Confident congressional Republicans forged an agreement Wednesday on a major overhaul of the nation's tax laws that would provide generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans — Donald Trump among them — and deliver the first major legislative accomplishment to the GOP president.
Middle- and low-income families would get smaller tax cuts, though Trump and GOP leaders have billed the package as a huge benefit for the middle class. The measure would scrap a major tax requirement of Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, a step toward the ultimate GOP goal of unraveling the law.
The allegations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore and a Democratic surge boosted by high African-Americans turnout led Doug Jones to his projected election upset win in Alabama, NBC News' exit polls showed.
African Americans made up 29 percent of all Alabama voters, and they broke for Jones by a 96 percent-to-4 percent margin. That essentially matched Barack Obama’s performance with African Americans in the state in 2012.
Ninety-eight percent of black women supported Jones, compared with 34 percent of white women. Still, even that support among white women was more than twice the 16 percent of white women who voted for President Barack Obama in 2012, NBC News reported. Overall, 58 percent of Alabama women voted for Jones.
Meanwhile, 52 percent of voters in Alabama said allegations against Moore were either "definitely" or "probably" true, and they broke for Jones, 89 percent to 8 percent.
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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, facing congressional questions about anti-Donald Trump text messages exchanged between two FBI officials assigned to the Russia probe, defended special counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday and said he had seen no cause to fire him or received encouragement to do so.
Rosenstein appeared before the House Judiciary Committee one day after the Justice Department provided congressional committees with hundreds of text messages between an FBI counterintelligence agent assigned to Mueller's team and an FBI lawyer who was on the same detail.
Those messages, which occurred before Mueller was appointed in May to investigate potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, show the officials using words like "idiot" and "loathsome human" to characterize Trump as he was running for president in 2016.
Matt Lauer. Bitcoin. DACA. Monkey selfies. Jeremy Lin's hair. Do-it-yourself eclipse glasses. Tom Petty's death. National anthem protests in the NFL. And "Cash Me Outside."
These were some of the people, topics and memes that trended to the top of Google searches in 2017. The search terms reflected the United States in upheaval over sexual misconduct allegations against powerful men, reeling from the tumultuous presidency of Donald Trump (What is "covfefe," by the way?), and people around the world searching for information about the latest iPhone and how to make slime.
Three of the top 10 TV shows in the U.S. debuted on Netflix, the same as last year.
Andrew Harnik/AP, File
As the federal government prepares to unravel sweeping net-neutrality rules that guaranteed equal access to the internet, advocates of the regulations are bracing for a long fight.
The Thursday vote scheduled at the Federal Communications Commission could usher in big changes in how Americans use the internet, a radical departure from more than a decade of federal oversight. The proposal would not only roll back restrictions that keep broadband providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from blocking or collecting tolls from services they don't like, it would bar states from imposing their own rules.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith on Wednesday to fill fellow Democrat Al Franken's Senate seat until a special election in November, setting up his longtime and trusted adviser for a potentially bruising 2018 special election.
Smith was widely seen as Dayton's top choice from the moment Franken announced his resignation last week. But her previous decision not to run for governor had raised questions about her appetite for a closely watched and expensive Senate campaign.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP, File
A former staffer for Sen. Chuck Schumer said a draft of a sexual harassment lawsuit naming the Senate minority leader and purporting that she was the accuser is "completely false." Schumer also described the documents and allegations against him as a "phony" smear.
AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley
Dan Johnson, a Republican state lawmaker in Kentucky known for inflammatory Facebook posts comparing Barack and Michelle Obama to monkeys and who defiantly denied allegations that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl in the basement of his home, killed himself Wednesday night. He was 57.
Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell said Johnson shot himself on a bridge in Mount Washington, Kentucky. Tinnell confirmed the death to WDRB-TV in Louisville.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency flew to Morocco this week to help encourage the North African kingdom to import liquefied natural gas from the United States, prompting Democrats and advocacy groups to question whether the trip was in keeping with the agency's mission of ensuring clean air and water.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was accompanied by at least four staff members on the trip, which the agency said also included bilateral meetings with government officials about updating an environmental work plan included in the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Washingtonians were nearly fooled by an "elaborate hoax" conducted by a Native American rights group saying the Washington Redskins had been renamed.
In a far-reaching hoax, a group created several fake web pages. On one web page sporting a Washington Post banner that looked strikingly like the D.C. publication’s actual website, activists posted a wishful, but false, article saying the football team was changing its name.
PBS said Wednesday it has indefinitely suspended distribution of Tavis Smiley's talk show after an independent investigation uncovered "multiple, credible allegations" of misconduct by its host.
PBS said it had engaged an outside law firm to investigate "troubling allegations" against the host, it said in a statement.
Motorists who slightly exceed the speed limit through selected school zones on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway during the holidays might merely get an onion from the Grinch instead of a costly traffic citation.
A central New York family is campaigning for their carefully crafted recreation of the house from "A Christmas Story" to become an official Lego set.
NBC affiliate WSTM-TV in Syracuse reports Jason Middaugh's small family project to recreate the house from the classic holiday film turned into a six-month undertaking. Middaugh says he and his family, who live in Marcellus, scoured the internet to find the 2,000 pieces needed to construct the home.
The Middaugh family included the character Ralphie in a bunny suit, a shipping container with a "fragile" sign and the notorious leg lamp.
Over 1 million people chose insurance through the federal health care exchange last week as open enrollment approaches its Dec. 15 deadline. But the total number is likely to fall short of last year, which featured both a longer enrollment period and a far more robust outreach campaign from the White House, NBC News reported.
According to the latest figures, released Wednesday by the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), 388,984 new customers signed up between Dec. 3 and Dec. 9 while an additional 684,937 renewed existing coverage. The numbers are likely to surge again in the home stretch as customers finalize selections and others who have existing coverage, but have not chosen plans, are auto-enrolled.
Just under 4.7 million people have signed up since open enrollment began Nov. 1, up from 4 million at a comparable point last year. But the previous enrollment period was longer and continued through Jan. 31, reaching a total of 9.2 million.
Top Trump administration officials have made little public mention of the enrollment period in contrast to the previous White House, where President Barack Obama participated in interviews and events to encourage signups.
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Western Connecticut State University
Anguished mothers with mentally ill children have sought out Liza Long for help ever since she wrote an essay, "I am Adam Lanza's Mother," comparing experiences with her son to the emotionally troubled 20-year-old who carried out the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
The massacre sounded alarms nationally about gaps in mental health care and led to calls for better screening and services, especially for young people showing a propensity for violence, but some key reforms enacted in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting depend on funding that has yet to be delivered by Congress. And Long still hears almost daily from families overwhelmed by their children's behaviors and struggling to get treatment.