The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Breaking -- Republicans unveil sweeping tax plan | What’s in the bill | Robert Mercer to step down from hedge fund | Donna Brazile accuses Clinton camp of hostile takeover of DNC | Trump USDA pick withdraws amid Mueller scrutiny | Beyoncé joins cast of live-action 'Lion King'



*GOP opens a carnival booth* 'Step right up and get your new tax plan! Your new, pretty, shiny tax plan!': Republicans just released their highly anticipated tax plan. It's name: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The gist: It would reduce the number of individual tax brackets, slash rates for businesses and eliminate a number of tax breaks. And to offset the costs of the bill, Republicans are putting forward some controversial proposals.


On the mortgage-interest deduction: It would keep the mortgage-interest deduction, but only for newly purchased homes up to $500,000; the cap is now set at $1 million. Keep in mind: Expect the housing industry to fight back hard on this change.

Tax deductions: Taxpayers could deduct their state and local property taxes, but only up to $10,000. It would not allow people to deduct state and local income or sales taxes. Keep in mind: Blue-state Republicans have fought to keep that deduction. It's unclear how they'll react to the compromise.

Tax brackets: It would reduce the number of brackets from seven to four. The top tax rate would remain 39.6 percent. The other three brackets would be 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent.

Corporate tax rate: It would be lowered from 35 percent to 20 percent. It would also lower the top rate for "pass-through" businesses from 39.6 percent to 25 percent. 

On the health insurance mandate: It will not include a repeal of ObamaCare's individual mandate, sources say, despite President TrumpDonald John TrumpPoll: Both parties need to do more on drug prices Senate approves .3 trillion spending bill, sending to Trump White House: Trump will delay steel tariffs for EU, six countries MORE pushing the idea yesterday.

On the child tax credit: The plan calls for increasing the child tax credit to $1,600 per child from $1,000.

Remember this pledge?: "You can fill your taxes out on a postcard! The postcard is 300 feet wide and 200 feet tall." (From The Washington Post's Dave Weigel

Video of Republicans unveiling the plan:

A number you'll hear a lot: $1,182; That's how much money families will save according to Republicans.

Full text of the bill -- if you're into that kinda thing: It's 429 pages. 

Section-by-section summary:


From Brady: House Ways and Means Committee Chair "Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyRepublicans open to targeted China tariffs despite steel flap GOP pushes for 'phase two' of tax cuts Lighthizer, Ross set to talk trade on Capitol Hill next week MORE says the newly unveiled Tax Cuts & Jobs Act 'has President Trump's full support.'"

From McCarthy: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy "says this tax reform plan could be the most important bill lawmakers vote on in their career."

From Rubio: Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump replaces McMaster with Bolton as national security adviser Orlando March for Our Lives protesters to march to Rubio's downtown office, Pulse nightclub Lawmakers eye crackdown on China’s Confucius Institutes MORE (R-Fla.) said that the House GOP tax plan's increase to the child tax credit doesn't do enough to help working families. He tweeted, "House Tax Reform plan is only starting point. But $600 child tax credit increase doesn't achieve our & [President Trump] goal of helping working families."

From Cotton: Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonOvernight Health Care: House passes .3T omnibus | Bill boosts funds for NIH, opioid treatment | Senators spar over ObamaCare fix | 'Right to Try' bill heads to the Senate Overnight Regulation: Omnibus includes deal on tip-pooling rule | Groups sue over rules for organic livestock | AT&T, DOJ make opening arguments in merger trial GOP senators push tougher sentencing for synthetic opioid MORE (R-Ark.) is still urging Republicans to use their tax bill to repeal ObamaCare's individual mandate. Keep in mind: The House bill didn't include that.

Democrats: Congressional Democrats will offer their response to the Republican plan at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Livestream:

It's Thursday. I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to, @CateMartel and on Facebook.



The Russia investigation is leaking into other departments: Sam Clovis, President Trump's nominee to be the Department of Agriculture's top scientist, has withdrawn his nomination. Why: Clovis became entangled in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. Clovis reportedly encouraged George Papadopoulos to set up a meeting with Russian officials while the two were working on the Trump campaign. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his contacts with Russians. 



Mercer is o-u-t, out: Via Bloomberg's Zach Mider, Billionaire investor and conservative donor Robert Mercer is stepping down as the co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies effective Jan 1. What we also learned: Mercer WILL sell his stake in Breitbart News to his daughter Rebekah Mercer, another prominent backer of conservative causes. Why: Mercer did not offer an explanation for selling the shares but said that he was choosing to do so "for personal reasons."

Keep in mind: Via Newsweek, here's "how Donald Trump and Milo Yiannopoulos are connected":

From Buzzfeed's David Mack: "short mercer: i funded milo to offend people, but now i'm stunned to learn he caused people pain & offended them."



*Looks to the left* *pauses while deep in thought* *looks to the right*: During an Axios event this morning, Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryOvernight Defense: Trump replaces McMaster with Bolton | .3T omnibus awaits Senate vote | Bill gives Pentagon flexibility on spending | State approves B arms sale to Saudis Overnight Energy: Winners, losers in omnibus bill | EPA funding stands at .1b | Lawmakers get wildfire funding fix Perry cites competition from Russia, China to defend nuclear talks with Saudis MORE suggested that expanding the use of fossil fuels could help prevent sexual assault. How he said it: Perry discussed his recent trip to Africa. He said a young girl told him that energy is important to her because she often reads by the light of a fire with toxic fumes.

"But also from the standpoint of sexual assault," Perry said. "When the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will on those types of acts." Full context:

ALSO DURING THE EVENT -- PUERTO RICO: Energy Secretary Rick Perry defended the federal government's efforts to restore power in Puerto Rico. In his words: "Puerto Rico is very, very different from any other natural disaster that I've seen in my 30 years of public service. Partly because it was an island," Perry said. He conceded that electricity repair is slow in comparison to Texas and Florida after hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but chalked that up to the unique challenges in Puerto Rico.

Getting traction on social media -- former DNC interim chair stumbled on Clinton's secret DNC takeover: In an excerpt for her new book published by Politico, former Democratic National Committee interim Chairwoman Donna Brazile accused Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House would like to see Biden ‘in the boxing ring’ in 2020 House Judiciary chair subpoenas DOJ for FBI documents The suit to make Electoral College more ‘fair’ could make it worse MORE of being behind a secret takeover of the Democratic National Committee. Brazile said she stumbled onto it when she took her post and was tasked with investigating the DNC after hacked emails suggested the Clinton campaign essentially fixed the Democratic presidential primary.

Excerpt: "I'd had my suspicions from the moment I walked in the door of the DNC a month or so earlier, based on the leaked emails. But who knew if some of them might have been forged? I needed to have solid proof, and so did Bernie. So I followed the money ... By September 7, the day I called Bernie, I had found my proof and it broke my heart."

NEW INFO ON DNC HACKING: Via The Wall Street Journal, Justice Department investigators have identified at least six Russian government officials who took part in hacking the DNC. Prosecutors may file charges next year, according to the report, but the individuals likely won't be indicted in the United States.

Russian trolls interfering wasn't a one-way street: Via The Daily Beast's Ben Collins and Kevin Poulsen, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who briefly served as President Trump's national security adviser and as a campaign adviser, reportedly followed multiple Twitter accounts from a Russian troll farm and amplified their messages before the 2016 presidential election.

How Washington is reacting to this news -->

IF YOU'RE CURIOUS ABOUT THE RUSSIAN FACEBOOK ADS: The House Intelligence Committee released Facebook ads that were promoted by Russian-linked groups. For example: Some aimed to exploit and further inflame religious and racial tensions in the country surrounding groups such as Black Lives Matter and American Muslims.

Fun fact: A British dictionary publisher has named "fake news" as its "word of the year" in honor of President Trump's frequently used words to attack the media. The announcement: "The Word of the Year campaign is a chance to reflect on the words that have defined the last 12 months and we can reveal that the 2017 winner is....FAKE NEWS," Collins Dictionary on its site to announce the new word.



Lol, a photographer placed a Robert Mueller jack-o-lantern in front of Paul Manafort's townhouse:


This tweet is from Dec. 2016, but with the Mercer news, I thought you'd find it interesting:

Context from The New York Times: "Mr. Mercer, a former computer coder who worked at I.B.M. before moving to Renaissance, is known for being shy and idiosyncratic. A model-train aficionado, he hosts a well-known holiday costume party at his Long Island estate -- known as Owl's Nest -- that has attracted guests including, last year, Mr. Trump and his top advisers."



The House and Senate are in.

Happening today: President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and Manafort's longtime junior business partner Richard Gates are back in court after being indicted in Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

12:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump makes a jobs announcement.

1:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence leaves for Orlando, Fla.

1:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with House Republican leaders and Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee.

2:30 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House.

4:20 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence tours Correct Craft and meets with locals in Orlando, Fla., about tax reform.

4:45 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.

10 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence arrives back in Washington, D.C.



1:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is giving the daily press briefing. National security adviser H.R. McMaster will also attend. Livestream:

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump announces his pick for the next Federal Reserve chair. Livestream:

Op-ed: In an op-ed for The Hill, Shidler College of Business's David McClain argues why he thinks Janet Yellen is still the best choice to lead the Federal Reserve.

5 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at a Republican Party dinner at Disney's Grand Floridian. Livestream:

Next Wednesday: Former interim Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile will appear on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."



Today is Deviled Eggs Day.

Jimmy Kimmel was just kidding about taking your kids' Halloween candy! Abort! Abort! when Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a photo of Skittles as a metaphor for refugees? Well, he took the metaphor to the next level. He tweeted a photo of his daughter with her Halloween candy with the caption, "I'm going to take half of Chloe's candy tonight & give it to some kid who sat at home. It's never to early to teach her about socialism." Photo of his daughter:

Reaction from author G. Willow Wilson: "You literally took her door-to-door demanding free handouts."

Reaction from The Daily Beat's Sam Stein: "giving away candy to some kid stuck at home would be a really kind thing to do."

Oh she just can't wait to be Queen (Bey): Via E News, Disney Live Action announced the cast for the remake of The Lion King. The all-star lineup includes: BeyoncéDonald GloverSeth Rogen and Billy Eichner. Full cast list:

And because you read this far, here's a photo of how Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie dressed his kids on Halloween. Hint: It's a hilarious depiction of a very recognizable couple:


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