The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Parliamentarian Gives Bill the Byrd

Hours after the House passed a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax bill, the Senate parliamentarian found that provisions of the bill violated the chamber’s Byrd rule.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Today in 5 Lines

Hours after the House passed a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax bill, the Senate parliamentarian found that provisions of the bill violated the chamber’s Byrd rule. Tonight, the Senate is expected to make small changes to the bill, and House Republicans will vote again on the legislation Wednesday. Federal officials are investigating the cause of the Amtrak derailment that killed three people on Monday. Democrat candidate Shelly Simonds appeared to win the recount in the Virginia House race by only one vote. In response, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine tweeted, “EVERY. VOTE. MATTERS.”

Today on The Atlantic

  • What Twitter Hath Wrought: Here are some of the international incidents that were sparked by President Trump’s Twitter feed in the past year. (Krishnadev Calamur)

  • Conservatism Won’t Survive: David Frum argues that Republicans are distorting the definition of the ideology by defending Trump.

  • Blowing Up the Deficit: Here’s why passing such massive tax cuts might give Democrats leeway to increase taxes in the future. (Julian E. Zelizer)

Follow stories throughout the day with our Politics & Policy portal.


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks at a news conference about the Republican led tax reform bill at the U.S. Capitol. Aaron P. Bernstein / Reuters

What We’re Reading

Unworkable: “For anybody who believes in a properly functioning government, a rational, clearly defined tax system is essential,” writes John Cassidy. But the Republican tax plan fails to meet this standard. (The New Yorker)

On Second Thought: President Trump reportedly discussed rescinding Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court after the judge criticized Trump’s attacks on the judiciary. (Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey, and Robert Barnes, The Washington Post)

Why Attack Mueller?: Trump’s allies aren’t trying to get the special counsel fired. They’re trying to give the president political cover. (Darren Samuelsohn, Politico)

Not So Much: Last week, The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from using certain words, like “fetus” and “transgender.” That’s not really true. (Yuval Levin, National Review)

The Southern Strategy: Democratic victories in Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina, and Louisiana have highlighted a new path forward for Democrats in 2018. (Ronald Brownstein, CNN)


The Ayes Have It: These are the 12 Republicans who voted against the GOP tax bill. (The New York Times)

A Year in Pictures: Check out this collection of the 42 most memorable photos of 2017. (Alan Taylor, The Atlantic)

Question of the Week

Twitter has changed its rules to protect against “hateful conduct,” but as Robinson Meyer writes, there could be two loopholes in its policy that might help President Trump: The rules won’t apply to government entities—or if “the behavior is newsworthy and in the legitimate public interest.”

This week, we want to know: Do you think the government should be exempt from Twitter’s new conduct rules?

Share your response here, and we’ll feature a few in Friday’s Politics & Policy Daily.

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)

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