AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
President Donald Trump promised tax cuts Friday "which will be the biggest in the history of our country!" following Senate passage of a $4 trillion budget that lays the groundwork for Republicans' promised tax legislation.
Republicans hope to push the first tax overhaul in three decades through Congress by year's end, an ambitious goal that would fulfill multiple campaign promises but could run aground over any number of disputes. Failure could cost the GOP dearly in next year's midterm elections.
The budget plan, which passed on a near party-line vote late Thursday, includes rules that will allow Republicans to get tax legislation through the Senate without Democratic votes and without fear of a Democratic filibuster. Nonetheless, the GOP's narrow 52-48 majority in the Senate will be difficult for leadership to navigate, as illustrated by the Republicans' multiple failures to pass legislation repealing and replacing "Obamacare."
Electrical linemen descend from helicopters, balancing on steel girders 90 feet high on transmission towers in the mountains of central Puerto Rico, far from any road. At the same time, crews fan out across the battered island, erecting light poles and power lines in a block by block slog.
A month after Hurricane Maria rolled across the center of Puerto Rico, the power is still out for the vast majority of people on the island as the work to restore hundreds of miles of transmission lines and thousands of miles of distribution lines grinds on for crews toiling under a blazing tropical sun.
And it won't get done soon without more workers, more equipment and more money, according to everyone involved in the effort
Everything his grandpa does, 5-year-old Colton wants to do. Even if it means wearing Crocs with socks.
"If grandpa wears his Crocs with socks, Colton has to wear his Crocs with socks," Pennie Krietemeier, 53, told NBC News. "I have to walk behind them because it's so embarrassing."
Her grandson's idolization of his grandfather Randy, 53, is one of the sweet spots in a childhood that has otherwise been marked by chaos.
Get More at NBC News
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Republicans must now shift their focus to enacting President Donald Trump's sweeping tax plan, a far heavier lift than the $4 trillion budget plan they've muscled through the Senate to lay the groundwork for the first tax overhaul in three decades.
The GOP on Thursday narrowly backed the budget plan, a prerequisite to major tax legislation. The Senate methodically worked through a pack of amendments, with Republicans rebuffing Democrats' successive attempts to reshape the blueprint and derail the tax cuts in the Senate. The final vote was 51-49 with deficit hawk Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky the lone opposing GOP vote.
Republicans will have a far harder time approving a complex plan to bring steep tax cuts, especially for corporations, and overhaul the nation's tax system, which has sharply divided House Republicans on regional fault lines.
Jason Meritt/Getty Images
"Friday" singer Rebecca Black wrote an essay for NBC News’ THINK opinion section discussing the online bullying she faced after rocketing to fame at age 13:
I was skipping my way through the minefield of early adolescence, experiencing the same low-grade bullying that most kids do, when I recorded a music video during a school break, just to help me gain some experience and have some fun. When “Friday” went up on the internet, it went crazy — and the onslaught of negative attention I receive was so sudden and so intense that I wasn’t sure I would survive.
One minute, I was a normal girl and then, in the next, millions of people know who I was and they were ruthless in hurling the most vile words my way. People were writing things all over the internet, on social media and they were laughing at me on TV shows, and making fun of me in YouTube videos. It was open season and I was the target. The fact that there was a human, a person — a 13-year-old girl — on the other side of the screen seemingly escaped so many people’s attention. Get More at NBC News
For people on vacation, being watched on hidden cameras in your room should be the furthest thing on their mind, but police are warning people to be on the lookout after an alarming case last month was revealed, TODAY reports.
Last week, an Indiana couple found a hidden camera and microphone in a smoke detector pointed toward their bed at their Airnbnb rental in Longboat Key, Florida. Wayne Natt, the homeowner, was arrested and charged with video voyeurism.
Get More at Today.com
A U.S.-backed Syrian force declared victory over the Islamic State group in its former "capital" of Raqqa on Friday, declaring the northern Syrian city free of any extremist presence.
At a press conference held inside the city Friday, the Kurdish-led force known as the Syrian Democratic Forces formally handed over administration of the devastated northern city to a council made up of local officials and tribal leaders.
In a highly symbolic move, the press conference was held inside the city's sports stadium which Islamic State militants had turned into an arms depot and a huge prison where they incarcerated and tortured their opponents.
FEMA announced Thursday the North Bay Fires rank 4th on their list of disasters in terms of the amount of destruction and the number of lives taken in a single incident. The urban wildfires have killed at least 42 people and more than 50 remain on the Sonoma County Sheriff’s missing persons list.
Melania Trump donated her inaugural ball gown Friday to the Smithsonian's First Ladies Collection, as previous first ladies have done.
The first lady's vanilla silk, off-the-shoulder gown was presented to the museum during a ceremony Friday in Washington. The gown also featured a slit skirt, ruffled accent trim from the neckline to the hem and a claret ribbon around the waist. Mrs. Trump worked with designer Herve Pierre on the gown.
School officials say there will be no more Civil War-related student dress-up activities at a Georgia elementary school after its "Civil War Day" sparked conflict among students, parents and others.
Big Shanty Elementary School last month invited fifth-graders to dress up as characters from the war.
CIA via AP
Just a few weeks into her training, the doe-eyed black Labrador with flappy ears just wasn't interested in detecting explosive odors anymore, the agency said in a series Twitter posts, many of which got thousands of retweets or likes.
Even food and play couldn't motivate her. Lulu sought a different future.
She found one with a loving handler, who adopted her.
Now, instead of spending days finding blast materials and terrorist devices, the CIA says Lulu plays with kids and sniffs out rabbits and squirrels in the yard.
"She was clearly not enjoying herself any longer," the CIA said of its erstwhile detector dog.
A sketch of the Empire State Building drawn by President Donald Trump has sold at auction for $16,000.
Julien's Auctions says the 12-inch-by-9-inch black marker depiction of the iconic New York City skyscraper was created by Trump for a charity auction in Florida during the time he opened his Mar-a-Lago estate as a private club in 1995.
Julien's says the piece signed by Trump went for less than $100 the first time it was sold. It was estimated to go for $8,000 to $12,000 at the auction that took place in Los Angeles and online Thursday.
Richardson Police/NBC 5
The Indian Embassy says they are monitoring developments in the Sherin Mathews missing child's case in Richardson, Texas.
"We are closely monitoring Sherin Mathews case. We have established the contact with the community and authorities," a spokesperson for Indian Embassy in Houston, said in a written statement.
The minister of External Affairs for Government of India, Sushma Swaraj, said in a tweet Thursday, "We are deeply concerned about the missing child. Indian Embassy in U.S. is actively involved and they keep me informed."
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
He started by describing the reverent handling of America's war dead, bodies packed in ice and shipped home in the dark to Dover Air Force Base.
From that opening, White House chief of staff John Kelly delivered a raw and searing monologue Thursday about the reality and pain of war sacrifice, praising those who serve and summoning the 2010 death of his own son to defend President Donald Trump against accusations of insensitive outreach to a grieving military family.
In an unannounced appearance at the White House, Kelly, a retired three-star general whose son was killed while serving in Afghanistan, dressed down the Democratic congresswoman who had criticized Trump for comments she said he had made in a condolence call to the pregnant widow of a Green Beret killed in Niger.
AP/Farah Abdi Warsameh
Thousands of anguished Somalis gathered to pray Friday at the site of the country's deadliest attack, while the toll rose to 358 and dozens remained missing. Somalia's president will announce a "state of war" against the al-Shabab extremist group blamed for the bombing, the prime minister said.
The United States is expected to play a supporting role in the new offensive that President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is expected to announce on Saturday, a Somali military official told The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.