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President Trump has formally told NASA to send U.S. astronauts back to the moon.

"The directive I'm signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery," he said.

Standing at the president's side as he signed "Space Policy Directive 1" on Monday was Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt, one of the last two humans to ever walk on the moon, in a mission that took place 45 years ago this week.

Updated at 5:12 p.m. ET

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., deciding to resign from the Senate on Thursday amid allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct now sets off a chain of events that could give Republicans an unexpected target in 2018.

Here's a look at how it would all play out:

What would happen right away?

Updated at 7:51 p.m. ET

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., plans to announce his resignation on Thursday, a Democratic official tells Minnesota Public Radio. The official spoke to Franken and key aides, MPR News reports.

Franken's office, however, says that "no final decision has been made."

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In a move that signals a shift in the health care market, CVS/Health announced a $69 billion deal to buy Aetna - the third largest insurer in the nation. This would be one of the biggest health care deals of all time, and would leave Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini with a sweet $500 million payout.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., has sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi informing them of his decision to step down from Congress as of Tuesday, amid allegations of sexual misconduct leveled by multiple women.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

WNPR’s Jeff Cohen and Ryan Caron King are back on the ground in Puerto Rico.

This hour: an update from The Island Next Door. We get the latest on local recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. 

Updated Dec. 2 at 11:57 a.m. ET

The Senate narrowly approved a $1.4 trillion tax overhaul early Saturday morning following a day of procedural delays and frustration.

The legislation, which would cut the top corporate tax rate to 20 percent and lower taxes for most individuals, narrowly passed in a vote of 51-49. Tennessee Republican Bob Corker was the only Republican to vote against the legislation, joining every Democrat and both independents in opposing the sweeping overhaul of the nation's tax laws.

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

Senate Republicans continued maneuvering to pass their overhaul of the nation's tax code on Friday, possibly working around concerns by stern deficit hawks after an official estimate on Thursday said that the economic growth spurred by the plan would still leave a $1 trillion hole in the deficit.

Republicans lawmakers are considering a federal budget "trigger" that would raise taxes if proposed tax cuts don't deliver the economic growth they have promised.

But the proposal is generating a lot of pushback from critics, especially conservatives.

The so-called trigger mechanism would be a legislative provision to rescind corporate tax cuts by as much as $350 billion if revenue targets are not met, Bloomberg News reports.

Updated at 4:34 p.m. ET

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., has announced he is stepping down as ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. Conyers conveyed the news in a statement released Sunday by the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

The House Ethics Committee is now investigating the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, who is the latest lawmaker caught in the wave of sexual harassment claims.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s been a hectic few weeks on Capitol Hill, but the Thanksgiving recess means a bit of rest for lawmakers and a chance for us to check in with a member of the Connecticut delegation.

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The House of Representatives passed a 440-page tax bill Thursday that was introduced two short weeks ago. Among other things, the bill would remove deductions  important to people with big medical expenses and college tuitions and ultimately hit hardest those making $75,000 or less. 

Updated at 5:11 p.m. ET

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken is facing a second allegation that he groped a woman without consent while her husband took a photo of her with the senator at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.

Senate Republicans hope to vote after Thanksgiving on a sweeping tax overhaul plan that they say will cut taxes for nearly every individual and family in America. The bill calls for those cuts to last only for the next eight years, unless history is a guide.

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