Jul 17, 2017

McCain recovery may further delay health care vote

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Saturday that the health care vote, initially set for this week, would be delayed until Sen. John McCain returned to Washington following his surgery Friday, as the GOP needed his vote to ensure they'd get the 50 votes required to pass the health bill.

However, medical experts say McCain's surgery, in which doctors removed a two-inch blood clot from above his left eye, may be more serious than initially thought, and it could extend his recovery period by an additional week or two, per The New York Times.

Why it matters: The longer McCain stays out of commission, the harder it is for Senate Republicans to regain their momentum on health care -- and the longer opponents have to mobilize against it.

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Trump's clemency spree

Rod Blagojevich in 2010. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

President Trump announced Tuesday that he commuted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's 14-year prison sentence for extortion, bribery and corruption — as well as issuing full pardons for former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik and financier Michael Milken.

The big picture: The president's clemency spree largely benefitted white-collar criminals convicted of crimes like corruption, gambling fraud and racketeering, undercutting his message of "draining the swamp."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump's improbable moonshot

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NASA is unlikely to meet its deadline of sending astronauts to the surface of the Moon by 2024, even with a large influx of funding.

Why it matters: The Artemis mission to send people back to the Moon is the Trump administration's flagship space policy, and its aggressive, politically-motivated timeline is its hallmark.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Science

Justice Department says U.S. attorneys are reviewing Ukraine information

Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) Tuesday informing him that the U.S. attorneys for the Eastern District of New York and the Western District of Pennsylvania are reviewing "unsolicited" information from the public related to matters involving Ukraine.

Why it matters: Nadler had requested an explanation for the "intake process" that Attorney General Bill Barr stated had been set up in order to receive information that Rudy Giuliani had obtained about the Bidens in Ukraine.