Missouri

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.’”

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.

Tension High at Senate Finance Committee Tax Markup
Timing, lack of notice are big sticking points

With the Senate Finance Committee markup of tax legislation proceeding under something less than regular order, tensions are high between Republicans and Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Day Three of the Senate Finance Committee tax markup began under a cloud of partisan discord after top Republicans dropped a new version of their tax plan late Tuesday night, making broad changes that Democrats were not consulted on in advance.

The tax writing panel on Wednesday was debating the revised GOP tax plan that would now roll back a central part of the 2010 health care law and make the most significant individual tax benefits in the plan expire after eight years.

Senate Tax Markup Will Be Spirited, but Don’t Expect Fireworks
Finance panel has more than 350 amendments to weigh over the next several days

Senate Finance ranking member Ron Wyden, left, and Chairman Orrin G. Hatch prepare to make opening statements during committee markup of the Republican tax bill Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday begins in earnest its markup of the Republican bill to overhaul the U.S. tax code.

Following opening statements Monday, the panel has more than 350 amendments to consider over the course of the next several days.

Breitbart Mocked for Trying to Discredit Washington Post’s Roy Moore Exposé
Story on conservative site appears to confirm original report

GOP candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore has been accused of sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32. It is yet unclear what effect the report will have on his election odds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The popular alt-right website Breitbart News Network was the object of ridicule Sunday after it published a story ostensibly to discredit the Washington Post’s exposé on U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama.

The Breitbart story’s critics said it actually appeared to bolster the meticulous journalism the Post reporters used to secure on-the-record interviews with four women who say they were teenagers when Moore tried to date or had sexual contact with them when he was in his mid-30s.

McConnell: ‘I Believe the Women,’ Moore Should Step Aside
Majority leader says GOP looking at potential write-in campaign

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, here with Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, center, and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn last week, says he believes the women who’ve accused Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of inappropriate sexual conduct. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday he believes the women accusing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of inappropriate sexual conduct, and that Moore should step aside as the Republican nominee.

Speaking at a press conference in Louisville, Kentucky, about a tax overhaul, McConnell was asked if he believed Moore’s accusers.

Will Sexual Misconduct Allegations Sink Moore Campaign? Stay Tuned
Republican candidate accused of inappropriate advances with four women when they were teenagers

Alabama Republican Roy Moore faces Democrat Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 special election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Roy Moore is facing a wave of criticism and national Republicans are bolting from his campaign — but will allegations of sexual misconduct matter in the  Alabama Senate race? 

Four women have accused Moore of sexual and romantic advances when they were teenagers — one when she was  14 — nearly four decades ago. At that time, Moore was in his 30s and an  assistant district attorney.

Senate GOP to Delay Corporate Tax Cut, Repeal ‘SALT’ Deduction
Finance Committee releases plan highlights

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven at a news conference in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 5:25 p.m. | Senate Republicans proposed Thursday to delay a corporate tax cut for one year and fully repeal the deduction for state and local taxes, taking a different approach than the House on overhauling the tax code.

The plan highlights released by the Senate Finance Committee show shared goals with the House bill advanced by the Ways and Committee on Thursday. Both would provide tax cuts at all income levels, slash the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, and expand benefits for families with children. For multinational companies, the proposals would shift to a new territorial tax regime.

How Candidates Duck Reporting Campaign Funds
Exploratory committees becoming more common down-ballot

Former Judge Russell Fagg announces his run for Senate in Billings, Montana, on Oct. 14. (Bronte Wittpenn/Billings Gazette file photo)

Presidential candidates have been doing it for years.

They raise money and explore their viability long before they announce they’re running. And that practice is increasingly trickling down to the House and Senate level. 

All the GOP’s Eggs Are Now in the Tax Basket
The pressure’s on as House Republicans try to move their tax bill

Sen. John Kennedy holds up his wallet during a Tuesday news conference in the Capitol as he says that families and small businesses would benefit from the GOP’s tax plan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s hard enough to digest the policy details of the GOP tax overhaul plan — but add in a dose of distraction from the sprawling probe of Russian interference into last year’s elections and it’s easy to lose any budding “taxmentum.”

Selling a comprehensive tax code rewrite — even if it’s packaged as a tax cut for individuals and businesses — is so challenging that Congress hasn’t done it since 1986.