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First Read's Morning Clips: Senate GOP Health Care Plan Is Coming

Image: FILE PHOTO: The dome of the U.S. Capitol is seen in Washington
File photo of the dome of the U.S. Capitol.Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

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TRUMP AGENDA: Senate GOP health care outline expected soon

Leigh Ann Caldwell, Kasie Hunt and Garrett Haake have the latest on Republicans’ for a health care vote next week. “There is no GOP bill yet for the public to see and even rank-and-file Republicans have yet to see any text of legislation. There isn't even an agreement that has leadership confident that they have 50 votes to pass a bill. But the expectation on Capitol Hill is there will be an outline of a proposal as soon as Wednesday, according to two Republican aides, aiming for a vote next week.”

More, from the Wall Street Journal: “Mr. McConnell has reasons to try for a quick health-care vote. The pressure could force lawmakers to reach a consensus on sticking points that have divided them. And GOP leaders in both chambers want to move on to other legislative items. Failure to take a vote before either the July 4 recess or the longer break later in the summer also could open Republican lawmakers up to pressure from constituents either concerned about losing their health coverage or expecting Republicans to follow through on pledges to repeal the law known as Obamacare. Some town-hall meetings during the spring, when the House was considering its legislation, saw lawmakers greeted by boisterous crowds.”

For their part, Democrats are trying to grind Senate business to a halt to prevent the Affordable Care Act’s repeal.

A new CBS News poll shows Trump’s job approval dipping — including among Republicans.

The Washington Post: “More and more in the Trump era, business in Washington is happening behind closed doors. The federal government’s leaders are hiding from public scrutiny — and their penchant for secrecy represents a stark departure from the campaign promises of Trump and his fellow Republicans to usher in newfound transparency.”

Reuters: “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, according to a person interviewed by the FBI. Investigators are also looking at whether payments from foreign clients to Flynn and his company, the now-inactive Flynn Intel Group, were lawful, according to two separate sources with knowledge of the broad inquiry into Flynn's business activities. That includes payments by three Russian companies and a Netherlands-based company, Inovo, controlled by Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin, they said.”

Yesterday’s big SCOTUS news, from Pete Williams. “The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider whether drawing political boundaries in a state can be so hard on a minority political party that the resulting gerrymander violates the U.S. Constitution.”

More, from the New York Times: “While the Supreme Court has struck down voting districts as racial gerrymanders, it has never disallowed a legislative map because of partisan gerrymandering. The new case is an appeal of a decision striking down the legislative map for the Wisconsin State Assembly drawn after Republicans gained control of the state’s government in 2010. The decision was the first from a federal court in more than 30 years to reject a voting map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. The map, Judge Kenneth F. Ripple wrote for the majority of a divided three-judge Federal District Court, ‘was designed to make it more difficult for Democrats, compared to Republicans, to translate their votes into seats.’”

What’s next for Sean Spicer? Bloomberg writes that he may move towards a more senior strategy role — and away from the podium. And POLITICO says that Spicer is leading the search for his own replacement.

NBC’s Alex Johnson looks at confusion over Donald Trump’s foreign policy plans.

Paul Ryan is still talking up tax overhaul. The Wall Street Journal: “Mr. Ryan’s speech to the National Association of Manufacturers, sandwiched between cable news appearances, is meant to build momentum and public support for the party’s aims. Republicans face significant obstacles, but many see a tax overhaul as a political necessity that would deliver on one of their core campaign promises. For now, taxes are secondary to health care and other policy issues. But the GOP is planning a busy fall. Tax policy would gain momentum if Republicans can pass a health law that repeals parts of former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and cuts hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes that wouldn’t have to be addressed as part of a tax plan. Failure on health care would create complications for a tax bill, but it might also create a new sense of urgency.”

OFF TO THE RACES: Big day in Georgia

GA-6: It’s the big day. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution looks at the factors that could decide the race.

The Center for Public Integrity notes that out-of-state interests have spent $26.2 million on the Georgia special election.

The Wall Street Journal has five things to watch as the race — and the election in South Carolina — unfolds.

The New York Times: “Yet as high as the stakes may be, the race to fill the seat vacated by Health Secretary Tom Price may turn on a simple question: whether the Democratic energy opposing President Trump is enough to overcome the built-in Republican advantage in a conservative-leaning district.”

SC-5: Don’t forget about the other election today in South Carolina. The State has what you need to know.

The Post and Courier notes how Trump’s agenda — and particularly health care — has played in the race.

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