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Rep. Joe Barton
Rep. Joe Barton (Associated Press)

Texas Rep. Joe Barton is apologizing after a nude photo of him circulated on social media. 

Barton released a statement Wednesday to the Texas Tribune acknowledging that while separated from his second wife, prior to their divorce, he had sexual relationships “with other mature adult women.” 

The 68-year-old Republican from Ennis says each relationship was consensual and since has ended. He says, “I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down.” 

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  • Congress
  • Taxes
  • Budget
The House passed the Republican tax bill last week on Capitol Hill. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
The House passed the Republican tax bill last week on Capitol Hill. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

The Senate Republican tax bill might have a so-called Byrd rule problem by adding to the federal deficit after 10 years, according to a report released Wednesday.

Forecasters at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania agreed that during the first decade, the tax plan stays within the $1.5 trillion in additional deficit spending allowed by Senate budget rules.

But by 2028, they said, the model shows $29 billion in additional deficit, and red ink continues for several more years. Eventually, the model shows revenues from expiring tax cuts and growth making up for the shortfall.

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LaVar Ball, father of the Lakers' Lonzo Ball and UCLA player LiAngelo Ball, watches a Lakers game in Vegas in July.
LaVar Ball, father of the Lakers' Lonzo Ball and UCLA player LiAngelo Ball, watches a Lakers game in Vegas in July. (John Locher / Associated Press)

In a way, it’s the matchup sports fans have been waiting for.

In one corner: famous sports dad LaVar Ball, who has risen to notoriety by being the father of the NBA Lakers' Lonzo Ball, UCLA player LiAngelo Ball and high schooler LaMelo Ball.

In the other corner: the president of the United States, Donald Trump (who also has famous kids, but that’s for another story).

A photo of accused terrorist Sayfullo Saipov is displayed at a news conference after his arrest.
A photo of accused terrorist Sayfullo Saipov is displayed at a news conference after his arrest. (Craig Ruttle / Associated Press)

The man accused of driving a van onto a crowded Manhattan sidewalk in an attack inspired by Islamic State, killing eight people and injuring 12 others, will face murder and terrorism charges in federal court in New York.

Immediately after the attacks, President Trump said he would consider detaining Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov at the prison camp on the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but later backed off and said it would be better to allow him to face justice in New York, where prosecutors have become practiced at terrorism trials.

A grand jury in New York on Tuesday indicted Saipov, 29, on eight counts of murder and 12 counts of attempted murder in the Oct. 31 attack. He also faces charges of providing support to a terrorist group and causing death with a vehicle.

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President Trump backed Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, avowing his support for the first time since Moore was accused of making advances against teenage girls years ago and molesting at least two.

“He totally denies it. He says it didn’t happen,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House to spend Thanksgiving at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. “I do have to say, 40 years is a long time.”

Trump also criticized Moore’s Democratic rival, Doug Jones, in the special election Dec. 12 to fill the seat held by Jeff Sessions before he became Trump’s attorney general.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) speaks in Los Angeles. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) speaks in Los Angeles. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The House Ethics Committee said Tuesday it has opened an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.).

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) other and top Democrats had called for the probe.

“As members of Congress, we each have a responsibility to uphold the integrity of the House of Representatives and to ensure a climate of dignity and respect, with zero tolerance for harassment, discrimination, bullying or abuse,” Pelosi said. “As I have said before, any credible allegation of sexual harassment must be investigated by the Ethics Committee.”

(AFP / Getty Images)

The Trump administration Tuesday slapped new sanctions on companies and transport systems that support North Korea as part of a campaign aimed at punishing the country for its nuclear program.

A day after President Trump reinstated Pyongyang to the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, the administration sanctioned one person, 13 companies and 20 vessels for their “long-standing commercial ties to North Korea” or as “transportation networks that facilitate North Korea’s revenue generation and operations.”

Most of the vessels were cargo ships with North Korean flags. One of the companies, the South-South Cooperation Corporation, supplied workers to China, Russia, Cambodia and Poland. The United States has called on countries the world over to stop hiring North Korean workers, whose salaries mostly go to their government.

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Paul Manafort, left, leaves the federal courthouse in Washington last month.
Paul Manafort, left, leaves the federal courthouse in Washington last month. (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

Paul Manafort and Richard Gates, two of President Trump’s former campaign aides who are under indictment in the special counsel investigation, will be able to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, a federal judge decided Tuesday. 

The two men have been under house arrest since last month, when they were arrested on charges of conspiracy, money laundering and fraud.

Manafort served as Trump’s campaign manager, and Gates was his deputy. They’ve pleaded not guilty to the charges. Prosecutors said after their arrests that with their extensive connections overseas, the men might be flight risks.

From left, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, talk about the Senate's tax bill at the Capitol. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)
From left, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, talk about the Senate's tax bill at the Capitol. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Almost one in 10 taxpayers would initially see a tax hike under the revised Senate Republican tax plan, and the proposal would add as much as $2.4 trillion in long-term debt, according to two new analyses raising fresh concerns ahead of next week’s expected Senate vote.

The Tax Policy Center said that while taxes on average would be reduced across all income groups under the plan, 9% of taxpayers would pay more in 2019 and half would pay more by 2027, as the tax cuts for individuals expire. Lower-income households would initially see average tax cuts of $50 a year, about 0.3% of after-tax income, while upper-income households would see cuts of more than $12,000, or 3.5% of after-tax income.

At the same time, a Penn Wharton budget model released Tuesday said revenues would fall between $1.3 trillion and $1.5 trillion by 2027, on par with other outside analyses, but in the next decade, revenues would fall between $1.1 trillion and $2.1 trillion, increasing the federal debt by $1.7 trillion to $2.4 trillion by 2040.