PAT MCCRORY TEASES RUN FOR 9TH DISTRICT CONGRESSIONAL SEAT: On Monday at 8:15 a.m., former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory will make an announcement about the new election for the 9th congressional district. In a tweet on Sunday, McCrory said he will share his "personal status" on the election. The announcement will be made on his radio show on 1110 WBT AM. "Much has changed over the past week regarding the 9th congressional district," McCrory wrote. "I have received an enormous number of calls about it from friends, reporters, and political operatives from our state and Washington, D.C." The 9th district covers an area that stretches from Charlotte to Fayettevile. Last week, the Board of Elections voted to hold a new election, following allegations of election fraud involving the apparent winner, Mark Harris' campaign. On Friday, Democrat Dan McCready, who ran against Harris, said he will run for the seat again.
DAVID PRICE'S STATEMENT ABOUT "HISTORICALLY LOW" BORDER CROSSINGS ACCURATE: President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency over the U.S. border with Mexico has sent congressional Democrats scrambling to poke holes in his case for building a wall. “Not only is there no national emergency at the border: crossings remain at historically low levels,” said Rep. David Price, D-N.C., in a Feb. 14 tweet. The number of border patrol apprehensions in 2017 was the lowest in 45 years, and the number in 2018 is slightly higher but still low, especially relative to the peak in 2000. Illegal crossings have been trending down since 2006, with some year-to-year fluctuations. But apprehension totals were far lower in the 1960s, so a more accurate statement would have said crossings in 2017 were the lowest they had been since 1971. We rate the statement Mostly True.
POOR PEOPLE'S CAMPAIGN WILL RUN BUS TOURS THROUGH POVERTY-STRICKEN AREAS: The Poor People's Campaign will hold bus tours of poverty-stricken areas in more than 20 states to call attention to "what the national emergencies really are" in the wake of President Donald Trump's emergency declaration over the U.S.-Mexico border, a leader of the campaign says. The tours will begin in late March and continue through April, said the Rev. William Barber of North Carolina. Participants will include poor people, religious and political leaders and other advocates, he said. "Part of the problem that we see in policies of Democrats vs. Republicans is one talks about they want the wall and the other side said they don't want the wall," Barber said in a phone interview. "But nobody has sat down and said: 'Here are the real emergencies and here is how these resources could be used to address these real emergencies.'"
CONGRESS APPEARS READY TO CAP OUT-OF-POCKET DRUG COSTS FOR MEDICARE RECIPIENTS: President Donald Trump, Democrats trying to retire him in 2020, and congressional incumbents of both parties all say they want action. Democrats and Republicans are far apart on whether to empower Medicare to negotiate prices, but there’s enough overlap to allow for agreement in other areas. High on the list is capping out-of-pocket costs for participants in Medicare’s popular Part D prescription drug program , which has a loophole that’s left some beneficiaries with bills rivaling a mortgage payment. The effort to cap out-of-pocket costs in Medicare’s prescription plan is being considered as part of broader legislation to restrain drug prices. Limits on high medical and drug bills are already part of most employer-based and private insurance. They’re called “out-of-pocket maximums” and are required under the Obama-era health law for in-network services. But Medicare has remained an outlier even as prices have soared for potent new brand-name drugs, as well as older mainstays such as insulin.
JUDGE RULES THAT WOMEN SHOULD REGISTER FOR MILITARY DRAFT: A military draft that applies only to men is unconstitutional, a federal judge in Houston has ruled, saying that excluding women is no longer justified because they can now serve in combat roles just as men do. Judge Gray H. Miller of Federal District Court in the Southern District of Texas took note of the Supreme Court’s 1981 ruling that the exclusion of women from the draft was “fully justified” because women then were not allowed to serve in combat. But the Pentagon abolished those restrictions in 2015, opening the way for women to serve in any military role for which they could qualify. Though no one has been conscripted into the United States military in more than 40 years, the Military Selective Service Act requires all American men to register when they turn 18, in case a draft is reinstated; they remain eligible through age 25. Men who do not register can be fined, imprisoned and denied services like federal student loans.