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News Wrap: House passes GOP budget despite conservative dissent

In our news wrap Thursday, the House of Representatives narrowly passed a Republican budget and paved the way for tax cuts of up to $1.5 trillion. House Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledged criticism of the plan, and promised that conservatives would be heard. Also, the Trump administration imposed new economic sanctions on North Korean military and government leaders due to human rights abuses.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    And in the day's other news: The House of Representatives narrowly passed a Republican budget, paving the way for tax cuts of up to $1.5 trillion. Twenty Republican conservatives joined Democrats opposing the budget. They complained that the tax cuts could balloon deficit spending and eliminate state and local tax deductions.

    House Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledged the complaints, and promised the conservatives will be heard.

    Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Speaker of the House: The Ways and Means Committee will be putting out a specific plan very shortly and they are going to work with all of our members to look at and consider and address their concerns. I believe that the Ways and Means Committee will be working with these members in particular to find a solution.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    On a separate note, Ryan played down the biting criticism of President Trump by Republican Senator Jeff Flake this week. He told reporters — quote — "I don't think the American people care about that."

    The Trump administration imposed new economic sanctions today on North Korea's military and government leaders. It cited human rights abuses. And a State Department report showed satellite images of brutal prison camps in the North, and spoke of systematic killings and forced labor.

    In Indonesia, at least 47 people died in a massive explosion at a fireworks factory near Jakarta. The blast and inferno of flames collapsed the roof, as thick smoke billowed out. Most of the victims were female workers apparently locked inside.

    Kenya held a re-run of its presidential election today, but only part of the country voted. The rest was in turmoil, as opposition supporters battled police and boycotted the polls.

    John Ray of Independent Television News reports from Kenya.

  • John Ray:

    The day Kenya went to vote, some places looked like they would go to war. At least three reported dead, and many more injured. A protester takes a beating from the police. No surprise if democracy is another casualty.

    Security forces fire tear gas into crowds of demonstrators, who hurl stones in return. In this opposition area, there is no question of voting today. Instead, all day, there have been these skirmishes between protesters and police. Kenya's election will settle nothing. In fact, it is only increasing tensions.

    The opposition claims the election is rigged.

    Why is nobody here voting?

  • Man:

    There's no democracy. No democracy.

  • John Ray:

    Do you think the election is being stolen?

  • Man:

    Already, it has been stolen.

  • John Ray:

    In the absence of a challenger, President Uhuru Kenyatta would seem guaranteed victory, though tarnished by a low turnout.

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya:

    All we're asking is that Kenyans turn out. We are requesting them humbly that they should turn out in large numbers, cast their vote.

  • John Ray:

    And in the capital, government loyalists did as they were asked by their president, though here they queued not in their many thousands, but by the few dozen. With just one contender, we know who will win the election, but not when the chaos will end.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    That's John Ray of Independent Television News.

    Spain's Catalonia region moved closer to the brink of seceding today. The regional president declared he will not call new elections, as the central government in Madrid wanted. The political developments came as thousands of pro-independence protesters marched in the Catalan capital of Barcelona.

    Back in this country, there's word that a computer server involved in a lawsuit over election security in Georgia has been wiped clean. The Associated Press reports that it happened in July, just after the suit was filed. The main defendant is the Republican secretary of state. His office denies any role in the erasure.

    MSNBC today suspended political journalist Mark Halperin over allegations of sexual harassment. At least five women say Halperin propositioned and groped them in the 1990s and early 2000s when he was political director at ABC News. They say that he — that they didn't report the actions, for fear of retribution or embarrassment. Halperin has apologized for what he called — quote — "inappropriate behavior."

    And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 71 points to close at 23400. The Nasdaq fell seven, and the S&P 500 added three.

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