Video of the Day
Vice President Pence Hosts Honor Flight Veterans
Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate reconvenes at 10 a.m. and will resume post-cloture consideration of the nomination of Scott Gottlieb to be commissioner of Food and Drugs. The Senate will recess from 12:30-2:15 p.m. for weekly caucus lunches.
Nominations: Scott Gottlieb, of Connecticut, to be commissioner of food and drugs.
09:30am: US Cyber Command
10:00am: Pending Nominations/Foreign Service List
10:30am: Sullivan Nominations
02:30pm: Pending Nominations
02:30pm: Public/Private Sector Water Infrastructure Roles
02:30pm: Maritime Transportation
02:30pm: US Democracy Assistance
02:30pm: Intelligence Matters
House Floor Schedule
House is not is session
Five takeaways from Yates’s dramatic Senate testimony
Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified to a Senate Judiciary Committee panel on Monday in one of the most hotly anticipated hearings of the Trump era to date.
Yates’s testimony was a huge media event, commanding hours of live cable news coverage.
She came before the committee following several media reports that she had warned the White House that then-national security adviser Michael Flynn had been compromised almost three weeks before he resigned. However, nothing had been heard on the record from Yates herself.
Yates was fired over a separate matter days after delivering the warning about Flynn. She declined to order the Department of Justice to defend President Trump’s controversial executive order that sought to temporarily bar most travelers and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations, as well as indefinitely halt the admission of Syrian refugees
Trump Weighing Up to 5,000 More US Troops for Afghanistan
President Donald Trump’s top military advisers are urging him to send 3,000 to 5,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, a White House official said.
The president hasn’t yet decided on expanding the U.S. presence in the nation’s longest war, according to the official, who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations.
Afghan forces, backed by about 8,400 American troops, have continued to lose ground to Taliban militants and a small but growing presence of Islamic State terrorists. The recommendation by the military to send more U.S. troops was reported earlier by the Washington Post.
Almost sixteen years after the U.S.-backed ouster of the Taliban, Afghanistan remains in the grip of a war with “shockingly high” death rates among security forces and a record number of casualties among civilians, according to the U.S. government watchdog monitoring the country’s reconstruction efforts.
Civilian casualties rose to 11,418 last year, the highest since the United Nations began keeping records in 2009. In the first six weeks of this year, 807 Afghan soldiers were killed, John Sopko, the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, said in his latest quarterly report to Congress
Republicans War over taxes
House Republican leaders are battling the Trump administration as well as many of their own colleagues in Congress – including the Freedom Caucus – over one of the most basic questions surrounding their tax plans this year: Should they go for a once-in-a-generation overhaul of the code or settle for an old-fashioned tax cut?
With Republicans in complete control of the government, Speaker Paul Ryan and his chamber’s tax writers see a rare opportunity for a sweeping makeover, something lawmakers have long promised but haven’t done since the Reagan administration.
The other side wants to focus on cutting taxes. That would not only be a much easier lift but, with all the uncertainty over Republicans’ Obamacare replacement plans, would also help ensure they go into next year’s midterm elections with a major legislative accomplishment.
The tax reformers’ cause took a pair of hits last week when Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said his group would come up with its own tax plan – even though Ryan’s “Better Way” proposal is supposed to be the official House line on taxes – while the Senate’s top tax writer, Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), said he prefers taking the tax-cut route.
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