GOP Representatives argue that Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional
September 05, 2018
Several Republican state attorneys general will argue before a federal judge that the Affordable Care Act, without the tax penalty and individual mandate, is unconstitutional; Facebook and Twitter executives testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in regards to international election interference; US Trade deficit rises; Despite current affairs, oil prices drop.
- State Attorneys General argue the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. Several Republican state attorneys general will argue before a federal judge Wednesday that the Affordable Care Act, without the tax penalty and individual mandate, is unconstitutional. The Trump Justice Department has also stated its legal complaints with the law, arguing in particular that pre-existing condition protections are unconstitutional. Several Republican Senators have attempted to defend pre-existing condition protections, however, including Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and have introduced a bill in the Senate to protect those patients should the lawsuit succeed. [WSJ]
- Facebook and Twitter executives face scrutiny in Senate hearing. Sheryl Sandberg (COO Facebook) and Jack Dorsey (CEO Twitter) testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday, as Senators continue to probe election interference on the prolific social media sites. While Democratic Senator Mark Warner focused most on technical defense from foreign interference, Marco Rubio pressed both executives on free speech, political censorship and their dedication to US values. Several Senators slammed Google for failing to send leadership to the hearing, noting the empty seat was supposed to host Larry Page. It is unclear how such testimony will manifest into policy, as the tech sector nervously watches for any regulatory action based on the hearings. [NY Times]
Economic Indicators and News
- US Trade deficit leaps up in July. The US trade deficit increased by the largest margin in three years, 9.5%, over the month of July, as the deficit reached a five-month high. Soybean exports and aircraft declined as strong economic conditions propelled imports forward. The trade deficit in July was $50.1 billion, with particular increases in the deficit with China, which increased ten percent. Economists expected the deficit to increase to a slightly higher figure, the average expected deficit was $50.3 billion. [CNBC]
- Oil prices drop on demand worries, fewer supply concerns. Oil drops below $78 a barrel as weather threats subsided, Turkey’s currency lost value and Chinese-US trade threats raised concerns about softening demand. However, prices may increase later this week as Iran sanctions continue to tighten supply while investors expect US crude inventories to fall. [CNBC]