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HHS on Obamacare subsidies: Not so fast, we haven't decided

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The Department of Health and Human Services is disputing a New York Times report that it has decided to keep paying for Obamacare cost-sharing subsidies for low-income people. "The administration is currently deciding its position on this matter," HHS spokeswoman Alleigh Marré said in a statement this afternoon. "The report was in reference to the current status of the lawsuit [over the subsidies] and is not an indication of what will happen in the future."

Why it matters: The Trump administration says it will keep paying the subsidies while a congressional lawsuit is being resolved, as the Times story points out — but HHS wants to make sure everyone understands that it hasn't made any long-term decisions. And that's likely to create more uncertainty for insurers, not less, as they decide whether to stay in the Obamacare marketplaces next year.

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Where Trump's steel and aluminum trade war will hit first

Note: Includes only products under the "Iron & Steel & Ferroalloy" and "Alumina & Aluminum & Processing" NAICS commodity classifications. Data: Census Bureau; Chart: Chris Canipe and Lazaro Gamio / Axios

The Trump administration has begun imposing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, but several countries are exempted temporarily until May 1, as shown in the chart above. The administration may still apply quotas on exempted countries to prevent a flood of foreign steel and aluminum in the U.S. market, per the White House.

Why it matters: After railroading past a number of his advisors, Trump announced the tariffs on imports of steel (at 25%) and aluminum (at 10%) earlier this month, citing national security concerns. But with the exemption noted above, the tariffs won't carry major bite, at least to start.

Alexi McCammond 4 hours ago
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Trump signs spending bill despite veto threat

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump announced that he has signed the $1.3 trillion spending bill that passed Congress last night "as a matter of national security," citing the bill's increase in defense spending, even though he threatened to veto earlier today. "My highest duty is to keep America safe," Trump said. He said he's disappointed in most of the bill.

Key quote: "I will never sign another bill like this again. I'm not going to do it again. Nobody read it. It's only hours old."