👋 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/ House leaders pull Obamacare repeal bill. A slew of late-breaking defections by Republicans were unbowed by Trump’s ultimatum to vote for the plan or live with Obamacare. House Republican leaders abruptly pull the bill moments before the vote was due to begin. The House is now holding an emergency GOP caucus meeting. (Politico)
President Trump just called me. Still on phone.— Robert Costa (@costareports) March 24, 2017
"We just pulled it," he tells me.
- Trump’s first legislative effort fails as GOP pull bill to repeal Obamacare. Facing a revolt among conservatives and moderates in their ranks, House Republican pulled legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act in a humiliating defeat for Trump. (New York Times)
- House Republican leaders abruptly pull their rewrite of the nation’s health-care law. The opposition continued despite Trump’s ultimatum: Vote for the bill, or reject it and move on. (Washington Post)
- Ryan lacks enough votes for the health care bill as Republicans mutiny. Ryan rushed to the White House to inform Trump he did not have the votes to pass legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If the bill does not pass, it would represent multiple failures for Trump and the Republican Congress. (New York Times)
- After Trump’s ultimatum, some GOP lawmakers change stance on the health care bill. It’s unclear whether Trump and Paul Ryan have the votes to get the package through the House. At least three lawmakers who had previously pledged to vote against the bill have changed their minds. (Washington Post)
- GOP leaders not confident they have the votes to pass the health bill. (Bloomberg)
2/ Trump blames Democrats for his health care defeat and predicted that they would seek a deal within a year after “Obamacare explodes” because of high premiums. Trump and Stephen Bannon demanded to see a confidential whip count list compiled to exact revenge on the bill’s Republican opponents. (New York Times)
- The White House is prepared to blame Paul Ryan if the health bill fails. In public, however, Trump said that Ryan shouldn’t lose his job if the bill goes down. (Bloomberg)
- White House on health care bill: Don’t blame Trump. The iron-clad confidence is gone and damage control is underway. “The president has given it his all,” Sean Spicer said. (Politico)
3/ “It’s time for Ivanka to… stand for women.” Planned Parenthood’s president called on Ivanka to step into the debate over the Republican health care bill, saying her silence has been “deafening” and that the bill is “the most anti-woman bill that I have ever seen.” (BuzzFeed News)
4/ Schiff: New evidence shows possible Trump-Russia collusion, suggesting “it’s the kind of evidence” that a grand jury investigation would want to consider. (CNN)
5/ Nunes cancels Tuesday’s public hearing with the former director of National Intelligence, CIA director, and attorney general. The former members of the Obama administration were scheduled to testify on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Schiff suggested the move was to avoid more bad publicity for the White House. (Politico)
- Trump’s former campaign chairman volunteers to testify before the House Intelligence Committee. News surfaced this week that Manafort signed a multimillion-dollar contract with a Russian oligarch in 2006 to advance Putin’s interests around the world. (The Hill)
- Intelligence chair now unsure if Trump associates were even directly surveilled. Nunes does not know “for sure” whether Trump or members of his team were even on the phone calls. (ABC News)
6/ Trump grants approval for Keystone XL pipeline, calling it “the first of many infrastructure projects” that he would approve in order to put more Americans to work. (Washington Post)
7/ ICE is targeting “sanctuary cities” with raids in an effort to pressure those jurisdictions to cooperate with federal immigration agents. (CNN)
8/ Treasury secretary “not at all” worried about robots taking jobs. The displacement of jobs by artificial intelligence and automation is “not even on my radar screen” because the technology is “50-100 more years” away. The tech community is dumbfounded. (The Verge)
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