👋 Away Message: Hi there! Matt is currently out on parental leave. He'll return August 30th-ish. More details can be found here. In the meantime, Joe (the voice of the newscast/podcast) will be publishing an abridged version of WTF Just Happened Today? every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can expect 5-7 news items covering a slightly wider range of political news in about two sentences each. We'll return to our regularly scheduled WTFJHT programming when Matt returns in late August.
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1/ The cost of failure on health care repeal? It may be the rest of Trump’s agenda. Tax cuts, infrastructure and other White House priorities hinge on scaling back Obamacare. (Washington Post)
2/ Nervous GOP Senators call for changes in health care bill They want to see lower insurance costs for poorer, older Americans and an increase in funding for states with many hard-to-insure people. Conservative House Republicans already believe the bill is too generous. (New York Times)
- GOP Senators say house health bill won’t pass without fundamental changes as concerns mount that millions would be uninsured. (Wall Street Journal)
3/ Comey will testify on Russia investigation next week at a public House Intelligence Committee hearing. Separately, Comey will brief the two top senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee today. (Politico)
- Kaine expects FBI to announce White House-Russia investigation. Kaine stressed that the investigation must look into whether the highest office in the land is connected to Russia. (The Hill)
- Lindsey Graham on Trump wiretap claims: “If it’s not true, just tell me.” Graham said the FBI needs to stop stonewalling his request to clear up wiretapping claims Trump made against his predecessor and produce evidence that it happened. (Today)
4/ House Intelligence Chair says he doesn’t believe Trump Tower was wiretapped. The top Democrat on the House committee, Adam Schiff, said he has seen “no evidence whatsoever” that supports Trump’s claim that Obama tapped his phone at Trump Tower. (NPR)
5/ Spicer is “very confident” that wiretapping evidence will emerge, bolstering Trump’s unproven accusation about his predecessor. (New York Times)
6/ The FBI was investigating former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn as recently as December. It remains unknown when the FBI first started investigating Flynn and whether the probe has since been closed. (BuzzFeed News)
7/ Trump will reexamine fuel efficiency standards set in place during the Obama administration, opening the door for the regulations to potentially be reduced in the coming years. Trump will not take steps to revoke a waiver that allows California and a dozen other states to enforce emissions standards beyond those of the EPA. If those regulations remain intact, automakers will still be compelled to produce more fuel efficient cars regardless of any changes at the federal level. (Washington Post)
- Trump to shelve fuel mileage rules, inviting a fight with California. The state has made it clear that they will not waver from the ambitious mileage rules finalized by the Obama administration, which require passenger cars to average about 54 miles per gallon by 2025. Today’s passenger cars average 36 miles per gallon. (Los Angeles Times)
8/ Justice Department charges Russian spies and criminal hackers in Yahoo intrusion. The indictments mark the first criminal cyber charges ever brought against Russian government officials. (Washington Post)
9/ China to Trump: We don’t want a trade war — but if there is one, your companies would bear the brunt.. China’s trade and investment ties with the United States created up to 1 million American jobs last year. (Washington Post)
10/ House Republicans seek flexible, less costly approaches at U.S. border, while Democrats oppose adding wall funds to government spending bill. (Bloomberg)
poll/ Only 24% of voters support the GOP health care plan. The Affordable Care Act, meanwhile, continues to post some of the best numbers it has ever seen, with 47% of voters in favor of it to 39% who are opposed. (Public Policy Polling)
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