Thirteen House Republicans bucked their party on the tax reform vote on Thursday: Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48), Darrell Issa (CA-49), Leonard Lance (NJ-07), Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11), Lee Zeldin (NY-01), Peter King (NY-02), Dan Donovan (NY-11), John Faso (NY-19), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02), Chris Smith (NJ-04), Tom McClintock (CA-04), and Walter Jones (NC-03). (GovTrack) Most hail from California, New Jersey and New York, the states that benefit most from the SALT deduction scrapped in the new plan.
CLF Executive Director Corry Bliss “said in an interview that Republicans who vote against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Thursday should not assume they would have the group’s support going into a grueling midterm election year. ‘CLF will never spend a dollar attacking a Republican,’” Bliss said. “’But CLF is going to raise and spend $100 million to protect the Republican majority. CLF, like any organization, will allocate resources to friends and family first.’” (Washington Post)
RATINGS CHANGE. The Cook Political Report changed ratings in seven House districts on Friday. From House editor Dave Wasserman: “If it wasn’t already clear, last Tuesday’s election results confirmed a political atmosphere that would seriously endanger the House GOP’s majority in 2018. In Virginia, turnout was up 20 percent over 2013 in localities won by Hillary Clinton, compared to 13 percent in localities carried by President Trump.”
FL-26 moved from “Lean Republican” to “Toss Up”
IL-06 moved from “Lean Republican to “Toss Up”
MN-08 moved from “Lean Democratic” to “Toss Up”
NJ-11 moved from “Lean Republican” to “Toss Up”
TX-07 moved from “Lean Republican” to “Toss Up”
UT-04 moved from “Likely Republican” to “Lean Republican”
WI-06 moved from “Solid Republican” to “Likely Republican”
And Wasserman reports that ahead of Sunday’s PA-18 special nomination conventions that party insiders said “top contenders include former federal prosecutor Conor Lamb, a 33-year old Marine veteran whose uncle is Pittsburgh’s city controller, and Westmoreland County Commissioner Gina Cerilli, a pro-life, pro-gun Democrat who was Miss Pennsylvania in 2010. Either profile could potentially give Democrats a favorable contrast against Saccone, who is 59.” (Cook Political Report)
FRANKEN. The NRCC “has called on eight Democrats running for House seats around the country to return campaign donations that they received from Sen. Al Franken” (D-MN) after Franken was accused of sexual harassment. The candidates, to whom Franken has given $1,500 each, include state Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D), running in NY-22; ironworker Randy Bryce (D) in WI-01; state Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D) in IA-01; Air Force veteran Chrissy Houlahan (D) in PA-06; Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-NV 04); former Navy helicopter pilot Mikie Sherrill (D), NJ-11; former Defense Department official Elissa Slotkin (D) in MI-08; and Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN 04), to whom Franken gave $5,000. (Axios)Bryce has already announced he will give Franken’s donation to him to local Wisconsin charities, and Finkenauer is also not keeping her donation, but did not indicate what she would do with it. (AP/Des Moines Register) Meanwhile, 2016 nominee Angie Craig (D), running in Minnesota’s 2nd District, has announced that she will “donate $15,000 in campaign contributions from Franken to a charitable organization.” (AP)
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"North Korea is moving ahead with its ballistic missile program at 16 hidden bases ... identified in new commercial satellite images." The images suggest that North Korea has "offered to dismantle a major launching site — a step it began, then halted — while continuing to make improvements at more than a dozen others that would bolster launches of conventional and nuclear warheads."
"When the Democrats take control of the House in January and gain subpoena power, they plan to probe the president's role in payments to two women who alleged during the 2016 campaign that they had affairs with" the president. "Democratic members on the committee have already begun digging into the president's involvement, according to [an] aide. In September, the committee requested documents from the Trump organization."
Damon Nelson, the staff director for the House Intelligence Committee, died unexpectedly after a brief illness, according to a statement from Chairman Devin Nunes. Nelson and Nunes first met in high school, and Nelson worked for the congressmen since his freshmen term 15 years ago. He started "as his legislative director in 2003 before becoming his deputy chief of staff. When Nunes became chairman of the Intelligence Committee in 2015, Nelson went to work for him there, becoming staff director a year later."