White House withdraws plan to slash Ebola funding

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The White House has walked back its plan to cut $252 million in leftover funding from the Obama administration to curb the Ebola virus in Africa, the AP reports.

Why it matters: There has recently been an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The White House said last week the USAID has contributed up to $8 million to combat the Ebola outbreak, including $5 million allocated from the Secretary of State.

The backdrop: The proposal to cut funding is connected to a $15 billion "rescissions" package the White House sent to Congress in early May for approval, but has since lost traction on the Hill. The administration wanted to slash funds from 38 programs, including the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Affordable Care Act, which an official had said "are just sitting in accounts" and not being used.

  • The White House is also walking back its plan cut $107 million appropriated to assist communities ravaged by hurricane Sandy in 2012 to rebuild watersheds and floodplains, per the AP.

What's next

University of Minnesota student jailed in China over tweets

Xi Jinping. Photo: Noel Celis - Pool/ Getty Images

A University of Minnesota student has been arrested in China and sentenced to six months in prison for tweets he posted while in the United States, according to a Chinese court document viewed by Axios. Some of the tweets contained images deemed to be unflattering portrayals of a "national leader."

Why it matters: The case represents a dramatic escalation of the Chinese government's attempts to shut down free speech abroad, and a global expansion of a Chinese police campaign a year ago to track down Twitter users in China who posted content critical of the Chinese government.

Go deeperArrow5 mins ago - World

⚖️ Live updates: Opening arguments begin in Trump impeachment trial

The second day of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump will see a full day of opening arguments from Democratic House impeachment managers.

What to watch for: Democrats now have 24 hours — spread out over three days — to take their time to lay out their case against the president's alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It'll also allow them to highlight gaps that could be filled out by additional witnesses and documents from the administration.

This post will be updated with new developments as the trial continues.

Go deeperArrowJan 21, 2020 - Politics

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