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Sunday, Aug 20th

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Senate advances health care bill as McCain makes dramatic return, Pence breaks tie

US SenateSenate Republicans voted to advance to floor debate on their efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tiebreaking vote.

In a dramatic moment, Sen. John McCain returned from Arizona to applause from fellow senators. He case a necessary Republican vote for the motion after two GOP senators sided with all Democrats in opposition.

As the vote began, protesters in the Senate gallery shouted "kill the bill" and "shame, shame, shame!"

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Kushner to Senate staffers: 'I Did Not Collude' with Russia

Jared Kushner testifies before Senate staffers

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor, plans to testify to the Senate intelligence committee on Monday morning that he "did not collude" with Russia or any other foreign government.

"I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government," Kushner states in prepared testimony submitted to the committee and made public ahead of the meeting Monday. "I had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector."

TVNL Comment: Watch for updates as the Kushner testimony continues.

Update: 11:00 am: President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, released new details Monday about his contacts with Russian officials, including a previously undisclosed encounter with Ambassador Sergei Kislyak in April 2016.

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Jared Kushner Will Not Face Senate Intelligence Committee Under Oath

jared Kushner will not testify under oathPresident Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, a White House senior advisor, will not be under oath when he meets behind closed doors with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday, The Washington Post reported.

Kushner will later meet with the House Intelligence Committee in private the next day. Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will not testify under oath either when they meet with the Senate later this week, CNN reported. (Regardless of sworn oaths, it is still illegal to lie to Congress.)

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Chuck Schumer Says Senate Democrats Are Open To Single-Payer Health Care

Chuck SchumerSenate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) argued Sunday that it’s time for the Democratic party to take a “bold” approach on economic issues, adding a single-payer health care system is “on the table.”

Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” Schumer previewed the economic agenda his party plans to roll out this week. He acknowledged that Democrats failed to win over voters in the 2016 election with a clear economic message, and said his coalition plans to change that.

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Russia sanctions deal reached without changes Trump sought

Congress agrees on Russia sanctions billNegotiators in both parties on Saturday released a sweeping sanctions deal that does not include changes President Donald Trump's administration sought to make it easier for him to ease penalties against Russia.

The accord on a package of sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea is set for a House vote on Tuesday, according to the announcement from Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's office. To resolve a partisan clash over giving House Democrats the power to force a vote blocking Trump from easing sanctions on Moscow, the deal expedites House consideration of any anti-Trump vote that the Senate has already passed.

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Trump Jr., Manafort reach deal to avoid public hearing next wee

Don, Jr. and Manafort will not appearDonald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort have reached a deal with the Senate Judiciary Committee to avoid appearing at a public hearing next week, lawmakers announced Friday.

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement that they would not immediately subpoena President Trump's eldest son or his former campaign chairman to testify at the Wednesday hearing.

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US House backs road in remote Alaska wildlife refuge

House approves road in wildlife refugeThe House has approved legislation allowing a proposed road through a remote national wildlife refuge in Alaska that was rejected by the Obama administration.

A bill approved Thursday would grant a land exchange allowing Alaska to build the long-disputed road between two rural communities, King Cove and Cold Bay, near the tip of the Alaska Peninsula, 600 miles (965 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage.

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