5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Senate GOP plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare rejected

  • Trump says 'time will tell' whether he fires Jeff Sessions

  • House overwhelmingly approves Russia sanctions bill

  • Senate Judiciary Committee drops Manafort subpoena in Russia investigation

  • Study identifies CTE in 110 of 111 donated NFL players' brains

The Senate on Tuesday night rejected a modified version of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Nine Republicans joined the Democrats in voting against the bill, and with a final total of 43 in favor and 57 against, the measure did not receive the 60 votes necessary to pass. Earlier in the day, the Senate split 50-50 on voting to begin debate on a health-care bill, and Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie, with the motion passing. On Wednesday, the Senate is set to vote on an amendment similar to a 2015 bill passed by the Senate to repeal ObamaCare, which was ultimately vetoed by former President Barack Obama; this proposal is expected to fail.

Source: Bloomberg

President Trump has been publicly criticizing Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Twitter, calling him "beleaguered" on Monday and accusing him Tuesday of having "taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes." Trump is reportedly contemplating replacing Sessions, and when asked Tuesday about the possibility, he reiterated his disappointment with Sessions' handling of leaks. "Time will tell," Trump said of Sessions' future. Trump's beef with Sessions, laid out in The New York Times, is that Sessions recused himself from the investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Moscow. Despite Trump's digs, Sessions' chief of staff, Jody Hunt, told Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff, that the attorney general has no intention of resigning, and in fact, "plans to move forward with his agenda in the department," one person familiar with the exchange told The Washington Post.

Source: The Washington Post, Bloomberg

On Tuesday, the House voted 419 to 3 to pass a bill that strengthens sanctions against Russia in response to its alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election. The sanctions primarily target Russian oil and gas projects with companies based in the United States and a handful of other countries, and will be difficult for President Trump to lift because he will need approval from Congress. It now heads to the Senate for a vote, and could be sent to Trump to sign into law before August, when Congress begins its recess. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the sanctions would be "harmful" to U.S.-Russian relations. The package also includes sanctions against Iran and North Korea, due to their weapons programs.

Source: USA Today

The Senate Judiciary Committee has dropped its subpoena for Paul Manafort, President Trump's onetime campaign chairman, to publicly testify Wednesday during a hearing on Russian meddling in the election because he has started to submit documents and is negotiating over a transcribed interview, the committee said in a statement. Earlier in the day, the committee's chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and ranking member, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), confirmed that a subpoena had been issued for Manafort after they had been "unable to reach an agreement for a voluntary, transcribed interview with the Judiciary Committee." Both Manafort and Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, met with the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday in a closed-door session that lasted several hours, detailing the meeting they attended in June 2016 with a Kremlin-linked attorney.

Source: Politico

A study published Tuesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that of 111 brains of deceased NFL players, all but one showed signs of the neurodegenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The 111 brains were donated for scientific research, and 110 showed signs of the disease. Symptoms of CTE — which can only be diagnosed with an autopsy — include memory loss, confusion, and depression. The players whose brains were examined spanned every position, from quarterbacks to running backs to linemen. Neuropathologist Ann McKee cautioned against making generalizations about the incidence of CTE in larger populations, but said the study made one thing clear: "It is no longer debatable whether or not there is a problem in football — there is a problem."

Source: The Journal of the American Medical Association, The New York Times
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