Politics

Ways to Connect

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This is also a moment when President Trump's relationship with members of his own party in Congress is strained, to say the least.

Trump scolded Senate Republicans in a White House meeting yesterday.

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Senator John McCain has brain cancer.

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What opportunities are there for a coal-mining community after its main industry has waned?

In Somerset County in southwestern Pennsylvania, that's not an easy question to answer. For this county of roughly 76,000 residents, renewable energy and health care offer hopes for its future. But first it has to attract qualified workers.

President Trump did not do much to sell the Senate health care bill before its failure. But he gave the sale a shot Wednesday in the White House before cameras and a captive audience of nearly all the Republican senators. His comments were at times confusing, and in some cases, outright incorrect.

It shows the challenge for a president who doesn't dive deeply into policy to sell his agenda.

A former head policy adviser at the Interior Department is accusing the Trump Administration of reassigning him to a lesser position for speaking out about the dangers of climate change.

Joel Clement, a scientist who was director of the Interior Department's Office of Policy Analysis for much of the Obama Administration, was recently reassigned to work to an "accounting office," the agency's Office of Natural Resources and Revenue.

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The Republican National Committee is joining a slew of deep-pocketed conservative PACs in taking aim at GOP lawmakers who say they will vote no on repealing Obamacare.

With no significant legislative successes in the months since the elections, Republicans are anxious to show that with control of the White House and majorities in both houses of Congress, they can get on with their agenda — a key component of which has long been rolling back President Obama's signature health care law.

Arizona Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer, the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix says. McCain, 80, underwent surgery for a blood clot on July 14.

The hospital says testing revealed that a tumor "known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot."

"The Senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options with his Mayo Clinic care team. Treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation," the hospital statement said.

President Trump says if he had known ahead of time that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, he would have chosen someone else for the post, calling the move "very unfair."

In an interview with The New York Times, he also accused James Comey, the FBI director that he fired in May, of trying to save his job by leveraging a dossier of compromising material on Trump.

President Trump lives in the White House, but he also spends weekends at his other residences in New York's Trump Tower and Florida's Mar-A-Lago resort. Taxpayers cover the security costs for his use of those private locations.

Now there will be yet another part-time residence covered by federal funds for security. Rep. Leonard Lance, a New Jersey Republican, announced Wednesday that the small town of Bedminster — population 9,000 — has been designated a priority for the Secret Service.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort, the president's eldest son and his former campaign chairman, are set to testify publicly next week before a committee probing Russia's attempts to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

In a statement issued by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Trump Jr. and Manafort are listed as witnesses scheduled to appear on Wednesday, July 26.

The two men are expected to be questioned about allegations of collusion with Russia to influence the election.

The forecast from the Congressional Budget Office on Senate Republicans' latest health care strategy isn't great — but it's no surprise either.

The CBO estimates that legislation that repeals key pillars of the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") would trim $473 billion off the federal deficit, but result in 32 million fewer insured Americans in the next decade. It would also see premiums rise, and likely force private insurers to abandon the individual market.

And nearly every Republican has already voted for it.

A presidential commission born of a presidential tweet held its first meeting on Wednesday to look into problems with voting that may undermine the public's confidence in elections.

But the tweet in question, where President Trump alleged without evidence that millions of people voted illegally last November, hung over the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity's first meeting after Trump made a surprise appearance.

The colorful scene melded two time-honored Texas traditions: political protest and the quinceañera.

With skirts flouncing, 15 young women ascended the steps of the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Wednesday morning to a traditional Mexican birthday song played in a mariachi style.

But there was no birthday to celebrate. Instead, the girls had gathered to protest a controversial immigration enforcement law that goes into effect September 1.

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Many Latinas mark their 15th birthdays with parties called quinceaneras. In Austin, Texas, it's popular to include a photo shoot on the steps of the state Capitol. Today that rite of passage took on a political bent. NPR's Vanessa Romo reports.

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California's Obamacare exchange scrubbed its annual rate announcement this week, the latest sign of how the ongoing political drama over the Affordable Care Act is roiling insurance markets nationwide.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

Today on “Political Rewind,” the Senate fumbles on health care, but President Trump tries to recover. Will a lunchtime meeting put a bill back in play? Our panel looks at the latest iteration of the attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare and what it means for those of us who rely on medical insurance. Our panel voted to draft Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson, already lauded for his bipartisanship by the New York Times, to lead the way forward.

Tymia McCullough fidgets in front of a mirror in her hotel room as her mom, Susie Pitts, puts the final touches on her hair and nervously drills her on what she is going to say when she gets to Capitol Hill.

"And this is where you let them know that Medicaid is what?" Pitts asks.

"Health assurance," Tymia responds.

"Health insurance that does what?"

"It pays for the need to see your doctor," Tymia says.

Tymia is just 11 years old. She came to Washington last week to lobby Congress over health care. Her family saw it as a life-or-death fight.

Job growth seems to be strong in one of Washington's specialized professions: defense attorneys for the White House. Investigations by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller and several congressional committees are driving the demand.

One question is this: Who is paying for all those lawyers?

Those who have recently lawyered up include President Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Vice President Pence.

Washington's most notorious ambassador is going home.

Sergei Kislyak, 66, has been due to return to Russia since last year, after serving throughout the Obama years. But his departure became the subject of fierce speculation when it emerged that Kislyak had communicated with key members of President Trump's team before he took office.

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Elon Musk is warning that artificial intelligence is a "fundamental existential risk for human civilization," and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is looking into how states can respond.

The Hamptons condo and apartment complex in Tampa is quintessential Florida. Lush and modern, the stucco homes are painted in a soft rainbow of pastels. All around are palm trees, Spanish moss and lily pads.

"It is a very quiet place. You have a lot of children that live here. A lot of professionals live here, retirees," said resident Michael Colon, 66.

But on May 19, that tranquility was shattered in an improbable case that involves four young roommates at the complex.

Two of the men are dead and the other two are in jail.

The White House announced Tuesday night that President Trump intends to nominate former Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah to be U.S. ambassador to Russia.

If confirmed, Huntsman would take over a high-profile post amid ongoing probes into Russian meddling in the presidential election and potential ties between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.

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