×
FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
July 27, 2017
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), John McCain (Ariz.), and Ron Johnson (Wis.) held a news conference Thursday evening about their party's health-care efforts, expressing their concern that the House will pass the Senate's "skinny repeal" of ObamaCare this week without bringing the bill to conference.

Senate leadership has been toying with a "skinny repeal" plan that would focus on eliminating ObamaCare's individual mandate, employer mandate, and medical device tax, while largely leaving the rest of the health-care law in place. Votes on a straight repeal of ObamaCare with a two-year window to replace, as well as a repeal-and-replace bill favored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), failed earlier this week, prompting senators to take up the "skinny repeal" plan.

Graham called the bill a "fraud" and "terrible policy," stating that unless House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) can assure him that the "skinny" bill "will not become the final product," he will vote against it. McConnell has indicated the bill would simply serve as a way for the Senate to pass a lowest-common-denominator piece of legislation that would pave the way for conference with the House, and has reportedly been in communication with Ryan about that strategy. Still, Graham said he would like a more solid guarantee. "It's like pornography, you know it when you see it," Graham said of what would be a sufficient pledge.

McCain called for a bipartisan approach to create a better health-care bill. "Right now I am voting no," McCain confirmed, and he joined Graham's call for the bill to go to conference with the House. Johnson said that "virtually nothing we're doing in any of these bills" would properly address the underlying problems of the health-care system.

Given the existing opposition to the bill by Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), if any one of the three senators were to vote no on the "skinny repeal" bill, it would not pass. Shivani Ishwar

10:09 p.m. ET
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

In an interview published Sunday, Roseanne Barr said she's made herself "a hate magnet," and "as a Jew, it's just horrible. It's horrible."



The interview was conducted by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach the day after Barr's show was canceled by ABC due to a racist tweet she made about former President Barack Obama's senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett. Barr referred to Jarrett as "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby," and she told Boteach she "didn't mean what [people] think I meant," and "that's what's so painful. But I have to face that it hurt people."

Barr cried throughout the interview, and said she apologized to those upset by her tweet. "I'm a lot of things, a loud mouth and all that stuff," she said. "But I'm not stupid, for God's sake. I never would have wittingly called any black person...a monkey. I just wouldn't do that. I didn't do that."

Since the interview was conducted, ABC has ordered 10 episodes of a Roseanne spinoff called The Conners, with Barr not involved at all with the show. She remains active on Twitter, retweeting questionable accounts while at the same time sharing such deep thoughts as, "does Twitter exist to spread disinformation?" (Per Barr, "it was CIA created so...it was the original intention perhaps.") Catherine Garcia

9:22 p.m. ET
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Donald Hall, the poet laureate of the United States from 2006 to 2007, died Saturday at his home in New Hampshire. He was 89.

Hall began writing at age 12, and over his career wrote more than 40 books, with half of them poetry. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received the National Medal of Arts in 2010 and the National Book Critics Circle prize. Hall wrote often about his childhood, baseball, and the loss of his second wife, poet Jane Kenyon, and lived at Eagle Pond Farm, property that his family has owned since the 1860s.

During a 2012 interview with NPR's Fresh Air, Hall said that his "body causes me trouble when I cross the room, but when I am sitting down writing, I am in my heaven — my old heaven." Catherine Garcia

8:42 p.m. ET
Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a second term Sunday, the country's election authority said.

Turkish state media says that of the votes counted, Erdogan received 53 percent and his closest opponent, Muharrem Ince, received 31 percent. Erdogan declared victory before the official results were announced.

After a failed coup in 2016, Erdogan moved to consolidate his power, and a new constitution that received 51 percent of the vote last year will soon go into effect. Turkey has been under a state of emergency since the attempted coup.

State media reports that 96 percent of votes for parliament have been counted, with Erdogan's AK Party receiving 42 percent and main opposition party CHP 23 percent; the pro-Kurdish HDP party is expected to receive at least 10 percent of the vote. The final election results will be announced Friday, and should Erdogan not receive more than 50 percent of the vote, a second-round vote between Erdogan and Ince will be held July 8. Catherine Garcia

1:50 p.m. ET

President Trump has faced institutional checks and balances to his power, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) argued on ABC's This Week Sunday, but they haven't come from Congress.

It's difficult "for a lot of my colleagues to say, 'Hey, let's stand up to the president," Flake told host George Stephanopoulos. "But, boy, we ought to more jealously guard our institutional prerogative. I think in this crisis we're in, I think the judiciary has stood up well. The press has stood up well in terms of institutions. The balance. But the Congress has been lacking."

Flake highlighted tariffs as an issue where congressional Republicans ought to be pushing back, and he suggested that refusing to confirm judicial nominees might prod Trump to shift his stance. "I do think that unless we can actually exercise something other than just approving the president's executive calendar — his nominees, judges — that we have no reason to be there," Flake said. "So I think myself and a number of senators, at least a few of us, will stand up and say, 'Let's not move any more judges until we get a vote, for example, on tariffs.'"

In his final question, Stephanopoulos asked whether Flake, who is not seeking re-election, might "be prepared to challenge the president in 2020." Watch his answer below. Bonnie Kristian

1:18 p.m. ET

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) declined to join other progressive politicos in endorsing the call to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during an appearance on CNN's State of the Union Sunday.

"More than a dozen Democratic congressional candidates reportedly support abolishing ICE," said host Jake Tapper. "Do you agree that ICE should be abolished?"

"I think that what we need is to create policies which deal with immigration in a rational way," Sanders answered, sidestepping the question. "And a rational way is not locking children up in detention centers or separating them from their mothers."

Tapper also pressed Sanders as to whether the left "only seemed to start caring about these [immigrant children detained by the government] under Trump," noting that some Democrats circulated photos "taken in 2014 under the Obama administration during the unaccompanied minors crisis from that year," unfairly attributing the situation depicted to Trump in 2018.

Sanders pushed back, arguing that Democrats had "a lot of concern about how undocumented people were treated under Obama," and that Trump's immigration policy operates at a distinct level of abuse. Watch an excerpt of his comments below. Bonnie Kristian

12:47 p.m. ET

President Trump on Twitter Sunday proposed that immigrants who enter the U.S. illegally be immediately deported without due process:

The tweet's proposal is similar to comments Trump made Tuesday. "I don't want judges," he said. "I want border security. I don't want to try people. I don't want people coming in. Do you know, if a person comes in and puts one foot on our ground, it's essentially, 'Welcome to America, welcome to our country.' You never get them out, because they take their name, they bring the name down, they file it, then they let the person go. They say, 'Show back up to court in one year from now.'"

Sometimes, the president is very fond of due process. In February, he plaintively asked on Twitter whether there is "no such thing any longer as Due Process," apparently objecting to public critique of men accused of domestic abuse. Bonnie Kristian

11:26 a.m. ET
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Trump administration will soon debut its Israel-Palestine peace plan, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner said in an interview published Sunday by Al-Quds, an Arabic language newspaper.

The proposal will be released with or without feedback from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, he announced. Abbas has refused to meet with Kushner during his trip to the Middle East this past week. "If President Abbas is willing to come back to the table, we are ready to engage," Kushner said. "If he is not, we will likely air the plan publicly."

The Al-Quds article offered some hints as to what the plan might entail. Kushner "mentioned nothing about a sovereign Palestinian state or of Palestinian refugees," The New York Times reports, and "also did not mention Israeli settlements on the West Bank or using the 1967 lines as a starting point to draw borders; and nothing about East Jerusalem serving as the Palestinian capital." Bonnie Kristian

See More Speed Reads