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Tuesday, Oct 04th

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Republicans block cap on insulin costs for millions of patients

GOP blocks cap on insulin costs

Republican lawmakers on Sunday successfully stripped a $35 price cap on the cost of insulin for many patients from the ambitious legislative package Democrats are moving through Congress this weekend, invoking arcane Senate rules to jettison the measure.

The insulin cap is a long-running ambition of Democrats, who want it to apply to patients on Medicare and private insurance. Republicans left the portion that applies to Medicare patients untouched but stripped the insulin cap for other patients. Bipartisan talks on a broader insulin pricing bill faltered earlier this year.

The Senate parliamentarian earlier in the weekend ruled that part of the Democrats’ cap, included in the Inflation Reduction Act, did not comply with the rules that allow them to advance a bill under the process known as reconciliation — a tactic that helps them avert a GOP filibuster. That gave the Republicans an opening to jettison it.

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U.S. Senate passes major $430 billion bill to fight climate change, cut drug costs

Sen SchumerrThe U.S. Senate on Sunday passed a sweeping $430 billion bill intended to fight climate change, lower drug prices and raise some corporate taxes, a major victory for President Joe Biden that Democrats hope will aid their chances of keeping control of Congress in this year's elections.

After a marathon, 27-hour weekend session of debate and Republican efforts to derail the package, the Senate approved the legislation known as the "Inflation Reduction Act," by a 51-50 party line vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking ballot.

The action sends the measure to the House of Representatives for a vote expected Friday that could forward it, in turn, to the White House for Biden's signature.

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US Senate overwhelmingly approves Nato membership for Finland and Sweden

US Senate approve NATO membership for Sweden and Finland

The US Senate delivered near-unanimous bipartisan approval to Nato membership for Finland and Sweden on Wednesday, calling expansion of the western defensive bloc a “slam-dunk” for US national security and a day of reckoning for Vladimir Putin.

The 95-1 vote for the candidacy of two European countries that, until Russia’s war against Ukraine, had long avoided military alliances took a crucial step toward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its 73-year-old pact of mutual defense among the United States and democratic allies in Europe.

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More missing texts, this time from Trump DHS officials, raise new Jan. 6 questions

Ken CuccinelliMissing text messages for top Trump administration Homeland Security officials in the days surrounding Jan. 6, 2021, are raising new questions about why the agency’s watchdog did not alert officials to the potential destruction of records.

According to a document obtained by the Project on Government Oversight, text messages for former acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf as well as his deputy, Ken Cuccinelli, could not be located.

The late February message to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General Joseph Cuffari indicates that record retention issues at the agency extend beyond the Secret Service and that DHS’s own watchdog failed in multiple instances to notify lawmakers about the missing messages.

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Former DOJ official cooperating with department’s probe into Trump pressure campaign

Former DOJ official cooperates with probe

A former Trump administration Department of Justice (DOJ) official who worked closely with Jeffrey Clark is cooperating with his former employer’s investigation into the former president’s pressure campaign at the DOJ, according to multiple reports.

“We’ve been fully cooperating both with the Department of Justice and the Select Committee, and we’ll continue with that cooperation,” Edward Greim, an attorney for Ken Klukowski, said to CNN.

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Former Trump White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney meets with Jan. 6 Capitol riot committee

Mick Mulvaney testifiesFormer Trump White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was being interviewed Thursday by the select House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Asked by NBC News on his way into the closed-door session with the panel what he planned to say to its members, Mulvaney replied, “The truth. How about that for a start?”

“I was asked to come in,” Mulvaney said when asked if he had been subpoenaed by the committee.

CBS News, where Mulvaney works as a contributor, first reported that his interview would take place. He confirmed his planned appearance in an email to CNBC on Thursday morning.

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CVS siphoned millions from 'safety net' hospitals - New York lawsuit

CVS sued by NYSNew York on Thursday sued CVS Health Corp (CVS.N) for allegedly forcing hospitals that serve low-income patients to pay millions of dollars to access discounted prescription drugs, violating state antitrust law.

In a lawsuit filed in state court in Manhattan, New York Attorney General Letitia James said CVS group abused its market power by requiring hospitals and clinics to use a CVS subsidiary, Wellpartner, to fill prescriptions for discounted drugs at CVS pharmacies.

"While safety net health care providers are tackling public health crises and helping underserved communities, CVS is robbing them out of millions of desperately needed funds that could improve patient care," James said in a statement.

"These allegations are without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously," CVS said in a statement.

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