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politics

Updated at 12:16 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.

For the hundreds of rural U.S. hospitals struggling to stay in business, health policy decisions made in Washington, D.C., this summer could make survival a lot tougher.

Jenny Durkan and Mike McGinn
AP PHOTO/ TED S. WARREN, AP PHOTO/ELAINE THOMPSON

An exclusive KUOW/KING Survey USA poll on the Seattle mayor’s race shows there’s not much daylight separating the candidates.

Russia's efforts to interfere with last year's elections will be front and center during two hearings on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson will appear before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence while the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will hear from current U.S. intelligence officials and state election experts.

Here are five questions likely to be on lawmakers' minds as they listen to witnesses and ask questions.

Broken teeth are all too often a punchline in conversations about poor people in rural places. But for Heather Wallace, dental problems are anything but funny.

"Basically it's just like a nerve pain. Your whole body locks up; you have to stop for a second to try to breathe," she said. "And sometimes if it hurts bad enough, you might cry."

Washington state GOP chair Susan Hutchison on the floor of the Republican convention in Cleveland in 2016.
KUOW PHOTO/DAVID HYDE

Bill Radke talks Susan Hutchison, the chairman of the Washington State Republican Party, about how national issues play locally with the Republican base. 

How might the new health care plan affect Washingtonians?

Jun 16, 2017
Democratic Washington Senator Patty Murray at International Community Health Services in Seattle, June 16, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Angela Nhi Nguyen

Republican senators are expected to unveil their health care proposal Monday after working behind closed doors. And Washington Democratic Senator Patty Murray has made it clear she doesn’t agree with it.

Some conservatives have seized on Wednesday's shooting of Republican Rep. Steve Scalise and three others as the latest example of what they see as rising political violence from the left. Fox News' Sean Hannity accused Democrats of "dehumanizing" Republicans, and the right-leaning Washington Times ran an editorial by a Tea Party activist that called leftist protests "the first skirmishes of the second American civil war."

The Watergate building in Washington D.C.
Flickr Photo/Rudi Riet (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/2FEW1m

Bill Rakde talks to Joseph Janes, associate professor in the University of Washington Information School, about why he includes the 18 and a half minutes of static recording from the Nixon tapes in his new book "Documents that Changed the Way We Live."

You can hear his podcast Documents that Changed the World.

More than 190 Democrats in Congress joined together to sue President Trump on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

They say Trump is violating the U.S. Constitution by profiting from business deals involving foreign governments — and doing so without congressional consent. And they want the court to make it stop.

Trump has "repeatedly and flagrantly violated" the Constitution's Emoluments Clause, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told reporters on a conference call.

The nation's top legal officer is set to go before Congress on Tuesday to try to defuse a bomb that the former FBI director dropped into his lap.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee less than one week after James Comey told the committee he could not discuss openly certain information about Sessions' recusal from the investigation into Russia's election meddling last year.

Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., speaks with the media after testifying before the Senate Law and Justice Committee about Green River serial killer Gary Ridgway on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Olympia, Wash.
AP Photo/Rachel La Corte

Democrats are drooling over a Washington state congressional seat that’s always been in Republican hands. 

Republican political consultant Chris Vance says he knows why: "Donald Trump is unbelievably unpopular," Vance said. "His approval ratings are down to 34 percent, and he's taking down the entire Republican Party with him."

René LeBeau of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission says campaigns have a special form for people who want to donate but misplaced their vouchers.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Through campaign events and door-to-door canvassing, Seattle political candidates are stepping up their search for so-called “Democracy Vouchers.” So far, the vouchers have translated into more than $200,000 in campaign contributions for qualifying candidates.

These Comey hearing tweets made us LOL

Jun 8, 2017
Twitter

While former FBI Director James Comey was testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday, June 8, Twitter was doing what it does best.

To learn what actually happened at the hearing, go here. All caught up? Enjoy:

Updated at 9:30 p.m. on June 20

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testifies in front of the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday morning.

It's the first time in a while that the House committee, and not its Senate counterpart, will be in the headlines.

The Senate Intelligence Committee dominated news headlines — and TV screens — over the past few weeks as it held hearings featuring Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former FBI director James Comey, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, among others.

Over and over again, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos deflected a barrage of pointed questions with one answer:

"Schools that receive federal funds must follow federal law."

TV networks have deployed countdown clocks. People are tweeting about places to watch and whether they'll offer morning cocktail specials. Congressional aides report that demand for seats inside the Senate hearing room has reached levels not seen for decades.

Anticipation is building for testimony from fired FBI Director James Comey, not least in the White House, where the president and his aides worry the telegenic former law enforcement leader could inflict both political and legal wounds.

What Comey might say

In the wake of last week’s Trump administration announcement that the United States will pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, states are stepping up to fill the void. Washington announced a partnership with California and New York to form the U.S. Climate Alliance. Within days, Oregon and several other states signed on.

What is this U.S. Climate Alliance?

By day, Don McGahn is a straight-laced lawyer, but by night, he's a long-haired rocker.

Updated at 2:20 pm ET

President Trump is mounting a vigorous defense of his controversial travel ban, continuing an argument he started over the weekend in response to a terrorist attack in London.

That message launched a series of tweets.

His uncompromising language could complicate matters for administration lawyers charged with defending the travel ban in court.

On the ferry ride from Washington to British Columbia ten activists sang songs they’d written about the water surrounding them: the Salish Sea.

They were crossing the international border for a combination march and ferry ride that would take them from Victoria to Vancouver. Their goal was to protest the expansion of a Canadian oil pipeline.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

President Trump's administration filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday night seeking to reverse rulings by lower courts in Hawaii and Maryland that blocked a temporary ban on travel to the United States from six majority-Muslim countries.

The Trump administration says the Constitution gives the president "broad authority to prevent aliens abroad from entering this country when he deems it in the nation's interest."

President Trump announced Thursday that the U.S. will leave the Paris climate deal.

Here are five things that could be affected by the decision.

1. The coal industry

Even coal companies had lobbied the Trump administration to stay in the agreement.

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton argued Wednesday that Russian meddling in the 2016 election in large part cost her the White House, and said she was "leaning" toward believing that President Trump's campaign did, indeed, collude with the Russians.

Micah Fletcher, a victim of a stabbing attack on a light rail train that left two dead, watches as suspect Jeremy Christian is arraigned in Multnomah County Circuit Court in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, May 30, 2017.
Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP, Pool

Prof. Cheryl Kaiser of the University of Washington discusses the bystander effect and whether to step into a dangerous situation to help a stranger.  

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

White House communications director Michael Dubke has resigned. Dubke offered his resignation on May 18, prior to President Trump's overseas trip to the Middle East and Europe. He is still working at the White House and has not set a departure date yet.

Updated at 4:55 a.m. ET

Republican Greg Gianforte won the special election for Montana's lone congressional seat on Thursday despite an election eve misdemeanor assault charge for allegedly body-slamming a reporter.

When President Trump's budget director, Mick Mulvaney, unveiled the administration's budget blueprint earlier this week, which calls for significant cuts to food stamps, he noted that the aim of the budget was to get people working.

"If you're on food stamps and you're able-bodied, we need you to go to work. If you're on disability insurance and you're not supposed to be — if you're not truly disabled, we need you to go back to work," Mulvaney said Tuesday.

Updated June 20, 2017, at 2:42 p.m. ET

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