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DC whiparound: Today in Senate health care, AG Sessions future and the GOP infighting driving Trump’s trans military ban




Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks after a weekly meeting with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill July 18, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks after a weekly meeting with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill July 18, 2017 in Washington, DC.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

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After it was unable to pass a proposal to repeal major pieces of the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, Republican leaders in the Senate are pressing forward Thursday as they try to wrangle enough votes to pass a ‘skinny’ overhaul of the health care law.

The rejection of the repeal without replacement is the latest in a line of attempts to reform the ACA and continues to show just how divided the GOP is on exactly how to do it.

Meanwhile, the New York Times and others have reported that both aides to President Trump and members of the Republican Party have pressed him to lay off of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose decision-making and job performance Mr. Trump has been repeatedly criticizing in the media. They worry it could stir up the voter base and possibly create a revolt within the GOP. It’s also an additional nuisance for a White House and Congress already plagued with drama as they attempt to accomplish Mr. Trump’s policy goals.

Following the president’s tweets on Wednesday morning that transgender people would no longer be accepted or allowed in the military, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said today in a letter that the policy on transgender service members will stay as is until the Department of Defense and the White House issue new guidelines. Behind the scenes, however, it’s been reported that the real issue behind the ban was that House Republicans wanted to get a spending bill chock-full of campaign promises through, but an internal fight over whether the Pentagon should pay for sex reassignment surgery threatened to sink the bill, so Republicans turned to the president for help.

Guests:

Bryan Bender, defense editor and national security correspondent for POLITICO Pro

Larry Liebert, national security editor at Bloomberg



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