House GOP Charts Spending Collision With Senate
Republican reps discussing alternatives, no details provided

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa. said in his experience trying to jam the Senate hasn’t been so successful.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 7:10 p.m. | House Republicans are continuing on course with a spending strategy expected to fail in the Senate as they huddled Wednesday to discuss other pressing matters that might ride on the must-pass measure.

GOP leaders signaled an intention to move forward with a plan to pass a spending bill next week that would fully fund defense appropriations through the end of the fiscal year above the sequestration cap and use a continuing resolution to extend current funding for remaining agencies until Jan. 19, several members said after the meeting.

Jones, Trump Discuss Finding Common Ground
Senator-elect ducked question on whether Trump should resign

Alabama Democrat Doug Jones celebrates his victory over Judge Roy Moore. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen.-elect Doug Jones said he spoke with top Republicans Wednesday, including President Donald Trump, and discussed finding common ground.

The Democrat scored a stunning victory Tuesday night over GOP nominee Roy Moore in the special election for Alabama’s Senate seat.

Roy Who? Trump, GOP Quickly Pivot From Alabama to Taxes
Democrats characterize Alabama result as repudiation of president

Republican Roy Moore rides his horse across a field on his way to vote at the Gallant Volunteer Fire Department in Gallant, Ala., on Tuesday. Moore lost to Democrat Doug Jones in Tuesday’s Senate special election in Alabama. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers tried Wednesday to pin blame for Roy Moore’s special Alabama Senate race loss on the controversial former judge, but Democrats contend the president owns the bruising defeat after his full-throated endorsement. 

At the White House, the message was all about a GOP tax overhaul bill following Democrat Doug Jones’ stunning upset win in a state that had not put a member of that party in the Senate since 1992. On Capitol Hill, Republican members admitted relief that Moore would not be bringing his sexual misconduct allegations to Washington — and they asserted neither Trump nor the GOP were damaged by the Alabama race, despite the embrace of Moore by Trump and the Republican National Committee.

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!”

House Administration Adopts Ad Change Aimed at Open Enrollment

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., right, seen here with Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., signed off on the change to franking procedures. He chairs the Franking Commission.. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Administration Committee unanimously adopted on Wednesday a change in the member handbook that could help Democrats seeking to promote HealthCare.gov.

The new rule allows lawmakers to promote and link to federal government websites besides their own. Democrats had encountered the hurdle while attempting to promote the federal health insurance exchange through taxpayer-funded advertisements, known as franking.

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.

Podcast: Alabama, Tangled Up in Blue
Doug Jones victory down South scrambles politics, legislation

Democrat Doug Jones’ victory in Alabama has turned politics upside down. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Roll Call politics reporter Bridget Bowman, who is on the ground in Alabama, discusses how Democrat Doug Jones’ win is reverberating in the political sphere and how it could affect Congress in the coming year as lawmakers prepare for the 2018 midterm elections. 

Show Notes:

Judge Tightens Hastert Parole
Prohibited from accessing pornography, sex chat lines and speaking to minors

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., is pictured in a 1975 Yorkville, Ill., High School yearbook. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert had his parole terms tightened to prohibit him from accessing pornography and speaking with minors.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Durkin added that Hastert was prevented “any pornographic, sexually oriented, or sexually stimulating materials, including visual, auditory, telephonic, or electronic media, computer programs, or services” according to USA Today.

Visual Report: Jones Won the Overall Funding Fight in Alabama
Democrat raised more than double his GOP opponent, Moore

Alabama Democrat Doug Jones and his wife celebrate his victory over Judge Roy Moore at the Sheraton in Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic candidate Doug Jones raised a total of $11.5 million in the Senate special election through Nov. 22, while Republican Roy Moore totaled $5.2 million. Donors from outside the state funneled millions of dollars into the election, going mostly to Jones.

White House Takes Aim at Polling, Media in Tax Talking Points
“‘Push polls’ misrepresent our policies”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders answers a question during the daily briefing at the White House December 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The White House plans to take aim at polls it believes are manipulating public opinion of the GOP tax bill, according to talking points obtained by Roll Call.

The list — which largely includes broad summary points Republican leaders have long cited to support their tax legislation — also attacks the media’s coverage of what the administration appears to believe are skewed polls.

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.

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith Picked to Replace Al Franken in Senate
Says she will run for election in 2018 in Likely Democratic race

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, seen here with former Vice President Walter F. Mondale, will fill the Senate seat vacated by DFL Sen. Al Franken. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday said he would appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to fill the Senate seat being vacated by outgoing Sen. Al Franken, who has yet to announce his resignation date. 

Smith said Wednesday she will run for the remainder of Franken’s term, which is up in 2020. The special election will be held concurrently with next year’s midterms, when Democratic-Farmer-Labor Sen. Amy Klobuchar also faces voters.

Brooks Announces He Has High-Risk Prostate Cancer
‘Losing the Senate race may have saved my life. Yes, God does work in mysterious ways.’

Rep. Mo Brooks said he found out about his cancer in October. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Mo Brooks announced on the House floor Wednesday he has high-risk prostate cancer.

He will be receiving surgery Friday.

Gowdy Will Not Initiate Oversight Investigation Into Trump Allegations
Chairman kicks Dems’ letter requesting investigation to Justice Department

House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., indicated in a letter Tuesday he will not open an investigation in his committee into allegations against President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, will not initiate an investigation into allegations of sexual assault against President Donald Trump, he signaled in a letter Tuesday.

Responding to a Monday letter signed by more than 100 House Democrats asking him to launch an investigation, the South Carolina Republican said he would forward the letter to the Department of Justice.