Town hall watch: Grassley, Ernst face the hecklers

Nicki Kohl/Telegraph Herald via Associated Press

That Obamacare replacement outline House Republicans released last week doesn't seem to have given GOP lawmakers much to say about their post-repeal plans. Read on to see how the Obamacare feedback went at yesterday's rowdy town halls.

  • "You're going to create one great big death panel in this country for people can't afford to get insurance." — Audience member at Sen. Chuck Grassley's town hall in Iowa Falls, per Politico's Jen Haberkorn.
  • "What we're doing is working through a number of different plans that have been proposed." — Sen. Joni Ernst at her town hall in Maquoketa, Iowa, per video posted by CNN's Eric Bradner. (On letting young adults stay on their parents' plans: "This is something that the state of Iowa did before the ACA was ever in place.")
  • "No one's going to have the rug pulled out from under them. There will be a transition path. And from there it's a debate over what the replacement looks like." — Rep. Dave Brat at his town hall in Blackstone, Virginia, per Facebook video posted by BuzzFeed.
  • "You can go to C-SPAN and pull up the Blair House summit from 2010." — Rep. Marsha Blackburn at a town hall livestreamed by the Tennessean, in response to a question about why the GOP hasn't put out a replacement plan after seven years. (She said Republicans laid out a plan at the 2010 summit with President Barack Obama.)
  • When Republicans get more legislative details next week on their Obamacare repeal and replacement plans, Blackburn said, "of course we're going to be more than happy to talk in more detail, hand you the legislation and say, 'Have a read.'"

What's next

⚖️ Live updates: Democrats close out their opening arguments

House managers wrapped up their three-day impeachment presentation with a direct appeal to the senators to think about the precedent their actions — or more notably their inaction — would have on democracy and Congress’ future ability to serve as a check on the president.

The close: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) anticipated attacks on him, other House managers, the Ukraine whistleblower, and the Bidens from Trump's team, which begins its defense of the president on Saturday. He appealed directly to GOP senators: “Real political courage does not come from disagreement with our opponents, but disagreeing with our friends and our own party.”

Go deeperArrowJan 21, 2020 - Politics

Death toll climbs in coronavirus outbreak

41 people have died from an outbreak of a coronavirus strain that originated in Wuhan, China, AP reports.

The latest: The respiratory illness has made its way to Europe, with France confirming three cases, Reuters reports. France's Health Minister Agnès Buzyn said Friday two patients are hospitalized in Paris. The other case is in the southwestern city of Bordeaux. They had returned from a trip that had a stop in Wuhan.

Go deeperArrowJan 20, 2020 - World

Lawyer alleges Giuliani associate recorded Trump comments on Ukrainian ambassador

Photo: Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The lawyer for Lev Parnas, a Rudy Giuliani associate, claims there is a recording of President Trump saying former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch should be fired, the Daily Beast reports.

The latest: Parnas said on Friday that he has turned the recording over to the House Intelligence Committee, per the New York Times — as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) led House Democrats in laying out the case for impeaching Trump before the Senate.