Here’s where things stand heading into Day 60 of the Trump administration:
You’re not alone if you feel as though the news coming from the Trump administration is nonstop.
But this week is worth watching closely because it will shape what happens to President Trump on three major issues: Russia, the Supreme Court and health care.
Capitol Hill is where all the action will take place starting Monday, when FBI Director James B. Comey and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael S. Rogers testify before the House Intelligence Committee.
They’re coming to talk about allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, including possible connections between Trump’s inner circle and the Kremlin.
It could turn into a blockbuster hearing as lawmakers — especially Democrats — try to ferret out what the FBI and NSA know about ties between Trump World and the Russians.
At the same time, Comey is careful about what he says. He hasn’t even admitted publicly what news outlets have reported for some time: that the FBI and the Justice Department are conducting an investigation into Trump’s Russia ties. So members of the Intelligence Committee could have their work cut out for them.
Another topic expected to come up is Trump’s unfounded allegation that while in office, President Barack Obama conducted a wiretap of Trump’s phones at Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign.
Trump isn’t getting much help on that front; Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said Sunday that there was no evidence to back up the president’s claim.
GORSUCH HEADS TO CAPITOL HILL
Also starting Monday: a four-day series of confirmation hearings for Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch.
This is where we could see some fireworks.
Though Gorsuch has made few waves since his nomination, Monday marks an opportunity for Senate Democrats to go after “a young administration that has horrified liberal Americans,” our colleagues wrote.
Democrats are also still smarting from Republicans’ choice to block hearings for Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, making the upcoming hearings all the more intense.
Expect questions for Gorsuch to run the gamut.
Asked what she hopes to learn during the hearings, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said: “Voting rights. Right to choose. Guns. Corporate dollars in elections. Worker safety. Ability of federal agencies to regulate. All of the environmental issues — water, air.”
THE LATEST ON THE GOP HEALTH-CARE PLAN
The week is expected to close out with a House vote Thursday on the Republican plan to revise the Affordable Care Act.
The bill is expected to undergo some changes first. On Sunday, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said he wants the plan to provide older Americans with more help buying health insurance.
His comment came after congressional budget analysts found that a 64-year-old earning $26,500 a year could see annual premiums rise from $1,700 to $14,600 under the GOP plan.
“We believe we should have even more assistance, and that’s one of the things we’re looking at for that person in the 50s and 60s because they experience higher health-care costs,” Ryan said during an interview with Fox News.
It is unclear whether this change will help quell resistance to the bill among moderate Republicans, at least some of whose votes will be needed to pass it.
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