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News Wrap: House GOP scramble to finalize tax plan

In our news wrap Wednesday, House Republicans are scrambling to finalize a plan to cut taxes after delaying the release of the bill to buy an extra day of negotiations. President Trump said he would be standing beside them when they debut the plan Thursday. Also, a Navy investigation found that the deadly ship collisions this year were caused by preventable errors made by underprepared crews.

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  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    House Republicans are scrambling to finalize a plan to cut taxes, after delaying the release of the bill to buy an extra day of negotiations.

    Members of the House Ways and Means Committee were cloistered behind closed doors today, but President Trump spoke at a White House Cabinet meeting. He said he would be standing beside Republicans when they debuted the tax plan tomorrow.

  • President Donald Trump:

    The House Ways and Means Committee will unveil a historic tax plan that will create new jobs, higher wages, which hasn’t happened in many years. And now it’s starting to happen, I’m happy to tell you. But it’ll lead to tremendous prosperity for American families, communities, and also for our job-producing businesses.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    The president also tweeted his support for using the tax bill to repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate.

    A Navy investigation has found that two deadly ship collisions this year were caused by preventable errors made by underprepared crews. The report blamed no one individual, but instead found a broader problem of watch crews that didn’t adhere to protocol. The USS Fitzgerald and USS John McCain crashes left a combined total of 17 sailors dead.

    NPR’s news chief, Michael Oreskes, has resigned following accusations of sexual harassment. Two women accused Oreskes of abruptly kissing them while they were discussing job opportunities when he worked for The New York Times nearly two decades ago. In a statement, Oreskes apologized, saying — quote — My behavior was wrong and inexcusable, and I accept full responsibility.”

    British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon also stepped down today in the wake of allegations of inappropriate behavior toward a female broadcaster. Earlier this week, a British newspaper reported Fallon repeatedly touched a woman’s knee at a 2002 event. In a statement today, Fallon said his previous conduct had fallen below the high standards of someone in his position.

    A Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Yemen today killed at least 29 people, including some children. Dozens of people were also injured. The bombs hit a market and a hotel in northern Saada province, where the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels are concentrated. The coalition has waged a punishing air campaign on the Houthis since 2015, after they ousted the Yemeni government. Some 100,000 civilians have died in the war.

    Back in this country, President Trump’s commission on the opioid crisis issued its final recommendations today. They include expanding drug courts to all federal districts, increasing access to rehabilitation programs for substance abusers, and more training for doctors. But the commission didn’t request any additional funding.

    The report comes nearly a week after the president called the opioid epidemic a — quote — “public health emergency.”

    At the United Nations today, the U.S. voted against a resolution calling for an end to its trade embargo on Cuba. U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s no-vote marks a course change from the Obama administration, which sought closer ties with Havana. The resolution passed 191-2, with only Israel joining the U.S. in opposition.

    And stocks were mixed on Wall Street today, after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged. The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 57 points to close at 23435. The Nasdaq fell 11 points, and the S&P 500 rose four.

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