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Ethics subcommittee will investigate Blake Farenthold harassment claim

“The four lawmakers who will sit on the investigative subcommittee were named on the House floor earlier Wednesday” writes Susan Ferrechio for washingtonexaminer.com. The House Ethics Committee has empaneled a bipartisan group of lawmakers to investigate Rep.A second investigative subcommittee was also named by the House reading clerk but it’s not clear what that group of lawmakers will be investigating. Source: washingtonexaminer.com Share This:

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UK lawmakers assert final say on Brexit deal, challenge govt

“British lawmakers upended Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plans Wednesday by giving Parliament the final say on any exit agreement the government reaches with the European Union” reports foxbusiness.com. “The best way to secure this is that in the coming weeks we transpose all these commitments into the legal text of a withdrawal agreement,” he said.Britain is due to leave the bloc in March 2019, but a Brexit deal will have to be agreed by the fall of 2018 to give national parliaments time to approve it.Several lawmakers from the…

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Lobbying’s influence on the Republican tax bill shows why Congress needs more staff

“The rushed, closed, and opaque legislative process that ultimately resulted in the passage of the Senate tax bill early Saturday morning, however, provided such a rare illustration” writes Casey Burgat for washingtonexaminer.com. Anyone following the tax bill drama was likely aware that the legislation was hastily written and never in danger of winning any transparency awards.Even more concerning, the list of amendments came not from Republican leadership, a congressional committee or anyone associated with authoring the legislation, but from lobbyists.However, the sheer volume of lobbyists involved in the tax overhaul…

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GOP tax plan trims top rate for wealthy, cuts corporate rate

“A Republican tax package swiftly taking shape would pull down the top tax rate for wealthy Americans to 37 percent and slash the tax rate for corporations to a level slightly above what businesses and conservatives wanted” reports foxbusiness.com. Lawmakers and aides labored to blend separate tax bills that were passed recently by the House and Senate.The Republican goal is to deliver to President Donald Trump the first major rewrite of the U.S. tax system in more than three decades. GOP lawmakers hope to finalize blended legislation no later than…

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Lawmaker’s staffer was paid $220K to settle harassment suit

“Some $220,000 in taxpayer money is said to have been used to settle the lawsuit made against him by a former staffer, Winsome Packer” reports nypost.com. The congressman said that the lawsuit Packer filed against him and an investigation by the House Ethics Committee were ultimately dismissed. “I am outraged that any taxpayer dollars were needlessly paid to Ms. Source: nypost.com Share This:

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Congress Reeling Amid Wave of Sexual Harassment Allegations

“Congressional leaders are struggling to get ahead of the wave of sexual harassment allegations that are engulfing their institution” reports thehill.com. And the House Administration Committee held a hearing Thursday to explore ways to improve the handling of sexual harassment cases involving lawmakers.The latest ricocheting around the Capitol is that a major national news outlet will publish a list of 20 to 30 lawmakers accused of harassment in the coming days.One GOP source said the list could refer to secret Congressional Office of Compliance records of lawmakers who’ve privately settled sexual…

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New Jersey looks to make ‘drunken-droning’ a crime

“The legislation also would bar using drones to endanger safety at correctional facilities or interfering with first responders engaged in transport” writes Associated Press for nypost.com. TRENTON, N.J. — State lawmakers on Thursday passed legislation that would bar people from operating drones while drunk.The National Conference on State Legislatures says at least 38 states are considering drone legislation this year, going beyond the Federal Aviation Administration’s regulations. Source: nypost.com Share This:

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House plots sexual harassment reforms in January after wave of new accusations

“The Capitol has been roiled by sexual harassment claims that have ended or damaged the careers of a string of lawmakers” writes Susan Ferrechio for washingtonexaminer.com. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., would expose past sexual harassment settlements in Congress and require lawmakers to pay back the Treasury.The current law shields the identities of those accused of workplace violations including sexual harassment, and it permits the federal government to cover the cost of claims. Source: washingtonexaminer.com Share This:

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Patty Murray leads women’s push for lasting change in handling sexual harassment on Capitol Hill

“Now Murray and other lawmakers are working to see that the Capitol Hill culture actually changes more now than it did then” writes Paul Kane for seattletimes.com. In early 1994, Murray had her own run-in with sexual harassment on the Hill, according to “Women on the Hill,” the Clara Bingham book about how female lawmakers dealt with the culture. Source: seattletimes.com Share This:

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Tax breaks for beer, unborn children and lawmakers are among goodies in Republican bill

“The alcohol tax breaks have bipartisan support in the House and Senate and appear poised to remain in the final bill” writes Lisa Mascaro for latimes.com. The Senate bill initially included a new tax on cruise line operations, which opponents argued would hit tourism in the U.S., including in Alaska.The House bill essentially does away with decades-old tax code restrictions preventing churches and other nonprofit groups from engaging in political activities.The provision did not pass special Senate rules, which prevent budget measures like the tax bill from veering too deeply…

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