Jul 31, 2017

Hatch: GOP senators "too divided" to reach health care deal

Rick Bowmer / AP

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch told Reuters Monday that senators are "too divided" right now to continue working on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, and said he plans to relay that message to the White House.

"There's just too much animosity and we're too divided on healthcare."— Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

Hatch added that he still believes healthcare is a priority, but not a pressing one, and that Congress can always go back to it at a later date. "We need to move ahead on tax reform," he said.

Meanwhile, President Trump has been urging GOP senators to keep working on legislation that will overhaul the entire health care system. "Don't give up Republican senators, the world is watching: Repeal & Replace..." he tweeted Sunday.

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Barr claims "no correlation" between removing protesters and Trump's church photo op

Attorney General Bill Barr said at a press conference Thursday that there was "no correlation" between his decision to order police to forcibly remove protesters from Lafayette Park and President Trump's subsequent visit to St. John's Episcopal Church earlier this week.

Driving the news: Barr was asked to respond to comments from Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said Tuesday that he "did not know a photo op was happening" and that he does everything he can to "try and stay out of situations that may appear political."

Updates: Cities move to end curfews for George Floyd protests

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several cities are ending curfews after the protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people led to fewer arrests and less violence Wednesday night.

The latest: Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are the latest to end nightly curfews. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Wednesday night that "peaceful protests can continue without a curfew, while San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted that the city's curfew would end at 5 a.m. Thursday.

Murkowski calls Mattis' Trump criticism "true and honest and necessary and overdue"

Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Thursday that she agreed with former Defense Secretary James Mattis' criticism of President Trump, calling it "true and honest and necessary and overdue."

Why it matters: Murkowski, who has signaled her discomfort with the president in the past, also said that she's "struggling" with her support for him in November — a rare full-on rebuke of Trump from a Senate Republican.