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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 20, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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we'll see you at 6:00. bye bye. . tonight, your taxes. a sweeping overhaul passes congress and president trump takes a victory lap. >> it's always a lot of fun when you win. ultimately, what does it mean? it means jobs, jobs, jobs. >> tonight how it affects you, your family and the impact on everything from home ownership to health care. a holiday tragedy, we know eight americans are among the dozen killed, three of them from one family if tour bus crash in mexico. the driver now facing charges. a funeral fire storm at the vatican. the cardinal at the center of boston sex abuse scandal. will be laid to rest with the pope participating. shocking scene caught on camera. police officer dragged
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by a car hanging on for his life. the driver refusing to stop. and buyer beware, a surge in porch pirates stealing gifts right from your front por sh. how you can fight back. good evening, welcome to our viewers in the west. president trump is sa savoring his first big legislative victory tonight. passing the massive tax overhaul. he took a victory lap at the white house. a back slapping celebration with republican lawmakers. passing the sweeping tax cuts is a critical win for the president and his party as they approach next year's midterm elections. their hope now that the large number of americans unhappy with the bill will learn to love it. our chief white house correspondent hallie jackson starts our coverage. hallie, good evening. >> reporter: it feels like a holiday celebration at the white house with republicans betting
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there will be no political hangover. this tax plan will end up winning over more americans. surrounded by his party, it felt like one for the president. triumphant tonight. >> it always a lot of fun to win. >> reporter: just in time for christmas, he's getting a political gift, the biggest tax overhaul in decades. >> ultimately what does it mean? it means jobs, jobs, jobs. >> reporter: for him it's a promise made, promise kept. >> we're going to have the biggest tax cuts since ronald reagan. >> reporter: for republicans, it's proof they can govern, although the house had to vote again today. just hours after that final gavel, lawmakers praising the president as much as the bill itself. >> you're one heck of a leader. >> exquisite presidential leadership. >> thank you, mr. president, for all you're doing. >> reporter: with its tax plan the gop is making a risk bet that benefits to businesses will trickle down to everyone else. today, pointing to at&t, which happens to be battling with the president's justice
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department over a major merger. the company is now linking the new corporate cuts to thousand-dollar employee bonuses and a billion-dollar u.s. investment. >> that's pretty good. >> reporter: nbc's parent company, comcast, is also choosing to offer $1,000 bonuses to many employees. and while most americans will see a tax break the bill boost businesses and the wealthy more. that's partly why not a single democrat backed it. >> officially cements the republican party as the party of the wealthy and the party of big corporations. >> reporter: right now, the plan's not popular with many americans. the white house thinks it will be. >> they'll become more excited when they begint o see the benefits in paychecks. >> reporter: christmas not felt in the new year. i'm peter alexander. president trump's been
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promising it for months. >> we want to give you the american people a giant tax cut for christmas. >> reporter: so, what are you getting? lower taxes for eight in ten americans. >> this is some much-needed tax relief for a small business. >> reporter: the individual tax cuts expire after eight years but the corporate tax cut from 35% to 21% is permanent. on health care the mandate is erased entirely in 2019. without the mandate, 13 million more americans will be uninsured in ten years. his family's insured through the obamacare. near his premiums are going to skyrocket. >> my cost are going to more than double than last year. >> reporter: for its advertised benefits and increasing the child tax credit to $2,000, unwrapping the bill may also bring surprises. the mortgage interest deduction will be capped at $750,000. if you're already a homeowner, you can still deduct all the interests.
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also new, the bill limits state and local tax deductions to $10,000. hitting taxpayers in high-tax states like california, new jersey and new york. in chicago, some are rushing to prepare next year's taxes. and about that promise, the contact code will be able to file on a form like a postcard. many experts say that's unlikely for this 500-page tax cut. the president immediately branded this bill a middle-class miracle. but independent analysts say the white house says americans will begin seeing more money in their paychecks in february. >> reporter: peter, thank you. the tax overhaul may be done. but their end to the year to do list includes major matters. preventing a government shutdown. money runs out on friday. so, as kasie hunt
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reports there's no time to waste. >> reporter: with the holidays fast approaching, the reynolds family is waiting for congress. not santa. >> limbo is exactly where we are. >> reporter: five of their ten children rely on the children's health insurance plan. to cover over $100,000 in health care cost every year. >> for us, if sally happens to break her arm or get sick, and it's nice to have coverage. for us it's to keep them alive. >> reporter: 9 million children are covered by the program. which help kids don't qualify medicaid. across the country families have been warned they could lose coverage and congress is still arguing over a permanent solution. they're also arguing about the future of more than 700,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the u.s. as children. >> these kids have given their addresses to the government. they know where they are. and they can be easily
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found. and they worry that they'll be separated from their families. >> the end of year to date includes billions of funding in disaster. and keeping the government open because funding runs out at midnight on friday. tonight, republicans still aren't sure what they're going to do about keeping the government open. making it much more likely they're going to punt on hard questions, like children's health insurance and d.r.e.a.m.ers until after the holidays. now to the new developments in tour bus crash in mexico. a dozen people were killed and eight of the dead are americans and three of them are from one family. bu driver is now facing charges. nbc's ron mott has this report. >> reporter: it was a holiday cruise that end tragically for
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this family, mom and son killed in a bus crash in mexico. 78-year-old grandmother also loss. father and 15-year-old davie injured and hospitalized. in all, eight americans are among the dozen who died. another 18 hurt when a bus taking tourists to visit mayan ruins overturned. today, mexican officials began processing we hick lar manslaughter against the bus driver. a state prosecutor said preliminary findings indicate excessive speed and the driver's negligence caused the crash. >> my heart goes out to all these people who lost loved ones. >> reporter: the bus was part of a fleet transporting visitors from two florida-based cruise ships. according to witnesses this happened on a clear day. cruise passengers often take excursions like this one. booked through the cruise ship company, but run by independent
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contractors. tonight, no new comment from the bus company about the driver or the reported cause. their representatives along with royal caribbean saying they're all they can do to help their guests. ron mott, nbc news. new details in that deadly crash in the amtrak that derailed in washington state. conductor was in cab when a train engineer and said the brakes were engaged automatically but not by the engineer. crews were able to move the 27,000-pound lock motive off the highway. one of the most controversial figures in the catholic church has died. he resigned in disgrace over the sex abuse scandal that rocked the church. passed away in rome at 86. now the vatican's plans for his funeral are sparking outrage. nbc's anne thompson explains. ♪ >> reporter: in death
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as in life, cardinal bernard law challenging the catholic tenet of forgiveness. >> i hope the gates of hell are open wide to welcome him. >> reporter: little mer mercy for the cardinal dramatized in the movie spotlight. >> i think that boston's still a small town, too. >> reporter: victims in boston furious that law will be given a funeral tomorrow in rome with a blessing by pope francis. >> the pope is honoring him and saying it's okay to abuse children. >> i'd prefer to see him tied to a cross and burned instead. >> reporter: during his 18 years as archbishop, law knowingly moved abusive priest from parish to parish without warning. >> to all those who have suffered from my shortcomings and from my mistakes, i once again apologize. >> reporter: tonight, father jim martin of
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the jeusit-run american media the world will be watching the pope's actions. >> i think they're trying to do the standard procedure for cardinal law and in other ways send signals that he's not as respected as other cardinals. >> reporter: such as the pope's unusually short sentence about his man's death. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. there's also new controversy tonight over sexual abuse in the world of gymnastics. gold medalist mckayla maroney is now suing usa gymnastics. tonight, usa gymnastics is strongly pushing back. nbc's stephanie gosk has more. >> reporter: in the 2012 london games, mckayla maroney was one of the brightest stars.
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tonight, she says the organization that helped get her to the podium, usa gymnastics paid her to keep from going public with a painful secret. maroney said the team doctor sexually abused her. according to a lawsuit filed today in california, she signed a nondisclosure agreement in december 2016. she said she went to usa gymnastics looking for help. >> you don't help somebody by putting a gag on them and saying, oh, yeah, we know you were molested. but you never can talk about it. >> reporter: she went public with her story in october. writing in part, i had a dream to go to the olympics and the things that i had to endure to get there were unnecessary and disgusting. writing in part, because of their strength in coming forward, predators can be held accountable for their actions. >> they would try to look good by acting like they wanted her to come forward. that statement is the height of hypocrisy.
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it's despicabldespicable. >> reporter: usa gymnastics says that's not true. writing in part, the concept of confidentially was initiated by mckayla's previous attorney, not usa gymnastics. in total three members of the london team said nassar abused him. he's facing life in prison. aly raisman was also critical of usa gymnastics. >> i was told to keep it quiet. >> reporter: tonight, the head of the organization says she's egger to speak personally with mckayla to hear her ideas. now to that shocking video that we showed at the top of broadcast. police officer literally hanging on for dear life as a driver hit the gas refusing to stop. the officer clinging to the car. >> 20 seconds of high-speed terror began in a flash. florida officer john cusak responding to call of a drug overdose.
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approaches a man and woman sitting in a parked car. >> got i.d.? >> reporter: then -- body cam video captures cusak holding on the driver's side door. the suspect stepping on it, accelerating up to 60 miles an hour. after a half mile cusak lets go. a security camera captures the officer tumbling across a busy road. >> he suffered significant road rash and injuries. >> reporter: but the driver cabrera wasn't stopping. he led police on a chase reaching 100 miles an hour. with guns drawn he's finally captured. today, he was charged with attempted murder. police say he confessed to the whole thing, including being high on heroin. >> officer cusak is a hero. he tried to save someone's life. in the process he almost lost his own. >> reporter: this afternoon, a battered cusak walked out of the hospital smiling
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to a cheering crowd. >> thank you all for your prayers. >> reporter: it could have ended much worse. steve patterson, nbc news. still ahead hereby -- stopping porch pirates. the steps to protect your present. new troubles for chipotle, another possible outbreak of illness. we'll tell you more in a moment.
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we're back now with a consumer alert in the final stretch of the hall day shopping season. with a boom in online shopping more packages are being delivered to your door and more people are falling prey to thieves. they're calling them porch pirates. they've hit nearly one in five homeowners and the video of thieves in action and some advice on how you can protect your packages. >> reporter: across the country, more and more porch pirates are striking when they think no one is watching. two young women
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driving a golf cart to pilfer packages. in new york, david altman got lucky, he caught the suspect on camera. >> reporter: according to the neighborhood social network nextdoor, package theft complaints are up 500% this year. median price for a stolen package, $250. now law enforcement is cracking down. boston authorities recovering dozen of stolen amazon packages this week and one ohio prosecutor posting on facebook said it placed bait packages. the theft happened right here. >> right behind us. >> reporter: in burbank, california, they arrested a porch pirate just last week. >> it's a growing problem. we need devote resources to this problem and hopefully see a decline in package thefts. >> reporter: to protect your deliver yis. reroute the package to a secure location. like your office.
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use smart gadgets. doorbell with a built-in surveillance camera. require a signature if it's a valuable testimony or pick up the item yourself from the delivery service local office. a warning to prevent this from becoming the season of giving and taking. still to come -- hoping to retire early, a big reason why you might want to think twice and it's not about money.
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tonight, health officials in los angeles are investigating after several chipotle employees reported being sick with nausea prompting concerns of another possibility of food-borne illnesses. the company says it's
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cop ko operating with officials and note the cdc reports widespread flu currently in california. and apple confirmed something that customers long suspected your iphone really gets slower with age. the company says it's not about getting you to buy a new phone. because older batteri batteri batteries. if you dream of retiring early there may be good reason to stick it out until you're 65. a new study from cornell found a kor ration between retiring early and dying younger. especially dangerous for men who have 20% higher mortality if they start claiming social security at 62 according to study. when we come back -- the concert guaranteed to be like nothing you have heard before. inspiring america is
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next. next at 6: how one man has
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brought the south bay to a
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standstill. and the pokeman craze is back but this time with something new. apple )s new game changing technology with life-changing potential. that )s next finally tonight, a whole orchestra filled with trash, triumphs, smashinged saxophones and damaged drums, why would talented musicians choose to play on broken instruments? we have the answer that's "inspiring america." >> reporter: it might sound like a violin bound for the trash heap. >> no bridge and a missing e string. >> reporter: to evelyn, it's the sond of the future >> i can't service them all. >> reporter: philadelphia schools had no money to repair rundown instruments. >> i walk into a closed school that was full of broken pianos and i thought, wow.
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>> reporter: temple university's ron blackman found 1500 abandoned instruments and decided to save them. a misfit melody. >> i said i know exactly what to do with these instruments. >> reporter: many can't be played in the traditional way. so, musicians from the schools and philly orchestra are improvising for a full-scale, full-house symphony. people adopted the instruments online. and all proceeds go to restoration, returning them to students who otherwise wouldn't be able to make music. >> musical instruments in schools changed my life and these 1500 instruments are capable of changing the lives of students in this school system right now. >> reporter: forgotten instruments, inspiring the future. you can't help but like the sound of
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that. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, philadelphia. on that note, that's nightly news for this wednesday night. i'm lester holt, and for all of us at nbc news, good night and thanks for watching. bumper to far as the eye can see. right now at 6:00, breaking th news. it's bumper to bumper traffic as far as the eye can see. it's a night hamare commute in south bay. the news starts now. thanks for joining us. >> we've been tracking this breaking story on air and online for nearly six hours now. give you another live look at the traffic. this is just amazing. this is the view from our nbc bay area sky ranger. that's all the backup in the southbound direction.
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>> that's not the only backup. here is what it looks like on 101. traffic goes to sunnyvale. this is because there was man who was on the overpass for hours. nbc bay area joins us live in san jose. the chp got the man off the overpass but the traffic is still just a nightmare. >> reporter: well, you can see it's probably a pretty good backup at the moment heading onto 101. that's kind of typical for this evening commute except it's roebl going to ta-- probably go a few hours for this to clear up. let me show you the view from the helicopter. you can see the backup where that's about three hours of traffic stacked up. it's going to take quite a while for all those cars to get to where they're going for quite a while. there are a lot of vehicles that are being diverted to some of the surface streets a


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