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First Read’s Morning Clips: GOP Battles Uphill on Health Care

TRUMP AGENDA: GOP’s uphill battle on health care

NBC’s Capitol Hill team has all the latest on the furious efforts on the Hill to put a health care bill up for a vote.

More, from the Washington Post: “On Capitol Hill, influential Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) came out against the plan, dealing a major blow to proponents trying to secure enough votes to pass it in the House. Across the country, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel’s emotional story about his newborn son’s heart condition reverberated on television and the Internet. And former president Barack Obama, who signed the bill Republicans are trying to dismantle, took to Twitter to defend it.”

And from the New York Times: “A failure to get the repeal bill to a vote this week would be the third time that Speaker Paul D. Ryan could not rally his considerable House majority around a legislative priority that Republicans have promised for seven years…If the effort fails, it will greatly weaken the president’s hand on Capitol Hill and cast a shadow across the rest of his legislative agenda, especially the deep tax cuts and rewrite of the tax code that he has proposed — and that are likely to be no easier to tackle than health care.”

NBC’s Andrew Rafferty sums up Hillary Clinton’s public remarks yesterday.

NBC’s Ali Vitali reports on Trump’s conversation with Vladimir Putin yesterday.

“Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is expected to testify before Congress next week that she warned White House officials that former national security adviser Michael Flynn wasn’t being truthful when he denied having discussed U.S. sanctions with a top Russian diplomat, according to people familiar with her version of events,” the Wall Street Journal writes.

NBCNews.com takes a look at Trump’s promises to achieve Mideast peace.

The New York Times, on Ben Carson’s philosophy that housing for low-income Americans shouldn’t be “a comfortable setting that would make somebody want to say: ‘I’ll just stay here. They will take care of me.’”

The Washington Post: “Investors looking to buy a condo at Trump Tower in the Philippines would have found, until this week, some high-powered video testimonials on the project’s official website.”

Jim DeMint is out at Heritage. POLITICO has the inside story: “Jim DeMint's ouster from The Heritage Foundation came as a shock to the hundreds of scholars and staffers who've seen the organization's political influence grow thanks to DeMint’s controversial decision to align the leading conservative think tank closely with Donald Trump. But interviews with over a dozen sources at the center of the drama suggest Heritage's stewards — particularly DeMint's predecessor, Ed Feulner, and Feulner's sharp-elbowed protégé, Mike Needham — became convinced that DeMint was incapable of renewing the foundation's place as an intellectual wellspring of the conservative movement.”

Jim Comey will be grilled by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee today.

POLITICO: “Donald Trump promised last year to “drain the swamp” of Washington, starting with barring people who worked on his presidential transition from lobbying for six months afterward. But three months after Trump moved into the White House, at least nine people who worked on his transition have registered as lobbyists, highlighting holes in the president’s pledge to keep people from cashing in on government service.”

OFF TO THE RACES: Voting is already underway in GA-6

GA-06: Absentee voting has started in advance of the June 20 runoff election.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “House Democrats launched a new digital ad campaign Wednesday seeking to woo Republican voters in Georgia’s 6th District, the latest effort to convince conservatives to back Democrat Jon Ossoff’s campaign. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is behind the ad that targets voters on Facebook and Instagram who identify as variations of “conservative” or Republican across the district, which spans from east Cobb to north DeKalb.”

The New York Times reports on the political “identity crisis” in northern Atlanta suburbs.

MT-AL: More money woes for Rob Quist: “The Democratic candidate for Montana's sole U.S. House seat, a cowboy poet and musician running for public office for the first time, underreported $57,000 in income when he filed federally required financial disclosure statements two months ago… Quist's campaign filed a new disclosure statement with the U.S. House last week after The Associated Press sought an explanation for discrepancies in his initial disclosure document and on his 2016 income tax returns. Federal ethics law requires congressional candidates to file a one-time accounting of their personal finances.”

SC-05: Republicans Tommy Pope and Ralph Norman are the two GOP candidates advancing to the May 16 primary runoff in the SC-05 race. The winner will face Democratic nominee Archie Parnell, who easily won Tuesday night’s Democratic primary outright

More, from The State: “Past 5th District races have been more competitive than special elections in congressional districts in Kansas and Georgia, where Democrats also had stronger than average performances. S.C. Democrats hope that enthusiasm carries over into the June general election. However, GOP voters outnumbered Democrats 2-1 Tuesday. Overall turnout for both primaries was 12 percent, according to the S.C. Election Commission.”

VA-GOV: Tom Perriello and Ralph Northam will debate again on Thursday.