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. http://bit.ly/2yo2eU3


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. http://bit.ly/2h5L7z1

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 TrumpTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing MORE pushing the idea yesterday. http://bit.ly/2xPDfVp

On the child tax credit: The plan calls for increasing the child tax credit to $1,600 per child from $1,000. http://bit.ly/2zrr4ma

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 Weigelhttp://bit.ly/2lF0P5v

Video of Republicans unveiling the plan: http://cs.pn/2h8cl87

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. http://bit.ly/2inZv24 

Section-by-section summary: http://bit.ly/2gXPeJA


From Brady: House Ways and Means Committee Chair "Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Some ObamaCare premiums to decrease next year | Sanders hits back at Trump over 'Medicare for all' | Panel to investigate rising maternal mortality rates House committee to investigate rising maternal mortality rates How the Trump tax law passed: The final stretch MORE says the newly unveiled Tax Cuts & Jobs Act 'has President Trump's full support.'" http://bit.ly/2lIkZM3

From McCarthy: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy "says this tax reform plan could be the most important bill lawmakers vote on in their career." http://bit.ly/2yocECY

From Rubio: Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia On The Money: Treasury official charged with leaking info on ex-Trump advisers | Trump to seek 5 percent budget cut from Cabinet members | Mnuchin to decide by Thursday on attending Saudi conference Mnuchin to decide by Thursday whether to attend Saudi conference 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." http://bit.ly/2zrr4ma

From Cotton: Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonFlake: Congress should not continue Kavanaugh investigations GOP senator suspects Schumer of being behind release of Ford letter Susan Collins becomes top 2020 target for Dems 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. http://bit.ly/2iUWmKX

Democrats: Congressional Democrats will offer their response to the Republican plan at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Livestream: http://cs.pn/2xR3wCF

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 cmartel@thehill.com, @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. http://bit.ly/2zd1U9D 



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." https://bloom.bg/2zftOlH

Keep in mind: Via Newsweek, here's "how Donald Trump and Milo Yiannopoulos are connected": http://bit.ly/2h5UM8L

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." http://bit.ly/2hxOjQR



*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 Energy: Political appointee taking over as Interior IG | Change comes amid Zinke probe | White Houses shelves coal, nuke bailout plan | Top Dem warns coal export proposal hurts military The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump, Stormy Daniels trade fire on Twitter | Three weeks to midterms | Pompeo meets Saudi king White House shelves rescue plan for coal, nuclear: report 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: http://bit.ly/2AagL2C

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. http://bit.ly/2lG5zro

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 ClintonMueller's team asking Manafort about Roger Stone: report O'Rourke targets Cruz with several attack ads a day after debate GOP pollster says polls didn't pick up on movement in week before 2016 election 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." http://politi.co/2hxbyua

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. http://bit.ly/2ymObxT

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. http://thebea.st/2hzcCOp

How Washington is reacting to this news --> http://bit.ly/2zdJ6az

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. http://bit.ly/2h62S0K

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. http://bit.ly/2A2vk7w



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." http://nyti.ms/2yoqzcj



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: http://bit.ly/2zZZUi8

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump announces his pick for the next Federal Reserve chair. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2h4otXy

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. http://bit.ly/2lHRM3M

5 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at a Republican Party dinner at Disney's Grand Floridian. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2iqG9Jo

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! http://bit.ly/2zdX78cRemember 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: http://wapo.st/2AaoH3W

Reaction from author G. Willow Wilson: "You literally took her door-to-door demanding free handouts." http://bit.ly/2lHAhR4

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." http://bit.ly/2ynefJv

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. http://eonli.ne/2h6bN2g Full cast list: http://bit.ly/2AbbeZU

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: http://bit.ly/2A0TkYL


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