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Trump threatens Obamacare payments

Andrew Harnik / AP

Trump told the WSJ that he may withhold payments to health insurers to force Democrats to negotiate on health care.

He said the executive branch may lack legal authority to issue the payments, which reduce costs for low-income customers:

"I don't want people to get hurt. What I think should happen—and will happen—is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating."

Why it matters: Trump's comments threaten to escalate not just the battle with Democrats, but the uncertainty among insurers, which are already saying they may have to pull out of the Obamacare markets or raise premiums if they don't know what's going to happen with the payments.

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Where Trump's steel and aluminum trade war will hit first

Note: Includes only products under the "Iron & Steel & Ferroalloy" and "Alumina & Aluminum & Processing" NAICS commodity classifications. Data: Census Bureau; Chart: Chris Canipe and Lazaro Gamio / Axios

The Trump administration has begun imposing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, but several countries are exempted temporarily until May 1, as shown in the chart above. The administration may still apply quotas on exempted countries to prevent a flood of foreign steel and aluminum in the U.S. market, per the White House.

Why it matters: After railroading past a number of his advisors, Trump announced the tariffs on imports of steel (at 25%) and aluminum (at 10%) earlier this month, citing national security concerns. But with the exemption noted above, the tariffs won't carry major bite, at least to start.

Alexi McCammond 3 hours ago
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Trump signs spending bill despite veto threat

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump announced that he has signed the $1.3 trillion spending bill that passed Congress last night "as a matter of national security," citing the bill's increase in defense spending, even though he threatened to veto earlier today. "My highest duty is to keep America safe," Trump said. He said he's disappointed in most of the bill.

Key quote: "I will never sign another bill like this again. I'm not going to do it again. Nobody read it. It's only hours old."