Happy fall, OP readers! We now deem it seasonally appropriate for you to consume as many pumpkin spice items as your heart desires, even if it’s still 80 degrees outside.
The first day of autumn has been quite a whirlwind â€” and this week in general has been a whirlwind, to be honest. So let’s get to it.
McCain v. Obamacare repeal
On Friday, Sen. John McCainÂ came out againstÂ the Graham-Cassidy legislation, joining Sen. Rand Paul in the “no” vote category for Republicans. With its 52-person majority, the GOP can’t afford to lose another vote (if they get 50 votes, Vice President Pence can come in and break the tie). But there are a couple people to keep an eye on: the women who helped tank the last Obamacare repeal effort. Sen. Susan CollinsÂ is already leaning toward voting no, saying she didn’t want to rush through a major bill. And Sen. Lisa Murkowski hasn’t indicated which way she is going to vote.
But there’s still a week left before the Senate’s end-of-September deadline, and as 2017 has taught us, anything can happen.
The updated travel ban
Expect to see another iteration ofÂ the Trump administration’s controversial travel ban. The Department of Homeland Security recently completed a review of how foreign nations confirm the identities of individuals and for document security. That review may result in the administration banning or restricting the travel of citizens from countries that didn’t meets U.S. standards. In its Friday announcement, the department did not say which countries didn’t meet U.S. standards, and whether this would add to the list of the six Muslim-majority countries already included in the travel ban.
The Supreme Court is already set to hear arguments next month about the constitutionality of the ban. Any adjustmentscould require the justices to adjust the schedule.
Oh, and don’t forget that the ban actually expires on Sunday. Officials had no specifics for what comes after that.
Trump v. North Korea
The war of words between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un was turned up a notch this week. First, the president bestowed a new nick name on the North Korean leader: “Rocket Man.” Then, in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly that referenced the name, Trump warned that the United States would “totally destroy” North Korea if the U.S. was forced to defend itself or its allies.Â
Kim replied, calling Trump a “frightened dog” and a “dotard” (yes, that’s a real word, definition here). And then Trump retorted Kim was a “madman.”
Just another weekÂ in the world of politics.
In other important UNGA news this week, Trump said he’s made a decision about whether he’ll keep or kill the Iran nuclear deal…but we have no idea what that decision is.