Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

House Speaker Paul Ryan pledged Wednesday to pass a "strong, bold" Russia sanctions bill, referring to himself as "a Russia hawk," per the AP.

Context: A sanctions bill passed the Senate by a 97-2 vote, but Democrats are accusing House Republicans of stalling, per Reuters. Ryan said a procedural issue is causing the holdup.

Why it matters: Axios' Jonathan Swan reports that the White House is racing to stop Congress from sending the bill to Trump's desk. Legislative Director Marc Short says the bill "greatly hampers the executive branch's diplomatic efforts," and CIA Director Mike Pompeo told Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy the bill would affect his "ability to do his work and his job, a few elements of it."

The Dem stance: Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said delays make it look as though House leaders are "in protective mode" for the White House.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 11,520,461 — Total deaths: 535,499 — Total recoveries — 6,231,052Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 2,911,888 — Total deaths: 130,101 — Total recoveries: 906,763 — Total tested: 35,515,075Map.
  3. Public health: Case growth outpacing testing in hotspots.
  4. States: West Virginia becomes latest state to mandate facial coverings in public.
  5. Politics: Cuomo accuses Trump of "enabling" the coronavirus surge — Sen. Chuck Grassley opts out of attending GOP convention over coronavirus concerns.

Trump ramps up culture war attacks

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump's attacks are spreading to sports that are cornerstones of rural, conservative white American life.

Why it matters: The culture war that engulfed the NBA and NFL is reaching other major leagues, with teams that stonewalled activists for years suddenly showing a willingness to listen.

Foreign students could be forced to leave U.S. if colleges move online

Harvard University campus. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Foreign college students could be forced to leave the U.S. or transfer schools if their universities move classes entirely online this fall, according to guidance released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday.

Why it matters: Several U.S. colleges and universities — most recently Harvard — have announced plans to move most or all courses online this fall due to coronavirus concerns. Many institutions rely heavily on tuition from international students.