This week's indictment of two anti-abortion activists who targeted Planned Parenthood hasn't changed Republican minds in Congress.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSenate Dems may block water bill over drought language The Hill's 12:30 Report McConnell: Spending bill will include miners' pension fix MORE (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that he has no regrets about relying on undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood to criticize the organization after the video-makers were indicted this week.
Democrats have jumped on the indictments handed down in Texas on Monday. David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt face charges of tampering with a government record for allegedly using a fake driver's license to access a Planned Parenthood center. The grand jury found no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood.
Republicans, however, have largely vowed to push on in their efforts against Planned Parenthood. The House committee will not be releasing the results of its investigation until December. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1PFATPx
DEMS WANT MORE PUBLIC NOTICE ON LEAD POISONING: Top Democrats from Michigan's congressional delegation have introduced a bill to expand lead poisoning notifications in the wake of the water crisis in Flint, Mich.
The bill would direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to notify the public and local health departments if the amount of lead found in public water systems warrants action, if the state hasn't already sent a notification. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1ROoc53
SENATE GOP SAYS OPIOID LEGISLATION COMING: Senate leadership is eyeing a path forward to tackle drug addiction as the issue comes under increasing scrutiny in the 2016 election.
"We had a significant discussion for quite a period of time in the Republican conference today on the opioid heroin epidemic that's sweeping the country," Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters.
McConnell added that senators are "anxious" to see what legislation comes out of the Judiciary Committee and that he's hopeful lawmakers will be able to get legislation passed this year despite a shortened schedule. Read more here. http://bit.ly/205VZvu
T MINUS FIVE DAYS UNTIL HEALTHCARE.GOV DEADLINE: President Obama hit the airwaves on Wednesday for interviews with TV stations from Richmond, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Salt Lake City, Denver, Los Angeles, and Oakland to talk up the Jan. 31 deadline. Look for those embargoed interviews to come out later this evening.
INFECTIOUS DISEASE UPDATES:
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenThis Week in Cybersecurity: Dems press for information on Russian hacks Overnight Tech: Venture capitalists' message to Trump | Bitcoin site ordered to give IRS data | Broadband gets faster Dem senator: Hold hearing on Russian interference in election MORE (D-N.H.) is urging action to prevent what she called a "major outbreak" of the Zika virus. Shaheen sent a letter to Secretaries John KerryJohn KerryAs Congress adjusts to Trump, Iran put under the pressure it deserves Sharpton pressures Dems on Trump nominees Words are not enough — US must support Christians who survived genocide in Iraq MORE, Sylvia Matthews Burwell and Jeh Johnson, calling for a coordinated federal response to the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Read Shaheen's letter: http://bit.ly/2052KO4
The World Health Organization will hold a briefing on the spread of the Zika virus at its Geneva headquarters.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) will discuss hospital price transparency at an event hosted by the American Enterprise Institute
WHAT WE'RE READING:
Scientists move closer to understanding schizophrenia's cause (New York Times)
Has ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion plan reached a tipping point? (CNBC.com)
Editorial: Planned Parenthood has been absolved, the GOP should give up its crusade (Washington Post)
Sen. Rob PortmanRob PortmanMcConnell: Spending bill will include miners' pension fix GOP debates going big on tax reform Who is Tim Ryan? A closer look at Pelosi’s challenger MORE (R-Ohio) touts anti-heroin measures even though he voted against their funding (Cleveland.com)
IN THE STATES:
Ohio Senate votes to defund Planned Parenthood (Toledo Blade)
Oklahoma resists push for ObamaCare enrollment (New York Times)
Democratic leader in Georgia says time has come for Medicaid expansion (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Officials look to stem cyber attacks on New Jersey hospitals (NJ.com)
ICYMI FROM THE HILL:
White House: Zika virus is not Ebola: http://bit.ly/1RO1hqw
Lawmakers press VA to allow medical marijuana for veterans http://bit.ly/1OQipbK