News Digest – June 26, 2017

The Senate’s new ACA repeal bill dominated the news this past week, along with more on Trump-Russia, foreign affairs, and the environment. Here’s your weekly news digest:

“Health”care (or tax cuts for the wealthy)

Foreign affairs

Russia investigation

  • Representative Cummings (MD-7): Flynn didn’t disclose foreign contacts on security clearance form; more here
  • Federal investigators probing the lobbying work of ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn are focused in part on the role of Bijan Kian, Flynn’s former business partner; Representative Cummings (MD-7) also looking at Kian
  • Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Friday he doesn’t plan to probe Russia’s interference in the 2016 election or look into whether President Trump obstructed justice.
  • Representative Cummings (MD-7) is requesting information pertaining to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and senior advisor Jared Kushner’s security clearances, citing concerns about whether the Trump administration is properly safeguarding classified information; more here and here.

National Security

  • Reps. McCaul, Ruppersberger (MD-2), Sens. Coons, Rubio: To keep America safe partisanship must still stop at the water’s edge

Legislation

  • Representative Cummings (MD-7) introduces bill on thrift savings plan which would allow federal retirees to make multiple age-based and post-separation withdrawals.
  • Representative Cummings (MD-7): Office of Management and Budget’s move to reduce agency burden by eliminating or amending scores of its policies too broad of a sweep. More here.

Drug Prices

  • Representative Cummings (MD-7) sent a letter to Trump on Wednesday criticizing him for doing nothing on high drug prices. The letter comes as the White House is reportedly drafting an executive order expected to be friendly to the pharmaceutical industry; more here.

Environment

  • U.S. Democratic lawmakers, including Representative Sarbanes (MD-3), asked Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt on Wednesday to disclose procedures to prevent billionaire Carl Icahn from influencing U.S. biofuels policy for personal gain.

Lawsuit against Trump

  • Representative Sarbanes (MD-3) joins lawsuit against Trump for violating U.S. Constitution’s anti-corruption clause

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