Top News Stories for Today – July 28, 2017
ObamaCare repeal fails by 1 vote
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) joined Democrats in voting no early Friday morning for the Republicans’ last-ditch effort to repeal ObamaCare, with the bill failing on a vote of 49 to 51. The bill, dubbed the Health Care Freedom Act, would have repealed ObamaCare’s individual and employer mandates, defunded Planned Parenthood for a year, and allowed states to request waivers from benefits mandated by ObamaCare. It was the third defeat for the GOP this week, with two earlier proposals to repeal ObamaCare failing, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said it’s now “time to move on.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he is “relieved millions and millions of people who would have been so drastically hurt by the three proposals put forward will at least retain their health care, be able to deal with preexisting conditions…we are relieved, not for ourselves, but for the American people.” The Week
Trump on failure of repealing ObamaCare
Early Friday morning, President Trump tweeted his dissatisfaction with the three Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and John McCain of Arizona, who voted with Democrats to defeat the final GOP bill to repeal ObamaCare.
He tweeted “let the American people down.” Trump, who let Vice President Mike Pence lead the way with attempting to get Republicans to vote for the plan, said he has stated “from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!” Twitter
Senate overwhelmingly passes Russia sanctions bill
On Thursday, the Senate voted 98-2 to impose new sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The House passed the bill earlier this week, 419-3. The legislation would force President Trump to consult Congress before he lifts any sanctions, and he has not indicated if he will sign it.
Incoming White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said on CNN Thursday morning Trump “may sign the sanctions exactly the way they are, or he may veto the sanctions and negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians.” The bill is in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, and comes amid several investigations around alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. CNN, The Week
Trump’s WH west wing feud reaches boiling point
A long-simmering feud between two of President Trump’s top advisers reached a boiling point Thursday, when White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci publicly insinuated that chief of staff Reince Priebus is a leaker. But the episode that triggered Scaramucci’s outburst — a media report on his financial disclosure forms — was not the result of a leak.
That didn’t stop Trump’s newly minted communications chief from calling into CNN to challenge Priebus to deny that he is a leaker. “When I put out a tweet and I put Reince’s name in the tweet, they’re all making the assumption that it’s him, because journalists know who the leakers are,” Scaramucci said. “If Reince wants to explain he’s not a leaker, let him do that.” He continued: “But let me tell you about myself. I’m a straight shooter and I’ll go right to the heart of the matter.” Scaramucci painted a picture of a tense relationship with Priebus, likening it to the biblical brothers Cain and Abel. In the book of Genesis, Cain murdered Abel and then lied about his actions to God. The Hill
Jeff Bezos becomes world’s richest person
When the markets opened Thursday, Microsoft founder Bill Gates lost his standing as the world’s richest man. That ranking now belongs to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Amazon shares jumped Thursday morning, spiking Bezos’ net worth by $1.4 billion. As of 12 p.m. ET, Forbes’ real-time list of the world’s billionaires calculated Bezos had a net worth of $91.4 billion, while Gates’ net worth now sits at $90.1 billion.
Aside from Gates and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, Bezos is the third American to make the list since its inception in 1987 and the seventh person to hold the top spot. Forbes, The New York Times, The Week
Iran launched satellite-carrying rocket
Iran announced Thursday that it had successfully launched a rocket carrying a satellite into space. State television in Iran claimed the “Simorgh” rocket, which means phoenix in Farsi, is capable of carrying a 250 kilogram satellite as far as 500 kilometers above Earth, but did not elaborate on the payload of the rocket launched Thursday.
The launch of the rocket comes after the United States moved earlier this month to increase economic sanctions placed on Iran over its ballistic missile program. Thursday’s launch did not violate the 2015 nuclear agreement signed by Iran and several Western nations, though the U.S. has expressed concern that the rocket technology being developed by Iran could potentially be adapted to long-range missiles. Earlier this week, Iran announced it would open a new facility to produce missiles capable of targeting aircrafts and cruise missiles. VOA
US wins 2017 Gold Cup soccer final
A Jordan Morris goal in the 88th minute helped lead the United States to the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup title Wednesday. The 22-year-old fired home the game-winner to break the 1-1 tie, leading the Americans to a 2-1 victory over Jamaica in the final at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
Michael Bradley earned the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament despite playing only three of the six games. This is the sixth Gold Cup title for the United States, one short of Mexico’s seven. Canada is the only other team to win this tournament. Jamaica has now lost consecutive Gold Cup finals after falling to Mexico in 2015. Bleacher Report