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Wake Up To Politics - October 26, 2017

I'm Gabe Fleisher, reporting live from WUTP World HQ in my bedroom. It’s Thursday, October 26, 2017. 12 days until Election Day 2017. 376 days until Election Day 2018. 1,104 days until Election Day 2020. Have comments, questions, suggestions, or tips? Email me at gabe@wakeuptopolitics.com. Tell your friends to sign up to receive the newsletter in their inbox at wakeuptopolitics.com/subscribe!

The Rundown

"Judge rejects bid by 18 states to revive Obamacare subsidies": "A U.S. judge on Wednesday refused to block President Donald Trump’s decision to end subsidy payments to health insurers under Obamacare, handing Trump a victory against Democratic attorneys general who have regularly challenged the president’s policies in court." (Reuters)

"Bipartisan health care plan would reduce deficit, CBO says": "The bipartisan Alexander-Murray health care bill will reduce the deficit by $3.8 billion from 2018 to 2027, but won't change the number of people who have coverage, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office." (ABC News)

"Trump-Linked Company Reached Out to WikiLeaks on Hacked Emails": "The chief executive of a data-analytics firm that worked for President Donald Trump’s campaign reached out to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to offer help organizing the Hillary Clinton -related emails the website was releasing, according to a person familiar with the effort." (Wall Street Journal)

"Donald Trump went to an Ivy League school -- and other random thoughts from that absolutely wild press conference": "President Donald Trump wasn't scheduled to talk to the press on Wednesday. He spent the morning at the White House and was set to jet off to a fundraiser in Dallas this evening. Except that as he walked to Marine One, which was idling on the White House lawn, Trump stopped to take a few shouted questions from reporters. Then a few more. And a few more. He spent better than 15 minutes talking about Niger, La David Johnson, Jeff Flake, Ivy League schools, his memory, standing ovations, 'my generals,' uranium and Watergate. It was, in a word, amazing. And, before Trump came into office, totally unprecedented." (CNN)

"Lawmakers seek probe of power contract to Zinke neighbor": "Members of Congress from both parties on Tuesday called for an investigation into a $300 million contract awarded to a small company based in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s hometown of Whitefish, Montana." (Associated Press)

"Republicans launch two new investigations tied to Hillary Clinton": "Republican leaders of three House committees announced Tuesday they are launching two separate investigations involving former secretary of State Hillary Clinton. One probe will deal with why the Obama administration allowed a Russian company to acquire U.S. uranium mines, and a second will look into why the FBI decided not to pursue charges against Clinton for use of a personal email server." (USA TODAY)

"Former Clinton, DNC aides largely silent on funding of Trump-Russia dossier": "Hillary Clinton and top officials of her presidential campaign were largely silent Wednesday in response to the revelation that the campaign and the Democratic National Committee had paid for research that resulted in a dossier alleging Russian interference on behalf of Donald Trump in the 2016 election." (Washington Post)

"Pence breaks tie in Senate vote to ax arbitration rule": "Senate Republicans on Tuesday night leaned on a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence to kill a landmark financial regulation that restricts banks and credit card companies from imposing mandatory arbitration on their customers as a means to resolve disputes. The vote is a blow to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its controversial director, Richard Cordray, who some Republican lawmakers have urged President Donald Trump to fire because of his aggressive regulation." (Politico)

"Key Russia Probe Splinters as Grassley, Feinstein Set Own Paths": "The Senate Judiciary Committee’s bipartisan Russia probe has fractured, with Chairman Chuck Grassley and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein saying they’re each going to set their own path on the investigation." (Bloomberg)

"As G.O.P. Bends Toward Trump, Critics Either Give In or Give Up" "Despite the fervor of President Trump’s Republican opponents, the president’s brand of hard-edge nationalism — with its gut-level cultural appeals and hard lines on trade and immigration — is taking root within his adopted party, and those uneasy with grievance politics are either giving in or giving up the fight." (New York Times)

"How to Read the JFK Assassination Files":"If President Trump is true to his word, the American public is about to be flooded with thousands of long-secret documents that could help resolve at least some of the conspiracy theories about a turning point in the nation’s history – the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In a message on Twitter Wednesday afternoon, Trump announced that 'the long anticipated release of the #JFKFiles will take tomorrow. So interesting!'" (Politico Magazine)

The President's Day

In the morning, President Donald Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing. In the afternoon, he will speak about "combatting drug demand and the opioid crisis." Later in the afternoon, Trump meets with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt.

--- "Trump to declare opioid crisis a public health emergency": "President Donald Trump will officially declare the opioid epidemic a public emergency in an announcement at the White House on Thursday. Beginning in August, the president has said repeatedly he would declare the crisis a 'national emergency,' though a public health emergency stops just short of that in terms of the sweeping powers granted to the federal government's response. According to a senior administration official, the president will direct acting secretary of Health and Human Services Eric Hargan to announce a nationwide public health emergency and also direct agency heads of other departments and agencies to exercise emergency authorities to minimize deaths and damage caused by the opioid crisis." (ABC News)

Today in Congress

The Senate: The upper chamber will resume debate over the nomination of Scott Palk to be a U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma. Palk, who currently serves as an assistant dean at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, was first nominated to the seat by former President Barack Obama. The Senate will hold a confirmation vote on Palk, followed by a procedural vote on the nomination of Trevor McFadden to be a U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia. McFadden served in the Justice Department under former President George W. Bush and has acted as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ Criminal Divison since Trump's inauguration.

The House: The lower chamber is expected to hold votes on the Senate-passed budget resolution and the Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act, which expands sanctions against Iran's ballistic missile program.

--- "GOP leaders gamble with budget vote": "Speaker Paul Ryan and his top lieutenants are betting that Republicans are so jazzed about tax reform that they’ll back a fiscal blueprint many despise. It's a risk for House GOP leaders, who will put the Senate budget on the House floor Thursday morning despite mounting concerns from various factions of the GOP conference. The latest hurdle? A band of Republicans from high-tax states are vowing to vote 'no' on the budget unless GOP leaders scrap plans to curb the state and local tax deduction currently in the GOP's tax proposal." (Politico)