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Republicans search for cash to pay for their tax bill after deficit hawks learn budget will add $1 trillion in debt

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Late Thursday afternoon, Democratic senators attempted to send the Republican tax bill back to committee for further consideration and adjustments. Republicans rushed to the floor to vote and three senators who haven’t decided whether or not to support the tax bill were brought to “the well” for a confrontation with the GOP leadership. But the real problem came when it was revealed the bill would skyrocket deficits at the cost of the president’s own voters.

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Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) who have been “perennial GOP tax negotiators” according to Bloomberg political reporter Sahil Kapur “are now engaging in a back-and-forth as [Senate Leader] McConnell (R-KY) and his deputies hover.”

“Corker is doing a lot of talking to colleagues on floor right now,” Kapur reported via Twitter. “Vote’s been open for a while. Something is up. McConnell/Thune chat in a sidebar.”

Corker along with Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) are the three members who were holding out on voting, but ultimately agreed not to put the bill back in committee. If they had, the bill might have been killed entirely.

Afterward, Sen. John Cornyn explained that the “deficit trigger” prevents the bill from being passed due to the senate budget rules. Reports estimate the tax bill would add a minimum of $1 trillion to the budget.

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“It doesn’t look like the trigger is going to work, according to the parliamentarian. So we have an alternative, frankly, tax increase we don’t want to do,” Cornyn said.

Johnson told Kapur that he will continue to be a hold out on the bill to ensure he can offer amendments. He’s not sure if the vote on the bill will occur Thursday or not.

“We just saw a kink in the time plan right there so who knows what other cogs might be put in this wheel,” he said Thursday night.

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The New York Times reported late Thursday that Republicans are desperately “scrambling” to find revenue to fund the tax cuts.

The senate is in session until December 15, when they’ll break for Christmas.


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Millions around the world joined #ClimateStrike — demanding bold climate action

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Masses of children skipped school Friday to join a global strike against climate change that teen activist Greta Thunberg said was "only the beginning" in the fight against environmental disaster.

Some four million people filled city streets around the world, organizers said, in what was billed as the biggest ever protest against the threat posed to the planet by rising temperatures.

Youngsters and adults alike chanted slogans and waved placards in demonstrations that started in Asia and the Pacific, spread across Africa, Europe and Latin America, before culminating in the United States where Thunberg rallied.

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Trump announces new sanctions on Iran — and deploys US troops to the Middle East

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The United States announced Friday that it was sending military reinforcements to the Gulf region following attacks on Saudi oil facilities that it attributes to Iran, just hours after President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions on Tehran.

Trump said the sanctions were the toughest-ever against another country, but indicated he did not plan a military strike, calling restraint a sign of strength.

The Treasury Department renewed action against Iran's central bank after US officials said Tehran carried out weekend attacks on rival Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, which triggered a spike in global crude prices.

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‘Do a lot of stupid sh*t as quickly as possible’: Ambassador Power breaks down ’The Trump Doctrine’

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The former ambassador to the United Nations explained "The Trump Doctrine" during a Friday evening interview with comedian Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time."

Samantha Power, the author of the new book, The Education of an Idealist, was asked by Maher about the foreign policy mantra of the Obama administration.

"Obama's foreign policy doctrine was famously summarized as 'don't do stupid sh*t," Maher noted. "Trump's, of course, is 'Do stupid sh*t.'"

"Do stupid sh*t as quickly as possible," Power clarified.

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