The Beltway Beat

— Congressman Ralph Abraham went duck hunting with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue this past weekend, in a couple of different blinds in Morehouse and Richland. (See photo above.)

— This morning’s POLITICO PLAYBOOK: “Ben Howard, part of the White House leg affairs team, is coming back to the Capitol to work as House Majority Whip Steve Scalise's (R-La.) floor director.” Scalise: "Members trust him, and I am honored to welcome him to the Whip Team."

— Congressman Mike Johnson on the U.S. Supreme Court’s backing Trump’s travel ban: “Carefully vetting any person entering our country from areas known to be terrorist strongholds is not a controversy, it is common-sense."

Abraham on Twitter: “Activist judges might sometimes win the battle, but this ruling by SCOTUS to allow full enforcement of the travel ban shows the Constitution still wins the war...I support this ruling.”

 Congressman Cedric Richmond congratulated New Orleans Mayor-Elect Latoya Cantrell on the House floor. WATCH

— U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy retweeted an “interesting” column today on why the U.S.-Yemen policy needs to be “forced out into the sunlight.”

— Cassidy met with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in Louisiana so Zinke could “learn more about the importance of our coastline to U.S. energy dominance.” PHOTO

Cassidy via press release: “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes nearly $100 million for continuing coastal restoration. Secretary Zinke is very aware of the need to work as a team, speed up permitting and shorten the process by which restoration projects can be completed.”

— Check out what Zinke’s field trip looked like through his Twitter. You can also read the Advocate’s story on what brought him down here.

— Congressman Garret Graves has words with Zinke at the end of this video

— Johnson on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act“The constitutional right to keep and bear arms should not be confined by state lines.”

— Cassidy on the Caring for Our Veterans Act: “Louisiana veterans deserve quality care without having to wait.”

— Johnson on Twitter: “I spoke with @rollcall on the importance of bringing #civility back to the Congress. Many of my colleagues are joining them today to do the same!”

— Cassidy met some touring high school students from New Orleans and Galliano on the Capitol steps.

— Johnson on sexual harassment: “Using taxpayer dollars to hide such claims does nothing but protect the wrongdoer. It is shameful, and it must be stopped.”

 Scalise on sexual harassment: “It's important that we take every step we can to ensure those who work here know their rights and have clear boundaries which make it known that inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated.”

— Johnson via press release: “The jury verdict in the Kate Steinle murder case is an outrage. The illegal immigrant and career criminal who slayed her deserved the full weight of justice, but unfortunately, he has been acquitted...San Francisco, and any other city that endangers law-abiding citizens by refusing to enforce our immigration laws, should not receive another penny of federal funding.”

— Congressman Clay Higgins on the verdict: "As a nation, we must enforce the law and crackdown on the sanctuary cities that harbor these criminals...That’s why I’m battling in Congress to support frontline defenders with the manpower and resources needed to fortify our southern border.”

— Graves: T&I passed a sweeping FEMA reform bill that, according to the chair, contained “half the en bloc amendments” written by Graves. That includes a proposed fix to that duplication of benefits nightmare. (Watch the 3:40 mark here.) The bill will be voted on in the full House this month.

— Graves PR: “Congressman Garret Graves (R-South Louisiana) recently introduced legislation to keep Army Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl from being awarded any back pay or allowances from the United States Army.  Last month, Bergdahl pled guilty to desertion and misbehavior rather than face trial for leaving his post while deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. He will not serve any jail time, and the Army is currently reviewing the issue of awarding Bergdahl back pay.”

— CassidyVideo remarks on LNG access

TAX REFORM FLUSH

— Here’s Scalise on Fox, projecting the plan between now and then.

— And here’s Scalise talking tax reform at a press conference, on Fox & Friends and on Fox Business, calling it a “great Christmas present” to families.

— Kennedy via press release: “This bill is about three things: tax cuts, jobs, and more jobs.”

— Kennedy on Twitter: “We doubled the standard deduction.  We doubled the child tax credit.  We helped taxpayers keep more of their money.  And we repealed the Affordable Care Act mandate that fined people for not getting insurance.”

— Kennedy on C-SPAN: “If you believe that tax policy has nothing to do with the economy, then you're pretty much like a rock only dumber."

 Cassidy sent out a press release quoting Louisiana leaders who praised his work to preserve the Historic Tax Credit in the tax reform bill.

— Cassidy via press release: “It boosts the economy, repeals Obamacare’s individual mandate, preserves the Historic Tax Credit, gives tax relief to victims of the 2016 floods in North and South Louisiana and provides money to rebuild our coastline.”

— Cassidy on Twitter: “In Louisiana, 78% of people who pay the Obamacare tax make less than $50,000 a year in income. It's time to get rid of this tax!”

— Watch Cassidy’s Fox Business interview.

— And his other Fox Business interview.

— Cassidy also made a floor speech. WATCH or READ

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