It's a done deal: Congress wraps up massive tax package

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Republicans delivered an epic overhaul of U.S. tax laws to President Donald Trump on Wednesday, bringing generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans while providing smaller cuts for middle- and low-income families.

  • Written by By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER and MARCY GORDON , Associated Press

NOT REAL NEWS: What didn't happen in the Alabama election

In the aftermath of Alabama's high-profile Senate election, some sites are spreading false information about supposed voter fraud in Democrat Doug Jones' upset victory over Republican Roy Moore.

  • Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Shutdown clock ticking, GOP struggling for spending deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — With a shutdown clock ticking toward a Friday midnight deadline, congressional Republicans scrambled on Wednesday to finalize a must-pass spending bill. A major obstacle evaporated after key GOP senators dropped a demand to add health insurance subsidies for the poor.

The No. 2 House Republican, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, said party leaders have scrapped plans to combine a short-term spending bill with $81 billion worth of disaster aid and a $658 billion Pentagon funding measure. Instead, Republicans are likely to schedule a separate vote on the disaster package, he said.

The strategy for averting a government shutdown appeared to be coming into focus, though it looks like many items on Capitol Hill's list of unfinished business could be pushed into next year. It also appears the upcoming short-term measure will fund the government through mid-January, giving lawmakers time to work out their leftover business.

"I think if this all comes together we can vote and leave," McCarthy said in anticipation of a House vote on Thursday.

Hopes for a bipartisan budget deal to sharply increase spending for both the Pentagon and domestic agencies appeared dead for the year and Democrats were rebuffed in their demands for protections for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced Wednesday that they would not seek to add the insurance subsidies, which are designed to stabilize the Affordable Care Act's markets. The tax bill repeals requirement that individuals purchase insurance.

Trying to combine the health measure with the spending bill was a demand of Collins when President Donald Trump and Senate GOP leaders secured her vote for the party's tax cut measure. But House conservatives strongly opposed the move.

  • Written by By ANDREW TAYLOR , Associated Press

Ex-Michigan trooper charged with murder in boy's death

 

DETROIT (AP) — A former Michigan State Police trooper was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder in the death of a Detroit teenager who crashed an all-terrain vehicle after being shot with a stun gun.

  • Written by By ED WHITE , Associated Press

Was engineer in fatal Amtrak wreck distracted?

DUPONT, Wash. (AP) — Federal investigators in the deadly Amtrak wreck want to know whether the engineer was distracted by a second person in his cab as his train hurtled into a curve at more than twice the speed limit.

  • Written by By MICHAEL BALSAMO and HAVEN DALEY , Associated Press