CONGRESS

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is urging grassroots groups who mobilized against GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare, to mobilize their members again. This time to help defeat the GOP tax bill.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is being targeted by advertising and telephone campaigns as the political battle over the Republican tax plan heats up.

One TV ad airing in Maine urges Collins to vote for the Senate Republican tax plan, touting it as a tax cut. Another ad from a different political action committee denounces both the Senate and House versions of tax legislation.

“Thankfully, Sen. Susan Collins told us that she would say no to tax breaks for the wealthiest. Call her and tell her not to lose her way,” the ad said.

Updated at 5:11 p.m. ET

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken is facing a second allegation that he groped a woman without consent while her husband took a photo of her with the senator at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.

Sexual assault allegations against Roy Moore have reverberated from Alabama to Washington, D.C.

Many Republican leaders have pulled their support from Moore. They include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, the head of National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is in charge of electing GOP senators.

Senior White House adviser and son-in-law to the president Jared Kushner failed to hand over to Senate investigators emails concerning contacts with WikiLeaks and a "Russian backdoor overture," according to a letter sent by two senior lawmakers.

The letter, released Thursday by Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and its ranking Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, says Kushner failed to turn over "September 2016 email communications to Mr. Kushner concerning WikiLeaks" and other emails pertaining to a "Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite."

The House has narrowly approved a $1.4 trillion tax overhaul, clearing the first major hurdle in Republican attempts to cut taxes and rewrite the tax code.

The vote was almost along party lines, with no Democrats voting in support of the bill and some GOP defections over provisions in the measure that would eliminate important tax deductions taken by constituents in some high tax states.

Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

Another prominent public figure has been accused of making unwanted sexual advances. Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden said now-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., forced himself on her and groped her while the two were on a USO tour in 2006.

Critics in the Senate have posed a high-stakes question: Can anything keep President Trump from launching a nuclear attack on his own?

"We are concerned that the president of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic that he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with U.S. national security interests," said Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy.

His Massachusetts colleague Ed Markey has offered legislation that would require congressional approval for any first use of nuclear weapons.

Updated at 4:58 p.m. ET

Republicans are sprinting to push their tax plan through Congress by the end of the year, and with that quick timeline comes a breakneck news cycle. The Senate tax overhaul plan underwent some big changes overnight, with GOP members in that house confident they could get the bill passed. But with a GOP senator now saying he opposes the bill and several others uncommitted, it could have a tougher time passing.

Two female lawmakers accused sitting members of Congress of sexual harassment but did not divulge their identities, at a House hearing Tuesday.

"This is about a member who is here now; I don't know who it is. But somebody who I trust told me the situation," said Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., a member of the House Administration Committee, which is conducting a review of existing policies to prevent and report sexual harassment.

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