National News at a Glance
Posted July 22, 2018 9:13 p.m. EDT
Without Evidence, Trump Claims Vindication From Release of Carter Page Documents
President Donald Trump claimed Sunday that his administration’s release of top-secret documents related to the surveillance of former campaign aide Carter Page had confirmed that the Justice Department and the FBI “misled the courts” in the early stages of the Russia investigation. “Looking more & more like the Trump Campaign for President was illegally being spied upon (surveillance) for the political gain of Crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC,” Trump wrote on Twitter. Trump left unmentioned how the documents laid out the FBI's suspicions that “Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government.”
Sniffles? Cancer? Under Medicare Plan, Payments for Office Visits Would Be Same for Both
The Trump administration is proposing huge changes in how Medicare pays doctors for the most common of all medical services, the office visit, offering physicians basically the same amount, regardless of a patient’s condition or the complexity of the services. Administration officials said the proposal would radically reduce paperwork burdens, freeing doctors to spend more time with patients. The government would pay one rate for new patients and a lower rate for established patients. Critics say the proposal would underpay doctors who care for patients with the greatest medical needs and the most complicated ailments — and could discourage some physicians from taking Medicare patients.
Lawmakers, Lobbyists and the Administration Join Forces to Overhaul the Endangered Species Act
The Endangered Species Act, which for 45 years has safeguarded fragile wildlife while blocking ranching, logging and oil drilling on protected habitats, is coming under attack from lawmakers, the White House and industry on a scale not seen in decades, driven partly by fears that the Republicans will lose ground in November’s midterm elections. Over two weeks, more than two dozen pieces of legislation, policy initiatives and amendments designed to weaken the law have been either introduced or voted on in Congress or proposed by the Trump administration. The actions included a bill to strip protections from the gray wolf.
G-20 Finance Ministers, Failing to Halt Trump’s Trade War, Warn of Its Global Risks
Negotiations to ease an escalating trade war between the United States and the rest of the world closed with no breakthroughs Sunday at a summit of finance ministers, who warned that the predicament over President Donald Trump’s tariffs was casting a pall over the global economy. Two days of talks at the Group of 20 gathering in Buenos Aires, Argentina, appeared to raise the odds that the friction will intensify as Trump threatens more tariffs and other countries vow to retaliate. In their closing statement, officials pointed to trade tensions as a risk factor that could depress global growth.
Democrats See Openings at State Level, Thanks to Trump Resistance
A polarizing president electrifies the opposition party going into his first midterm election, raising the party’s hopes that it can reclaim governorships, ram through major policy change at the state level and redraw legislative lines in its favor for a decade to come. It’s a scenario both political parties have seen before. This year, governors in both parties acknowledged at the National Governors Association conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, it is Democrats who appear poised to make major gains as Republicans brace for a backlash against President Donald Trump that could lead to grievous statehouse losses.
New York City’s Young Inmates Are Held in Isolation Upstate, Despite Ban
Three years ago, when New York City banned solitary confinement for inmates younger than 22 and curtailed it for others, Mayor Bill de Blasio held up the policy as a model for reform. But since then, the city has stepped up the practice of transferring some inmates to correctional facilities elsewhere in the state where no restrictions exist. Dozens of New York City inmates have ended up in solitary confinement. Transfers of inmates 21 and younger increased in 2015, and except for a drop in 2017 the number of such transfers has remained above the levels seen before the ban.