Enemies of the People
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Enemies of the People

227 House Republicans Vote to Take Trillions of Dollars from You, Give Them to Billionaires

Tax the poor. The House approved a tax overhaul with 227 Republican votes and without a single hearing on the 400-page-plus legislation. All House Democrats and 13 Republicans voted against the plan in a 227-to-205 vote.

Republicans are under intense pressure to get legislation to Trump’s desk by Christmas, especially after their failure to gut health insurance for millions of low- and moderate-income people. The House bill would cut the corporate tax rate to 20% from 35% and eliminate or scale back many popular deductions, including one for state and local taxes.

The Senate could vote on its version after Thanksgiving. The Senate version could raise taxes on low-income Americans within a few years. Republicans have a narrow 52-to-48 majority in the Senate.

Et tu, Al. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) was photographed grabbing at the breasts of radio host Leeann Tweeden during a 2006 USO tour. Franken, then a radio host, was grinning at the camera. “I couldn’t believe it,” Tweeden wrote. “He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep. I felt…embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.” Franken initially said the photo “was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t.” He later offered a longer apology. Franken has previously been criticized for a series of rape jokes about journalist Lesley Stahl. Senate Democrats are calling for the ethics committee to investigate the allegations. Franken could face censure or even expulsion from the Senate.

No more blue slips. Democrats just lost one of the only ways they could block Trump’s judicial nominees. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) announced Democrats will not be able to block Trump’s judicial nominees through an unofficial senatorial courtesy system known as the “blue slip process,” saying he will hold hearings on some nominees even if both home state senators haven’t given their approval. Trump nominees who have made it out of committee have all been confirmed so far by the Republican-controlled Senate, and with 145 vacancies and more coming soon, Trump will leave his mark on the judiciary.

Oil spilled. About 210,000 gallons of oil spilled from the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota. The spill, near Amherst, S.D., comes just days before regulators in Nebraska decide whether to grant the final permit needed for construction to begin on a different pipeline proposal, the Keystone XL, which would be operated by the same company.

The Keystone pipeline is part of a 2,687-mile system that carries crude oil from Alberta to places in the United States, including Illinois and Oklahoma. Keystone XL is proposed to run about 1,100 miles and would become part of the same pipeline system.

November 17, 2017