Monday, Dec. 18

á      Bloomberg reported that lawmakers working to reconcile House and Senate versions of the Republican tax bill added a provision late in the process that would provide a multimillion-dollar windfall to real estate investors such as President Donald Trump as well as Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who voted against an earlier version of the legislation.

á      The Washington Post reported that advisers who have spoken recently with Trump about the Russia investigation said the president is critical of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who oversees Special Counsel Robert MuellerŐs investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. But Trump did not broach the idea of firing Mueller, the said.

á      Alex Kozinski, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit facing a judicial investigation over allegations that he subjected women to inappropriate sexual behavior, announced that he would retire effective immediately.

á      A new Monmouth poll said 47% of Americans disapprove of the Republican tax plan, while only 26% approve.

á      Facing mounting evidence that Puerto Rico has vastly undercounted the number of people who died because of Hurricane Maria, Gov. Ricardo A. Rossell— ordered that every death on the island since the storm be reviewed. The New York Times estimated the deaths at 1,000, far beyond the official number of 64.

á      The White House confirmed that Matthew Petersen, a Trump nominee to the federal judiciary, withdrew from consideration after a video clip showed him unable to answer basic questions about legal procedure.

Tuesday, Dec. 19

á      The top congressional committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has requested documents from the Green Party and its nominee, Jill Stein, in part because RT News, the Russian state-funded media company, had booked Stein for several appearances.

á      Politico reported that the office that processes workplace misconduct complaints on Capitol Hill declined Sen. Tim KaineŐs request for data on sexual harassment claims filed in the Senate, data Kaine said he would make public.

Wednesday, Dec. 20

á      The Senate passed the Republican tax overhaul bill in the wee hours, followed by a House vote to send the measure to Trump for his signature. No Democrats in either house voted for the bill.

á      House Democrats chose New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler as their next leader on the Judiciary Committee, the panel that would potentially initiate impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump if Democrats win back the House. Nadler beat California Rep. Zoe Lofgren for the position.

Thursday, Dec. 21

á      A new Politico/Morning Consult poll shows Democrats with a double-digit lead on the generic ballot, a test of whether voters nationwide prefer to be represented in Congress by a Democrat or a Republican, with 44 percent preferring a Democrat to 34 percent favoring the GOP.

á      Politico reported that a subset of the Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee, led by Chairman Devin Nunes of California, has gathered for weeks to build a case that senior leaders of the Justice Department and FBI improperly mishandled the contents of a dossier that described alleged ties between Trump and Russia.

á      NBC news reported that, on orders from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Justice Department prosecutors have been asking FBI agents to explain evidence they found in a now dormant criminal investigation into a controversial uranium deal that critics linked to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

á      The U.N. General Assembly on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a measure rejecting the Trump administrationŐs recognition of Jerusalem as IsraelŐs capital. Despite U.S. threats to cut aid to countries that backed the resolution, 128 countries voted in favor of the measure. Only nine countries, including the United States and Israel, voted against it.

á      Congress passed a stopgap spending bill Thursday, averting a partial government shutdown at midnight Friday but pushing into January showdowns on spending, immigration, health care and national security.

á      Alexei Wood, a journalist arrested while covering a protest of TrumpŐs inauguration, was found not guilty at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on Thursday of all seven counts against him, including conspiracy to riot and several counts of destruction of property. Wood had faced up to 61 years in prison.

Friday, Dec. 22

á      Reuters reported that the U.S. State Department has told refugee agencies it will sharply pare back the number of offices across the country authorized to resettle people in 2018 as Trump cuts the number of refugees allowed into the United States.

á      The New York Times reported that more than 700 people have left the EPA since Trump took office.

Saturday, Dec. 23

á      The Washington Post reported that Andrew McCabe, the FBIŐs deputy director who has been the target of Republican critics for more than a year, plans to retire in a few months when he becomes fully eligible for pension benefits.

á      Judge James Robart issued a nationwide preliminary injunction Saturday afternoon that prevents the administration from halting or diverting resources from refugee applications brought on behalf of family members of immigrants already in the U.S.

Sunday, Dec. 24

á      Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican who has been critical of Trump, told ABCŐs ŇThis WeekÓ that he believes Trump, if he runs for re-election, is inviting an independent challenger and perhaps a Republican challenger. Flake did not rule out that he might run against Trump in 2020.