Texas

Terri Sewell Is Getting Some Help
With Doug Jones’ election, she is no longer only Democrat in Ala. delegation

Rep. Terri A. Sewell worked to get national Democrats involved in the Alabama Senate race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — When Rep. Terri A. Sewell joined Doug Jones on the campaign trail in Alabama, she would often say she needed help in Washington, D.C., as the lone Democrat in the delegation.

Standing onstage here with Jones as he celebrated his historic win over Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race Tuesday night, Sewell interjected at one point, yelling, “Help is on the way!”

Trump: GOP ‘Very Close’ on Tax Bill, Effects Would Start in February
President endorses 21 percent corporate rate

President Donald Trump said floor votes on the GOP compromise tax bill are “just days away.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 3:46 p.m. | President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that Republican House and Senate tax negotiators have struck a deal on a final overhaul measure. He said Americans will feel the benefits by February if Congress sends him a bill by Christmas.

“As I speak, Congress has reached an agreement on tax legislation that will deliver more jobs, higher wages and massive tax relief for American families and American companies,” the president said, delivering his final pitch flanked by Christmas trees in the White House’s Grand Foyer.

Senate, House Reach Tax Overhaul Agreement
Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch confirms

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks with reporters as he arrives for lunch with Senate Republicans in the Capitol on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate and House Republicans have reached a broad agreement on a major overhaul of the U.S. tax code, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch said Wednesday.

As he was leaving for the White House, the Senate Finance Chairman confirmed the House and Senate have reached a deal on overhauling the tax code.

Democrats Push GOP to Delay Tax Talks After Alabama
But Republican tax conference committee is full speed ahead

Alabama Democrat Doug Jones's victory in the Senate race to replace Jeff Sessions could scramble the legislative calculus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats were quick to call on Republicans to delay their efforts to rewrite the tax code, saying Doug Jones' victory in Tuesday’s special Senate election in Alabama is a sign from voters that needs to be heeded.

“The vote on the tax bill should be postponed. The voice of Alabamians should be heard on this and Doug Jones should have a chance to weigh in,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez told reporters Wednesday.

A Tax Conference Committee Meeting Mostly For Show
Parameters are clear for final Republican push on tax bill

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady makes his way to a meeting in the speaker’s office in the Capitol on Dec. 6. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Nothing against the members of the House and Senate attending Wednesday’s inaugural meeting of the conference committee finalizing the tax code overhaul, but it’s mostly for show and unlikely to be must-see television.

That’s because, with the arguable exception of the farm bill, open meetings of conference committees are not where the deals get done, despite the talking points from top negotiators.

A Huge Congressional Settlement Involving Sexual Harassment — And Hardly Anyone Knew
Lawmakers on Helsinki Commission blindsided by report of $220K payout

Florida Rep. Alcee L. Hastings has denied allegations of sexual misconduct that led to a $220,000 payment to a former congressional staffer. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The $220,000 paid to former staffer Winsome Packer in 2014 is by far the largest known settlement involving Congress and accusations of sexual harassment in recent years.

But few, if any, of the lawmakers who served on the congressional commission where Packer worked seem to have been informed about it until the sum was reported by Roll Call on Friday.  

Senate Republicans Prepare Tax Counteroffer
House sent over proposal Monday evening

Texas Sen. John Cornyn says negotiations with the House on the tax overhaul are sensitive. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans are preparing to send the House what they hope will be the final version of the GOP tax bill.

While the two chambers now agree on several areas on which their bills once differed, senators said discussions are still fluid.

Alabama Senate Race Heads to Dramatic Finish
Still unclear which candidate will win

Alabama Republican Roy Moore rides away on his horse after voting at the Gallant Volunteer Fire Department in Gallant, Ala., on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

GALLANT, Ala. — Capping the wild ride of the Alabama Senate race, Roy Moore made his traditional trek to the polls on horseback.

The Republican candidate was greeted by a horde of reporters and cameras as he rode to the fire station here on his white and brown horse with his wife Kayla, who was also riding her horse.

Jones Bested Moore in Alabama Fundraising Under National Spotlight
But both received majority of large-dollar donations from out of state

Democrat Doug Jones, center, accompanied by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Alabama Rep. Terri A. Sewell, waves to supporters as he arrives for a canvass kickoff rally at his campaign field office in Birmingham, Ala., on Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Alabama Democrat Doug Jones received almost a quarter of his $3.2 million itemized donations from within the state between Oct. 1 and Nov. 22, according to records newly released by the Federal Election Commission.

That’s more than the Senate candidate’s opponent, Republican Roy Moore, who netted 20 percent of his $861,000 itemized contributions from within the state during the same period of time. 

With Tax Deal in the Works, Questions Turn to Timing
Deal could be announced as early as Tuesday, with votes next week

Capitol Hill was relatively calm Tuesday morning, as Washington braced for the results of the Alabama Senate election and timing on a vote on tax overhaul and spending is in flux. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Hill was relatively calm Tuesday morning, even as the timing on two big-ticket items — voting on a tax overhaul package and what to do about year-end spending questions — hung in the air unresolved and the nation remained fixated on Alabama’s special Senate election, where voting is underway.

House Republicans meeting as a conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters said there was no specific timeline for voting on the tax package, as the formal conference committee is set to meet, perhaps for the only time, Wednesday.