News Wrap: Man who bought rifles used in San Bernardino attack arrested

In our news wrap Thursday, the man who bought the rifles used in the San Bernardino shootings was arrested for conspiring to aid terrorists, among other federal charges. Also, the Republican-led House pushed through a huge tax cut bill, costing an estimated $680 billion over 10 years.

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    The Republican-led House of Representatives pushed through a huge tax cut bill today, costing an estimated $680 billion over 10 years. The vote was 318 to 109 for a package that keeps alive an array of tax breaks for businesses and families. It drew bipartisan support.

    Speaker Paul Ryan says they will vote tomorrow on a separate trillion-dollar spending package to fund the government in 2016.


    We are where we are, and we have a bipartisan compromise, where, by the way, I think we've got some good wins. And look, Democrats win some things, too. That's the nature of bipartisan compromises.

    And so, the way I look at this is, we have made the best of the situation we have. There are some really good wins in here for the American people. There are very good wins in here for the economy, for job creators, for taxpayers.


    But Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says many Democrats might shun the omnibus spending bill, that's partly it ends a 40-year ban on exporting oil, and because it denies debt relief to Puerto Rico.

  • REP. NANCY PELOSI, Minority Leader:

    Many of our Democrats still have some concerns about what is in the omnibus and what isn't in the omnibus. And particularly what isn't, and that is what we wanted — the opportunity for Puerto Rico to do restructuring to declare bankruptcy.


    The Senate may pass both bills tomorrow, before adjourning for the year.

    The man who bought the rifles used in the San Bernardino shootings was arrested today. Enrique Marquez is accused of conspiring to aid terrorists and other federal charges. He purchased the guns in 2011 and 2012 for his friend, Syed Farook. This month, Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, shot 14 people to death at a holiday party.

    President Obama meets with relatives of the San Bernardino victims tomorrow, in California. Today, he urged Americans to be vigilant over the holidays, but he said at this time, there's no credible information of any new plot. He spoke at the National Counterterrorism Center in McClain, Virginia, after getting briefed on the current threat level.


    Anyone trying to harm Americans need to know — they need to know that we're strong, we're resilient, that we will not be terrorized. We have prevailed over much greater threats than this. We will prevail again.


    Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council moved to disrupt the Islamic State group's revenue flow. Security Council members approved a resolution sponsored by the U.S. and Russia. It targets money from smuggled oil and looted antiquities, plus ransom payments.

    Libya's two rival governments agreed on a unity deal today in the face of a growing Islamic state presence. Officials from the internationally recognized parliament in eastern Libya, and the Islamic-backed one in Tripoli, signed the agreement in Morocco. It was not clear if all of the country's warring groups will go along.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow wants improved ties with Washington, despite tensions over Syria and Ukraine. But, Turkey is a different matter. In a year-end briefing today, Putin cited Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane last month. Then, he used decidedly off-color language to suggest the Turks might have acted to gain favor with the U.S.

  • PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russia (through interpreter):

    You asked whether it was possible that a third party is involved. I get your inference, but we do not know this. If someone in the Turkish government decided to lick the Americans in some of their private parts — well, I don't know. I can imagine that on some level, there were agreements.


    Putin also confirmed, for the first time, the presence of Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine, but he said they are not regular troops.

    Back this in country, there's word that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is recovering from a stroke, six weeks ago. His lawyer says Hastert is hospitalized in Illinois. Last October, the one-time Republican leader pleaded guilty in a hush-money scheme to hide personal misconduct from decades ago. He's to be sentenced in February.

    Defense Secretary Ashton Carter acknowledged today he used an unsecured, personal e-mail account to conduct government business, early in his tenure. Carter was asked about it during a stop in Iraq, after a New York Times report.

    ASH CARTER, Secretary of Defense: What I was doing that I shouldn't have been doing until a few months ago — which meant that I was doing it longer than I should have, I should have been obviously — is using my iPhone, which has my personal email on it, to send messages to my office. Administrative messages, not classified information.


    Carter said he stopped doing that "a few months ago." That was well after Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton was criticized for using her own e-mail server as secretary of state.

    On Wall Street, stocks gave up all of yesterday's gains, and then some. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 250 points to close back below 17,500, the NASDAQ fell 68 points, and the S&P 500 dropped 31.

    And, there's new hope for paralyzed veterans who want to walk again. The Federal Veterans Affairs Department will begin paying for robotic legs to help vets with spinal cord injuries. The powered exoskeleton called a "Re-walk" costs $77,000, a sum that's well beyond what most veterans could afford.

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