In our news wrap Monday, two of President Trump’s former campaign aides, Paul Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates, will stay under house arrest for now as part of charges in the special counsel’s probe of Russian election-meddling. Also, the House Ways and Means Committee began work on a tax bill as Democrats and Republicans jousted over whether the bill would help more than hurt.
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In the day’s other news: President Trump is heading to South Korea, after winding up two days in Japan.
He complained today about the trade imbalance with Japan, and defended his tough talk on North Korea. He called the North a threat to the civilized world.
We will get a full report after the news summary.
And back in Washington, two of President Trump’s former campaign aides will stay under house arrest for now. They’re charged in the special counsel’s probe of Russian election meddling. One-time campaign chairman Paul Manafort and business associate Rick Gates appeared today in federal court in Washington. They have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and money laundering. The judge has asked for more information on a bond package to guarantee that they won’t flee.
The House Ways and Means Committee began work on a far-reaching tax overhaul bill today. It would cut the corporate rate, simplify individual rates, and add more than a trillion dollars to the national debt.
Republicans and Democrats jousted over whether the bill would help more than hurt, and who would benefit.
Rep. Kevin Brady:
We stand on the doorstep of delivering the most sweeping tax overhaul in more than 30 years. But make no mistake, this day and this historic legislation is not about us. It’s about providing long overdue relief to American workers, families, and job creators.
Rep. Bill Pascrell:
I don’t care whether you live in Dakota, Jersey. This thing is really shafting everybody. It’s an equal-opportunity shafter, this bill. I got to admit that. There are a lot of people expecting a tax cut who will be big losers under this bill.
The lawmakers heard from staff today that the bill would likely mean tax hikes for about 38 million Americans by 2023. But Republicans countered that, in the near term, most people will get tax cuts.
In South Sudan, warnings today that more than 1.25 million people face starvation. The United Nations and the South Sudanese government say that’s double the number from last year. And they say the country could plunge back into famine. The world’s youngest nation has been ravaged by a civil war that’s killed more than 50,000 people since 2013.
2017 is on track to become one of the three hottest years on record. The other two, 2015 and 2016, but unlike this year, those two years had strong El Nino weather patterns that boosted temperatures. The U.N.’s weather agency reports the average surface temperature this year has run nearly two degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels.
And on Wall Street today, stocks made modest advances, and Three major stock indexes closed at record highs. The Dow Jones industrial average gained nine points to close at 23548. The Nasdaq rose 22 points, and the S&P 500 added three.