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Republicans call their tax bill the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. But critics say maybe it should have been named the Tax Cut and Robots Act.

That's because it doesn't create new tax incentives that specifically encourage companies to hire workers and create jobs, some employers and economists say. But it does expand incentives for companies to buy robots and machines that replace workers.

Republicans say that lowering taxes will boost the economy and spur job creation. But critics say that the tax legislation would create an imbalance favoring machines over workers.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Following all this is NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis. And she's with us from Capitol Hill. Hey.

SUSAN DAVIS, BYLINE: Hey, Kelly.

MCEVERS: So this has been a pretty remarkable week.

DAVIS: Yeah.

Party leaders played a pivotal role in forcing the resignations of three members of Congress within three days this week, and their work might not be done yet.

White House deputy national security adviser Dina Powell will resign from her position early next year, the first of what could be several departures expected around the one-year anniversary of President Trump's swearing-in.

Powell has been deeply involved in the Trump administration's Middle East policy and has accompanied him on his trips overseas, sitting in on meetings with world leaders and offering counsel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement Friday that the U.S. is no longer qualified to sponsor a peace process between Israelis and Palestinians because of President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Friday News Roundup - International

Dec 8, 2017

Fulfilling a campaign promise, President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital this week. The move sparked riots and protests.

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Dec 8, 2017

With apologies to Sesame Street, the number of the week is … two.

One of the world's most famous — and flashy — billionaires is being detained by the Saudi government in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was swept up in early November, along with more than 200 other Saudi businessmen and princes, in a massive anti-corruption campaign spearheaded by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Many analysts saw it as a power grab by the young prince.

Wealthy Americans may get a new conduit for political money in the tax overhaul bill now being reconciled on Capitol Hill.

A small provision in the House version of the bill would let big donors secretly give unlimited amounts to independent political groups — and write off the contributions as charitable gifts.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The Future Of Franken's Seat

Dec 8, 2017

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And let's listen to just a few of Senator Al Franken's parting words yesterday. Franken resigned after several women accused him of unwanted sexual contact. And in a speech on the Senate floor, he said politics isn't easy and there are no guarantees.

For some Alabama voters, supporting abortion rights may be a sin worse than some of the sexual misdeeds Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore has been accused of — allegations Moore has denied.

That's the conundrum facing the state's conservative, deeply religious electorate: Embrace Democrat Doug Jones despite his liberal stance on abortion and other social issues or vote for Moore anyway even if they believe there is some truth to the sexual assault allegations against him.

Update on Dec. 8, 2017: Franks now says he will resign as of Friday, rather than at the end of January, as previously announced.

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., is the third member of Congress to announce his resignation this week, saying that he had discussed surrogacy with two female subordinates.

The delivery of federal food benefits for millions of low-income people is likely to change after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday it'll allow states more flexibility in how they dole out the money.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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President Trump today welcomed Congress's top Democrats and Republicans to the White House. They are trying to work out a deal to keep the government open.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Now we're going to talk to Katie Packer Beeson. She was Mitt Romney's deputy campaign manager, and she has written a lot about the allegations against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. She's with us from Colorado. Thanks for coming on the show.

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Updated at 6:17 p.m. ET

Congress has voted to avert a partial government shutdown that could have come Friday night.

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Updated at 5:12 p.m. ET

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., deciding to resign from the Senate on Thursday amid allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct now sets off a chain of events that could give Republicans an unexpected target in 2018.

Here's a look at how it would all play out:

What would happen right away?

Updated at 6:26 p.m. ET

FBI Director Christopher Wray defended his agency on Capitol Hill Thursday, speaking publicly for the first time since President Trump denigrated the agency last weekend. The questioning from lawmakers and the responses the new FBI director gave are a harbinger of likely issues to be raised again as the Justice Department's Russia probe appears to be intensifying after the recent plea deal of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

What The White House Wants In Tax Overhaul

Dec 7, 2017

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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