TPM News

WASHINGTON (AP) — One by one, key health care industry groups are telling the incoming Republican administration and Congress that it's not a good idea to repeal the 2010 health care law without clear plans to address the consequences.

Hospitals, insurers and actuaries — bean-counters who make long-range economic estimates — have weighed in, and more interest groups are expected to make their views known soon. Representing patients, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network reminded lawmakers that lives are at stake.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has sent legislation to President Barack Obama's desk that would continue reviews of racially motivated killings in the civil rights era that are now cold cases.

The legislation passed by voice vote at the end of the congressional session early Saturday. It would indefinitely extend a 2007 law that calls for a full accounting of race-based deaths, many of which had been closed for decades. The law expires next year.

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ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — Defenders of a condemned inmate in Alabama are calling his execution an "avoidable disaster," but the state prison commissioner says there was no visible evidence that he suffered during a lethal injection.

Death row inmate Ronald Bert Smith Jr. coughed, and his upper body heaved repeatedly, for the first 13 minutes of the procedure as he was being sedated, and his arms appeared to move slightly after two tests were administered to determine consciousness.

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The Republican National Committee was the subject to a cyber-intrusion similar to the hack that led to the release of Democratic National Committee emails during the presidential campaign, top Obama administration officials told the New York Times. Republican officials, however, continue to deny that the RNC was hacked.

The fact that the RNC was hacked but none of its documents were released is part of the findings that have led the U.S intelligence community to conclude that Russian actors sought to boost Donald Trump over his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, the New York Times reported Friday.

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The incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called for a congressional investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election, and said it was "imperative" that the intelligence community handed over relevant information. His statement comes after the Washington Post reported Friday that a secret CIA assessment found that Russian actors had sought to boost President-elect Donald Trump over his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

“Reports of the CIA’s conclusion that Russia actively sought to help elect Donald Trump are simultaneously stunning and not surprising, given Russia’s disdain for democracy and admiration for autocracy. The silence from Wikileaks and others since election day has been deafening," Schumer said. "That any country could be meddling in our elections should shake both political parties to their core. Senate Democrats will join with our Republican colleagues next year to demand a congressional investigation and hearings to get to the bottom of this. It’s imperative that our intelligence community turns over any relevant information so that Congress can conduct a full investigation.”

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President-elect Donald Trump's transition team was dismissive of the CIA in a response to a Washington Post report that the agency had found in a secret assessment that Russian actors sought to boost Trump in the election.

"These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," the statement. "The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and 'Make America Great Again.'”

The transition team's statement also exaggerated the size of his electoral college victory.

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A secret CIA report found that Russian actors sought to boost Donald Trump in the election, and the report was presented to White House officials and Congressional leaders, according to a Washington Post report. Before the election, the White House weighed taking more aggressive actions to address the possible interference, the Washington Post said, but failed to get bipartisan support from lawmakers. Specifically, according to the Post, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expressed skepticism when briefed on the intelligence surrounding the hacks, and said that he considered going public with the concerns about Russian interference an act of partisan politics.

The Trump transition team brushed off the report, and said it was "time to move on" in a statement late Friday.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — With less than hour to spare, the Senate late Friday backed legislation averting a government shutdown as coal-state Democrats retreated on long-term health care benefits for retired miners and promised a renewed fight for the working class next year.

The 63-36 vote sent the stop-gap spending bill to President Barack Obama, who signed the measure early Saturday morning. The Senate also passed and sent the president a $10 billion water bill with money to respond to lead-tainted drinking water in Michigan and drought in California. The vote was 78-21.

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