10 things you need to know today: October 20, 2017

Senators approve budget in key step toward tax cuts, Chief of Staff John Kelly defends Trump's call to Army widow, and more

John Kelly speaks to the media
(Image credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

1. Senate Republicans push through budget, clearing way for tax cuts

The Senate on Thursday narrowly approved the Republican budget plan, a key step toward their effort to pass President Trump's tax cuts. The spending blueprint could add up to $1.5 trillion to federal deficits over a decade. It was approved in a 51-49 vote, with budget hawk Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who argued that the budget should reduce the deficit, casting the lone GOP no vote. The budget plan includes a legislative tool that will let Senate Republicans pass Trump's corporate and individual tax cuts with a simple majority, preventing Democrats from blocking the legislation with a filibuster. That gives the GOP a way to get the tax cuts approved by year's end, without the need for support from any Democrats.

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