Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.
President Donald Trump is nothing if not adept at sinking his party’s major legislative priorities with just a few petty keystrokes, so as Republicans in Congress are gearing up for a major push on tax reform, they’re left wondering how Trump is going to fuck things up for them this time.
Those concerns were made all the more real on Monday, when Trump tweeted that he wanted no change to the pre-tax income American workers can contribute to 401(k) accounts, effectively killing one way Republicans were mulling to pay for all the tax cuts for the rich contained in their legislation.
Lieber was referencing the Republicans’ many efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and either partially replace it, not replace it at all, or replace it with something far worse. During the course of those legislative tribulations, Trump hailed the passage of a repeal bill with House Republicans in the Rose Garden, only to condemn the measure as “mean” a week later.
There are already indications that Trump could, yet again, torpedo his party’s efforts to get a single major legislative win on the books in the 15 working days before Thanksgiving. As members of Congress return to the nation’s capital, the president has been hard at work calling a grieving military widow a liar. He’s also continued tweeting about the ongoing protests against police brutality among players in the NFL and “Crooked Hillary Clinton” and just this morning starting attacking Senator Bob Corker, so you know his eye is on the real prize.
Some Republicans are convinced that if tax reform fails, the GOP will lose the House majority in 2018, per Politico’s Playbook. So tweet away, my man.
- At an event last night in Washington, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made perfect sense while vowing to offer more on-the-record information to reporters, telling the audience: “I think it’s hard for us to argue that we want you guys to have on-record sources if we’re not going on the record.” No shit.
- Politico reports that Republican Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona and Mike Lee of Utah, are holding up the passage of a $36.5 billion disaster relief package for Puerto Rico—partially over fiscal concerns but also because the bill doesn’t permanently exempt the U.S. protectorate from the Jones Act, which makes much of what’s imported to the island exorbitantly expensive.
- Something to watch for: Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn confirmed that Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has convened a working group on a deal to save DACA.
- The Trump administration’s 120-day hold on the country’s program to accept refugees into the country ends today. The White House is expected to announce it will again allow refugees from all countries to enter but with additional screening measures in place.
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