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Kaine: I think Alexander-Murray will pass

Photo: Chuck Kennedy / Axios

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told Axios' Mike Allen Wednesday that he predicts the bipartisan Alexander-Murray health care bill "will pass as some part of a must-pass piece of legislation," but not as a stand-alone bill. Kaine said he expects it will move forward with the federal spending bill in December.

His bottom line: Kaine admitted that anything modest that's bipartisan on health care "will be a good sign" to the American people.

More from Kaine:

  • On his Medicare X plan: Kaine took the opportunity to pitch his plan, which leaves the individual health care mandate in place, adds no new taxes, and introduces a public option.
  • Health insurance in the individual market: "I don't think were going to long tolerate big parts of the population not being able to buy insurance on the individual market."
  • Single-payer vs. Block grants to the states: "Both turn the system topsy turvey... I do like more choices rather than fewer."
  • Does a single-payer plan set you up to disappoint your base? Kaine recognized that in order to pass successful legislation, he'll have to disappoint some people.
Mike Allen 6 hours ago
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A White House olive branch: no plan to fire Mueller

Photo: Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

After a weekend at war with the Mueller investigation, the White House is extending an olive branch. Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer handling the probe, plans to issue this statement:

“In response to media speculation and related questions being posed to the Administration, the White House yet again confirms that the President is not considering or discussing the firing of the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.”

Why it matters: The White House strategy had been to cooperate with Mueller. So this is an effort to turn down the temperature after a weekend of increasingly personal provocations aimed at the special counsel.

Jonathan Swan 8 hours ago
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Trump's trade plan that would blow up the WTO

President Trump announces tariffs on steel and aluminum earlier this month, flanked by Steven Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, Robert Lighthizer, and Peter Navarro. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

For months, President Donald Trump has been badgering his economic advisors to give him broad, unilateral authority to raise tariffs — a move that would all but break the World Trade Organization.

His favorite word: “reciprocal.” He’s always complaining to staff about the fact that the U.S. has much lower tariffs on some foreign goods than other countries have on the same American-made goods. The key example is cars: The European Union has a 10 percent tariff on all cars, including those manufactured in America, and China hits all foreign-made cars with 25 percent tariffs. But the U.S. only charges 2.5 percent for foreign cars we import.