Politics & Government

Arkansas's pesticide regulators have stepped into the middle of an epic battle between weeds and chemicals, which has now morphed into a battle between farmers. Hundreds of farmers say their crops have been damaged by a weedkiller that was sprayed on neighboring fields. Today, the Arkansas Plant Board voted to impose an unprecedented ban on that chemical.

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Back before inauguration, Donald Trump announced a deal with the air conditioning and heating company Carrier to keep one of their manufacturing plants on U.S. soil. Here's President-elect Trump in December at that factory in Indianapolis.

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Let's bring in our Friday commentators to talk about this health care bill and the rest of the week in politics. We've got E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution. Hi there.

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Andy Slavitt understands the inner workings of the U.S. health care system better than most. From 2015 to 2017, he ran the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare, as head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Since leaving that post in January, he's been an outspoken critic of the Republican proposals to dismantle it.

Yesterday, shortly after the release of the Senate bill, he tweeted, "It's the ugly step-sibling of the House bill." And this morning his message was, "We must start over. It's too important."

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

9 hours ago

For all the talk this week, one group has been unusually quiet: the National Rifle Association. We’ll discuss why gun owners in particular have concerns surrounding the death of Philando Castile and why some want the NRA to speak out. Plus, back room dealing on healthcare, and is the President’s front man moving on?

GUESTS

Maria Hinojosa, Anchor and executive producer of NPR’s Latino USA

Laura Meckler, Staff writer, The Wall Street Journal

Shawna Thomas, Washington bureau chief, Vice News

Friday News Roundup - International

9 hours ago

America’s relationship with North Korea worsens after 22-year-old Otto Warmbier’s return home in a coma. He died shortly after. The President has called Warmbier’s death “a disgrace.” What now? Also, the latest attack on London and Saudi Arabia’s King rewrites the rules on succession.

GUESTS

Tom Bowman, Pentagon correspondent, NPR.

Michael Goldfarb, Host of the First Rough Draft of History Podcast

The list of perks Dan Teran's company offers sounds pretty dreamy.

Anyone working 120 hours a month gets employer-sponsored medical, dental and vision insurance. His company, Managed by Q, also offers a matching 401(k) retirement program, paid time off, a stock option program for all employees, and 12 weeks of paid parental leave.

Those are highly unusual perks, considering most are part-time workers who work only when they're available. Also, Teran's company does janitorial, building maintenance and temporary secretarial work, where such benefits are almost unheard of.

Updated 12:30 p.m. ET

President Trump kept one of his campaign promises, signing a bill Friday to make it easier for the secretary of veterans affairs to fire and discipline employees. It came in response to the 2014 VA scandal in which employees covered up long wait times while collecting bonuses.

The bill, which passed earlier this month with strong bipartisan support, also gives the secretary authority to revoke bonuses and protects whistleblowers who report wrongdoing.

The Ohio Statehouse
Flickr / Creative Commons

New numbers from the state budget office show Senate Republicans were correct in saying they needed to close a billion dollar hole in the upcoming budget. And the trend of the state having less money to spend will continue. 

Ohio House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Democratic leaders in the state are making one last push to change some provisions they’re most concerned about in the state budget bill.

House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn of Dayton says the Senate budget makes too many cuts at a time when more money needs to be invested in schools, infrastructure and fighting the opioid epidemic.

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Now that the bill is out, we are examining just how the Senate Republicans want to change the American health care system. Here's President Trump talking about that bill this morning on "Fox & Friends."

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The AMA's Take On GOP Health Care Plan

20 hours ago

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The secret Senate Republican health care plan is no longer a secret. Details were released yesterday. Republicans want a fast-track vote on the bill by the Fourth of July recess. Here's President Trump.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Rubio's Changing Feelings Toward Trump

20 hours ago

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And we're going to dig into the new Senate health care bill this morning.

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And NPR's Alison Kodjak, who covers health policy and is covering this legislation, is in our studios once again. Alison, what did you hear there that was significant?

In ordinary times, New York-based Vornado Realty Trust would be a natural candidate to take on a major construction project such as the long-awaited rebuilding of FBI headquarters.

As with so much about the Trump era, however, the ordinary rules don't apply.

A commercial real estate firm, Vornado is widely reported to be a finalist to build a new campus for the FBI somewhere in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. But its financial ties to President Trump are raising concerns about conflicts of interest.

Two government watchdog groups, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archive, filed a lawsuit Thursday against President Trump and the Executive Office of the President.

Is Big Tech Getting Too Big?

Jun 22, 2017

Uber founder Travis Kalanick just resigned as CEO after a controversial run, but he leaves behind a very powerful company — one worth an estimated $70 billion.

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Now we're going to talk to South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune. Thanks for joining us.

JOHN THUNE: Thanks, Kelly. It's great to be with you.

MCEVERS: So what are the problems with Obamacare that you feel this bill fixes?

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Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare. The long-awaited plan marks a big step toward achieving one of the Republican Party's major goals.

Updated at 6 p.m. ET June 23

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller on Friday became the latest GOP lawmaker to voice concerns about the Senate health care bill — a development that further complicates Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

"I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes away insurance from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans," Heller said at a news conference back in Nevada.

Updated at 1:59 p.m. ET

President Trump gave a straight answer on Thursday about whether he has recordings of his private conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey — No.

The question of the existence of tapes arose on May 12, when shortly after firing Comey, Trump tweeted that the former FBI director "better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations."

Updated at 2:32 p.m. ET

Senate Republicans unveiled their long-awaited health care overhaul proposal on Thursday. The Senate bill, called the "Better Care Reconciliation Act," would repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The broad outlines of it look a lot like the House bill, the American Health Care Act, which was passed in May.

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