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Primary Votes In Eight States

What you need to know about Tuesday’s primaries. CBS: “There are eight states holding primaries on Tuesday, June 5: Alabama, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota. That makes Tuesday one of the most anticipated days in politics before November’s midterm elections. The Democrats need to flip 23 Republican-held districts to take control of the House of Representatives this fall, and CBS News rates 13 of the House districts facing primary elections on Tuesday as “very likely” or “probably” competitive in November (seven in California, four in New Jersey, and two in Iowa). California is of particular importance to the Democrats in their quest to take back the House — in 2016, Hillary Clinton won seven of the districts held by House Republicans. The Democrats have their sights set on turning as many of these seats blue as possible.”

GOP Tax-Cut Authors Cash In As Lobbyists

GOP staffers who wrote the tax bill cash in with lobbying gigs. Politico: “Top-level GOP aides who helped write the new tax law are now leaving the Hill in droves to cash in as lobbyists on K Street and other marquee private-sector destinations. Powerhouse accounting firm PwC landed one of the biggest prizes, announcing Monday that Mark Prater, the Senate Finance Committee’s longtime GOP chief tax counsel, is the new managing director of its tax policy services group. Others who have made the switch include a top aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Brendan Dunn, who joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in May as a partner in its public law and policy practice. Some less visible tax aides from both chambers have also gone through the revolving door to companies hoping to rake in new business and more profits from the package of tax cuts and legal changes.”

Judge Orders ME To Implement Medicaid Expansion

Judge orders Maine to implement voter-approved Medicaid expansion. The Hill: “A Maine court has ordered the state to move ahead with Medicaid expansion, which was approved by voters last year but blocked by Republican Gov. Paul LePage. Michaela Murphy, a Maine Superior Court justice, ruled Monday afternoon that the state must submit a plan to the federal government by June 11 detailing how it plans to expand Medicaid. Maine voters approved expansion in November through a citizen-led ballot measure, but LePage has fought back at every turn… Maine became the first state to expand Medicaid through a voter referendum. Medicaid expansion would make eligible an additional 70,000 Maine residents with incomes between 101 percent and 138 percent of the federal poverty level.”

NJ To Implement ACA’s Individual Mandate

New Jersey will become second state to enact individual health insurance mandate. Politico: “Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday signed into law a bill that will require all New Jersey residents to have health coverage or pay a penalty, making the state the second in the country to enact an individual health insurance mandate. Democratic lawmakers drafted the bill, NJ A3380 (18R), in response to Congress’ decision to repeal the federal mandate established under the Affordable Care Act. The repeal, the New Jersey lawmakers feared, would drive healthier people out of the state’s Obamacare market and cause premiums to spike… New Jersey’s mandate is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2019, which gives state officials seven months to get the word out to residents about the new requirement. Massachusetts was the first state to enact a mandate, which took effect in 2006 and served as a model for the federal provision included in the Affordable Care Act. With more than 97 percent of its residents insured in 2016, Massachusetts had the lowest percentage of people without health insurance in the country.”

U.S. Ambassador To Germany In Love With Europe’s Far Right

Germans Appalled by Threat From Trump’s Ambassador to Help Far-Right Nationalists Take Power Across Europe. The Intercept: “The German government demanded a formal explanation from the United States on Monday of what, exactly, the new U.S. ambassador in Berlin, Richard Grenell, meant when he promised to use his office to help far-right nationalists inspired by Donald Trump take power across Europe. In an interview with Breitbart News, published on Sunday, Grenell said he was ‘excited’ by the rise of far-right parties on the continent and wanted ‘to empower other conservatives throughout Europe, other leaders.’… Leaving aside that Trump was, in fact, elected by a hypervocal minority of American voters, his envoy’s apparent willingness to cast off diplomatic neutrality and meddle in the internal affairs of European countries caused an uproar. Sevim Dagdelen, a member of the left-wing German opposition party Die Linke, suggested that Grenell had revealed himself to be Trump’s ‘regime change envoy.'”

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