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Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday that while he respects the right of professional athletes to express themselves “how they see fit,” he does not believe they should sit or kneel during the national anthem.

“Look, people are clearly within their rights to express themselves how they see fit. My own view, though, is we shouldn't do it in the anthem,” Ryan said during a news conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday, aligning himself with President Trump on the issue.

During a campaign rally for Sen. Luther Strange in Alabama on Friday, Trump urged NFL team owners to fire players who “disrespect” the U.S. flag.

"Wouldn’t you love to see one of the NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say 'Get that son of a b---- off the field right now?'" Trump said. His comments drew chants of "USA!" from the crowd.

"You know, some owner ... is going to say, 'That guy who disrespects our flag, he’s fired,'" Trump continued.

But as popular as Trump’s comments were among the crowd in Alabama, his comments have stoked controversy across the country. Hundreds of players, owners, and teams peacefully protested during the national anthem at last weekend’s games, far more than any other display to date.

Ryan, who counts himself as a co-owner of the Green Bay Packers, expressed his disapproval of players who have refused to stand during the anthem, many of whom are protesting police brutality and racial inequality.

“The national anthem, our flag and the people who defend it and represent it - that should be celebrated everywhere and always, and that's my opinion,” Ryan said Tuesday.

Three Packers players –- Martellus Bennett, Lance Kendricks, and Kevin King –- sat on the bench during the anthem before Sunday’s overtime win against the Cincinnati Bengals.

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Zach Gibson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions Tuesday defended the president’s recent criticism of NFL protests, telling an audience at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., that the "president has free speech rights, too.”

He called the protests by NFL team owners and players a “big mistake,” adding that it will “weaken the commitment we have to this nation.”

Sessions' speech, which focused on First Amendment rights, came amid President Trump's rants against NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem, suggesting in a tweet Tuesday morning that the NFL should establish rules barring players from kneeling.

The attorney general, who was hosted by the Georgetown Center for the Constitution at Georgetown University Law Center, faced backlash even before his speech began.

A group of more than 30 Georgetown Law Center faculty members condemned the "hypocrisy" of his speech.

"We acknowledge our colleague's right to invite Attorney General Sessions to speak on campus. However, we, the undersigned, condemn the hypocrisy, about Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaking about free speech," according to a statement from the group.

"Attorney General Sessions is a key cabinet member in an administration headed by a president who spent last weekend denouncing athletes engaged in free expression and calling for them to be fired. President Trump calls African-American professional football players kneeling in quiet protest 'sons of bitches' and angry, armed white supremacists 'very fine people,'" the statement continued.

Before Sessions took the stage on Tuesday, Georgetown Law faculty and others knelt outside in protest of his speech.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump said Tuesday he plans to visit Puerto Rico, which has been devastated by Hurricane Maria, as he faces criticism over his handling of the growing crisis.

The president said next Tuesday is the earliest he can visit the island because he does not want to "disrupt the relief efforts."

"Puerto Rico is very important to me and Puerto Rico- the people are fantastic people," Trump said from the Oval Office. "I grew up in New York so I know many people from Puerto Rico. I know many Puerto Ricans. These are good people and we have to help them. The island is devastated."

Ricardo Rossello, the governor of Puerto Rico, told ABC News that Hurricane Maria has caused the "biggest catastrophe in Puerto Rico's history."

So far, there have been 16 reported deaths in the aftermath.

Recovery has been slow. Only five percent of the island has power restored after the hurricane.

“If we don't get unprecedented collaboration from the federal government here, this could collapse into a humanitarian crisis," Rossello told ABC News.

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ABCNews.com(NEW YORK) -- President Donald Trump's longtime confidant Roger Stone denied allegations of collusion with Russia during the presidential election, before an appearance before the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday.

In a 40-plus page statement posted by Wikileaks, Stone said he had no prior knowledge about the hacking of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's email or the release of those emails by Wikileaks, despite tweeting about Podesta's "time in the barrel" before the emails appeared online.

Stone criticized members of the committee -- including Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the panel's top Democrat, and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif. -- for making "provably false statements" about him and called on the committee to release the transcript of the interview.

"I will not let myself be a punching bag for people with ill intentions or political motives," he said. "I will expose the truth in every forum and on every platform available to me."

The panel, which is investigating Russian efforts to influence the presidential election and allegations of collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, has conducted most of its interviews behind closed doors and has not released any transcripts.

Stone also questioned the U.S. intelligence community's review of Russia's efforts to influence the presidential election and their assessment of Russia's role in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Podesta's emails.

Stone briefly held a formal role on Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. He has known Trump for 40 years and had urged him to run for president for decades.

Arriving on Capitol Hill with his attorneys Tuesday morning, Stone told reporters he felt "excellent."

Stone said he planned to tell the committee "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."

Stone is among several campaign operatives the House Intelligence Committee has sought to question. The panel has met with Michael Caputo, another Trump adviser close with Stone, and John Podesta.

The panel will also interview Boris Epshteyn later this week.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Trump took a break on Monday from tweeting about the controversy over NFL player protests to talk about Puerto Rico's financial woes, but critics say the president's message is off-base as the island faces widespread devastation.

In his first tweets since the island was ravaged by Hurricane Maria last week, Trump said Puerto Rico’s "broken infrastructure & massive debt" have left it in worse straits than mainland states.

Maria was the strongest storm to make landfall in Puerto Rico in nearly 90 years. The storm killed at least 16 people and caused widespread devastation that left most of the island's 3.4 million people without power and half without water amid large-scale electricity and communications outages.

A few stores have re-opened, but most remained closed due to power outages five days after Maria blasted through. Officials said electrical power may not be fully restored for more than a month, according to The Associated Press.

Travelers trying to leave Puerto Rico described a chaotic scene at San Juan airport on Monday.

"It’s really hot, it is extremely hot," Erika Camacho told ABC News. "It’s horrible, there’s no water, no electricity and there’s only two companies working. I don’t know if I’ll come back quick, but I’ll come back. The family is here."

"We tried to get a hotel, everything is booked, the car we had to turn it in, we had no gas," another would-be traveler, Angelica Hernandez, told ABC News. "I just wanna go home, I really do, it’s bad, and then everything we saw from the countryside, it’s just sad. I don’t think I could deal with it."

Criticism of Trump’s response to the large-scale crisis happening on American soil is mounting from celebrities and politicians alike.

In a press conference yesterday, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said, "We are close to a humanitarian crisis, but we are trying to avoid it."

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney echoed those sentiments, writing that the island is on the brink of a "humanitarian disaster" and called for controversies to be set aside.

Just spoke w/ fmr Gov @luisfortuno51: “PR on brink of humanitarian disaster." USVI too. DC must put aside controversies, prioritize rescue.

— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) September 25, 2017

Sen. Marco Rubio said the island "must get power crews in ASAP."

"He clearly doesn't want to talk about Puerto Rico," former Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton said in an interview with MSNBC's Chris Hayes. "You know what, more than 3.5 million American citizens, along with the U.S. Virgin Islands. Not interested. Doesn't say a word about it. Now FEMA is down there."

"I've called on them to send the Navy, particularly the naval hospital ship called U.S. Comfort," Clinton said. "I really think that would be a big help. We don't hear a word."

Other politicians and celebrities who spoke out about the situation include Bette Midler, Sen. Ben Sasse, John Legend and Jennifer Lopez.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Hillary Clinton hit back at Donald Trump's White House after The New York Times reported that at least six administration officials communicated about government business through private emails.

"It’s just the height of hypocrisy," Clinton said in an interview with SiriusXM’s Zerlina Maxwell after being asked to respond to the news on Monday.

As for the repeated attacks by Trump during the 2016 election over Clinton's use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state, "They didn’t mean any of it," she said. "If they were sincere about it, I think you’d have Republican members of Congress calling for an investigation. I haven’t heard that yet."

Clinton called her use of private emails "a dumb mistake but a dumber scandal," and said she regrets that the country "had to go through it."

During the 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly called for an investigation of Clinton's use of the emails and said in a debate that Clinton would "be in jail" if he was in charge of the law in the U.S.

A White House official who spoke with ABC News did not dispute the Monday evening New York Times report that at least six administration officials occasionally used private email to communicate about official business since President Trump took office.

The Times' report names the following current and former officials as those who communicated at times with a personal account: White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, former chief strategist Stephen Bannon, Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn, Advisor Ivanka Trump, former chief of staff Reince Priebus and Senior Advisor for Policy Stephen Miller.

While it is not illegal for White House staffers to use their personal email accounts, they must forward all work-related communications to their official White House email accounts.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed this to ABC News Monday.

“All White House personnel have been instructed to use official email to conduct all government related work,” she said. “They are further instructed that if they receive work-related communication on personal accounts, they should be forwarded to official email accounts.”

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- A White House official who spoke with ABC News did not dispute a report Monday evening in the New York Times that at least six administration officials occasionally used private email to communicate about official business since President Trump took office.

The Times' report names the following current and former officials as those who communicated at times with a personal account: White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, former chief strategist Stephen Bannon, Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn, Advisor Ivanka Trump, former chief of staff Reince Priebus and Senior Advisor for Policy Stephen Miller.

While it is not illegal for White House staffers to use their personal email accounts, they must forward all work-related communications to their official White House email accounts.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed this to ABC News Monday.

“All White House personnel have been instructed to use official email to conduct all government related work,” she said. “They are further instructed that if they receive work-related communication on personal accounts, they should be forwarded to official email accounts.”

On Sunday it was confirmed by Kushner’s attorney that he used a private email account to communicate with White House staffers.

"Mr. Kushner uses his White House email address to conduct White House business. Fewer than a hundred emails from January through August were either sent to or returned by Mr. Kushner to colleagues in the White House from his personal email account," attorney Abbe Lowell said in a statement.

Lowell said the emails were "usually forwarded news articles or political commentary" and "most often occurred" when someone "initiated the exchange by sending an email to his personal" account. The news of Kushner's personal email use was first reported by Politico.

The statement makes no mention of classified information but says that copies of the emails were sent to his official account for recording.

"All non-personal emails were forwarded to his official address, and all have been preserved in any event," Lowell said.

A White House official conducting business on a personal email account is not unprecedented. Before and even after the presidential election, Trump criticized his opponent Hillary Clinton for handling classified information on a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. Clinton’s use of that server became a major talking point throughout her presidential campaign; the FBI soon initiated an investigation into her use of the server.

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Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced this evening that she will vote "no" on the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, becoming the third Republican to do so and likely dooming the GOP's latest effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.

"Today, we find out that there is now a fourth version of the Graham-Cassidy proposal, which is as deeply flawed as the previous iterations," Collins said in a statement. "The fact that a new version of this bill was released the very week we are supposed to vote compounds the problem."

Collins joined Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Rand Paul, R-Ky.

Collins said she had three “major concerns” with the proposed legislation from Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis. Among them were what she called the "sweeping changes and cuts" in the Medicaid program.

“The CBO’s analysis on the earlier version of the bill, incomplete though it is due to time constraints, confirms that this bill will have a substantially negative impact on the number of people covered by insurance,” Collins quipped.

Off the floor, Collins told reporters President Donald Trump called her in an attempt to sway her vote. She said she told him she's a likely "no" but would take another look at the revised bill. Vice President Mike Pence also called the senator at her home in Maine over the weekend, she said.

"It would be a shorter list to ask me who didn't call me," Collins joked.

Just minutes before Collins announced her vote, the Congressional Budget Office released a preliminary analysis of the latest version of the Graham-Cassidy estimating that “millions” would lose health care.

“The number of people with comprehensive health insurance that covers high-cost medical events would be reduced by millions compared with the baseline projections for each year during the decade, CBO and JCT estimate,” the analysis released Monday states. “That number could vary widely depending on how states implemented the legislation, although the direction of the effect is clear.”

Collins’ "no" vote may well be the final nail in the coffin for the Graham-Cassidy bill. The bill needs 52 votes to pass before the Sept. 30 deadline, and with three Republican senators standing in opposition, the bill is essentially dead on arrival.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- On Tuesday, Alabama Republicans will vote in a primary runoff for the Senate seat previously occupied by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

A first round of voting failed to yield a majority for a single candidate. Now the top two candidates are competing for the GOP nomination in a race that has gained national prominence and become what some are calling a proxy war between the populist and establishment wings of the Republican Party.

Here's a look at what to know about the Alabama primary runoff:

Why the Senate seat is open

The seat was previously held by Alabama native Jeff Sessions, who served as senator for 20 years before his nomination by President Trump to serve as attorney general.

Following Sessions' confirmation in February, then-Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley appointed the state's attorney general, Luther Strange, to temporarily fill Sessions’ Senate seat until the general election. Bentley later resigned after allegations that he used state resources as governor to hide an affair with one of his top aides. Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey replaced Bentley as governor following the resignation, and called for a special election in April.

A history of support for Republicans

Sessions was first elected in 1997, and since then, the state has been represented by two Republican senators. In his last election, in 2014, Sessions was unchallenged and won the general election with more than 97 percent of the vote. The senior senator from Alabama, Richard Shelby, was elected for the first time in 1987 and is not up for reelection until 2022.

In the 2016 presidential election, Trump won Alabama with 62 percent of the vote.

Who is running

Among the nine Republicans who originally ran for the vacant seat, two emerged at front-runners and were sent to the runoff: now-incumbent Sen. Luther Strange and former judge Roy Moore.

Luther Strange

Strange officially stated his candidacy for Sessions’ seat on Dec. 6, just 18 days after Trump announced he would be picking Sessions for attorney general. He was appointed in February to temporarily fill the seat left by Sessions. Previously, Strange served as the attorney general for Alabama. He ran for lieutenant governor in 2006 and won the Republican primary, but lost the general election.

In August, Strange was endorsed by Trump, who tweeted that Strange "has done a great job representing the people of the Great State of Alabama. He has my complete and total endorsement!"

Senator Luther Strange has done a great job representing the people of the Great State of Alabama. He has my complete and total endorsement!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017

Since then, Trump has periodically tweeted his support and encouragement for Strange. He appeared with him Friday at a campaign rally in Huntsville.

Strange has come under fire from his rival for the substantial advertising support he has received from the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC that has been known to support Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Politico reported that Steven Law, the PAC's president, said, “While he doesn't direct what we do, McConnell has made it very clear that Luther's race is his number one political priority right now.”

According to Politico, the fund had spent $3.5 million on the race as of late July, including an ad tying then-rival Rep. Mo Brooks to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

During the GOP debate, held last Thursday without a moderator, Strange was also attacked for how he became a United States senator. When he was tapped by Bentley for the Senate seat, Strange was the very man leading the investigation into the Alabama governor's misconduct, raising questions about the appropriateness of the appointment.

Roy Moore

Roy Moore previously served as the chief justice for the Alabama Supreme Court, but was suspended in November 2003 for refusing federal court orders to take down a Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama Judicial Building.

He was reelected to the position in 2013 but was again removed in May 2016 for ordering other judges not to issue same-sex marriage licenses, although the state’s ban on the matter had been overturned. He announced his Senate bid in late April.

Moore was endorsed by actor Chuck Norris, who said, "Judge Roy Moore is the real deal. The Washington establishment knows they won’t be able to count on him, but Alabama voters can ... That’s why the Washington establishment is spending millions trying to defeat Judge Moore."

Moore's other notable endorsements include several Trump supporters such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former White House strategist Steve Bannon and Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson.

Moore has released advertisements highly critical of Republicans in Washington including McConnell, Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

"Send them all a message," one ad says, calling out the majority leader's "D.C. slime machine."

Recently, Moore has come under fire for appearing to refer to Native Americans and Asians as "reds" and "yellows" in a campaign speech.

Why this race matters

At a time when the president’s support within his own party wavers, the Alabama special election could reflect how much influence Trump has had in the first year of his presidency.

Political science experts say the outcome could be symbolic of voters' current view on Trump.

Cynthia Bowling, chair of the political science department at Auburn University, told ABC News this summer that "if there is ever going to be an election that would signify a movement away from Trump, it would be an election where Trump's ratings are really low," and in a solid Republican state, like Alabama.

According to Richard Fording, a professor of political science at the University of Alabama, this election "will continue to be influenced by Trump" and that "it will flat out be a referendum on his performance as president."

The race has further significance for Republicans; a loss could potentially shift Republicans' tenuous authority in the Senate. The GOP currently holds 52 seats in the Senate, while Democrats hold 48 and two independents caucus with the Democrats.

An upset win in the December 12 general election for Democrat and former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones, who won his party's primary in August, would be a significant gain for Democrats and make it even more difficult for Republicans to pass tightly contested legislation, such as on health care reform.

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ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) -- White House press secretary Sarah Sanders deflected questions Monday about the specific words employed by President Donald Trump to describe NFL players kneeling in protest during the national anthem, saying only that it's "always appropriate" to defend the flag and national anthem.

On Friday at a campaign rally for Sen. Luther Strange in Alabama, Trump diverged from talk of the state's forthcoming Republican primary runoff to share his thoughts on the protests as he explained that he and Strange share the "same great American values."

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say, 'Get that son of a b---- off the field right now, out, he's fired, he's fired'?" asked Trump.

Questioned multiple times at Monday's White House press briefing whether the president regrets his word choice or whether the use the term "son of a b----" constituted going "too far," Sanders would not specifically address the description, instead choosing to issue a defense of Trump's greater critique.

"I think that it's always appropriate for the president of the United States to defend our flag, to defend the national anthem and to defend the men and women who fought and died to defend it," said Sanders.

Later asked by ABC News' Cecilia Vega if Trump considered some of the football players who chose to kneel during the anthem to be "very fine people" -- a term used by the president in describing some of the people who took part in a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August -- Sanders argued that the situations were dissimilar.

"I think you're trying to conflate different things here," said Sanders. "Look, we certainly respect the rights that people have, but I think we also need to focus. Again, this isn't about the president being against something, which is what everyone wants to draw.

"This is about the president being for something," she continued. "This is about the president being for respect in our country through symbols like the American flag, like the national anthem and the hundreds of thousands of people that actually stand versus the few hundred that may have knelt."

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Two Republican senators have introduced a new bill that addresses the status of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers, potentially offering them a 15-year path to citizenship.

The bill, known as the SUCCEED Act, would also prevent recipients from sponsoring family members, an attempt to address concerns from immigration hawks and President Trump.

"This, I believe, is a fair and orderly method for providing a permanent solution for the DACA children," Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., told reporters on Monday.

To be eligible, participants would have to pass a criminal background check and have a high school diploma or equivalent. They would also have to have been in the U.S. since June 15, 2012, and entered before the age of 16. To qualify, applicants would need to submit biometric and biographical data to the Department of Homeland Security. The SUCCEED Act would also require participants to pay off any tax liabilities and sign a waiver for future immigration benefits if they were to violate their status.

Under the proposal, Dreamers would have "conditional permanent residence" for 10 years before becoming eligible to apply for a green card, and that status could be renewed after five years. Dreamers would only be able to apply for citizenship after holding a green card for five years.

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said he spoke with President Trump about the proposal shortly after Trump decided to end the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Lankford told reporters the president had said of the SUCCEED Act: "'That's the right way to go.'"

Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill have six months to reach an agreement on a legislative fix to address the end of the DACA program in March.

Meanwhile, Democrats have pushed for a vote on the Dream Act, a bipartisan bill that would provide a path to citizenship for DACA recipients. But Republicans have been leery of supporting the Dream Act in the past, and conservatives have derided it as a form of "amnesty."

"We think it's a balanced resolution for a vexing problem that hasn't been solved for 30 years, and we'll have to take the hits," Tillis responded when asked to address the expected criticism of the SUCCEED Act.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a senior legislator and longtime advocate of the Dream Act, told reporters Monday: "We all need to focus on a bill that has a chance of passing."

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday the White House would release immigration reform principles in the coming days to help guide lawmakers working to address the end of the DACA program.

Trump and top Democrats reached an agreement earlier this month on the framework of an agreement that would pair a legislative fix for Dreamers with border security provisions.

Republicans have begun internal discussions about possible legislative proposals on border security and the status of Dreamers as well.

Tillis and Lankford said they don't see their proposal as a standalone bill, and want to see it incorporated into a larger agreement.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- After President Donald Trump issued a new proclamation Sunday prohibiting or limiting travel from eight countries, the United States Supreme Court removed cases related to the previous travel ban from its calendar.

The arguments were scheduled to be heard on October 10, after the Supreme Court ruled in June that the travel ban, with some exceptions, could be enforced until it returned to session this fall. Two district courts had previously halted the ban, which was the second such attempt by Trump to restrict travel from parts of the Middle East and Africa. His administration's original order encountered its own legal roadblocks.

The Supreme Court instructed the parties in the cases, Trump v. International Refugee Assistance and Trump v. Hawaii, to file briefs addressing "whether, or to what extent" the latest proclamation renders the issue moot.

The newest travel ban adds Chad, North Korea and Venezuela to Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen to the list of countries from which people are restricted from traveling to the U.S. The new proclamation includes specific conditions that restrict travel on a country-by-country basis and goes into effect Oct. 18.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The authors of the latest Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare have released a revised version of their health care legislation after spending the weekend finessing the numbers in their bill with the hope of winning over the last few Republican holdouts in the Senate.

The newest draft from Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., rejiggers how changes in federal funding provided to states for health care would be phased in over time.

As a result, there would likely be less of a gap between the states poised to get additional federal dollars from this bill and the states that would lose out on funding.

The concept of block granting federal funding remains the centerpieces of the legislation. Starting in 2020, the federal government would end stop providing additional money for states that specifically expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act. The bill would also end the cost-sharing subsidies the federal government currently pays to insurance companies to help keep premiums for lower-income Americans buying health insurance. Instead, the plan would designate some federal funds to be divided up to states based on their resident’s poverty levels and other factors that impact health care costs like population density.

The authors have argued it is unfair that under current law, some states receive more federal funding to help provide health insurance than others, though all states were offered the same opportunity and access to additional funds to expand their Medicaid rolls. Many Republican governors refused that available funding under current law.

The new Republican plan would essentially equalize federal funding between states that expanded Medicaid and states that did not, but the latest version makes those changes more gradually.

States that expanded Medicaid would still likely lose billions of dollars in federal funding, and the overall pot of total federal funding would still be approximately $160 billion less over the next 10 years as compared to current law, according to a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The new draft would also appropriate $500 million specifically to states that set up waiver systems under Obamacare, which only includes Hawaii and Alaska. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski still remains undecided on the Graham-Cassidy bill and her vote is vital to the bill’s passage.

The new draft also would allocate an additional $750 million a year to states that expanded Medicaid recently, while punishing states that expanded Medicaid when first given the option under the Affordable Care Act. The states that would most likely benefit the most from this include Montana and Cassidy's home state of Louisiana.

Before the revised bill was released, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced their opposition to the bill, putting Republicans' efforts to pass a repeal of Obamacare in the Senate at risk of failing once again. McCain said he could not "in good conscience" support the bill because it doesn't have bipartisan support and didn't go through the regular order, which includes committee markups, hearings and debates. Paul wants further cuts than Obamacare and wants block grants removed from the bill. With 52 Republicans in the Senate, the Graham-Cassidy bill cannot afford another "no" vote.

Over the weekend, two more senators appeared to be leaning against voting for the Graham-Cassidy bill unless changes to the legislation were made.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Cassidy and Graham "don't have my vote" yet and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said it would "very difficult" to "envision a scenario" where she would vote for this bill.

Republicans are pushing the Graham-Cassidy bill quickly through the Senate in hopes of meeting the Sept. 30 deadline that allows them to pass health care on a party-line simple majority vote. After Sept. 30, Republicans will need 60 votes.

The Senate Finance Committee plans on holding the first hearing today on the bill. Congress is still waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to release its score of the bill, which would indicate how much the legislation will affect the government’s deficit.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump asserted Monday that his criticism of players who kneel during the national anthem "has nothing to do with race."

Rather, the president said the issue is "respect for our country, flag and national anthem."

Trump appeared to be responding to critics who say his slam of players who kneel in protest is about race.

The president sparked the controversy at a rally Friday night when he declared that football team owners should fire players who kneel during the anthem.

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say: 'Get that son of a b---- off the field right now, out,'" the president said. in Huntsville, Alabama, before a largely white crowd.

The president's comments spurred a strong reaction by NFL players and owners, with many players kneeling or locking arms during the "Star-Spangled Banner" on Sunday as a rebuke to him.

Kneeling during the anthem was started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the 2016 preseason, a practice he said was to protest against the treatment of blacks in the United States. Kaepernick is black.

The president on Monday continued hammering his argument that kneeling during the national anthem is unpatriotic.

"It is about respect for our country, flag and national anthem," he tweeted. "NFL must respect this!"

The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017

He also returned to his claim that NFL fans don't support the player protests.

Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday (which was a small percentage of total). These are fans who demand respect for our Flag!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017

Trump also sought to contrast the NFL with NASCAR, whose fans he said wouldn't "put up with disrespecting our country or our flag,"

So proud of NASCAR and its supporters and fans. They won't put up with disrespecting our Country or our Flag - they said it loud and clear!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017

But one of NASCAR's biggest stars staked out a different position that Trump. Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted Monday morning that all Americans have a right to protest peacefully.

All Americans R granted rights 2 peaceful protests
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable-JFK

— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) September 25, 2017

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Ethan Miller/Getty Images (NEW YORK) -- A vast 86 percent of Americans support a right to residency for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children, with support crossing the political spectrum. Two-thirds back a deal to enact such legislation in tandem with higher funding for border control.

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Possibly in light of President Donald Trump’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, disapproval of his handling of immigration overall reaches 62 percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll. Just 35 percent approve.

Additional hurdles for Trump are his demand for a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico -- again 62 percent oppose it -- and substantial concerns about his immigration enforcement policies.

Americans were asked whether they support “a program that allows undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States if they arrived here as a child, completed high school or military service and have not been convicted of a serious crime,” all elements of DACA, established by Barack Obama by executive order in 2012. Support spans demographic groups, including three-quarters of Republicans and conservatives, 86 and 87 percent of independents and moderates, and 97 and 96 percent of Democrats and liberals.

Support reaches 94 percent among Hispanics, 93 percent among blacks and 84 percent among whites. Strong support, 87 percent among Hispanics and 85 percent among blacks, declines among whites to 61 percent.

Trump early this month said he would rescind DACA, giving Congress a six-month window to act before nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants lose protection from deportation. He later reached a tentative agreement with top congressional Democrats for DACA legislation accompanied by upgraded border security.

As noted, 65 percent support that potential compromise -- a bipartisan result, with 76 percent support among Republicans, 66 percent among independents and 59 percent among Democrats. Similarly, 71 percent of moderates, 66 percent of conservatives and 56 percent of liberals back the deal. Just 27 percent of Americans in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, are opposed.


Just 30 percent of Americans say Trump has immigration enforcement “about right,” compared with the 44 percent who say this was so before he took office. Nearly half (45 percent) say immigration enforcement under Trump is “too tough,” much higher than the 6 percent who say this was the case before he took office. That said, 49 percent say enforcement was “not tough enough” before Trump took office; just 22 percent say so now.

Matching the number who disapprove of Trump’s handling of immigration overall, 62 percent oppose his promise to build a wall along the Mexican border; this has held steady since Trump first proposed it. Fifty-five percent also oppose cutting legal immigration by half, another proposal backed by Trump. In contrast, 79 percent support requiring employers to verify that new hires are here legally – a current requirement, with stricter enforcement on the table.

In a general measure of suspicion, just 12 percent of Americans think undocumented immigrants commit more violent crimes than other people in the country. The vast majority instead say they commit violent crimes at either an equal or lesser rate than U.S. citizens (64 percent and 19 percent, respectively). Approval of Trump’s handling of immigration is stronger among those who think undocumented immigrants commit more violent crimes than U.S. citizens (78 percent); it drops to 33 percent among those who think crime rates are the same, and 12 percent among those who think they’re lower among undocumented immigrants.


Views on Trump’s handling of immigration are highly partisan. Three-quarters of Republicans and 61 percent of conservatives approve, vs. a third of independents and moderates, 10 percent of Democrats and 8 percent of liberals.

Differences also emerge by demographic groups. Forty-three percent of men approve, vs. 28 percent of women. Americans over age 40 are more apt than younger adults to approve, 42 vs. 24 percent among those younger than 40. And while 46 percent of whites approve, this drops to 13 percent among both blacks and Hispanics alike.


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Sept. 18-21, 2017, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,002 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 31-23-36 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts. See details on the survey’s methodology here.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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