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CMS Administrator Seema Verma. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

The Trump administration plans to issue guidance — potentially this month — on state waivers to change Medicaid funding into a block grant, the Wall Street Journal scoops.

The intrigue: This is somewhat surprising, after the Office of Management and Budget indicated in November that the guidance was no longer happening.

Why it matters: Some red states have already expressed interest in block grants, and supporters say they give states more flexibility, but consumer groups argue that they could lead to thousands of low-income people losing health coverage.

Yes, but: Like work requirements and several other pieces of the Trump administration's health agenda, block grants are likely to be challenged in court.

Go deeper: Tennessee block grant plan faces uphill battle

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Biden's big Saudi reset

Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Ryad Kramdi/AFP via Getty

President Biden spoke with Saudi Arabia's King Salman this evening ahead of the release of a CIA report expected to implicate the king's son, and the kingdom's de facto ruler, in the murder of a U.S.-based journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

Why it matters: In one month, Biden has ended support for the Saudi war effort in Yemen, frozen a large arms deal and snubbed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) by declining to speak with him directly.