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Capitol Ink | Taxsgiving Day

Analysis: 4 Takeaways From Trump’s First Turkey Pardoning
Even when Trump passes presidential test, Russia matter looms

A protester, David Barrows, wears a President Donald Trump mask while holding a sign outside the White House on Tuesday as the president prepared for the annual turkey-pardoning ceremony. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Drumstick is a free bird, thanks to President Donald Trump.

The commander in chief used his executive authorities Tuesday to pardon the Minnesota-bred fowl just two days before he might have become someone’s Thanksgiving meal.

White House Joins GOP Line That Keeping Alabama Seat Matters Most
Sanders: Trump wants candidates elected ‘who support his policies’

The White House will not denounce embattled GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The White House on Monday joined a growing chorus of Republicans declining to formally back embattled Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore but stressing the GOP-held seat is too important to lose.

The president and senior White House officials have declined publicly calling for Moore to drop out of the race or giving him an official endorsement. But a GOP talking point has emerged in recent days that was repeated in various forms.

White House Unlikely to Trash Roy Moore
Senior RNC and pro-Trump PAC adviser says voters in Alabama should decide

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is facing allegations of sexual misconduct. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House isn’t likely to try to push Republican Roy Moore out of the Alabama Senate race.

That is according to a senior adviser to America First Policies, an outside spending group pushing for President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda.

Give Trump a Chance, Alexander Says
Tennessee Republican strikes tone of harmony as Senate GOP tries to pass tax code overhaul

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said he would continue working with the Trump administration to advance the GOP agenda. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump was elected by the American people to navigate the U.S. through uncertain times, Sen. Lamar Alexander said Monday, and lawmakers should “give the president a chance.”

The Tennessee Republican told CNBC that while Trump “does things and says things that I don’t do, and that I don’t approve of,” he is the person that Americans “entrusted with the presidency, and I’m going to try to help him succeed.”

Flake Fires Back at Trump to Dispute Tax Vote Prediction
Another defection would put GOP bill in jeopardy as president seeks first big win

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and President Donald Trump are trading barbs again, this time over the Senate GOP tax plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump and perhaps his top congressional Republican critic are sparring again, this time with Sen. Jeff Flake’s office disputing the commander in chief’s claim that the Arizona Republican plans to oppose the party’s tax overhaul plan.

Trump started the duo’s latest back-and-forth with a Sunday evening tweet predicting the retiring Flake — whom he mocked by referring to him as “Flake(y)” — will “be a NO on tax cuts because his political career anyway is ‘toast.’”

Trump Hits Dems for Failing to Understand ‘Power of Lower Taxes’
President suggests Franken might have further sexually assaulted woman in 2006

President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., leave a meeting with the House Republican Conference in the Capitol on Thursday to discuss the GOP's tax reform bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Buoyed by a pair of Thursday incremental victories in his tax overhaul push, President Donald Trump is arguing separate House and Senate bills would be stronger if Democrats would play ball.

The president used several Thursday evening and Friday morning tweets to celebrate House passage of a GOP-crafted tax measure and a late-night Senate Finance Committee vote to send its version to the chamber floor.

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.

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.

‘Pass-Through’ Changes Dog Senate GOP Tax Overhaul
Republican Ron Johson says plan not generous enough to pass-throughs

From left, Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Senate Finance ranking member Ron Wyden, Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch and Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley participate in the committee markup of the Senate GOP’s tax bill Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Trouble signs emerged Wednesday for the Republican tax overhaul effort, even as the Senate Finance Committee crept closer — slowly, and sometimes painfully — toward approving its bill later this week.

The top tax writers on each side forecast long hours still ahead. “Tomorrow, we are going to be here a while,” Sen. Ron Wyden, the Finance panel’s ranking member, said Wednesday.