Senator Dean Heller could be a swing vote on his party’s health care bill. His majority leader wants his help. His governor wants him to bring it down.
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER
Worried that you missed an important political story this week? You’re not alone. Catch up on a busy week of news.
Compiled by ERIN SEIMS and JUSTIN BANK
Senator Dean Heller of Nevada became the latest Republican to say he cannot support a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act in its current form.
By JONATHAN MARTIN and ALEXANDER BURNS
Writers across the ideological spectrum and around the internet seem to agree on one thing: They don’t like the Senate’s health care legislation.
By ANNA DUBENKO
Melania Trump Hires White House Chief Usher From the Family Business
The first lady chose Timothy Harleth, the director of rooms at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, tapping the close network of family employees.
By KATIE ROGERS
Senate Health Plan Falls Short of Promise for Cheaper Care, Experts Say
Republicans say a new health law would make it easier and more affordable to get care. But the opposite may be true.
By REED ABELSON
State Dept. Moves to Shut Office Planning Afghanistan Strategy
The office of the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, created in early 2009, will be folded back into a State Department bureau.
Trump Signs Bill Meant to Restore Trust in V.A.
The legislation aims to make it easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs to remove poor-performing employees and to promote whistle-blowing.
By MAGGIE HABERMAN and NICHOLAS FANDOS
OSHA to Roll Back Rules on Toxic Mineral at Construction Sites
The workplace safety agency says it will ease Obama-era limits imposed on the use of coal slag, which contains beryllium, a potentially deadly mineral.
By BARRY MEIER
A.T.F. Memo Indicates Agents’ Off-the-Books Account Was Against the Rules
Agents in Bristol, Va., moved tens of millions of dollars through the account, records show, financed through a web of shadowy cigarette deals.
By MATT APUZZO
How Medicaid Works, and Who It Covers
One of the biggest flash points in the debate over Republican health care legislation is the future of Medicaid. Here are some basic facts about the 52-year-old program.
When Shots Ring Out From One Ball Field, a Times Reporter Practicing on Another Races to Cover Them
I’m on a media team that plays softball against a team of Congresswomen … I pull out my phone to snap a photo of my teammates when an email from an editor stops me.
By EMMARIE HUETTEMAN
G.O.P. Senator Rejects Health Bill: ‘It’s Not the Answer’
Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, announced on Friday that he would not support the current version of the Senate health care bill.
By CBS, VIA REUTERS
The Health Debate Shows What Both Parties Care About Most
What role should government have in health care, and who should pay for it? A political fight lays bare a philosophical one.
By NEIL IRWIN
As U.S. Kills ISIS Leaders, a Notorious One Remains Elusive
American officials say they have no concrete evidence on whether the most well-known Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the target of a long manhunt, is alive or dead.
YouTube Star Randy Rainbow Brings Sass to His Trump Bashing
From his Queens apartment, Mr. Rainbow makes parody videos of himself interviewing political figures. He now has nearly 650,000 Facebook followers.
By BOB MORRIS
Planned Parenthood Battle Could Sway Fortunes of G.O.P. Health Bill
Planned Parenthood, threatened with a cutoff of more than 40 percent of its funding, is mobilizing to bring down the Republican health care bill.
By AVANTIKA CHILKOTI
C.I.A. Set Up Secret Back Channel With Syria to Try to Free U.S. Hostage
The Trump administration began searching early on for ways to free Austin Tice, a journalist who has been missing since 2012.
By ADAM GOLDMAN
The Incredible Shrinking White House Briefing
The White House Correspondents’ Association is pushing back against Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, and his new, less informative briefings.
By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM
Europe and Japan Near Trade Deal as U.S. Takes Protectionist Path
The European Union and Japan are close to an agreement that would bring together two giants encompassing a quarter of the world’s economy.
By HIROKO TABUCHI and JACK EWING
Justices Side With Immigrant Who Got Bad Legal Advice
The Supreme Court ruled on Friday in favor of Jae Lee, who sought to go to trial after his lawyer had falsely told him that pleading guilty to a drug charge would not lead to deportation.
By ADAM LIPTAK
Trump Indicates Tweet on Tapes Was Meant to Affect Comey Testimony
Hours after an interview on “Fox & Friends,” President Trump accused the Obama administration of failing to prevent or punish Moscow for meddling in last fall’s presidential election.
By MAGGIE HABERMAN
F.B.I. Investigating Deals Involving Paul Manafort and Son-in-Law
It was not clear if the inquiry was part of a broader investigation that has ensnared Paul Manafort, who once served as Donald Trump’s campaign chairman.
By MIKE McINTIRE
Johnny Depp Flirts With Idea of Trump Assassination, Then Apologizes
“It’s been awhile, and maybe it’s time,” the film star said, after asking, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”
By DAN BILEFSKY
HUD Pick Took a Different Path From Her Predecessors
Previous leaders of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s New York and New Jersey office had experience in housing. Lynne Patton was a Trump family event planner.
By YAMICHE ALCINDOR
Nancy Pelosi Tells Democratic Critics, ‘I Think I’m Worth the Trouble’
Ms. Pelosi, under fire after a Democrat lost a high-profile special election in Georgia, parried renewed questions about her leadership of the party.
By JONATHAN MARTIN and MATT FLEGENHEIMER
U.S. Sends Civilian Team to Syria to Help the Displaced Return Home
The team is intended to stabilize recaptured areas, and it consists of only seven members, raising questions about whether it can be effective.
By MICHAEL R. GORDON and ERIC SCHMITT
Gunman in ‘Pizzagate’ Shooting Is Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison
The man, Edgar Maddison Welch, fired a gun inside the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in December after reading fake stories about a child abuse scheme led by Hillary Clinton.
By MATTHEW HAAG and MAYA SALAM
Shifting Dollars From Poor to Rich Is a Key Part of the Senate Health Bill
The bill is aligned with long-held Republican values, jettisoning Obamacare taxes. But it would also reduce funding for the care of low-income Americans.
By MARGOT SANGER-KATZ
Former State Department Security Officer Accused of Spying for China
Investigators say the man, Kevin Patrick Mallory, had classified documents and apparently incriminating messages on a device he brought back from Shanghai.
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
Trudeau on Trump: ‘He Actually Does Listen’
The Canadian prime minister spoke about President Trump, Twitter and Nafta at an event in Toronto organized by The New York Times and the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto.
By IAN AUSTEN
In One Rally, 12 Inaccurate Claims From Trump
President Trump misled about foreign policy and health care, coal mining and Gary Cohn in a campaign rally in Iowa.
By LINDA QIU
A Weekend Wedding for Steven Mnuchin
The Treasury secretary and his fiancée, the Scottish actress Louise Linton, will begin their married life in Washington.
By KATIE ROGERS
McConnell’s Calculation May Be That He Still Wins by Losing
It is possible that Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, views the potential failure of the Senate bill to repeal Obamacare as an eventual boon.
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER