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Hatch Has High Hopes for Medical Marijuana Bill
83-year-old Mormon Republican emerges as unlikely champion

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, a Utah Republican, has emerged as an unlikely champion of medical marijuana. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch is an unlikely advocate for a medical marijuana bill.

An 83-year-old Utah Republican and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Hatch says he is staunchly against recreational drug use. But as the opioid epidemic continues to ravage states across the country, the Senate’s president pro tempore sees an opportunity in advancing the use of cannabis for pain management.

Brady and Ryan Mulling Big Gamble on Key Tax Deduction
State and local tax deduction has its fans among rank and file, though

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady want to repeal the state and local tax deduction, but face resistance from several GOP colleagues in high-tax states. (Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican leaders face many decisions regarding details of a tax overhaul but perhaps none more immediately consequential than whether to roll the dice and try to eliminate the state and local tax, or SALT, deduction.

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas and Speaker Paul D. Ryan have made it abundantly clear they’d prefer to get rid of the deduction, which allows taxpayers to deduct what they pay in state and local property taxes and either state income taxes or sales taxes.

Word on the Hill: Football and Instagram
Dingell plays beer pong, and D.C. is foodie friendly

The Guards’ Larry Bell, left, and Travis Wells celebrate The Guards’ victory after the eighth annual Congressional Football Game for Charity in 2015. Tickets to this year’s game are $10. (Al Drago/Roll Call File Photo)

Altruism is being celebrated in D.C. today through two different mediums: football and Instagram.

Tonight is the Congressional Football Game for Charity, with members of Congress and former professional athletes facing off against Capitol Police officers. Tickets are $10 and raise money for the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund, as well as Our Military Kids and A Advantage 4 Kids. It’s from 7 to 9 p.m. at Hotchkiss Field at Gallaudet University (800 Florida Ave NE). Read HOH’s preview, and stay tuned for coverage of the game.

Word on the Hill: Football Season on the Hill
March for life, DREAMers rally and staffer shuffle

Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman of the Mean Machine, runs past the Guards’ Larry Bell for a first down during the eighth annual Congressional Football Game for Charity in 2015. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers who play in the Congressional Football Game for Charity got together for a reception at the Hall of States on Monday night, a week ahead of their big game.

The game takes place on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. on the Hotchkiss Field at Gallaudet University (800 Florida Ave. NE).

McConnell Avoided Making a Promise He Couldn’t Keep
McCain’s health care announcement showed value of majority leader’s caution

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had intended to turn back to health care this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell never quite guaranteed a floor vote on the latest Republican effort to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law as the clock ticked toward an end-of-September deadline.

The Kentucky Republican’s office was measured last week when asked about the prospects for floor action, with the majority leader saying through multiple spokespersons that it was “the Leader’s intention to consider” the legislation drafted by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

Hunter Calls for Preemptive Strike on North Korea
‘You could call it declaring war, call it whatever you want,’ California congressman says

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., said the U.S. should prepare for the worst after threats from North Korea. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Rep. Duncan Hunter said the U.S should consider a preemptive strike on North Korea. 

In an interview on the radio station KSUI, the Republican who represents San Diego, said it could be assumed that Kim Jong Un’s regime had a missile aimed at San Diego, Guam or Hawaii, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Single Payer Democrats: Save Obamacare Now, Single Payer Later
Comes as Cassidy-Graham revives Republican hopes of repeal

Democratic senators who threw their support behind single-payer health care last week are prioritizing the 2010 health care law as Republicans take one more crack at repealing it.

At an event with Democratic senators and liberal activists, independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who sponsored the single-payer bill, criticized Republicans for trying to ram through a health care proposal from Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Dean Heller of Nevada and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

Moore Campaign Removes Endorsement From Deceased Conservative Leader
Phyllis Schlafly died a year ago

Phyllis Schlafly greets supporters at last year’s Republican convention in Cleveland. The conservative activist died later in the year. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images File Photo)

Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is racking up endorsements from inside the state and around the country for his challenge to Republican Sen. Luther Strange, but one in particular stood out: renowned — and deceased — conservative leader Phyllis Schlafly.

Schlafly died on Sept. 5, 2016, at the age of 92, two months before Donald Trump won the presidential election and four months before Republican Jeff Sessions left his Senate seat in order to become attorney general, yet she was included on the endorsements page of Moore’s campaign website. 

Lawmakers Push Broad Review of Equifax Security
Democrats cite precedence of reaction to OPM data breach

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown wants Equifax to offer 10 years of free credit monitoring to those affected by the breach. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers are responding to credit-reporting company Equifax’s loss of data on up to 143 million customers with a flurry of proposed legislation, demands for explanations, hearings and calls for regulators to investigate.

Democrats are leading the charge on legislation and investigations while Republicans join in with demands for an explanation from the company and with plans to hold hearings. Members of both parties are seeking details of Equifax’s work for government agencies. Democrats are also trying to pressure Republicans to be at least as tough on Equifax as they were with a government agency that suffered its own breach.

Word on the Hill: POW/MIA Recognition Day
Bottomless rosé wines, and the future of health care

Arizona Sen. John McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for five and a half years. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Today is National POW/MIA Recognition Day, which honors missing service members and their families.

Currently in Congress, there are two lawmakers who endured time as prisoners of war during the Vietnam War: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas.