Welcome to Barf Bag, a daily politics roundup to help you sort through the chaotic Trumpian news cycle.
Did everyone read about the evasive female elk, apparently “invulnerable” to hunters? Nature is really an elegant mirror.
Here’s all the shit we couldn’t cover today:
- As Senate Republicans leaders continue with their behind-closed-doors attempt to repeal Obamacare, members of their own party have grown increasingly wary of the secretive process. According to the New York Times, Senators Bob Corker, Rand Paul, Ron Johnson, and John McCain have each publicly voiced their concerns over the secrecy surrounding the bill. No one outside of Senate leaders has seen the bill. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer quipped that Republicans were hiding the bill because they are “ashamed of the bill.” “If they like the bill, they’d have brass bands marching down the middle of small-town America saying what a great bill it is. But they know it isn’t,” Schumer told the Times. Majority leader Mitch McConnell downplayed the criticism saying that there had already been “gazillions of hearings on this subject” over the last decade and, therefore, no need to have a public debate over a bill that will impact the lives of millions of Americans. [New York Times]
- Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has also not seen the bill. [Twitter]
- Price also couldn’t say whether or not the House version of the bill was “mean” as Donald Trump allegedly characterized it earlier this month. [Talking Points Memo]
- Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski says that she doesn’t know if she can support the bill “because I don’t know where it’s going.” [The Hill]
- Maybe the bill is hiding with the evasive female elk.
- Now back to Russia: Richard Burt, a lobbyist for “Russian interests” contradicted Jeff Sessions’s Senate testimony when he confirmed to The Guardian that he attended two dinners hosted by the former Senator during the 2016 campaign. Burt, a former ambassador to Germany, did not know if Sessions was aware of his role as a lobbyist. [The Guardian]
- The Senate has passed legislation imposing sanctions on Russia. The bill, opposed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, allows Congress 30 days to “review and potentially block Trump from lifting or relaxing Russia sanctions, codify the sanctions on Russia imposed by executive order by the Obama administration, and allow the Trump administration to impose new sanctions on sectors of the Russian economy.” [The Hill]
- Speaking of Russia, Mike Pence has hired legal counsel to guide him through the congressional investigation of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. [Washington Post]
- Sara Sanders says that Trump has the “right” to fire Rober Mueller but “has no intention to do so.” [Bloomberg]
- EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is just fine with all of the budget cuts to his agency. [Washington Post]
- Karen Handel, the Republican candidate in the Georgia House race, said in a Facebook post that “suspicious packages” were delivered to her home as well as the homes of her neighbors. “The packages contained threatening letters and a suspicious substance,” she wrote. Law enforcement is investigating. [Talking Points Memo]
- The President and First Lady visited Representative Steve Scalise in the hospital. “It’s been much more difficult than people even thought at the time,” Trump said. “He’s in some trouble. But he’s a great fighter and he’s going to be okay, we hope.” [The Guardian]
Here are some tweets the president was allowed to publish:
This has been Barf Bag.