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The Democrats’ Savior
Donald Trump gave Democrats what they could not give themselves: unity

Protesters walk down Independence Avenue in Washington on Jan. 21, 2017, during the Women’s March. President Donald Trump has energized and united Democratic voters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One year ago, as Donald Trump was preparing to take the oath of office, Democrats were in disarray. Supporters of 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders were pointing fingers at each other, the Democratic National Committee was in disgrace, and Democratic voters were demoralized.

Now, Trump has succeeded in doing something extraordinary, something neither Clinton nor House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi could do — he has united and energized Democrats.

Crimes and Bombs, Not Bills, Likely to Dominate Hill Attention
Election year begins with catch-up legislating but will soon be about waiting on Mueller and Kim

Robert S. Mueller III and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could shape the year ahead. (Illustration Chris Hale/Photos Getty Images)

The people with the most power to drive the 2018 congressional agenda, especially after the tumultuous several weeks ahead, are neither members of the Capitol leadership nor the occupant of the Oval Office.

Whatever President Donald Trump wants to get done, however hard Paul D. Ryan and Mitch McConnell work to assist him, whether Nancy Pelosi and Charles E. Schumer decide to collaborate on or confront the Republican program — none of that will matter as much as the actions of just two folks who’ve never even run for federal office.

Just One House Member Flips Vote on GOP Tax Overhaul
GOP leadership expects bill to pass Senate

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., was the only House member to change position on the GOP tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 3:46 p.m. | Despite immense pressure from GOP leaders, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, vulnerable New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, voted “no” for the second time on a Republican tax overhaul.

Just one of the 13 Republicans who voted against the House tax overhaul bill in November switched their vote to “yes” as the House passed the conference committee report Tuesday, 227-203, sending it to the Senate for final approval.

How Moore Would Change the Senate From Day One
From collegial courtesy to the page program, Hill culture would be rattled

Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and his wife Kayla leave Moore's "Drain the Swamp" rally in Midland City, Ala., on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The nature of the Senate would be challenged right away, and in several tangible ways, with the election of Roy Moore.

Even though Congress is now defined by its tribal partisanship, which long ago gave the lie to whatever senatorial claim remained to being “the world’s greatest deliberative body,” Tuesday’s special election in Alabama threatens to make life in the northern half of Capitol Hill an even more unpleasant experience. Traditions and courtesies that have applied a bit of congenial gloss to the coarseness of the place would soon enough become endangered by Moore’s very presence.

House Conservatives Deal Blow to Rubio-Lee Child Tax Credit Proposal
Expansion proposal would be paired with a 22 percent corporate rate

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., reiterated Thursday he did not support a tax bill with a corporate rate above 20 percent. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Conservative House members dealt a blow Thursday to a proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan by Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Utah’s Mike Lee that would trim the corporate tax cut to help lower-income working families.

The plan, which was floated Wednesday, would make the child tax credit refundable against payroll taxes. To offset losses in tax revenue from the refunds, the proposal calls for an adjustment to the corporate tax rate from the proposed 20 percent to 22 percent.

10 Things to Watch as the Tax Bill Moves Forward
House passage just the first step

President Donald Trump arrives for a meeting with the House Republican Conference in the Capitol on Thursday to discuss the GOP’s tax bill. White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, far left, and House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving, foreground, also appear. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House passage of a tax code rewrite Thursday was just the first in a multistep process. Many changes are expected before a bill reaches President Donald Trump’s desk.

First, the Senate has to prove it can pass a tax overhaul after failing to do so on health care.

Senate Republicans Weigh Next Steps for Roy Moore
Some said there isn’t much more they can do to pressure Moore to step aside

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Republicans are examining options to block Roy Moore from the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that Republicans were examining options to prevent Roy Moore from becoming a U.S. senator. But some GOP senators acknowledged there isn’t much more they can do with Moore refusing to step aside. 

GOP lawmakers have called on Moore to withdraw his nomination in the special election for the seat vacated by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions following a bombshell Washington Post story. The Post reported that four women accused Moore of sexual advances while they were teenagers and he was in his thirties. Another woman said Monday that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old. 

Mo Brooks Stands By Roy Moore in Alabama Senate Race
Brooks thinks the Senate needs Moore’s vote

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks isn’t backing away from Roy Moore. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks is standing by GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore, arguing that the Senate needs Moore’s vote. 

“There are major issues facing the United States of America — deficit and debt that can lead to insolvency and bankruptcy, funding for national security, border security, abortion, appointment of Supreme Court justices. Doug Jones will vote wrong on each of those issues,” Brooks said Monday night after House votes. “Roy Moore will vote right; that’s why I’m voting for Roy Moore.”

Trump Says Moore Would Step Aside if Allegations are True
Alabama Senate candidate is accused of sexual misconduct with young women

GOP candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore was accused of sexual misconduct with minors. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump believes Roy Moore would step aside from the Alabama Senate race if allegations that he initiated sexual encounters with minors are true, his spokeswoman said. 

“Like most Americans, the president believes that we cannot allow a mere allegation — in this case, one from many years ago — to destroy a person’s life,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Air Force One Friday while the president was traveling from China to Vietnam. 

McConnell: Moore Must Step Aside If Allegations True
Ala. candidate initiated sexual encounter with girl, reports say

Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore is questioned by the media in the Capitol on Oct. 31. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 3:17 p.m. | Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is accused of initiating a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32, according to The Washington Post.

“If these allegations are true, he must step aside,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday.