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With governors' opposition, Republicans' effort to repeal Obamacare takes a major hit

Washington Post + 28 other

Senate Republicans are trying to revive the momentum to overhaul the Affordable Care Act with the Graham-Cassidy proposal. Here's a rundown of the plan, and the rush to pass it. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post) Republican governors can make or break congressional Republicans' latest attempt to repeal Obamacare. And on Tuesday, a bipartisan group of 10 governors may have just seriously damaged a repeal bill's prospects. The governors, five of them Republican or Republican-leaning, sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them not to support repeal legislation championed by GOP Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (La.). At least three other GOP governors who didn't sign the letter are opposed to the repeal bill. Even though the bill dismantles Obamacare and gives states near-universal power to set up health insurance programs, it doesn't hand the states much money to do that. “We ask you to support bipartisan efforts to bring stability and affordability to our insurance markets,” the letter says, referring to bipartisan talks in the Senate to stabilize, not erase, key parts of Obamacare. [Could Congress repeal Obamacare in the next two weeks?] Republican governors were major pressure points this summer for GOP lawmakers on the fence about an earlier bill that cut Medicaid funding by much less. There's evidence to suggest the pressure worked: …

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Tim Ryan agrees with Trump's message on Iran, says he needs to reach out to other nations

The Washingon Times + 40 other

Rep. Tim Ryan said Wednesday that he agreed with President Trump’s calls for the U.S. to take a firmer stance on Iran in his speech at the United Nations. “I think what he said about Iran is true. I think we have to have a firmer position on Iran. They are funding terrorism all through the Middle East so I liked that aspect of the speech, but overall you’ve got to do this all together,” Mr. Ryan, Ohio Democrat, said on MSNBC. Mr. Ryan said Mr. Trump didn’t do enough in his speech on Tuesday to reach out to other nations in the issues he addressed, like North Korea…

The Latest: Countries begin signing nuclear ban treaty at UN

The Washingon Times + 2 other

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The Latest on the U.N. General Assembly (all times local): 8:54 a.m. Countries have started signing on to the first treaty to ban nuclear weapons that is backed by over 100 nations. But the nuclear powers want no part of it. Brazilian President Michel Temer was first to sign at a ceremony Wednesday at the United Nations. Its treaty office said 51 countries were expected to sign on the opening day. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls the pact “an important step towards the universally held goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.” More than 120 count…

Sean Spicer's yucky cameo at the Emmys

Washington Post + 6 other

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer joins Stephen Colbert on stage to help clarify the crowd size during the 2017 Emmys. (CBS) Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer got a turn on one of Hollywood's glitziest stages Sunday night. And he used it to laugh about the falsehoods he told the American people in an attempt to rehabilitate his image. I'm all for a good laugh. And I'll add up front that there are political issues on which people have extremely strong feelings and unfortunately can't see the other side — we all have blind spots and should be mindful of that…

Tillerson's State Department Is Adrift, Say Diplomats

NBC News + 1 other

WASHINGTON — On his first day as Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson vowed to try to get to know everyone at the State Department. But senior diplomats say they never saw him again. As President Donald Trump faces a collection of world leaders at his first United Nations General Assembly this week, U.S. officials are working behind the scenes to allay fears among foreign delegations that America's foreign policy decisions have become too dominated by the West Wing, and that the U.S. State Department, where many crucial positions remain unfilled, is adrift. Play F…

For those in the Party of Trump, the Republicans — not the president — are to blame

Washington Post + 1 other

A local music festival in Creedmoor, N.C., on Saturday. (Liz Condo/For The Washington Post) OXFORD, N.C. — During one of their usual morning gatherings at the Bojangles’ restaurant in this rural town near the Virginia border, a group of retirees from a local Baptist church shook their heads at the failure of Washington to repeal Obamacare, lower the national debt, build a wall along the southern border, kick people off welfare or get anything else accomplished. But the focus of their blame is not President Trump, it’s Republicans in Congress — whom they view as standing in the way. A…

Paul Manafort wiretap intercepts should be released, spokesman says

The Washingon Times + 1 other

The Justice Department’s Inspector General should investigate leaks that indicate U.S. authorities wiretapped President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and transcripts of the intercepts should be publicly released, Mr. Manafort‘s spokesman said Tuesday. The demand came a day after CNN reported that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved two surveillance orders targeting Mr. Manafort - one in 2014 before he was involved in the Trump campaign and another that extended into this year. For a U.S. citizen to be the target of a Foreign Intelligence…

Michael Cohen testimony cancelled over leaked opening statement

The Washingon Times + 2 other

The Senate Intelligence Committee cancelled plans for President Trump’s longtime personal attorney to testify behind closed doors Tuesday on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, because the lawyer leaked his opening statement. Michael Cohen had planned to blast White House opponents in his closed-door Capitol Hill testimony for “choosing to presume guilt — rather than presuming innocence” in the entire Russia saga. That caused the panel’s Republican chairman and ranking Democrat to cancel the closed-door interview set for Tuesday morning, acc…

Democratic lawmakers arrested outside Trump Tower

Washington Post + 2 other

Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez is led away in handcuffs after protesting near Trump Tower on Sept. 19. (Kevin Hagen/Getty Images) Three Democratic congressmen were arrested Tuesday outside Trump Tower in New York as part of a protest of President Trump’s decision to end legal protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants. Reps. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) and Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) were among at least 10 people arrested, according to a Gutiérrez spokesman. Those arrested also included New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who is Puerto …

Nancy Pelosi's DACA event overtaken by Dreamer protests

The Washingon Times + 2 other

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was interrupted at a press event Monday by a group of over 100 immigration activists. As Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, was speaking to a crowd in San Francisco, a group of so-called Dreamers or DACA recipients, people brought to the U.S. illegally as children, overtook the stage and began chanting. “You called this press conference in our name to defend the so-called Dream Act, but you already traded in our parents in our name,” the crowd chanted among a series of other accusations. The Dream Act is the official legislation to replace the Oba…

Carrying concealed weapons without permit up for vote

The Washingon Times + 1 other

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The carrying of concealed handguns without a permit would be legal under a bill up for approval in a Wisconsin state Senate committee. The Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee planned to vote Tuesday on sending the Republican-backed proposal to the full Senate for a vote. Current state law requires anyone who carries a concealed weapon to obtain a permit and get training. But the bill would do away with the license requirement for someone who wanted to carry a hidden weapon. The measure would have to pass the Senate and Assembly, and be signed by Gov. Scott Walker…

Trump backs the non-Trumpian candidate in a place that likes Trump

Washington Post + 2 other

President-elect Donald Trump, with campaign manager Kellyanne Conway at his side, speaks to the crowd at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., on Dec. 17. (Dan Anderson/European Pressphoto Agency) Roy Moore is not a traditional Republican politician. His claim to fame is defying court orders to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments and to allow same-sex marriage in the state as the elected chief of the Alabama Supreme Court. Each incident, years apart, cost him that position. This year, he decided to run for the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, against the obvious…

Lisa Jackson, Ex-Obama EPA chief, blasts Trump transparency

The Washingon Times + 1 other

Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who used a secret email alias during her time at the agency, lashed out Tuesday at the Trump administration for destroying the agency’s credibility by being “non-transparent.” Ms. Jackson, who is now a senior executive at computer giant Apple, said new Administrator Scott Pruitt and the rest of the new leadership have betrayed what she said was a decades-long bipartisan commitment. “EPA’s been run by Democrats and by Republicans, but it’s never, in its history, 40-plus years old, been run by someone who seems to be dete…

The Latest: Palestinian activist deported to Jordan from US

The Washingon Times + 1 other

CHICAGO (AP) - The Latest on Palestinian activist deported Tuesday for lying in citizenship application (all times local): 8:55 p.m. Dozens of people gathered at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to support a Palestinian activist who was being deported to Jordan for lying about her history before obtaining U.S. citizenship. Rasmea Odeh left for Jordan on Tuesday. The 70-year-old pleaded guilty in April to concealing her record of bombings in Jerusalem when she applied for citizenship in 2004. In 1970, Odeh was convicted of two bombings, including one that killed two men at a …

Young immigrants shout down Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi

The Washingon Times + 1 other

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Several dozen young immigrants shouted down Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the U.S. House, on Monday during an event in San Francisco, following her recent conversations with President Donald Trump over the future of a program that grants many of them legal status. “We are immigrant youth, undocumented and unafraid,” they shouted as they overtook an event Pelosi was holding to encourage passing legislation that would give many young immigrants legal status. After smiling and occasionally trying to speak through much of the protest, an aggravated Pelosi told …

Fox News moves to dismiss Rod Wheeler lawsuit

The Washingon Times + 1 other

Fox News moved Tuesday to dismiss the controversial lawsuit by former private investigator Rod Wheeler, alleging that the claims in his suit were “overloaded with sensationalistic allegations.” Mr. Wheeler claimed in August that the network worked with the Trump administration to spread false information about a deceased staffer at the Democratic National Committee in order to distract from the Russian investigation. He said that Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman, who wrote the story on late DNC staffer Seth Rich, fabricated quotes by him in her piece. The story suggested that Rich…