1/ Betsy DeVos rescinded 72 guidelines that protect the rights of disabled students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act. The Department of Education called the policies “outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective.” During her confirmation hearing in January, DeVos said she was “confused” about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act when asked whether she supported it. DeVos said she thought it was best “left to the states,” but “is certainly worth discussion.” (Washington Post / VICE News)

2/ Congress let funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program expire 23 days ago. The program’s budget lapsed on September 1st, which provides low-cost health insurance to 9 million children. While there is no evidence that any children have lost coverage, there are roughly 4 million CHIP enrollees living in states whose programs are at risk of losing coverage. (Vox / Politico)

3/ Trump rush-shipped condolence letters to military families last week after he falsely claimed he had called or written letters to “virtually all” of the families. Four families of fallen soldiers received next-day UPS letters from Trump two days after Trump told the widow of a fallen soldier “he knew what he signed up for.” (The Atlantic)

4/ Trump “stumbl[ed] on my husband’s name” in his condolence call to the widow of the fallen soldier. Myeshia Johnson told “Good Morning America” she was “very angry at the tone of [Trump’s] voice and couldn’t remember my husband’s name” during the same call where Trump said the solider “knew what he signed up for.” Trump defended himself on Twitter, saying: “I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!” (ABC News / NPR / Washington Post)

5/ Senators didn’t know there were 1,000 troops in Niger. Lindsey Graham, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said “I didn’t know there was a thousand troops in Niger” when asked about whether Congress needed to vote on an Authorization of Use of Military Force for the mission that left four Green Berets dead. He added: “The military determines who the threats are, they come up with the engagement policy and if we don’t like what the military does, we can defund the operation.” Chuck Schumer also admitted that he didn’t know about the number of troops in Niger. (The Daily Beast)

6/ Trump dismissed the House Republicans’ plan to limit 401(k) contributions as part of their effort to rewrite the tax code. The plan could cap pre-tax 401(k) contributions at $2,400 annually. “There will be NO change to your 401(k),” Trump tweeted. “This has always been a great and popular middle class tax break that works, and it stays!” (Reuters / New York Times)

  • Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee are considering retaining the income tax rate for people who earn $1 million or more per year. The current thinking is that people who earn between $418,000 and $999,999 will have their tax rate reduced from 39.6% to 35%, but those earning $1 million or more will not. (Axios)

  • Ivanka Trump characterized the Republicans’ tax reform plan as good for working middle-class families. “For me this tax plan really couples two things that are really core values as a country, which is work and supporting the American family,” Ivanka said. “We have to support the American worker, we have to create jobs, we have to create growth, but we also have to support that American worker’s family.” (Politico)

7/ The EPA blocked three agency scientists from discussing climate change at a conference. The scientists contributed substantial material to a 400-page report about how climate change is affecting air and water temperatures, precipitation, sea level and fish in and around the Narragansett Bay estuary. The EPA helped fund the report. (New York Times)

  • Scott Pruitt’s security detail is adding a dozen more agents as the number of threats against the EPA head has increased “four to five times.” Pruitt has also purchased a secure soundproof communications booth for his office at a cost of nearly $25,000, even though similar rooms already exist at the EPA. Congress has said the costs are a “potential waste or abuse of taxpayer dollars” and that “taxpayer funds are being misused.” (CNN)

8/ Trump’s digital director will meet with the House Intelligence Committee about Russian meddling in last year’s election. It will be Brad Parscale’s first interview with any of the committees investigating the matter. Parscale claimed that Facebook, Google, and Twitter employees were “embedded” inside the Trump campaign. (Reuters)

  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating a Democratic lobbying firm about whether it violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Tony Podesta (the brother of John Podesta) and the Podesta Group had worked on a campaign that Paul Manafort had organized to promote the Ukraine’s image in the West. John Podesta is not currently affiliated with the Podesta Group and is not part of Mueller’s investigation. (NBC News)

9/ Trump will spend at least $430,000 of his own money to cover the legal costs his aides have incurred related to the Russia investigation. The RNC has paid roughly $430,000 to lawyers representing Trump and Trump Jr. The White House said Trump has pledged to spend the same amount, from his personal finances, “to defray the costs of legal fees for his associates, including former and current White House aides.” (Axios / Washington Post)

10/ The State Department revoked the visa of a Putin critic after Russia placed Bill Browder on Interpol’s wanted list. Browder was responsible for the Magnitsky Act, a law aimed at punishing Russian officials believed responsible for the death in a Moscow prison of Sergei Magnitsky. In response to the Magnitsky Act, Russia cut off the US adoption of Russian children, which was the premise for the Trump Tower meeting between the Russian lawyer and representatives of the Trump campaign. (NPR / The Guardian / The Hill)


The US rejected Russia’s criminal complaint against Browder and allowed him into the country. The initial action blocking Browder had been taken automatically in response to an Interpol notice filed against him by Russia and was not an affirmative action by the American government. (New York Times)

11/ Chuck Schumer said “all 48 Democrats” in the Senate are on board with the bipartisan health care deal. Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, said he would bring the Alexander-Murray bill to the floor if Trump signals that he would sign the legislation aimed at stabilizing health insurance markets. Last week Trump tweeted that he could never support the bill, which he characterized as “bailing out” insurance companies. (NBC News / Politico)

12/ Trump signed an executive order on Friday that would allow the Air Force to recall 1,000 retired pilots in order to address what the Pentagon says is a pilot shortage. The order amends a post-9/11 emergency declaration that allows the Air Force to recall pilots from retirement. The Air Force is currently short approximately 1,500 pilots. (The Hill / Washington Post)

  • The Air Force denied that it is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers on 24-hour ready alert. On Sunday, it was reported that the Air Force could put its fleet of B-52 bombers on “a ready-to-fly posture” for the first time since 1991. An Air Force spokesperson said: “We are not planning or preparing to put B-52s on alert.” (CNBC)

13/ Trump’s voter fraud commission has left Democratic members in the dark about what it’s doing. Two of the commission’s four Democrats have written letters to its executive director, asking for basic information such as when the panel might meet again, what kind of research is being conducted, and when it might send a report to Trump. (Washington Post)

poll/ 42% of voters approve of the job Trump is doing, while 58% disapprove. (The Hill)