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December 6, 2018

12-6-2018 Political Nuggets….

Washington Brief

  • Top senators are set to meet today in an effort to cut a deal on a bipartisan package that would reduce American involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, suspend arms sales with the Saudis and rebuke Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the alleged killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. A number of senators, including Trump ally Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), introduced a resolution yesterday that would criticize the crown prince for a number of actions, including the Khashoggi killing, and could be added to the broader package that could see floor action as soon as Monday. ( CNN)
  • Lobbyists representing Saudi Arabia paid for an estimated 500 nights in three months at President Donald Trump’s Washington hotel within a month of his 2016 election, at a cost of more than $270,000, according to trip organizers and documents. The rooms were used to house veterans who were sent to Capitol Hill to lobby against a law the Saudis opposed, but some of the veterans said they were not aware of the Saudis’ role in the trips. (The Washington Post)
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said the United States has provided “no evidence” that his country violated a Cold War-era arms treaty, and threatened to develop new missiles currently banned under the pact if the Trump administration leaves the agreement and begins developing its own new medium-range missiles. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused Russia of a “material breach” of the 1987 accord and issued a 60-day ultimatum for Russia to correct its course. (The Guardian)
  • Congress sent legislation to President Donald Trump that would fund the government through Dec. 21 and he’s expected to sign it, averting a partial shutdown on Saturday. As lawmakers negotiate a longer-term spending deal, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she would oppose funding for Trump’s proposed border wall – even if he offered a solution to shield young “Dreamers” from deportation. (Politico)
  • William Barr, who served as President George H.W. Bush’s attorney general from 1991 to 1993, is Trump’s leading choice to serve in the same role in this administration, sources said, though a final decision has not been made. Even if Barr is nominated soon, it could take months for the Senate, given its schedule, to confirm him as Jeff Sessions’ replacement. (The Washington Post)
  • Amid allegations of fraud, North Carolina Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse said the party would not oppose a new election in the state’s 9th District if the state elections board says “there was a substantial likelihood that the race could have been altered.” Uncertified returns in the open-seat race show Republican Mark Harris with a 905-vote lead over Democrat Dan McCready, though the validity of the margin is in question following witness reports of absentee ballots being collected directly from voters. ( The New York Times)

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