By Zeke J Miller
June 20, 2017

It’s Election Day in Georgia, where the most expensive House race in history is coming to a close. Democrat Jon Ossoff is facing off against Republican Karen Handel in a run-off election that has taken on national proportion. Both parties have poured money and volunteers into the suburban Atlanta district vacated by HHS Secretary Tom Price and both public and private polls have it as a pure toss-up. Democrats are betting on the college educated Republican-leaning voters to abandon Handel in what they hope will be a referendum on President Trump. Republicans are hoping to tar Ossoff as too liberal and ill-prepared for the job. Ossoff narrowly won the race outright in the jungle primary earlier this year, falling just shy of the 50 percent threshold needed for victory. In the head-to-head, he benefits from heightened enthusiasm among Trump opponents, while Handel has struggled to bring traditional GOP voters home while also maintaining an activated base. But a note of caution against reading too much into the result: This is one special election in one district that was teed-up for this sort of GOP challenge. That said, if Ossoff wins, expect Republicans fears about losing control of Congress next year to come to the fore—and that’s a problem for Trump’s agenda.

Senate Republicans are set to huddle with Vice President Mike Pence Tuesday as they continue to draft their replacement for Obamacare behind closed doors. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to tee-up a vote before the July 4 recess, meaning there will be little time for public scrutiny of the bill—which already faces enormous odds within the divided GOP caucus.

Who’s funding the Georgia race. Spicer’s move. And Trump’s defender was also a critic.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

Senate GOP Plans Health-Care Vote Next Week
McConnell tries to keep pressure on fellow Republicans [Wall Street Journal]

In Trump’s Washington, Public Business Increasingly Handled Behind Closed Doors
Drain the… oops [Washington Post]

House Dems Question Flynn Disclosures of Middle East Travel
More questions for the former national security advisor [Associated Press]

The Most Expensive House Race Ever Will Be Over on Tuesday.
Here’s What You Need to Know [TIME]

Who’s Financing the Georgia Sixth
The Most Expensive House Election Ever [New York Times]

Sound Off

“Otto Warmbier has just passed away. He spent a year and a half in North Korea. A lot of bad things happened. But at least we got him home to be with his parents, where they were so happy to see him, even though he was in very tough condition. But he just passed away a little while ago. It’s a brutal regime, and we’ll be able to handle it.” — President Trump addressing Warmbier’s death at a meeting of tech CEOs

“The President has confidence in everyone who serves him in this administration.” — Press Secretary Sean Spicer asked whether the president has confidence in the Deputy Attorney General

Bits and Bites

Sean Spicer to Move Behind the Scenes at White House [TIME]

Robert Mueller’s Investigation Raises 3 Big Legal Questions. Here’s What We Know [TIME]

Ryan promises to overhaul tax code this year despite hurdles [Associated Press]

Mueller team lawyer brings witness-flipping expertise to Trump probes [Reuters]

US shoots down another pro-regime drone in Syria [CNN]

Judge narrows injunction on Trump travel ban [Politico]

A Top Presidential Public Defender Was Also a Twitter Critic [New York Times]

The GOP’s Budget Deadlock Could Derail President Trump’s Planned Tax Code Overhaul [Associated Press]

Democrats Protest Health Care Bill With Late Night in the Senate [TIME]

The Washington Redskins Scored a Win in Supreme Court Trademark Case Ruling [Associated Press]

Write to Zeke J Miller at


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