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Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Congress has, after more than 100 days, voted to fund the Children's Health Insurance for six years. But we're likely to keep hearing about the program — either as part of campaign ads heading into this year's midterms, or a push for an even longer extension. 

The bottom line: It doesn't matter whose fault it was: The funding delay came at a price. "At a minimum families have experienced anxiety but it is also possible that families may have thought the program was closed and not enrolled their kids. And states have wasted a lot of time and energy developing contingency plans," said Joan Alker of Georgetown's Center for Children and Families.

So who came out of this with the moral high ground? No one. Republicans are going to hit Democrats for voting against children's health insurance as part of the spending bill, and Democrats are going to hit Republicans for using CHIP as political leverage.

  • Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, a vulnerable Democrat, may be in particularly hot water, as he voted against the bill twice (for reasons unrelated to CHIP). The vast majority of congressional Democrats voted against bills that funded CHIP, before voting yesterday to extend the program.
  • It's true that Republicans attached CHIP to the spending bill to attract votes for it. But most of them never actually cast a vote against funding the program. The charge is GOP leadership left the program in limbo for months, refusing to bring a consensus bill up for a vote on its own.
  • Then again, funding entitlements isn't exactly a winning issue for red-state Republicans running against vulnerable Democrats. "R’s took the issue away from D’s but I don’t see R’s using it affirmatively," said a source close to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

For example:

  • Tyler Law, a spokesman for House Democrats' campaign arm: "Republicans hung families out to dry for months and many Americans received notifications that they could lose their insurance. People aren’t going to forget who endangered their child’s healthcare."
  • Michael Ahrens, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee: “Republicans are going to make sure voters remember who stood up for Americans’ priorities, and who stood against them. Now we can add health insurance funding for nearly 9 million children to a growing list of priorities that Democrats obstructed.”

What happens next: Probably nothing, but we could see a push for a longer CHIP extension, or even to make it permanent.

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Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies.

The state of play: Biden also raised arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to a White House readout. The statement said Biden and Putin agreed maintain "consistent communication," and that Biden stressed the U.S. would "act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies."

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.