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Evan Vucci / AP

Paul Ryan defended the Republican health care plan on ABC's "This Week," and said it would be a "disaster" for Republicans in the midterms if they didn't repeal the ACA.

  • Repeated lines: Bill is a "rescue mission," Obamacare is "collapsing."
  • Rushed vote, lack of CBO score: Ryan said that's a "bogus attack from the left" (Lindsey Graham would disagree)
  • Expecting changes in Senate: Ryan said the Senate would have to "complete the job" of making sure 55-64 year olds aren't hurt by the plan.
  • Testy exchange: Ryan, "People want the peace of mind of knowing they can get affordable coverage," Stephanopoulos, "and a lot of people think it's going to be worse."
  • Speaking of critics: Sen. Susan Collins followed Ryan on This Week and said she's not convinced the House bill would handle pre-existing conditions as well as the ACA: "So much discretion is given to the states without any guardrails."

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use"

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

The CDC is urging “universal face mask use” for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing recent case spikes as the U.S. has entered a phase of “high-level transmission” before winter officially begins.

Why it matters: Daily COVID-related deaths across the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday. Face coverings have been shown to increase protection of the wearer and those around them, despite some Americans' reluctance to use them.

3 hours ago - World

Saudi Arabia and Qatar near deal to end standoff, sources say

Qatar's prime minister (R) attends the 2019 Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Saudi Arabia. Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are close to a deal to end the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf following U.S.-mediated reconciliation talks this week, sources familiar with the talks tell me.

Why it matters: Restoring relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar would bring a sense of stability back to the Gulf after a 3.5 year standoff. It could also notch a last-minute achievement for the Trump administration before Jan. 20.

House passes bill to decriminalize marijuana

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a longtime marijuana legalization advocate and co-sponsor of the bill. Photo: Pete Marovich For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House on Friday voted 228-164 in favor of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, marking the first time a congressional chamber has voted in favor of decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level.

Why it matters: The Washington Post describes the bill as a "landmark retreat in the nation’s decades-long war on drugs," which has disproportionately affected people of color.