5 Things for Tuesday
Just last night, questions were raised after an ominous statement from Sean Spicer claimed Syria’s President Assad might be prepping another chemical weapons attack on the country’s civilians. If you don’t remember, back in April there was an attack with chemical weapons in Syria that left 90 people dead- including children. In response, the U.S. launched missiles at a Syrian airbase.
A Syrian minister has already dismissed Spicer’s comments, and they still deny responsibility for the attack in April. If another use of chemical weapons happens though, the U.S. has threatened that “Assad and his military will pay a heavy price.”
The Congressional Budget Office revealed their report on the Senate’s health care plan yesterday, and it didn’t leave everybody happy. Predictions showed that approximately 22 million people would be uninsured by 2026- while less than the 23 million predicted from the House health care plan, it’s still a lot.
Whether or not the measure will pass is now up in the air. Senate Republicans hoped to get a vote before the July 4th holiday, but complete party support does not look likely. Three Republican senators have already come out against the bill (they can’t have more than two votes against for it to pass) and attention has come to our own senator, Bill Cassidy. Senator Cassidy said he is uncommitted at the moment, but if the 22 million figure is correct, it concerns him.
While the retirement news for Justice Kennedy ended up not coming yesterday, several other major things did. The big one- the Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in the fall concerning President Trump’s travel ban that targets six Muslim-majority countries. Until then, the Court said that the U.S. cannot ban resident of those countries from getting visas if they have a relative, a job, or are a student here. If not, they will have to wait 90 days (120 if the person is a refugee).
The Court also agreed to take up a case concerning a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, citing his religious views. They also made a ruling on a case yesterday, striking down a birth certificate law in Arkansas that didn’t list same-sex couples on a baby’s birth certificate.
A hearing is scheduled today in Santa Monica to set a trial date for a lawsuit coming from another woman who accuses Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting her. Judy Huth was 15 when she claims Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion in 1974. Just two weeks ago, Cosby’s case was declared a mistrial in Pennsylvania, the prosecution vowed to retry the comedian- if they do, the California case could be postponed.
Reality Winner, the 25-year-old government contractor who is accused of leaking a secret NSA report will be in court today. It is expected that today’s hearing will be a status conference. Winner remains in jail in Georgia for the time being.