Morning Report: July 28, 2017

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“Skinny” Repeal Misses Mark as John McCain Leads 3 Republicans Against Health Care Reform

The drama on the floor of the U.S. Senate to replace and repeal Obamacare stretched into the morning hours of Friday.

The discussion was related to the “Skinny” repeal. If it had passed, here’s what it would have done:

  • Planned Parenthood defunded for a year (Community Health Center funding increased);
  • States would get waivers to have more control of health care funding;
  • Individual Mandate eliminated (Requires people to purchase health insurance);
  • Medical Device Tax suspended for 6 years; and
  • CBO Estimates 16 million more people would become uninsured.

Senator Bernie Sanders clearly doesn’t think much of the “skinny” repeal, tweeting:

It was a dramatic scene as Senator John McCain met with Democratic leadership on the floor of the Senate to tell them he was not supporting health care reform. Vice President Mike Pence tried to change his mind in the open session, but it was clear McCain said, “No chance.”

Health care reform is expected to go back to committee, with the possibility of a bipartisan effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.

The Gingrich, Scaramucci, Priebus, Bannon Feud Grows

New White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci might want to work on his communication skills.

In a story from TheHill.com, the feud between Scaramucci, Priebus, and Steve Bannon appears to be escalating.

The story details Scaramucci accusing Priebus of leaking details of a private dinner with President Trump. Scaramucci told New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza in a phone conversation, “Reince is a…paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.” Scaramucci was angry that Lizza found out he planned to dine with Trump, Fox News host Sean Hannity and former Fox News executive Bill Shine at the White House.

Scaramucci also laid into Steve Bannon in the same call, using vulgar language to describe the White House advisor.

In a tweet on Thursday, Scaramucci wrote:

On Thursday, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich took Scaramucci to task, saying the director is “being more pugnacious than effective.”

Gingrich was speaking about Scaramucci’s tweets that targeted White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

He did say the newcomer would be a “great asset,” but then stated, “I think he has to learn to be a part of some planned process if he’s gonna actually live that out.”

The Russia, Iran, and North Korea Sanctions Act

On the same day they decided the fate of health care reform, the U.S. Senate sent a Russia Sanctions bill to the desk of President Trump.

The measure is one of the first bipartisan pieces of legislation passed during Trump’s presidency, and it effectively ties the hands of the president when it comes to easing Russia sanctions.

President Trump has stated he might veto the bill for “tougher” sanctions.

The bill also includes new sanctions on Iran and North Korea. It was the product of hard fought negotiations between the House and Senate. At times it didn’t appear the bill would make it to the floor of the Senate.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the bill disappointing and not in the best interest of improving relations between the US and Russia.