Washington (CNN)On day 19, the Trump administration is beginning to defend the travel ban.
The 9th Circuit Court began hearing oral arguments conducted via telephone on Tuesday. Three federal judges heard arguments in a case brought by attorneys general of Washington and Minnesota. The states want the travel ban suspension to remain in place. The Trump administration, citing terrorism concerns, wants it to remain in place.
NEW ON DAY 19 …
- Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly spoke before the House Homeland Security Committee Tuesday morning.
- Kelly expressed regret about the order’s sloppy rollout and said he should have delayed Trump’s travel ban executive order “just a bit” to inform Congress.
- When asked about concerns over specific individuals getting into the country, Kelly said the US won’t know whether or not they are terrorists “until the boom,” sounding a bit like Condoleezza Rice’s warning that, “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud” in the lead up to the Iraq War.
- A new Quinnipiac poll shows a narrow majority of Americans oppose Trump’s entire executive order by 51% to 46%. Americans are even more opposed to indefinitely banning Syrian refugees, by a margin of 70% to 26%.
- Starbucks has announced it will offer employees and their families free legal advice if they are impacted by the Trump travel ban.
- With the national immigration conversation largely focused on the travel ban and the border wall, Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue are pushing a bill to cut legal immigration in half.
- The Senate broke the filibuster of Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination for attorney general and are expected to vote to confirm him on Wednesday.
- At his weekly press conference, House Speaker Paul Ryan pledged, “We are going to be done legislating with respect to health care and Obamacare this year,” but acknowledge that implementation could take longer.
- At his daily briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said President Donald Trump is in favor of Medicare negotiating drug prices. On Obamacare timing, he said, “I think we can have this done legislatively sooner rather than later, but I think the implementation of a lot of the pieces may take a little bit longer.”
- What’s behind Trump’s shifting rhetoric on repealing Obamacare? Sources tell CNN that Trump’s legislative affairs aides have helped temper the former businessman’s expectations on how quickly Congress can get it done.
- A new Monmouth poll shows that 25% of Americans call health care costs the top issue facing their family. This is up from just 15% who said the same thing two years ago, and outpaces concerns over job security or paying household bills.
- Employers, many of whom are no big fans of Obamacare, are nonetheless worried that a Republican replacement plan may harm job-based healthcare coverage.
- AARP is fighting attempts to charge older adults more for healthcare received through Obamacare.
- The House Freedom Caucus is set to unveil its Obamacare repeal and replace plan.
- After several tense town halls, House GOP leaders are telling members to increase security at the events.
- STAT News profiles a cardiologist who works in rural West Virginia and happens to be a Muslim Iraqi immigrant. The community still trusts him with their lives.
- ProPublica reports on the case of a Cleveland Clinic medical resident who was caught in the travel ban, due to her Sudanese citizenship. The Clinic and its lawyers arranged for her to return to the United States in what the author likens to “a clandestine mission that had the makings of a hostage rescue.”
TRADE/TAXES — The Wall Street Journal has a detailed piece looking at the merits of the border adjustment tax, and narrows in on the split emerging amongst conservatives and Republicans surrounding the proposal.
TRADE — General Motors set a record in 2016 by selling 10 million cars for the first time ever. Which market got them over the hump? China.
INFRASTRUCTURE — Minority Whip Steny Hoyer among those speaking at a Brookings session on how to pay for infrastructure. He warned against trying to solve America’s problems in 24-month cycles.
- The US Army Corp of Engineers has finished its review of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and will grant an easement allowing construction of the project to continue.
- A group called the Center for Media and Democracy filed a lawsuit alleging EPA nominee Scott Pruitt violated Oklahoma’s Open Records Act when he was Attorney General.
- The Science Committee held a hearing called “Making EPA Great Again.” A NOAA climate study was again questioned and defended.
LATER THIS WEEK — OBAMACARE — Sen. Jon Cornyn said off-camera Monday evening that the Senate would vote on HHS nominee Tom Price by the end of the week.
WEDNESDAY — INFRASTRUCTURE — Senate EPW Committee hearing on modernizing infrastructure.
WEDNESDAY — OBAMACARE — Sen. Mike Lee serves as a panelist on a Heritage Foundation roundtable titled “Congress Must Repeal Obamacare Immediately.”
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