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AP Top Political News at 1:56 p.m. EST

Farenthold retiring from House amid harassment accusations
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold announced Thursday that he won't seek re-election next year, adding his name to the list of lawmakers leaving Congress amid sexual harassment allegations that have cost powerful men their jobs in politics, the arts and other industries....

House Speaker says he's not leaving Congress anytime soon
WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Speaker Paul Ryan says he's not leaving Congress anytime soon....

Support from Conservative Freedom Caucus boosts tax bill
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus said Thursday they support a sweeping tax package speeding toward votes in Congress next week, giving GOP leaders a boost from a key faction as they work to deliver a major legislative victory to President Donald Trump....

Second accuser prompts call for NV congressman's resignation
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Facing a fresh accusation of sexual misconduct in a Congress that has become increasingly less tolerant, a Nevada lawmaker is facing pressure from Democratic leadership to step aside....

FCC votes along party lines to end 'net neutrality'
In a vote along party lines, the federal government has ended sweeping net-neutrality rules that guaranteed equal access to the internet....

Will US companies put overseas cash to work? Don't bet on it
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Republican tax plan seems about to hand a bow-tied holiday gift to some of America's richest multinational companies, from Apple and Microsoft to Google's parent Alphabet: Tens of billions in tax breaks on profits they've parked overseas....

Pence to delay Mideast trip as tax deal nears vote
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vice President Mike Pence will delay and curtail his upcoming trip to the Middle East to be on hand for an upcoming Senate tax vote and take into account the unwillingness of Palestinians and others to meet with him while in Egypt and Israel....

Wife to run for seat of Kentucky lawmaker who killed self
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- The wife of a Kentucky lawmaker who killed himself after a sexual assault allegation surfaced this week defended her husband Thursday and said she will run for his seat because "these high-tech lynchings based on lies and half-truths can't be allowed to win the day."...

Haley unveils missile parts, says proof Iran arming Houthis
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's envoy to the United Nations says "undeniable" evidence proves Iran is violating international law by funneling missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen....

As tensions ease, China keeps building on disputed islands
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tensions over China's island-building in the South China Sea may have eased in the past year, but Beijing has kept busy....