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22 ноября, 23:20

Congress: All the latest news

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22 ноября, 22:43

Moore trumpets president's near-endorsement

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The GOP Senate nominee in Alabama is parroting Trump's attacks on his Democratic opponent.

22 ноября, 22:24

‘Young Turks’ reporter vows to sue over his firing

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Jordan Chariton, a rising star in left-wing media, says he was fired after a sexual assault allegation surfaced online.

22 ноября, 21:59

GOP congressman Barton apologizes for nude selfie

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Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) admitted that a nude picture of him circulating online is authentic and apologized to his constituents."While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women," Barton, 68, said in a statement first reported by the Texas Tribune. "Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down." The longtime congressman said he is considering his political future, after announcing plans to seek reelection just three weeks ago.

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22 ноября, 21:42

Trump and congressional leaders to hold talks to avoid shutdown

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President Donald Trump and top congressional leaders will meet next week to try to hammer out a year-end agreement to avert a government shutdown, according to multiple sources, as Capitol Hill careens toward a legislative pile-up next month.The so-called Big Four — Speaker Paul Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — haven’t even agreed on total government spending levels that would allow appropriators to write a massive funding bill for the rest of the fiscal year.That means a short-term funding extension to keep the government operating beyond a Dec. 8 deadline is all but inevitable. Congressional leaders would likely need to reach an agreement on the top-line figures by early next week for there to be any chance of finishing an omnibus spending bill in December.The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at 3 p.m., according to congressional sources and a White House official.In addition to having to move a must-pass bill to fund the government, Republicans hope to pass a sweeping rewrite of the tax code by Christmas.Further complicating matters is the ongoing dispute over the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Obama-era initiative that has shielded hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation. Trump has announced that DACA permits will expire beginning in March, although immigration advocates have said scores of current DACA recipients have already lost protections because they weren’t able to get their status renewed before an October deadline.One source familiar with the negotiations said Democrats, particularly Pelosi, have pushed aggressively to include a DACA fix to a short-term continuing resolution that would keep the government open beyond Dec. 8. A Democratic leadership aide said Pelosi has not asked specifically for a DACA fix to be attached to a short-term extension, although she and Schumer have been publicly adamant that a legislative solution for DACA needs to pass Congress next month.Democratic leaders have also insisted on ensuring that any agreement to raise defense spending above sequester levels also boosts funding for domestic programs.John Bresnahan contributed to this report.

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22 ноября, 20:49

Playback: Trump's turkey pardon

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22 ноября, 20:26

Legal complaint filed over Kellyanne Conway's comments on Roy Moore race

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A prominent government ethics expert has filed a complaint against White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, alleging that she violated federal law Monday by appearing to advocate against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore's Democratic opponent.Walter Shaub, who resigned in July as the head of the Office of Government Ethics, said on Twitter Wednesday that he lodged a complaint claiming that the top aide to President Donald Trump ran afoul of the Hatch Act when she discouraged Alabamans from voting for the Democratic nominee, Doug Jones."I have filed a complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which investigates Hatch Act violations," Shaub tweeted.During an interview earlier this week on "Fox and Friends," Conway called Jones "weak on crime," "weak on borders," and "terrible for property owners." Pressed on whether she was endorsing Moore, she never answered directly but suggested his vote was needed to advance Trump administration priorities."I'm telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through," she said, as she stood on the White House's North Lawn with the executive mansion in the background.White House spokespeople did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the complaint.Trump made similar comments Tuesday from outside the White House as he prepared to leave for Thanksgiving weekend in Florida. However, the Hatch Act—which limits political involvement by federal employees—does not apply to elected officials such as the president or vice president.However, Shaub noted that the ban on partisan political activity does cover senior administration officials when they are speaking in their official capacity or using their official titles. She was introduced on Fox as "counselor to the president."Shaub, now a senior director for ethics with the Campaign Legal Center, compared the situation to an Obama administration incident last year in which Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro spoke during a Yahoo News interview about Hillary Clinton's chances of winning and his own chances of being named as her runningmate. The Office of Special Counsel concluded that Castro had violated the Hatch Act because the interview was arranged through official channels, devoted to policy topics and he appeared to be speaking in his official capacity.OSC chief Carolyn Lerner said Castro violated the law despite the fact that he sought to make clear in the interview that he was addressing the political topics in his personal capacity. Conway does not appear to have offered a similar qualification.Only the president can impose any punishment on a presidential appointee found to have violated the Hatch Act. It appears Castro escaped any punishment for the violation.

22 ноября, 20:20

Trump revives his Twitter fights with black athletes

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The president, back at his Mar-a-Lago resort for the first time since April, lashed out again at kneeling NFL players and at the father of a UCLA basketball player recently released from a Chinese jail.

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22 ноября, 20:01

Facebook to inform users of content they saw from Russian trolls

Facebook announced Wednesday it will unveil a tool by year’s end allowing users to learn of any Facebook or Instagram contact they may have had with Russian internet trolls leading up to and following the 2016 U.S. election. The social media giant “will soon be creating a portal to enable people on Facebook to learn which of the Internet Research Agency Facebook Pages or Instagram accounts they may have liked or followed between January 2015 and August 2017,” it said in a blog post Wednesday. “This tool will be available for use by the end of the year in the Facebook Help Center.” The Internet Research Agency is a St. Petersburg, Russia-based firm with ties to that country's government. Lawmakers pressed Facebook on the matter over the last month. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote letters to Facebook, Google and Twitter asking for such consumer notification, requesting a response by Wednesday. He referred to Facebook's disclosure last month that such content could have reached as many as 126 million people. Facebook’s blog post is titled “Continuing Transparency on Russian Activity.” “It is important that people understand how foreign actors tried to sow division and mistrust using Facebook before and after the 2016 U.S. election,” the company said. “That's why as we have discovered information, we have continually come forward to share it publicly, and have provided it to congressional investigators.”

22 ноября, 19:41

Two Democrats call for Conyers to step down from Judiciary post

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Rep. John Conyers should give up his post as the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee pending an investigation into allegations he sexually harassed female staffers, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus said Tuesday.Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) said it “would not be appropriate” for Conyers (D-Mich.) to stay on as the panel's top Democrat while congressional investigators look into multiple accusations of sexual harassment.“He should step down as the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee and be subject to this ethics investigation so it can be determined whether or not there’s a practice or pattern,” Meeks said on CNN.The House Ethics Committee on Tuesday announced it was opening an investigation into Conyers, the longest serving member of the House, after he confirmed he had paid a settlement to a former staffer who claimed he sexually harassed her.Meeks is the first Democrat to go so far as to say Conyers should step aside as ranking member. Other Democrats, including House Democratic leaders, issued statements saying the Ethics Committee should look into the “disturbing” allegations against Conyers but did not call for him to step down from the committee or resign from Congress. Conyers on Tuesday admitted to settling a sexual harassment claim with a former employee in 2015, first reported by BuzzFeed, but forcefully denied accusations that the staffer was fired because she wouldn’t give in to his sexual advances. The former aide was paid more than $27,000 out of Conyers’ office, made to look like a severance payment, to settle the allegations."I expressly and vehemently denied the allegations made against me, and continue to do so," Conyers said in a statement. "My office resolved the allegations — with an express denial of liability — in order to save all involved from the rigors of protracted litigation."A spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declined to comment Wednesday on whether Conyers should step down from the Judiciary Committee when asked by POLITICO. Spokespeople for House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) and Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) all also declined or did not respond to a request for comment. Pelosi and other Democratic leaders also stayed silent after it was revealed late Tuesday that a second former staffer said Conyers made repeated, unrelenting sexual advances toward her.The second accuser, who worked as a scheduler in Conyers’ office, filed a lawsuit earlier this year that was later dropped after the judge refused to seal the case. Maria Reddick described Conyers as a “habitual offender” in the court documents, saying he was “repeatedly coming to her desk, rubbing on her shoulders, kissing her forehead, making inappropriate comments, covering and attempting to hold her hand.”If Conyers did give up his Judiciary spot, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), the second most senior member on the committee, would likely fill the vacancy at least temporarily. Both Nadler and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), another senior committee member, have been quietly angling for months to eventually replace Conyers, 88. Conyers has long been the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, serving as chairman from 2007- 2011. While House Democratic leaders have tread cautiously since the allegations broke, privately the news has roiled the Democratic Caucus. Conyers, the "dean of the House" and a Civil Rights icon, still has significant sway in the caucus. And he is a founding member of the CBC, arguably the most powerful voting bloc within the caucus.Even before the recent allegations, questions have long swirled about how long Conyers would lead Democrats on the Judiciary panel, particularly if they take back the House in 2018 and are given full control of policing the Trump administration. Everyone thinks “he should go” but no one is sure how to force Conyers out, one Democratic aide said. Multiple members and staffers told POLITICO they don’t think Pelosi and other Democratic leaders will call for Conyers to resign unless given approval — evenly quietly — by the CBC.But so far the CBC has shown no signs of trying to force Conyers to step aside. CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) endorsed an ethics investigation into Conyers on Tuesday but nothing more.Meeks is so far the only Democrat to say Conyers should step down from his Judiciary post. Meeks did not say he thinks Conyers should resign but said that could change if more accusers come forward.“There is a procedure in place currently and he’s agreed to go through the Ethics Committee,” Meeks said. “If in fact there is a continuing scenario of individuals coming forth in the same manner than we may have a different conversation.”One Democrat has hinted at Conyers resigning but no one in the caucus has explicitly called for it. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) has said he thinks Conyers should resign if the allegations are found to be true, CNN reported Tuesday. "Frankly, if I was in his place, I would leave," Quigley said.

22 ноября, 18:40

Poll: Plurality supports House tax plan, but many expect to pay more

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A plurality of voters supports the tax overhaul the House passed last week, though many also believe it will raise their taxes, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.Based on what they’ve seen, read or heard about the bill, 39 percent of those surveyed said they “strongly” or “somewhat” support it, while 31 percent oppose it and the rest are undecided. Support ticked up to 41 percent and opposition dropped to 29 percent after respondents were told about key details of the plan.However, 36 percent expect to pay more federal, state and local taxes under the plan, despite Republicans touting it as a tax cut for most Americans. Twenty percent said it would lower their taxes and 19 percent said they would stay about the same. Twenty-five percent weren’t sure what affect it would have on them or offered no opinion. Most of those who expect to pay more — 44 percent of the respondents — put their income at $100,000 or more. Among those with $50,000 to $100,000 in annual income, 39 percent said they would pay more. And 33 percent of those earning less than $50,000 expect a tax hike.As in past polls on tax reform, support or opposition to the House plan broke sharply along partisan lines. Among Republicans, 69 percent back the House bill and 10 percent oppose it. Democratic opposition stood at 48 percent, and support at 24 percent. Thirty-two percent of independents said they support the plan and 28 percent oppose it.The respondents’ views of how the tax plan would affect them personally also fell along partisan lines, with 47 percent of Democrats expecting a tax hike compared to 29 percent of Republicans.Among the most popular provisions of the legislation: Boosting the child tax credit (64 percent support), doubling the standard deduction (59 percent), cutting the tax rate for many small businesses (58 percent), and maintaining a top tax rate of 39.6 percent for married couples earning more than $1 million a year (48 percent).On one of the most contentious parts of the House bill, largely eliminating the state and local tax deduction while maintaining a property tax deduction capped at $10,000, a plurality of those surveyed — 35 percent — said it should not be in the bill. Thirty-two percent said it should be part of the bill and the rest had no opinion or didn’t know.Most voters — 38 percent — oppose the plan to cut the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent. But 35 percent support it.The poll of 2,586 registered voters was conducted Nov. 16-19. It has an error margin of plus or minus 2 percentage points.Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.More details on the poll and its methodology can be found in these two documents — Toplines: http://politi.co/2jJyZnX | Crosstabs: http://politi.co/2jglVT4