Politics

Facing Harassment Allegations, Ruben Kihuen Won’t Run for Re-election
Nevada freshman had been seen as rising Democratic star

Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen won’t seek a second term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen announced on Saturday he would not seek re-election in 2018 — a day after the House Ethics Committee announced it has opened an investigation into the freshman Democrat.

Two women have accused Kihuen of sexual harassment. He maintained his innocence in his retirement announcement.

Landmark GOP Tax Bill Poised for Final Passage
Measure may pass through both chambers before Christmas

Senate Finance Committee chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, left, and Ways and Means chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, have steered a tax bill that would be the the first major tax overhaul in 30 years. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans late Friday unveiled their final plan to overhaul the tax code, a sweeping measure that aims to lower taxes on businesses and individuals, open up parts of Alaska to oil drilling and roll back a key piece of the 2010 health care law.

The massive measure is likely to pass both chambers early next week. Momentum for the landmark package grew throughout the day Friday, capped off with a surprise announcement from Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., that he would back the final bill after opposing a previous version.

Virginia Democrat Bobby Scott Accused of Sexual Harassment
Former Congressional Black Caucus Foundation fellow previously backed out of a press conference

Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., has been accused of sexual harassment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A former fellow with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation on Friday accused Virginia Rep. Robert C. Scott of sexually harassing her.

M. Reese Everson, who worked in Scott’s office during her fellowship in 2013, made the accusations during a press conference. 

GOP Tax Bill Signed, Nearly Sealed and Delivered

Senate Finance Chairman Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, left, and House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, conduct the Senate-House Conference Committee meeting on the GOP tax bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican tax writers signed off Friday on a compromise plan to overhaul the tax code, bringing House and Senate negotiations to a close and setting up final votes on the legislation early next week.

The tax conference agreement was set to be released Friday at 5:30 p.m. Some key details are already known, like a proposed corporate tax rate of 21 percent; a top individual rate of 37 percent; and a 20 percent deduction for “pass-through” business income.

House Ethics Panel Launches Investigation Into Ruben Kihuen
Two women have accused Kihuen of sexual harassment

Two women have accused Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., of harassment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Ethics Committee announced Friday that it has opened an investigation into Rep. Ruben Kihuen. Two women have accused the Nevada Democrat of sexual harassment. 

Kihuen had said he would welcome an Ethics investigation.

Photos of the Week: Jones Wins in Alabama, Tax Conference Gavels In
The week of Dec. 11 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi arrive for a news conference in the Capitol on Wednesday. They spoke out against the Republican tax plan ahead of the Senate-House conference committee meeting. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Top Democratic Candidate Drops Out of Kansas Race After She Faced Sexual Harassment Allegations
Ramsey had been endorsed by EMILY’s List and was a top potential challenger

Andrea Ramsey is dropping her House bid. (Courtesy of the Andrea Ramsey for Congress Facebook page)

Democrat Andrea Ramsey dropped out of the race to take on Kansas GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder, after sexual harassment allegations surfaced against her — and, she claimed, national Democrats abandoned her campaign. 

Ramsey announced she was pulling out of the race Friday, in a lengthy statement denying that she engaged in any harassment or retaliation against a former colleague. The Kansas City Star first reported Ramsey's decision, which came after the outlet approached her about a 2005 lawsuit involving a male subordinate.

Trump Doesn’t Rule Out Pardon for Michael Flynn
‘There is absolutely no collusion,’ president contends

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, at podium, and then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attend a campaign event in 2016. On Friday, the president did not rule out a pardon for his former national security adviser. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Friday did not rule out pardoning former national security advisor Michael Flynn, and again contended “there was no collusion” between his campaign and Russia.

“There is absolutely no collusion,” the president said as he left the White House for an address at a graduation ceremony at the FBI Academy. “That has been proven.”

Trump Bullish on Latest Version of GOP Tax Plan
On whether Moore should concede Alabama Senate race, Trump says, ‘Yeah, I would certainly say he should’

President Donald Trump, seen here during a visit with Senate Republicans in November, called the GOP tax plan “monumental” and predicted it would pass next week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump said Friday he thinks the latest version of the GOP tax plan will  “do very well” when the House and Senate vote on it “as early as next week” after reviewing it. 

And on another congressional matter, Trump replied, “Yeah, I would certainly say he should,” when asked if Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore should concede his race to Democrat Doug Jones.

Menendez Says ‘Bring It On’ to Potential Corruption Retrial
New Jersey Democratic senator has issued mid-January deadline to DOJ to continue prosecution

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., wants the Department of Justice to decide by January whether or not it will retry his corruption case. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Embattled Sen. Robert Menendez is telling the Department of Justice either to try to prosecute him again on corruption charges or drop the case.

The New Jersey Democrat, whose bribery trial was declared a mistrial in November, told reporters Thursday he wants investigators to decide by mid-January whether they will try him in court again.

Waters Asks Justice to Investigate Forged Letter Opponent Tweeted
Fake letter alleged that Waters wants ‘more terrorists’ in district

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., has asked the Department of Justice to investigate a forged letter tweeted out by one of her GOP opponents. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters is asking the Justice Department to investigate the source of the letter posted to Twitter by her top GOP competitor that falsely alleges she wants to resettle “up to 41k” refugees in her California district.

Omar Navarro, the Republican candidate being backed by many far-right donors, tweeted out the document, a forgery, on Monday with an attached caption.

More Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Former Sherman Aide
Matt Dababneh, who worked for California congressman from 2005 to 2013, has announced he’ll resign from Assembly

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., speaks to constituents during a town hall meeting hosted by California State Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, left, in Van Nuys in February. Dababneh worked for the congressman from 2005 until 2013, when he was elected to the Assembly. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

Three more women have accused Matt Dababneh, the former chief of staff to California Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman, of sexual misconduct.

Dababneh, now a California Assemblyman, announced he would resign from the Assembly on Jan. 1 after being accused of sexual assault while working for Sherman.

Senators Go Their Own Way on Stopgap Funding
‘We can’t pass the House bill,’ GOP chairmen say

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., says his colleagues are preparing to fully revamp the temporary spending bill. “The House bill is not going to pass over here,” he said this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators are preparing to completely rework the temporary spending bill needed to keep much of government open past Dec. 22.

The legislation will be stripped of the House-passed Defense appropriations bill and a partisan measure reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which many expected. But its length will also likely change, and it may or may not carry new topline spending levels for appropriators to construct a final fiscal 2018 omnibus package.

Senate Panel to Consider Rules Change
Resolution would cut debate time on the floor for nominees

Sen. Roy Blunt thinks Democrats are abusing the rules in demanding full debate time on nominees. On Tuesday, the Rules panel will consider a resolution to cut the debate time. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans are readying another rule change to the chamber, this one aimed at reducing the number of hours the chamber debates executive and judicial nominees. 

The Rules and Administration Committee will meet on Tuesday to consider a resolution sponsored by Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., that would reduce the time the chamber debates nominees drastically from the current 30 hours after debate is cut off. 

Report: Head of Congressional Ethics Office Sued
Ashmawy accused of verbal abuse and physical assault in civil action

Omar Ashmawy, staff director at the Office of Congressional Ethics. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The staff director and chief counsel for the Office of Congressional Ethics is being sued for verbally abusing and physically assaulting women. 

Omar Ashmawy’s case goes back to his involvement in a late-night brawl in 2015 in Milford, Pennsylvania, according to Foreign Policy.