News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Senate Kills Health Care, Russia Sanctions, FBI Leaks and Much, Much More

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Good Friday Morning.

Here is what’s on the President’s agenda today:

  • In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will meet with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
  • The President will then depart the White House for Joint Base Andrews, en route to Ronkonkoma, New York.
  • In the afternoon, the President will give remarks on MS-13 to Federal, State, and local law enforcement.
  • The President will then depart Ronkonkoma, New York for Washington, D.C., en route to the White House.

Photo of the day:

A man uses a bucket to fight a fire in a field outside the village of Sao Jose das Matas, near Macao, central Portugal, Wednesday, July 26 2017. More than 2,300 firefighters with more than 700 vehicles are tackling wildfires in Portugal, where every summer large areas of woodland are scorched. The flames were being driven by powerful winds across steep hillsides of dense pine and eucalyptus forest Wednesday. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

“Skinny repeal” dies

After 20 hours of debate, the ‘skinny repeal’of healthcare is dead.

Early Friday morning, the Senate voted against a “skinny” plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Republican senators formed the last-ditch effort, called the “Health Care Freedom Act,” after earlier votes on the Senate’s healthcare plans failed.

The vote failed, with 49 voting in favor and 51 voting against. Three Republican senators — McCain, as well as Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — voted no. All 48 Democrats joined them.

There was considerable effort to get John McCain on board, but alas.

The failure left Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with no clear options moving forward. The Senate has been grappling for weeks with healthcare overhaul, running through different versions of legislation before settling on the more modest attempt with the aim of moving to a conference with the House of Representatives.

In a surreal scene on the Senate floor, McConnell and Vice President Mike Pence were seen before the vote speaking with McCain. A previous vote was left open for more than 40 minutes as it appeared Republican leaders attempted to convince McCain, who made a dramatic return to the Senate this week after being diagnosed with brain cancer, to change his vote.

In announcing his vote, McCain came to the Senate floor and loudly said “no” before walking off.

“It’s time for our friends on the other side to tell us what they have in mind, and we’ll see how the American people feel about their ideas,” McConnell said after the vote, suggesting it was time to “move on” from healthcare.

Schumer was “relieved” about the failure.

And…scene.

Russia sanctions pass the Senate

…and are headed to Trump to sign.

Senators are sending legislation slapping new sanctions on Moscow to President Trump’s desk, setting up a potential showdown with the White House over Russia.

Senators voted 98-2 on the bill, which would give Congress the ability to block Trump from lifting the Russia sanctions. It also includes new penalties against Iran and North Korea.

Will Trump sign it? Stay tuned.

Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci told CNN that “he may sign the sanctions exactly the way they are, or he may veto the sanctions and negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians.”

Other Morsels:

In case you missed the Scarmucci kerfuffle yesterday…

A top FBI lawyer is allegedly under an investigation for leaking classified information to the media

Hillary Clinton calling new book ‘What Happened’

Police now believe that the Grenfell Tower fire was corporate manslaughter

Russia seizes 2 U.S. properties and orders embassy to cut staff

German Shepherds dying in misery due to intensive breeding

Sessions stands by Russia probe recusal in face of Trump criticism, says he made ‘right decision’

Muslim men under 50 banned from Jerusalem shrine; security forces on high alert

With money bail, system continues to criminalize poverty

Breast milk brownies? Facebook reacts to mom’s bake sale treat

And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!