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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks at a 2017 event dedicated to the seventh anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic House committee chairs have written new letters to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Attorney General Bill Barr demanding information on the administration's decisions about the latest Affordable Care Act lawsuit.

Why it matters: The Department of Justice last year announced that it would no longer defend the ACA against a lawsuit brought by GOP attorneys general alleging that the 2017 tax law made the health care law unconstitutional.

Context: The administration recently laid out its argument for why the entire ACA should fall, a position it signaled in March.

  • House Democrats first wrote to the administration officials in April asking for documents related to its decision. Neither the White House or the DOJ complied, and the new letters reiterate the request.

The bottom line: Their goal is to understand how the decision was made, "including whether the President or anyone in the White House instructed the [DOJ] to override its legal conclusions."

  • The chairmen are also asking that Russ Vought, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, be made available for an interview. They write that they're concerned that "politically-motivated forces inside the White House and the Office of Management and Budget" drove the decision.

Where it stands: The chairs set a deadline of May 27. "If we do not receive a response by this date, we will have no choice but to consider alternative means of obtaining compliance," they write.

Go deeper: Inside the Trump administration's case for killing the ACA

Go deeper

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Winter view from Charlotte as winter storm Izzy creates dangerous conditions in Charlotte, N.C. on Jan. 16. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The big picture: Heavy snow and ice accumulations were "likely to produce hazardous travel," downed trees and more outages from the Mid-South to the Northeast, per the National Weather Service. Some parts of the U.S. can expect to see up to a foot of snow through Monday.

Updated 4 hours ago - Science

Volcanic eruption in Tonga caused "significant" damage

This satellite image of the eruption on Jan. 15 taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Photo: NICT via AP

Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.

Driving the news: The eruption triggered tsunami warnings across Tonga's islands and in other regions, including the West Coast of the U.S. and New Zealand.

5 hours ago - World

North Korea launches 4th suspected missile test this month

A news broadcast in Seoul, South Korea, of an apparent North Korean missile test on Monday morning local time. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

North Korea's military fired "two suspected short-range ballistic missiles" eastward from Pyongyang on Monday morning local time, per South Korean and Japanese officials.

Why it matters: The fourth such launch since Jan. 5 comes days after North Korea's military warned of "stronger" action if the U.S. moved to have more sanctions imposed on the country.