Roundup Of The Week: Taxes, Sexual Harassment And Russia In The Politics Podcast

November 18, 2017

It was an unusually busy week on Capitol Hill.

The House passed the tax bill, largely along party lines. Now it’s on to the Senate, where Republicans are tacking on a rollback of the Obamacare individual mandate.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before Congress — again — and says his story about Russia contacts during the Trump campaign “has never changed.”

Another committee held hearings on the issue of sexual harassment on the Hill. That hearing was planned even before the new allegations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for Senate in Alabama, and now against Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.

Listen to the full roundup on the NPR Politics podcast.

Here are the highlights

Susan Davis on taxes: “Getting the first version of the bill through the Senate is seen as the most critical hurdle. Because there is broad confidence that if they can do that, they can get a bill out of conference, and they can get that bill to president Trump’s desk — yes, still by the end of the year.”

Mara Liasson on Franken allegations: “[Franken] is really throwing himself on the mercy of the ethics committee here, in the way that you haven’t seen other men accused of this same kind of thing do.”

Scott Detrow on the mistrial in the corruption trial of Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.: “There was this general consensus that if a politician is on trial they’re probably going to be found guilty because jurors are very sympathetic to the idea of a corrupt politician. But there’s been a lot of court rulings in recent years that have increasingly narrowed what is defined as corruption. And now you have cases where juries just can’t reach a verdict, or come back saying not guilty. It’s an interesting shift.”

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Samantha Fields is the producer of the NPR Politics Podcast.

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