independents

Lawmakers Push Alcohol Tax Cut Despite Rising Drinking Rates
The tax break would save alcohol producers $4.2 billion

Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio leaves the Republican Senate policy lunch in the Capitol on Nov. 14. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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.’”

Former Hillary Clinton Aide Blasts Gillibrand Over Bill Clinton Comments
Former president should have resigned over Lewinsky episode, NY senator said

New York Sen. Kristin Gillibrand said Thursday she thought it would have been "appropriate" for President Bill Clinton to step down after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A former Hillary Clinton State Department aide had harsh words for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who said Thursday that President Bill Clinton should have resigned after an inappropriate sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Philippe Reines, Hillary Clinton’s deputy assistant secretary of state for strategic communications, called Gillibrand a “hypocrite” for the comments.

Lawrence’s Chief of Staff Resigns Over Harassment Allegations
Dwayne Duron Marshall was initially placed on leave after allegations emerged

Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., said she would institute a “clearly defined communication process” for staffers to express concerns about the workplace environment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Dwayne Duron Marshall, the chief of staff for Michigan Rep. Brenda Lawrence, has resigned amid claims of sexual harassment. 

Last week, three former female aides told Politico that Marshall committed unwanted touching, asked about their dating lives and spoke about female staffers’ appearances. 

Congress’ Compliance Watchdog: Settlement Payouts Highest in 10 Years
OOC handles harassment, discrimination and other workplace complaints

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BY ANDREW MENEZES AND SEAN MCMINN

U.S. taxpayers paid out more than $900,000 in the most recent fiscal year to settle claims on Capitol Hill, the highest amount in 10 years. 

‘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.

Write-In Candidate Would Be ‘Serious Error,’ AL GOP Chairwoman Says
Talk of a write-in campaign followed allegations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore

Judge Roy Moore campaign worker Maggie Ford collects signs after the U.S. Senate candidate forum held by the Shelby County Republican Party in Pelham, Ala., on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It would be a “serious error” for Republican officeholders to support a write-in candidate in the Senate race, the chairwoman of the Alabama Republican Party said in a statement.

Speculation of a write-in campaign mounted following allegations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore, the GOP candidate. 

Trump to Nominate New HHS Secretary Alex Azar
Former pharmaceutical president vocal Obamacare opponent

Tom Price (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Trump announced on Twitter he plans to nominate Alex Azar to be the next secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Azar will be “a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices,” Trump wrote in his tweet announcing the coming nomination.

Ready or Not, House Republicans Set Vote on Tax Overhaul
But floor delay remains a possibility as GOP leaders wrangle votes

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said the health care debate taught him not to set an “artificial deadline” for passing legislation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The scenario is all too familiar: House Republican leaders schedule a floor vote on a major legislative priority and exude confidence the bill will pass despite a chorus of rank-and-file concern. 

GOP leaders insist the tax overhaul they plan to vote on this week is different from the health care bill they had to pull from the floor this spring. But the reality is they are still wrangling the 218 votes needed to pass their tax measure. A possible repeat scenario of the health care debacle looms.

Analysis: Trump Pitches Every Country-For-Itself System in Asia
President urges Asian leaders to replicate his ‘America first’ approach

President Donald Trump, here arriving in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping, has defended his “America first” approach throughout his Asia trip. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead/Flickr)