GOP LEADERS PLAN HEALTH BILL VOTE FOR TUESDAY
WASHINGTON» Republican leaders pushed toward a Senate vote next Tuesday on resurrecting their nearly flat-lined health care bill. Their uphill drive was further complicated by the ailing GOP Sen. John McCain’s potential absence and a dreary report envisioning that the number of uninsured Americans would soar.
The White House and GOP leaders fished Thursday for ways to win over recalcitrant senators, including an administration proposal to let states use Medicaid funds to help people buy their own private health insurance. But there were no indications they’d ensured the votes needed to even start debating the party’s legislative keystone, a bill scuttling and supplanting President Barack Obama’s health care law.
The Congressional Budget Office said McConnell’s latest bill would produce 22 million additional uninsured people by 2026 and drive up premiums for many older Americans.
Congress’ nonpartisan fiscal analyst also said it would boost typical deductibles — the money people must pay before insurers cover costs — for single people to $13,000 that year, well above the $5,000 they’d be expected to pay under Obama’s statute.
Trump laywers seek to undercut Mueller investigation.
Some of President Donald Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort.
Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.
Trump’s legal team declined to comment on the issue.
Two members of Burundi robotics teens head to Canada.
VA.» Two of the MCLEAN, six teenage members of the Burundi robotics team who went missing from Washington this week have crossed into Canada and are safe, District of Columbia police said Thursday.
The four others also are believed to be in safe hands, but authorities declined to provide further details. It is the first indication that the teenagers may have left on their own accord.
Apollo 11 bag laced with moon dust sells for $1.8 million.
A bag containing traces of moon dust sold for $1.8 million at an auction on Thursday.
The collection bag, used by astronaut Neil Armstrong during the first manned mission to the moon in 1969, was sold at a Sotheby’s auction of items related to space voyages. The buyer declined to be identified. The pre-sale estimate was $2 million to $4 million.
The artifact from the Apollo 11 mission had been misidentified and sold at an online government auction, and NASA had fought to get it back. But in December a federal judge ruled that it legally belonged to a Chicago-area woman who bought it in 2015 for $995.
Linkin Park frontman Bennington dies at 41.
Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington, whose vocals helped the rock-rap band become one of the most commercially successful acts in the 2000s, was found dead in his home near Los Angeles on Thursday, the Los Angeles County coroner said. He was 41.
Coroner spokesman Brian Elias said authorities are investigating Bennington’s death as an apparent suicide at Palos Verdes Estates, but no additional details are available.