Congress

Senate Republicans would cut Medicaid, end penalties for people not buying insurance and erase a raft of tax increases as part of their long-awaited plan to scuttle President Barack Obama's health care law, congressional aides and lobbyists say.

Updated at 1:56 p.m. ET

If two nearly simultaneous hearings Wednesday by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees into Russia's meddling in last year's presidential election revealed anything, it's that U.S. officials saw what was going on but were all but powerless to stop it.

In his prepared remarks, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said the Russian government, "at the direction of Vladimir Putin himself, orchestrated cyberattacks on our Nation for the purpose of influencing our election — plain and simple."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans will release a discussion draft of their version of the health care bill on Thursday, with a vote likely next week.

Private health care talks have been underway in the Senate for weeks. McConnell tapped a 13-member working group last month to hash out senators' differences over the House-passed American Health Care Act. McConnell's office has since taken the lead drafting the Senate version of the party's long-promised legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Updated at 9:36 p.m. ET

A shooting Wednesday morning at a baseball field in Alexandria, Va., left the third-highest-ranking member of the House of Representatives lying at the edge of the outfield with a gun wound to his hip. The shooter has died, President Trump announced.

There's nothing that quite says summer like baseball.

A baseball field is a sanctuary for millions of boys and girls, moms and dads. From the working class to the white collar, from the Marine to the congressman, America's pastime has been a respite from the day-to-day grind for generations.

That's why Wednesday's shooting at a congressional baseball practice in a placid neighborhood in a Virginia suburb of Washington was so shocking.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

The FBI says the man who opened fire on a group of Republican members of Congress on Wednesday is 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., who was shot by police and later died at a hospital.

The alleged shooter expressed fervent opposition to the Republican Party and called for higher taxes on the rich, in statements on social media and letters to a local newspaper. He apparently volunteered for the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to the Vermont senator, who condemned the attack.

Updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana has undergone surgery and will need further operations, after being shot by a man who opened fire with a rifle on an early morning baseball practice for Republican members of Congress in Alexandria, Va. Scalise was the most seriously injured of four victims of the shootings.

Leaders of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say they have issued subpoenas for documents from two businesses operated by former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., in remarks to reporters, said the subpoenas were sent to Flynn Intel LLC and Flynn Intel, Inc. with a specific list of documents they are seeking. The senators did not say what to what those documents relate.

Updated at 3:38 p.m. ET

Former CIA Director John Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday that Russia "brazenly interfered in the 2016 election process," despite U.S. efforts to warn it off. Brennan testified in an open session of the committee, one of a handful of congressional committees now investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

At a town hall meeting in Willingboro, N.J., on Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur was confronted by angry constituents who demanded to know how the Republican health care bill that he helped write would affect rape victims.

A young man named Joseph said he understood that the bill would allow insurance companies to deem rape a pre-existing condition and deny coverage to people who have been raped.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

Republicans finally got their health care bill.

After seven years of repeal-and-replace rhetoric against the Affordable Care Act, two presidential campaigns waged for and against it and a recent high-profile failure, House Republicans passed their bill.

The trouble is this bill is unlikely to ever become law — at least in its current iteration.

Updated 2:10 p.m. ET

The Senate approved the bipartisan $1.1 trillion spending bill that funnels money to nearly every corner of the federal government and keeps it running through the end of the current fiscal year in September. The House approved the measure on Wednesday, and it now goes to President Trump for his signature.

When some members of Congress look at the practices of U.S. airlines, they aren't just lawmakers eyeing an industry.

They're customers. And they aren't happy.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing on Tuesday to address concerns over airline customer service. It was prompted by several high-profile incidents, including the violent removal of a passenger from a United Express flight.

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the first Cuban-American elected to Congress and the first congressional Republican to publicly support marriage equality, is retiring next year at the end of her term.

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