Republicans are set to test the old and probably dated notion that bigger deals can be easier to close than small ones. The stakes for the party have expanded accordingly with the first votes on tax reform set for today in the House.
Through a combination of failures in the past and worries for the future – and the overriding sense that they have one last chance to get things right – the GOP’s hopes, dreams and electoral prospects now look to be riding in huge tax cut/health care bill that President Donald Trump says has to pass by Christmas.
So take an intricate and delicate tax bill, then add the issue that’s bedeviled Republicans for all of 2017…
Ok, maybe pause to take a sip here.
PHOTO: President Donald Trump takes a drink of water during remarks on his Asia trip in the White House in Washington, Nov. 15, 2017.ABC News
President Donald Trump takes a drink of water during remarks on his Asia trip in the White House in Washington, Nov. 15, 2017.more +
House Speaker Paul Ryan, who of course wants Obamacare gone, said he fears adding the individual mandate repeal to the tax bill would “needlessly complicate” matters. This comes a week after Virginia voters went with Democrats in an election where exit polls indicated that health care was the No. 1 issue on their minds.
Now comes Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., a conservative who says he’s against both the House and Senate versions of the tax bills. He doesn’t like the process or the substance: “neither the House nor Senate bill provide fair treatment,” Johnson said in a statement.
The political world rightly awaits the president’s position on Moore’s candidacy. But keep in mind that the president has only started to engage on the tax bill.
How’s that gone for Republicans to date?
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
The allegations against Alabama Judge Roy Moore run the gamut, from sexual misconduct to eager attention from a man in his 30s that made teenage girls at the time feel incredibly uncomfortable.
In total, eight women have now come forward to tell stories of specific encounters they had years ago with a man now running for U.S. Senate. Five additional women have come forward since the initial Washington Post story broke.
The range of accusations paints a damning picture against Moore, but also extends a national conversation already underway about what counts as harassment. There are legal definitions, sure, but so much falls through the cracks, goes unreported or is endured for a number of reasons.
While Moore continues to try to get to Capitol Hill, a group of lawmakers already there introduced a bipartisan bill Wednesday to help people who experience harassment in the halls of Congress.
The group says their legislation would update an outdated system by expediting the process for filing complaints, helping victims get representation and making harassment settlements more transparent.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said Wednesday, “Too many congressional offices are not taking this problem seriously at all.”
The bright side of the sad story in Alabama is that, if true, maybe that will change.
The TIP with Katherine Faulders and Alexander Mallin
The White House has replaced various photos in the West Wing to reflect President Trump’s “historic” 12-day Asia tour, displaying several photos including one of First Lady Melania Trump’s visit to the Great Wall of China, one of the performance President Trump attended with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Forbidden City and another of the president with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
Melania Trump ✔@FLOTUS
Unforgettable memories! The Great Wall of #China #FLOTUSinAsia
12:55 PM – Nov 11, 2017
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It’s become a habit following foreign trips, it seems, as the White House did the same after his first foreign trip, including a photo of Trump sword dancing in Saudi Arabia.
ABC News ✔@ABC
Senior White House staff, some holding swords, participate in elaborate opening ceremony in Saudi Arabia http://abcn.ws/2qJ8Dlr
12:47 PM – May 20, 2017
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On Wednesday, Trump touted the trip’s accomplishments in a speech from the White House, including his efforts to strengthen alliances in the region, rectify self-described “unfair” trade deals, and unite opposition to acts of North Korean aggression.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY:
President Trump meets with House Republicans to discuss tax reform on Capitol Hill.
The House is scheduled to vote on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan delivers a ‘major message’ to President Trump and the government at a press conference at the Watergate Hotel.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children. I’ve yet to see a valid explanation and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ accounts.” – Ivanka Trump said in an interview with the Associated Press on the Roy Moore scandal.
NEED TO READ
6 Democrats introduce 5 Articles of Impeachment against President Trump. Representatives on the far left of the House Democratic Caucus have taken the step against the wishes of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Whip Steny Hoyer. (John Parkinson) http://abcn.ws/2z5A4xi
Trump touts foreign policy accomplishments upon return from Asia trip. The President touted his foreign policy accomplishments in a speech from the White House Wednesday, including his efforts to strengthen alliances in Asia, rectify self-described “unfair” trade deals, and unite opposition to acts of North Korean aggression. (Tara Palmeri and Adam Kelsey) http://abcn.ws/2iXbdkw
Democrats weigh how to best help Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones. As Republicans continue to disagree about how best to pivot in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against Roy Moore, Democrats in Washington D.C. have largely decided to stay clear from the Alabama special election next month and let their party’s nominee run his own campaign. (MaryAlice Parks) http://abcn.ws/2A1qHi6
Thirsty Trump interrupts speech for sips of Fiji water. President Trump took a swig from Marco Rubio’s playbook Wednesday, pausing twice during a speech promoting his administration’s foreign policy achievements and trade matters to drink from a bottle of Fiji water. (ABC News) http://abcn.ws/2jumKvk
Top Dem warns Sessions move could be ‘bigger threat to our democracy’ than Russia. Rep. Adam Schiff slammed Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to open the door for the Department of Justice to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton’s role in the Uranium One deal. (Justin Coleman) http://abcn.ws/2yKlG9s
Roy Moore speaks out amid sex allegations: ‘Obviously I’ve made a few people mad.’ Moore was met by applause when he walked into the church, with his wife Kayla at his side. He spoke following almost an hour of preaching and songs from a youth choir. (Meridith McGraw) http://abcn.ws/2zKl5br
Moore campaign remains defiant amid sexual misconduct allegations. The attorney representing embattled GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore defended him Wednesday against the sexual misconduct allegations that have driven many in the GOP to call on Moore to drop out of the race. (John Verhovek) http://abcn.ws/2zKi2zF
As national party abandons Moore, Bannon and Alabama GOP dig in. As the charges of sexual misconduct against Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore continue to plague his campaign and have driven most national Republicans to call for him to leave the race, the embattled candidate is still receiving support from two critical sources: Steve Bannon and Alabama Republicans.(John Verhovek and Tara Palmeri) http://abcn.ws/2ilzW2y
Army Chief of Staff: ‘Gaps and failures’ in reporting criminal activity to FBI. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Gen. Mark Milley estimated that as many as 10 to 20 percent of the Army’s total cases are not reported. (Elizabeth McLaughlin) http://abcn.ws/2AK6vO8
Transgender service members and their families dealing with fallout from Trump’s tweets. For months, Kiera Walker grappled with the decision of how and when to come out as a transgender woman to her fellow members of the Coast Guard. She had served in the Guard’s Duluth, Minnesota, station for about two and a half years, but her colleagues had known her only as Kieran, the male gender marker she used when she signed up for the Coast Guard Reserve years before. (Meghan Keneally and Jessica Hopper) http://abcn.ws/2hAqElP
Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin, wife cause internet sensation posing with sheets of money. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and actress wife Louise Linton are in the news over money again, but this time at least they’re not in trouble over how they’re spending it. (Mark Osborne) http://abcn.ws/2ikcIth
USA TODAY: Taxpayers pay legal bill to protect Trump business profits. Taxpayers are footing the legal bill for at least 10 Justice Department lawyers and paralegals to work on lawsuits related to President Trump’s private businesses. https://usat.ly/2iZof0R
FiveThirtyEight: The border patrol doesn’t know what to do with the thousands of agents Trump wants to hire. Two new government analyses show that there may be major obstacles to meeting Trump’s expectations. http://53eig.ht/2yJixH0
The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomor