Trump Says Transgender People Will Not Be Allowed in the Military

Thursday, July 27, 2017Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 10.27.37 AM

Good Thursday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • President Trump announced that the United States would no longer “accept or allow” transgender people in the military, saying American forces “must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory” and could no longer accommodate them.
  • Seven Republicans joined Democrats to vote down a measure that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act without a replacement.

  • Mr. Trump publicly attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions for a third consecutive day, questioning why Mr. Sessions had not fired the acting director of the F.B.I. over his wife’s political ties to Hillary Clinton.

  • The president’s public campaign against Mr. Sessions has fueled suspicion that he could replace Mr. Sessions with someone who would take control of the Russia investigation.

— The First Draft Team
On Washington

Lisa Murkowski, a Swing Vote on Health Care, Isn’t Swayed

By CARL HULSE
Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in Washington on Wednesday.

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in Washington on Wednesday. Tom Brenner/The New York Times

Lisa Murkowski had heard enough.
As President Trump pressed her and her fellow Senate Republicans last week to fall in line behind a repeal of the Affordable Care Act in the interest of party loyalty and protecting the Republican brand, she felt compelled to speak up.
“With all due respect, Mr. President,” she said, according to some of the people at the private White House lunch, “I didn’t come here to represent the Republican Party. I am representing my constituents and the state of Alaska.”
Mr. Trump did not appreciate the pushback. Ms. Murkowski was one of just two members of her party to vote against a critical procedural step on Tuesday. Afterward, Mr. Trump voiced his displeasure on Twitter: “Senator @lisamurkowski of the Great State of Alaska really let the Republicans, and our country, down yesterday,” he wrote Wednesday morning. “Too bad!”
But it may be that it’s too bad for Mr. Trump, because he picked on someone unlikely to be rattled by his attack or by accusations that she deserted her fellow Republicans. Ms. Murkowski already survived a political near-death experience in 2010 when she lost a primary race to a Tea Party challenger and was essentially abandoned by the Republican Party.
She won a stunning victory in a rare write-in campaign — and “Murkowski” is not all that easy to write in — returning to Washington still a Republican, but one with a well-defined independent streak and a reputation of fierce advocacy for her remote and sometimes overlooked state.
Read more »
Janet L. Yellen, the Fed’s chairwoman, has acknowledged recent weakness in inflation, but has said that she expects it to rebound.

The Fed, Leaving Rates Unchanged, Expects to Wind Down Stimulus

By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

The Federal Reserve is wrapping up its post-crisis economic stimulus campaign and said the next step would come “relatively soon,” so long as moderate economic growth continues.

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in Washington last week. House Republicans were upset on Wednesday that Senate Republicans concerned over the sanctions bill might delay its passage and prevent President Trump from signing it before Congress departed for summer recess.

Key Senator Drops Objection, Clearing Way for Russia Sanctions

By MATT FLEGENHEIMER

The president could face a choice whether to sign a bill his team has opposed or to honor Moscow’s wishes by seeking to scuttle the efforts of a Republican-led Congress.


Trump Administration Slaps Sanctions on Venezuela

President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela attended a military parade in Caracas this month.By PETER BAKER

The Treasury Department ordered assets in the United States frozen for 13 well-connected Venezuelan figures and barred Americans from doing business with them.

HEALTH CARE SHOWDOWN

Rejection of Repeal-Only Health Plan Lays Bare G.O.P. Divide

By THOMAS KAPLAN AND EILEEN SULLIVAN

Seven Republicans joined Democrats to vote down a measure, highlighting the bind that Republican leaders have found themselves in.

Right and Left: Partisan Writing You Shouldn’t Miss
Read about how the other side thinks. We have collected political writing from around the web and across ideologies.
From the Right
• Lucy Steigerwald in The American Conservative:
“Since when is the U.S. justice system more about restitution than punishment?”
Last week, Mr. Sessions announced that civil asset forfeiture was back, and writers from the left and the right recoiled. Ms. Steigerwald, who writes from a libertarian perspective, outlines her objections to what Mr. Sessions has called a “key tool” for law enforcement. She explains how the policy’s “fundamental problem” is that it allows the police to seize property from people who have not yet been convicted or charged with a crime. Read more »
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From the Left
• Greg Sargent in The Washington Post:
“Kushner’s statement takes exceptional care to separate him, with scalpel-like precision, from the now-notorious meeting that Trump Jr. arranged with a Russian lawyer.”
Many on the left spent Monday closely parsing the statement provided by Jared Kushner to Senate investigators. In his op-ed, Mr. Sargent teases out a theme that he sees recurring throughout the statement: the willingness of the president’s son-in-law to throw the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., “under the bus.” Read more »
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