Jul 27, 2017

GOP senators put the pressure on the House

Rob Groulx / Axios

Three Republican senators — John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Ron Johnson — put the Senate's "skinny repeal" of the Affordable Care Act in danger Thursday evening, saying they won't vote for it unless Speaker Paul Ryan and his team assure them the bill will go to conference with the House.

"The skinny bill as policy is a disaster," Graham told reporters at a press conference. "I need assurance from the Speaker of the House and his team that if I vote for the skinny bill, it will not become the final product…If I don't get those assurance, I am a no."

But so far, the House has said no such thing. Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said only that a conference committee is "one option under consideration." House leadership aides are very concerned about whether there's anything that can come from a House-Senate conference committee that could pass through the Senate. Why put their members — which have already taken an extremely tough vote — through all of this again, just to get nothing done?

Bottom line: The skinny repeal is actually in mortal danger, and its fate seems to rest, yet again, with Ryan.

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Trump indulges Wall Street with Milken pardon

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Donald Trump loves Wall Street shenanigans. Companies owned by him have declared bankruptcy six different times, and he was once sued alongside Mike Milken for participating in a scheme to artificially inflate junk-bond prices.

Driving the news: Trump pardoned Milken this week, with an official statement positively gushing over Milken's role in developing the wilder side of fixed-income capital markets.

Situational awareness

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison
  2. Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout
  3. Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in $13 billion deal
  4. Coronavirus slams companies' 2020 sales projections
  5. Black activist group gives its first presidential endorsement to Elizabeth Warren

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,100 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 114 new deaths since Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health