care law’s mandate to purchase insurance to pay for their wish list

House Rules Committee Adopts Closed Rule for GOP Tax Bill
With last hurdle cleared, measure heads to the floor

House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions, center, and Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse, seen here with a staffer in March, joined six other Republicans Tuesday night to send the GOP tax bill to the floor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Republican tax bill cleared the Rules Committee late Tuesday night with no changes or amendments made in order for floor debate.

The panel adopted a closed rule in an 8-3 party-line vote, the last hurdle for the bill to clear before it reaches the floor.

Congress’ Gun Massacre Caucus
Dealing with mass shootings is becoming all too familiar for many members

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, center left, with Rep. Mark Sanford to his right and then-Gov. Nikki Haley, second from right, attend a memorial service commemorating the anniversary of the 2015 mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

On Dec. 14, 2012, Elizabeth Esty was attending a social media workshop for new members of Congress at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She had been elected to represent Connecticut’s 5th District a month earlier.

“I raised my hand and I said, ‘Here’s an example right now — I’m getting texts and alerts that there’s been a shooting and we don’t know what happened,’” she said.

Senate Republicans Haven’t Read Tax Bill Yet, but Plan To
House measure regarded as just first step in larger legislative process

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy said he read the roughly 2,300 pages of the 2010 health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Republicans haven’t yet reviewed the House tax bill yet, so don’t ask them about it.

It’s the same response members routinely give to reporters seeking feedback from lawmakers on major pieces of legislation that become public.

Trump, ‘Game of Thrones’ Represented at Tillis’ Halloween Dog Party
North Carolina Republican organized dogs in costume on Capitol Hill

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., lead the Halloween dog parade to the Hart atrium. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., hosted a Halloween party for the books. The main attraction: dogs in costumes. 

The party started outside Tillis’ office on the first floor of the Dirksen Senate Office Building but got too big, so the senator led the group to the Hart Atrium. About 50 dogs showed off their costumes at the event.