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Paul Ryan dodges on questions about Donald Trump Jr

14 July 2017

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"We support the sanctions on Iran and Russian Federation", said Marc Short, head of the White House legislative affairs team. "We always like to talk".

Later, while receiving questions on the GOP healthcare bill, Short said he was "confident" the bill would pass.

On Wednesday, a day after Donald Trump Jr. released the emails himself, House Speaker Paul Ryan said it was unacceptable that Russian Federation meddled in the elections but deflected specific questions.

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He also warned the bill lacked protections for employment, equality and environmental rights. Here are some of the key questions surrounding the legislation.

"I'll guarantee you that's what it is", McCarthy says on the recording, and then laughs.

AshLee Strong, national press secretary for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), told Independent Journal Review on Monday that House Democrats were holding up the bill by demanding changes.

The bill came about after intense negotiations between House and Senate leaders where Republicans and Democrats from both sides of the Capitol were supposed to be keeping each other in the loop. Surprisingly, several of them Wednesday said they were unsure about the fine print coming in the updated bill and lamented leadership did not consult them more. "I think frankly they did not realize the outcome of striking some of the language which assured a vote by everybody".

If congressional Republicans succeed in repealing and replacing "Obamacare", expect a big Rose Garden celebration with President Donald Trump taking credit.

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But it remains to be seen whether he can satisfy moderates and hard-line conservatives in his party who have voiced opposition. But the Senate still has a full workload in changing its health care bill enough to get 50 "yes" votes.

A war of words has broken out between the Trump administration and Rhode Island's two USA senators over how to fill two powerful posts, the vacant positions of US attorney and federal district judge.

But Trump also confirmed that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the pending congressional sanctions legislation during their meeting last week at the G-20 summit in Germany and left open the door to easing sanctions if his administration could gain something from Putin in the process. Republican leaders said that certain revenue-related provisions in the bill meant that it had to originate in the House. They say language in the bill adds burdensome disclosure requirements that could put them at a competitive disadvantage with non-US companies working on global deals.

But a Senate Democratic aide disputed that idea, saying House Democrats, led by Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) during negotiations, were made aware of the coming changes and signed off on them. "Under this process, only the Speaker of the House - rather than any member of the House - can force consideration of whether to allow the administration to waive sanctions". Democrats don't want to pass (the Senate's health-care repeal bill) because it takes too much away from the poor and middle class to give to the wealthy.

Republicans previously said the measure was stalled over complaints from Democrats that changes to the bill would weaken lawmakers' authority to block the Trump administration from lifting sanctions on Russian Federation. Although the president himself has yet to fully embrace that conclusion, investigations are under way by the House and Senate intelligence committees as well as the special counsel appointed by the Justice Department, Robert Mueller. But it used to be a safe bet that Congress would eventually, if reluctantly, hold the line on the values we're all supposed to agree on. The rules panel also included a procedural trick to strip language that was approved by voice vote during committee markup of the bill to prevent the Pentagon from paying for a border wall.

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Unemployment was 4.4 percent in June and employers have added 187,000 jobs a month on average over the past 12 months. Several officials believe the Fed likely will maintain a portfolio to exceed $2 trillion.

A total of 32 nominees are waiting for a floor vote in the Senate, with 133 more waiting for consideration from various committees, Short said.