J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) offered a cynical view Thursday of the Senate's outlook on the GOP's health care bill, stating that he doesn't think they'll reach a deal on the House-passed plan when the Senate returns from a recess next week, per the WSJ.

"It's unlikely that we will get a health-care deal," Burr told North Carolina news station WXII 12 News. He added that that the bill was "dead on arrival," and said "I don't see a comprehensive health-care plan this year."

Why it matters: It's just an opinion from one senator, but Burr is no stranger to health care. He and Sen. Orrin Hatch wrote one of the early Republican plans to replace the Affordable Care Act. So it's a pretty good sign of pessimism within the ranks.

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Appeals court allows House Democrats to continue lawsuit for Don McGahn testimony

Don McGahn in an October 2018 Cabinet meeting. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A D.C. appeals court on Friday allowed House Democrats to continue their case for testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn before the House Judiciary Committee.

Why it matters: The ruling has broader implications beyond this specific instance, agreeing that Congress has the standing to sue to enforce subpoenas against executive branch officials even if the White House refuses to comply.

There's little consensus on TikTok's specific national security threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok has become a Rorschach test for how U.S. politicians view China, with little consensus on the specifics of its threat to homeland security.

The big picture: Much of what D.C. fears about TikTok is fear itself, and that's reflected in President Trump's executive order to ban the app by Sept. 20 if it's not sold by parent company ByteDance — alongside another focused on Chinese messaging app WeChat and its parent company Tencent.

U.S. sanctions Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

The Treasury Department on Friday placed sanctions on Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, following months of tension as she has allowed continued overreach by Beijing to subvert Hong Kong's autonomy.

Why it matters: It's the toughest sanction yet imposed on China for its destruction of Hong Kong’s relatively free political system.