Good morning! Here are the top four stories to start your day:
1: Judge Rules Manafort Violated Plea Deal
A federal judge has rule that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort violated his plea agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller by lying about his contacts with Russians.
The judge overseeing Manafort’s case in Washington, D.C. ,Judge Amy Berman Jackson, ruled that Manfort intentionally lied about his contacts with Russian businessman Konstantin Kilimnik and misled investigations regarding a separate Justice Department investigation.
Jackson ruled that Mueller’s team did not provide enough evidence that Manafort’s lies would rise to the level of witness tampering.
Manafort’s lawyers released a Statement on Wednesday saying their client did not lie to Mueller’s team.
2: House Passes Bill Ending U.S. Support For Saudi War In Yemen
The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that would end U.S. support for the Saudi Arabia-led war in Yemen.
The measure passed the House mostly along a party-line 248-177 vote and will go to the Senate where it is expected to pass, leading to a potential veto from President Trump.
The bill would require President Trump to withdraw any Troops in or “affecting” Yemen within 30 days unless they are fighting terrorist forces. The United States has been involved in intelligence sharing and arms sales with Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Previously, U.S. forces were engaging in mid-air refueling operations, but the administration stop those operations in November.
The passage of this bill comes as Congress remains furious with Saudi Arabia over Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
3: House Republicans Force Vote Condemning Anti-Semitism
Republicans in the House of Representatives forced a vote on an amendment condemning anti-semitism on Wednesday, taking Democratic Congressional leaders by surprises.
Republicans used a procedural tactic, a motion to recommit, to force a vote on their amendment after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) condemned Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Mn.) anti-semitic tweet earlier this week.
After some discussion by Democrats, the measure was put to a vote and every Democrat voted for it. Wednesday’s vote was the first time since 2010 that a motion to recommit succeeded.
4: Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Fund Government
Lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a spending bill on Wednesday to fund the government, averting another government shutdown.
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) introduced the 1,159 page bill which includes $1.375 billion for physical barriers on the southern border. Lowey said the bill will “responsibly fund our government”:
“We cannot repeat the disastrous government shutdown, so it is incumbent on Congress to come together to responsibly fund our government. This legislation represents a bipartisan compromise and will keep our government open while funding key priorities.”
The Senate is expected to vote on and pass the bill first and the House is expected to pass it. President Trump is expected to sign the bill although he has not explicitly said that he will.