👋 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/ Trump demands vote on health care plan Friday. If the bill fails, Trump is prepared to move on and leave Obamacare in place. Regardless, Trump and Paul Ryan are finished with negotiations on their health care bill. (CNN)
2/ GOP health care plan in doubt after Freedom Caucus rebuffs White House offer to strip a key set of mandates. Ryan can only lose 21 Republican votes. 37 Republicans say they will vote against the bill as it now stands. The only existing mandates conservatives are open to preserving are ones that bar insurers from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions and allow children to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26. (Washington Post)
The House will not vote on the Republican health care bill today. Enough Republican publicly said they would vote against the bill to sink it. (CNN)
Today’s vote on the health care bill has been canceled. Paul Ryan likely did not have the votes needed to pass the measure after Trump’s inability to clinch an agreement with Freedom Caucus members. (Bloomberg)
- The Freedom Caucus is closing in on a deal to rewrite the health care bill at the 11th hour. The group is negotiating directly with Trump and the White House on an amendment to the bill, cutting out GOP leadership from the conversation as Paul Ryan and his deputies work to corral votes for a bill that is, in these latest provisions, a mystery even to them. The changes could save face in the House, but doom the bill in the Senate. (Huffington Post)
- Trump struggles to win votes on Obamacare repeal. Trump and Ryan need strong support from their side of the aisle and can only afford to lose 21 Republican votes. (Reuters)
3/ Latest House GOP health care bill would still cause 24 million more Americans to be uninsured. The CBO analysis says the newest plan would reduce savings in federal spending by half as much as the original legislation, but would leave just as many uninsured by 2026. (Washington Post)
4/ Trump’s health care repeal concessions to the House likely wouldn’t pass in the Senate. Democrats in the Senate say they have enough votes to block any Republican attempt to repeal health benefits at a 60-vote threshold. (Politico)
5/ Democrats plan to filibuster Gorsuch nomination. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer announced he would oppose Gorsuch and join Democrats in filibustering the nomination, making it likely that the judge will struggle to find the support needed to clear a 60-vote procedural hurdle. (Washington Post)
- Democrats are weighing a deal to let Gorsuch through In exchange, Republicans would keep the filibuster intact for a subsequent vacancy during Trump’s term. The next court opening could alter the balance, and some argue that will be far more consequential than the current one. (Politico)
6/ Nunes puts the credibility of the House Intelligence panel in doubt. Nunes raised questions about his own ability to conduct an impartial bipartisan investigation when he bypassed Democrats and went directly to the White House with information that showed intelligence agencies may have “incidentally” picked up communications of Trump’s transition team members. (New York Times)
- Nunes apologizes after going directly to White House with monitoring claims. Schiff blasted Nunes for briefing the White House on his claims before telling his own committee. (Politico)
- McCain calls for select committee to investigate Russian interference following the “bizarre” behavior by Nunes and Schiff. Republican leaders on Capitol Hill have so far resisted such a move. (NBC News)
7/ In a step toward “extreme vetting,” Trump orders new security checks on people seeking visas for family, business or tourism reasons. Diplomatic cables sent from Rex Tillerson to all American embassies instructed consular officials to broadly increase scrutiny. (New York Times)
8/ Trump defends his wild claims: “I’m president, and you’re not” in an interview with TIME about the way he handles truth and falsehood. (TIME)
9/ Senate Republicans vote to gut privacy rules that require internet providers to first get your permission before they can sell your private information, like browsing history and location data. (BuzzFeed News)
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