The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Repeal and Dismay

The Congressional Budget Office projected that repealing Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured by 32 million over the next decade.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Today in 5 Lines

President Trump invited Senate Republicans to lunch at the White House, where he asked them not to leave town until they had a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare ready, adding that “inaction is not an option.” The Congressional Budget Office projected that repealing Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured by 32 million over the next decade. The Justice Department announced plans to broaden its use of civil-asset forfeiture, the practice of seizing money and property from criminal suspects. Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity held its first meeting. U.S. officials said that Trump will end a covert CIA program that aided moderate Syrian rebels battling the Syrian government.

Today on The Atlantic

  • What Is McConnell Doing?: By going forward with a vote to repeal Obamacare, David Frum argues that the majority leader is “reasserting his own personal leadership, punishing and rewarding senators all at once—in ways that diminish everybody in his caucus other than himself.”

  • Between Safety and Sovereignty: The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota is considering a new strategy to combat the increased homicide rate: seek assistance from outside law enforcement. (Ian MacDougall)

  • Off the Hook: For most congressional Republicans, allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign is nothing more than “partisan noise.” They reject the idea that they aren’t doing enough to hold the president accountable. (McKay Coppins)

  • Two More Days: Our first podcast, Radio Atlantic, debuts this Friday, July 21. Tune in to hear Jon Batiste's full interpretation of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” as well as conversations with David Frum and Molly Ball about the past, present, and future of the American idea. Frum will expand on a question that worries him a lot: “To what extent is the President of the United States now in the chain of command?” Listen and subscribe at

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President Trump speaks during a lunch meeting with Senate Republicans to discuss healthcare at the White House. From left are Senators Shelley Moore Capito, Dean Heller, Tim Scott and Lisa Murkowski. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

What We’re Reading

The Deal Post-Repeal: Ron Elving lays out eight major takeaways from the collapse of the Republican health-care bill and the subsequent proposal of a seemingly doomed repeal-and-delay vote. (NPR)

Show the Receipts: President Trump had a second, hour-long meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit in Germany, but there appears to be no transcript or documentation of the discussion. That’s a problem. (James Goldgeier, The Washington Post)

Problems in the Party: David Faris argues that polarization within the GOP is putting the current Republican-controlled Congress on track to be the least productive group since the Civil War. (The Week)

Where Russia Matters: The Trump-Russia investigation isn’t playing much of a role in most early congressional races across the country. But in Representative Dana Rohrabacher’s district, the issue could end up hurting his chances at reelection. (Katie Glueck, McClatchy)

Trump Doesn’t Get Health Care: Ezra Klein argues that Mitch McConnell isn’t the only person to blame for the failed health-care bill—in an era in which policy leadership often comes from the White House, President Trump was “completely underprepared, woefully uninformed, and personally confused.” (Vox)


Not a Great Advocate: An analysis of President Trump’s tweets shows that he rarely tweeted about policy specifics related to health care—and when he did, his comments were misleading or false. (The Washington Post)

Battle Hymn of the Republic: Watch renowned jazz musician Jon Batiste create a new arrangement of the song for The Atlantic’s first podcast, Radio Atlantic. (Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg, Matt Thompson, and Nicolas Pollock)

Question of the Week

On Thursday, Donald Trump will celebrate his six-month anniversary as president of the United States. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that only 36 percent of Americans approve of his performance so far, while 58 percent disapprove.

This week we want to know: In what areas do you think President Trump has succeeded? In what areas has he failed? Share your response here and our favorites will be featured in Friday’s Politics & Policy Daily.

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)