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Ryan: If needed, Congress will stay through Christmas to pass tax reform

House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks at his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

House Speaker Paul Ryan reaffirmed his threat Thursday to keep Congress in session through Christmas if they don't meet their tax reform deadlines:

"Half this country is living paycheck to paycheck and if it means we've got to stay here 'til Christmas to give them the relief they need and deserve, then tough we will do that."

More from Ryan:

  • Ryan is traveling to PR tomorrow with a bipartisan delegation to assess the damage from Hurricane Maria. "We're in the midst of a humanitarian crisis."
  • On Trump's morning tweets slamming PR's financial crisis: Ryan said he's been busy this morning and hasn't looked at Trump's Twitter feed, but stated "This is an area where the federal government has a responsibility... We need to make sure Puerto Rico can stand on its own two feet."
  • Iran deal: "I think we need a comprehensive strategy on Iran, and we don't have one. I think this deal was a bad deal — it allows them to get nuclear weapons... I think we're due for a comprehensive strategy, and I think that's what the administration is working on and getting set to announce."
  • On nomination of Kirstjen Nielsen as DHS Sec: "She brings a proven track record in response and in emergency management. She's also widely respected for her expertise in cyber security."
  • On Trump threatening NBC's media license: "I'm for the first amendment and I'm a Constitutional conservative and I'm just gonna leave it at that."
Steve LeVine 2 hours ago
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Self-driving lab head urges freeze after "nightmare" fatality

Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh. Photo: Jeff Swensen / Getty

Carmakers and technology companies should freeze their race to field autonomous vehicles because "clearly the technology is not where it needs to be," said Raj Rajkumar, head of Carnegie Mellon University's leading self-driving laboratory.

What he said: Speaking a few hours after a self-driven vehicle ran over and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, Rajkumar said, "This isn't like a bug with your phone. People can get killed. Companies need to take a deep breath. The technology is not there yet. We need to keep people in the loop."

Khorri Atkinson 2 mins ago
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SCOTUS moves to keep new Pennsylvania congressional map

The new Pennsylvania congressional map

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a request from Pennsylvania Republicans that challenged the implementation of a court-drawn congressional map. The latest map is expected to make elections more competitive and put several Republican-held seats in play for Democrats. Republicans currently hold 13 out of the 18 total seats.

The backdrop: The decision comes just hours after a panel of federal judges in Pennsylvania dismissed a similar challenge, saying that Republican lawmakers who brought the suit had no legal standing. In both cases, Republicans argued that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overstepped its authority when issuing a new congressional map last month. The new map has no legal challenges as it stands because the decisions fall on the eve of congressional candidates' petition filing deadline for the midterm elections.