Week in Review
- The Supreme Court allowed part of President Donald Trump’s travel ban to take effect, saying the temporary restrictions could not be imposed on people who have a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the United States. Hawaii brought forth a legal challenge that asked a federal judge to clarify whether the Department of Homeland Security violated the Supreme Court’s instructions regarding which family members qualify as having bona fide relationships.
- The White House said the Syrian government is engaging in activities similar to those it took before launching a chemical weapons attack in April. Press secretary Sean Spicer warned that President Bashar al-Assad “and his military will pay a heavy price” if they use chemical weapons again.
- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Trump met in person to discuss trade and security, including the threat of North Korea. Trump is expected to visit South Korea this year.
- Trump sparked a firestorm when he disparaged the appearance and intellect of MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski, who responded by writing an op-ed with co-host Joe Scarborough. Republican lawmakers chastised Trump for his Twitter remarks.
Trump is viewed most favorably compared to the House and Senate leaders, according to a recent poll. When voters were asked who in the GOP should best reflect the party’s values, 85 percent of Americans picked Trump.
- The Congressional Budget Office published two reports that rattled the fragile negotiations over the Senate’s health care bill. A planned vote on the legislation was ultimately scrapped. One of the two CBO reports estimated that the GOP measure would leave 22 million more Americans without health insurance and reduce the federal deficit by $321 billion over a decade – $202 billion more than the House-passed American Health Care Act. The second CBO analysis projected that the Senate bill, if enacted, would slash Medicaid spending by 35 percent in its second decade of implementation.
- Fifty-three percent of Americans, and 41 percent of Republicans, oppose the cuts to Medicaid proposed in the Senate’s legislative effort to repeal and replace key parts of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
- The House passed two bills designed to curb illegal immigration. One measure, known as Kate’s Law, would stiffen penalties for undocumented immigrants with criminal convictions who re-enter the United States illegally after being deported. The other bill would allow the federal government to withhold funding for so-called sanctuary cities. Both measures face long odds in the Senate.
- John Podesta, the former chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, testified privately before the House Intelligence Committee to discuss the panel’s investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election.
- Former Rep. Brad Ashford (D-Neb.), who is seeking a return to Capitol Hill, was among several Democrats who voiced less-than-enthusiastic support for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the role she’s played in Democratic efforts to win back the House. A recent poll illustrated why Pelosi is considered a ripe target for the GOP.