Here’s what’s happening in politics Jan. 27, 2021. Check back often for updates.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy will meet with Donald Trump in Florida as attorneys for the former president prepare his defense for a Senate impeachment trial, according to a Trump aide.
McCarthy criticized Trump after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, saying a week after the insurrection that “the president bears responsibility.” He has since backed off and voted against impeachment.
The Trump-McCarthy meeting comes as Republicans are wrestling with an internal fight over the party’s future, with some wanting to move past the Trump era while others remain staunchly loyal to the former president amid fears of his supporters.
Trump has been unusually quiet since leaving the White House last week, mainly because Twitter barred him shortly after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Meanwhile, opening arguments in the impeachment trial are scheduled for Feb. 9.
– David Jackson
Biden reopening Obamacare insurance markets
President Joe Biden on Thursday will take steps to expand health insurance coverage during the pandemic and to reverse some of the Trump administration’s restrictions on family planning services.
Biden is expected to direct the Department of Health and Human Services to allow people to sign up for Obamacare plans from Feb. 15 through May 15. Open enrollment for plans available through HealthCare.gov ended in December.
Nearly 9 million uninsured Americans could get free or subsidized health insurance through the special enrollment period, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health research organization.
Biden also wants to revisit Trump administration changes to the Affordable Care Act, such as allowing states to impose work requirements on some Medicaid recipients.
And, as the initial steps in Biden’s pledge to stop the “relentless and extreme attack” on reproductive health, the president is expected to revoke the Mexico City Policy, which blocks foreign assistance to groups that include abortion services or information in their family planning programs.
Trump both restored and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which was started by the Reagan administration and has been turned off and on again depending on whether a Democrat or Republican holds the White House. Critics call it a “global gag rule.”
Biden is also expected to begin the process of undoing similar restrictions on domestic groups that receive federal family planning funds to serve the uninsured and low-income populations. Since those changes, about one-quarter of clinics and other providers that had received Title X federal grants no longer participate, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
– Maureen Groppe
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