TAX BILL House and Senate negotiators have reached final agreements on most elements of the tax bill. And it looks like the Child Tax Credit will get expanded again. Under the proposal, the child tax credit would be refundable against payroll taxes as well — a big boost for low-income workers who pay 15% of their income in payroll taxes, but pay little in income taxes. “Our plan expands the child tax credit for working families,” said President Trump yesterday. “You’ll hear the numbers very soon, but they’re even larger than anticipated.” The Senate plans to bring a final tax bill to the floor on Monday, and pass it on Tuesday. http://cvote.it/2Chugi2
ANOTHER JUDGE CONFIRMED Great news: The Senate confirmed Texas jurist Don Willett to the 5th Circuit Court in a 50-48. http://cvote.it/2CcIdxL
AL FRANKEN Sen. Al Franken, D-MN, hasn’t officially resigned from the Senate yet. In facft, he hasn’t picked a departure date at all. Nonetheless, Gov. Mark Dayton, D-MN, has announced that he will appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to Franken’s seat. Smith is a former VP of Planned Parenthood for Minnesota and South Dakota. http://cvote.it/2Cc39VE
FBI’s RUSSIAN PROBE Did you hear about this? An FBI agent called Trump an ‘idiot’ in a text to fellow special counsel investigator during the 2016 presidential campaign. http://cvote.it/2CehVLR
SHUTTING DOWN Planned Parenthood closed 32 facilities in 2017. The abortion giant now has 597 locations in the United States, compared to 700 facilities in 1973, and 938 at their peak in 1995. http://cvote.it/2Cc52lc
QUOTE OF THE DAY “Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen today said the tax package going through Congress is one of the factors that led Fed officials to increase their projections for GDP growth next year to 2.5 percent from 2.1 percent.” -Senator John Cornyn, R-TX.
HOLLYWEIRD Celebrities Mandy Moore and Colin Hanks to throw a Christmas-themed fundraiser for abortion giant Planned Parenthood. http://cvote.it/2CeUFxk
CULTURE Catholic movie reviewer Stephen Greydanus says the newest Star Wars movie brings “fresh story beats and new ideas.” http://cvote.it/2CdKPLZ
CHURCH TEACHING Pope Francis formally declared the Buenos Aires bishops’ interpretation of Amoris Laetitia “authentic magisterium.” Edward Pentin examines what this means. http://cvote.it/2CdsVca
WELL DONE, FAITHFUL SERVANT Father Andrew Apostoli, EWTN host and co-founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, died at age 75, after battling cancer for months. http://cvote.it/2Cdwuiv
Joshua Mercer is a co-founder of CatholicVote.org, where he serves as Political Director. Mercer is also regular contributor with Catholic Pulse. Mercer previously served as Washington Correspondent for the National Catholic Register and Chairman for Students for Life of America. He lives in Michigan with his wife and six children.