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Photo: Jon Cherry via Getty Images

Republican members of Congress sought to minimize the Capitol insurrection at a House hearing on Wednesday, with statements calling pro-Trump rioters "patriots" and other lawmakers falsely denying demonstrators were supporters of the former president at all.

Driving the news: The hearing comes shortly after House Republicans voted to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from leadership over her criticism of former President Trump's actions leading up to and on Jan. 6.

What they're saying:

Rep. Ralph Norman (S.C.): "I don’t know who did the poll to say that they were Trump supporters."

Rep. Jody Hice (Ga.): "It was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others."

Rep. Paul Gosar (Ariz.): "Do you recall the name of the young lady, a veteran wrapped in an American flag, who was killed in the U.S. Capitol?" Gosar asked former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. "As the death certificate says, it was a homicide. Who executed Ashli Babbitt?" Gosar added.

  • Gosar was referring to Babbitt, an Air Force veteran who was shot in the left shoulder by an officer after she tried to climb through a broken window on a door into the Speaker's Lobby — located just off the House chamber floor.

Rep. Andrew Clyde (Ga.): "There was no insurrection. To call it an insurrection is a bold-faced lie."

Go deeper

Wyoming GOP leaders will no longer recognize Liz Cheney over Trump vote

Rep. Liz Cheney, (R-Wyo.), delivers an opening statement during the opening hearing of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2021. Photo: Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images

Two Wyoming Republican leaders voted to no longer recognize Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wy.) as a member of their party, six months after she voted to impeach former President Trump, per the Casper Star-Tribune.

Why it matters: While symbolic, the move is the latest censuring that Cheney has faced for diverging from much of her party's response to the Capitol riot.

Stock buybacks boom as corporate cash piles grow

The Delta variant is keeping more companies cautious about how to invest the mountains of cash they have at their disposal. That hesitancy has led, in part, to corporate spending on stock buybacks outpacing capital expenditures this year. 

Why it matters: Companies hoarded cash and raised prices over the past year — leaving them with a lot of money and decisions about what to do with it.

2 hours ago - Health

Health policies at stake in Democrats' infrastructure bet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Democrats are at a pivotal moment in their quest to expand health care coverage, slash the cost of prescription drugs and create a social structure that prioritizes people's health.

Driving the news: Democrats have a clear list of health care priorities they'll be fighting for this week. Among them is a measure to expand Medicare to cover dental, vision and hearing benefits.