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GOP lawmaker who lectured Obamacare recipients on iPhones uses donors’ cash to pay campaign phone bills

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Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) faced criticism on Tuesday morning after appearing on CNN to discuss the GOP’s proposed Obamacare replacement plan. Chaffetz argued that Americans are personally responsible for their health care, rather than it being a service that the U.S. government should provide.

“You know what, Americans have choices, and they’ve got to make a choice,” he said. “And so maybe, rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and want to go spend hundreds of dollars on, maybe they should invest in their own health care.” That’s easy to say, for someone who doesn’t pay his own phone bill.

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According to the Federal Election Commission, Chaffetz’s political action committee (PAC) uses donors’ money to pay for its phone bills. The 2014 document, which Intercept reporter Lee Fang shared on Twitter, shows that Chaffetz’s “rich donors” paid multiple Verizon Wireless bills between May and July of 2014, totaling nearly $1,000. Chaffetz’s campaign donations came from corporations, including Pfizer, Inc. and Goldman Sachs.

Fang also noted that Chaffetz spent $738 in campaign dollars at the Apple Store, according to a Friends of Jason Chaffetz PAC receipts and disbursements report published by the Federal Election Commission.

The monthly installments to pay off a new phone are significantly lower than the average monthly premium for an individual health care plan, and unlike Chaffetz, most Americans don’t have corporate campaign dollars paying their phone bills.

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Texas conservatives lose their minds after GOP Gov. Greg Abbott mandates masks in public

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Texas' Republican Gov. Gregg Abbott finally acknowledged that there is a serious problem as COVID-19 takes down the state's population.

It was just a few months ago that municipalities were deciding for themselves when and if they would reopen. But Abbott shut it down, saying that his orders "overrule any local jurisdiction."

In April, "Abbott and the state’s other Republican leaders have blasted local officials in Dallas and Houston for what they called overzealous enforcement of COVID-19 regulations, first zeroing in on Democratically led Harris County’s decision to fine residents for not wearing face masks, a penalty Abbott banned in his April 27 reopening order," ProPublica reported. "The fights came to a head this month with the arrest of a Dallas hair salon owner who refused to shutter her business, an act of defiance that was supported by a right-wing group that launched a GoFundMe campaign a day before she reopened that raised $500,000 before it was disabled."

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Unemployment may not return to pre-COVID levels for a decade: Congressional Budget Office

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On Thursday, Politico reported that it could take a decade for unemployment levels to return to where they were before the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

"The economic outlook for the next 10 years has 'deteriorated significantly' since the independent budget agency issued its last complete set of projections in January, CBO noted," reported Caitlan Emma. "That illustrates the devastating effects of the pandemic and underscores the reality of a slower economic recovery than the 'rocket ship' rebound predicted by President Donald Trump."

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Fired SDNY prosecutor to testify before House Judiciary Committee — behind closed doors: report

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The former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York will testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

Geoffrey Berman will testify after the bizarre sequence of events that preceded his ouster from the office. AG Bill Barr announced that Berman was resigning, with the SDNY denied. He was then fired by President Donald Trump.

NEW: Fired US Attorney for SDNY Geoffrey Berman will appear next week before House Judiciary behind closed doors next Thursday, according to a congressional aide

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