Welcome to Wonkbook, Wonkblog’s morning policy news primer by Puneet Kollipara (@pkollipara). To subscribe by e-mail, click here. Send comments, criticism or ideas to Wonkbook at Washpost dot com. To read more by the Wonkblog team, click here. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Wonkbook’s Number of the Day: 304,000. That's the number of jobless claims filed last week, one of the lowest levels since before the recession started.
Wonkbook’s Chart of the Day: These charts show how U.S. industries break down by race and sex.
Wonkbook's Top 5 Stories: (1) Boehner sues the president over Obamacare; (2) can Congress act on the border crisis in time?; (3) the Fed's thinking on banks; (4) cyber woes here echo abroad; and (5) the other veterans' health crises.
1. Top story: Boehner releases plan to sue Obama, as Obamacare gets more good news
Boehner's plan to sue Obama is a strike against executive power. "By narrowly focusing the legal action on the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Boehner will sidestep the more politically problematic issue involving Mr. Obama’s executive action offering work permits for some illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children....On Thursday, Mr. Boehner said the lawsuit would specifically challenge the president’s decision to delay imposing penalties on employers who do not offer health insurance to employees in compliance with the Affordable Care Act." Jonathan Weisman in The New York Times.
Why is the employer mandate so controversial? "Republicans have criticized the provision as a job killer and it has caused a stream of headaches for the White House over press reports — nearly all anecdotal — that small businesses were cutting back on hiring because of the provision. Even though the White House has dismissed criticism of the employer mandate delays - it has said in the past the provision is 'not critical' to Obamacare broadly - Democrats have been wary of the optics of cutting a break for business while individuals are still tied to an individual mandate." Lauren French in Politico.
Will Boehner's lawsuit actually work? Not likely. "Boehner's problem is that the vast majority of lawsuits brought by members of Congress against the president on policy issues have been dismissed for lack of standing. As Lyle Denniston of the National Constitution Center wrote, 'Time after time, when members of Congress have sued in the courts, because the Executive Branch did something that they believe frustrated the will of Congress, they have been met at the door of the courthouse with a polite refusal to let them in.'" Andrew Prokop in Vox.
Primary source: Boehner's lawsuit.
Shocker: More people are getting insurance because of Obamacare. "None of those findings will put to rest the political debate about the cost, structure and wisdom of the Affordable Care Act but they do give advocates firm evidence that the law is meeting coverage goals. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being index pegged the rate at 13.4 percent among all adults in the second quarter of 2014, the lowest since it began measuring in 2008, and a drop from 17.1 percent at the end of 2013. The Urban Institute estimated that 13.9 percent of adults between 18 and 64...lacked coverage in early June, and suggested that 8 million had gained coverage since September. And a tracking survey by the Commonwealth Fund found that the uninsured rate among working-age Americans dropped from 20 percent at the end of last summer to 15 percent at the end of this spring, with 9.5 million newly insured." Sarah Wheaton in Politico.
Most Americans like their Obamacare — even Republicans. "The Commonwealth Fund study...found that more than three-quarters of those who had either enrolled in Medicaid or bought a private insurance plan in one of the new marketplaces created by the law reported that they were either 'very' or 'somewhat' satisfied with their new coverage....More than half (58%) said they were better off because of their new coverage, compared with 9% who reported they were worse off. About 1 in 4 said the new coverage had not had an effect one way or the other....Although people who identified themselves as Democrats reported somewhat higher levels of satisfaction, roughly 3 out of 4 Republicans said they were satisfied with their new health plans." David Lauter in the Los Angeles Times.
And most are able to see their doctors, after all. "60 percent of people with new coverage, either through Medicaid or a private health plan, said they had already visited a health-care provider or filled a prescription. Just about one in five of those with new coverage, though, said they tried to find a primary care doctor — but of those, 75 percent said their search was somewhat easy or very easy. And once they found a primary care doctor, most new enrollees said they were able to make an appointment within two weeks....This isn't all to say that there aren't problems accessing care. There are recent lawsuits from patients who say they can't find doctors or that their plans discriminate against their conditions, and there are major application backlogs for Medicaid in at least six states. The federal agency overseeing Medicaid is now planning its own study of how easily beneficiaries can access care." Jason Millman in The Washington Post.
But there remains a major red-blue divide in uninsured rates. "That means the remaining uninsured Americans increasingly are concentrated in states that have declined to expand Medicaid — primarily Southern and Midwestern states with Republican-controlled governments that have been hostile to the new law and, in many cases, have tried to impede its implementation. That political resistance could be a major factor in holding down enrollments in the next couple of years. Moreover, despite extensive outreach efforts and considerable news coverage over the last year, many people still report being unaware of the new insurance marketplaces the law created. Even more did not know that the law provides financial aid to help people buy coverage, the Commonwealth study found." Chad Terhune and David Lauter in the Los Angeles Times.
Chart: This map shows how people in red states are more likely to be uninsured than in blue states. Sean Sullivan in The Washington Post.
Insurers are finding ways around ACA's equal-coverage-for-all requirement. "The anti-discrimination rule was meant to guard against insurers who historically charged higher premiums to sick people. But some insurers are still charging certain patients more by passing the extra costs on in the form of higher drug prices. By structuring their health plans a certain way, patient advocates say insurers are discriminating against some patients by forcing them to pay the highest tier drug costs for certain prescriptions — or by discouraging them from signing up from the plans, leaving insurers with only healthy patients." Brianna Ehley in The Fiscal Times.
Health plans, exchanges need to retool their enrollment processes. "The inaugural J.D. Power 2014 Health Insurance Marketplace Shopper Study indicates overall enrollment satisfaction during the first signup period for private coverage under the law 'averages 615 on a 1,000-point scale.' The study found that the in-person enrollment – which was the least common way to pick a plan – had a higher satisfaction at 719 points than online enrollment (597 points) or selecting a plan on the phone (623)." Bruce Japsen in Forbes.
For more on some of the other challenges facing the law: See our previous coverage.
Will reform bring new role, respect to primary care physicians? "Beginning in 2011 CareFirst increased reimbursement for what would soon be most of its primary care doctors in Maryland, the District and Virginia. It began paying even more if they reduced duplicative, unneeded or overly-expensive treatment while maintaining or improving quality. The extra cost for the program, known as a patient-centered medical home, more than pays for itself in reduced expenses elsewhere....Policy experts are far from agreeing that medical homes cut costs in the long run." Jay Hancock in Kaiser Health News.
Oops: Did the Koch brothers' campaign to hurt the law actually help it? "A new analysis finds states that did really well at signing people up for the Affordable Care Act tended to have higher numbers of ads denouncing the law....Anti-Obamacare ads certainly aren't the only reason people signed up for health insurance. In Kentucky, for example, a state with some of the highest enrollment and ad spending, the state ran a really great private insurance marketplace. At the same time, there are a few plausible pathways where anti-Obamacare ads could encourage enrollment....Attacks could have raised awareness about the health care law....It's also possible that they made the future of Obamacare seem more uncertain, which could encourage people to sign up quickly." Sarah Kliff in Vox.
Explainer: Not just birth control: here are 7 other things Obamacare covers for free. Adrianna McIntyre in Vox.
Other health care reads:
Michigan Medicaid program reaches its enrollment goals 8 months early. Hunter Schwarz in The Washington Post.
Medicare providers complain of duplicative audits. Kelli Kennedy in the Associated Press.
High court's contraceptive ruling becomes campaign-trail flashpoint. Mara Liasson in NPR.
COHN: Obamacare haters, your case just got weaker. "The ultimate question is whether the good stuff outweighs the bad stuff. It's going to be a while before we have enough data to answer that definitively. Even then, people will disagree because they have different values and priorities. But the numbers still mater. And when you put the Commonwealth Fund findings alongside other reports — from Gallup, the Rand Corporation, the Urban Institute, and the Kaiser Family Foundation — a clear pattern emerges. Many more people have health insurance and, as a result, many more people can pay their medical bills." Jonathan Cohn in The New Republic.
GABLE: Are narrow networks a good way to control out-of-pocket costs? "Before the ACA, insurers could reduce benefits, adjust risk pools, or increase rates to remain profitable. Now, narrowing networks is one of the few tools insurers have left to control costs. This may be why 70 percent of the silver plans offered on the Obamacare exchanges, on which individuals purchase insurance, are narrow-network plans, when a much smaller proportion of employer-provided plans have narrower networks....Narrowing networks to decrease costs isn’t too popular among the majority of Americans....But any measure that controls health costs without compromising access or quality could be a move in the right direction. Narrow networks remain one of the insurance market’s few remaining cost-control mechanisms — we’ll see how long regulators let them last." Callie Gable in National Review.
PONNURU: The court case that could kill Obamacare. "The Affordable Care Act has overcome a Supreme Court challenge, persistent Republican opposition and the initial dysfunction of its own website. It could still fall victim to another foe: its own language. Any day now, a federal court may rule that in 36 states, the federal government can't offer tax credits to people who buy insurance on Obamacare's exchanges. That's because the law, as written, authorizes those tax credits only in states that have set up exchanges — and most states refused to do so." Ramesh Ponnuru in Bloomberg View.
KRUGMAN: Who wants a depression? "I’ve written a number of times about the phenomenon of 'sadomonetarism,' the constant demand that the Federal Reserve and other central banks stop trying to boost employment and raise interest rates instead, regardless of circumstances. I’ve suggested that the persistence of this phenomenon has a lot to do with ideology, which, in turn, has a lot to do with class interests. And I still think that’s true. But I now think that class interests also operate through a cruder, more direct channel....Rasy-money policies, while they may help the economy as a whole, are directly detrimental to people who get a lot of their income from bonds and other interest-paying assets — and this mainly means the very wealthy, in particular the top 0.01 percent." Paul Krugman in The New York Times.
ADELSON, BUFFETT AND GATES: Break the immigration impasse. "The three of us vary in our politics and would differ also in our preferences about the details of an immigration reform bill. But we could without doubt come together to draft a bill acceptable to each of us. We hope that fact holds a lesson: You don’t have to agree on everything in order to cooperate on matters about which you are reasonably close to agreement. It’s time that this brand of thinking finds its way to Washington....A Congress that does nothing about these problems is extending an irrational policy by default." Sheldon G. Adelson, Warren E. Buffett and William Gates in The New York Times.
FRUM: Don't knock the reform conservatives. "There is a basis for skepticism about how much change, really, is swirling through the reformers’ institutional water coolers. Yet...I do see cause for optimism in the reformist turn by elite conservatives. What matters most about the reformers is not the things they say but the things they don’t. They don’t abuse the long-term unemployed. They don’t advocate tighter monetary policy in the midst of the worst slump since the 1930s. They don’t urge an immigration policy intended to drive wages even lower than they have already tumbled. They don’t pooh-pooh the risks of a government default on its obligations....They don’t blame budget deficits for the slow recovery....They don’t shrug off the economic and social troubles of 80 percent of the American nation." David Frum in The Atlantic.
COLLENDER: Why Congress keeps ignoring its own budget law. "Today, four decades later, the budget act remains on the books, but the problems it was intended to remedy are far worse. The House and Senate budget committees are so unpopular that many members of Congress refuse to serve on them. Congress hasn’t adopted a budget resolution in years, even though the law requires it. Debates over spending and revenue are clouded by partisanship and political showboating. Compromise is a dirty word. A golden era of federal budget policy that the act had been expected to initiate has actually ended up more like the fiscal dark ages." Stan Collender in The New York Times.
MORSE: America the oil exporter. "The White House might be right — there is no change in policy on U.S. crude oil exports. But facts on the ground are pointing to significant changes in the context of the debate on exports. It’s one thing to talk about lifting the (partial) ban on crude-oil exports. It’s quite another to confront a world in which the United States is already a 1 million barrel-per-day exporter of oil and a 3 million barrel-per-day exporter of petroleum products. In other words, what’s the point of a debate on crude-export policy when the United States is on the verge of exporting more oil and oil products than most members of OPEC?" Ed Morse in Politico Magazine.
Interstellar interlude: Voyager 1 is pretty much officially in interstellar space now.
2. Can Congress pass border-crisis legislation in time?
Immigration agencies responding to the border crisis are running out of money. "The Obama administration again ramped up its estimates of the child migrant crisis at the southwest border Thursday — predicting as many as 90,000 unaccompanied minors could be apprehended before the end of this fiscal year Sept 30, a more than three-fold increase over 2013. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told the Senate Appropriations Committee that the resulting strain is such that immigration agencies will begin to run out of money in mid-August without some infusion of funds from Congress. But he cautioned lawmakers against insisting on wholesale changes in a 2008 statute protecting the children." David Rogers in Politico.
Signs of promise? "Border-state lawmakers have begun talks on Capitol Hill to reverse current federal policy on the processing of young immigrants from Central America, a change that could accelerate the return of the children to their home countries. At least two legislative proposals are being developed...one by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.) and a separate effort by Arizona’s senators, Republicans John McCain and Jeff Flake. Though details could differ, the goal is the same, aides said — namely, to give the Obama administration the flexibility to more quickly deport thousands of unaccompanied minors who have entered the country illegally across the southwestern border." David Nakamura and Ed O’Keefe in The Washington Post.
But some Democrats are balking. "While Democrats are broadly supportive of the funding request, some of them worried Thursday that changes in the law to expedite deportation of children could prevent them from getting the appropriate legal protections. The top Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, however, didn't take a hard line on altering the law, saying their top priority is getting the funding request passed." Kristina Peterson in The Wall Street Journal.
Why so few children will actually be deported. "Data...show that few minors are sent home and many are able to stay for years in the U.S., if not permanently....In fiscal year 2013, immigration judges ordered 3,525 migrant children to be deported, according to Justice Department figures. Judges allowed an additional 888 to voluntarily return home without a formal removal order. Those figures pale in comparison with the number of children apprehended by the border patrol....There are many reasons children end up staying. Some see their cases linger in backlogged courts and administrative proceedings. Some win the legal right to remain in the U.S. And some ignore orders to appear in court." Laura Meckler and Ana Campoy in The Wall Street Journal.
Charts: The immigration case backlog has reached a new high. Rebecca Leber in The New Republic.
Enter Rick Perry — again. "In a new letter, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is again pressing President Barack Obama to visit the troubled border with Mexico while also calling for additional troops and resources to bolster security there....Obama and Perry met Wednesday on the tarmac in Dallas and rode Marine One together to a bigger roundtable meeting with faith leaders and elected officials. The president, who spoke later in the evening, said he didn’t have major philosophical disagreements with the governor....Perry’s recommendations included sending more National Guard troops and allowing for the use of drones on the border 'for identifying and tracking human and drug trafficking.'" Katie Glueck in Politico.
Explainer: Where do Cruz, Rubio, and Paul — three other potential GOP presidential hopefuls — stand on the border crisis? Michael Catalini in National Journal.
Immigration reform, already dead, just became deader. "The last remaining hope for Congress to pass an immigration overhaul died Thursday morning when House leadership informed Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., that his bill will not be considered this year. Diaz-Balart has been the main Republican responsible for crafting the House version of an immigration overhaul. At times, he was working with a bipartisan group of legislators to find an immigration overhaul that would be tolerable in the Republican-led House. He was repeatedly encouraged by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other GOP leaders to continue working on the bill." Alan Gomez in USA Today.
Are the border-crossing children refugees or migrants? "While many analysts agree that violence in Central America has largely driven the surge, they say the complex causes of the influx mean that not everyone in the growing group of migrants fits neatly under one label....But political rhetoric, particularly in Washington, has generally framed the situation in one of two ways: Republican lawmakers have largely argued that rumors of legal loopholes and lax U.S. policies are incentivizing hordes of illegal immigrants, which they say necessitates deterrence, legislative amendments, and increased border security; whereas many Democrats and immigrant rights advocates have emphasized a rise of drug-related and gang violence in Central America, and have called on the president to protect refugees." Brianna Lee in International Business Times.
Other immigration reads:
Analysis: Immigration crisis at the forefront, Rick Perry seeks a revival. Cathleen Decker in Los Angeles Times.
Animals interlude: These cats failed so hard that they won.
3. What's new with the Fed on financial matters?
Fed official urges financial stability mandate. "Fischer argued that an explicit stability mandate could give regulators more firepower to combat risks as they emerge. The issue of how central bankers should address nascent bubbles has become a flash point in economics, with some worrying that years of ultralow interest rates and easy monetary policy could be fueling hidden excesses. In a speech...his first as vice chairman — Fischer warned that the U.S. structure for overseeing the financial system may not be up to its task....Fischer did not weigh in on whether central banks should use monetary policy — namely, interest rates — to combat bubbles. But he did point out that policymakers do not have a strong understanding of how well their regulatory tool kit might work." Ylan Q. Mui in The Washington Post.
Here’s why the Fed shouldn’t try to pop bubbles with higher rates. "While nobody thinks policymakers can afford to ignore financial froth anymore, the economy can't afford for them to pay too much attention to it, either. Raising rates would eventually burst any bubbles we may be experiencing — but that'd come at the cost of higher unemployment. Regulating away a bubble makes more sense, since it wouldn't hurt the rest of the economy, but it's not clear that regulators can actually pull this off. So it's a choice between a tool that would work too well, and a tool that might not work well enough. That's a lesson Sweden has more than learned. Sweden has become the unlikely guinea pig for raising rates to fight a bubble." Matt O'Brien in The Washington Post.
Should we bust up 'too-big-to-fail' banks? Fischer all but dismisses it. "Addressing the lingering problem of too-big-to-fail banks — those that benefit from the public assumption that the government will do whatever is needed to protect them in times of crisis — Fischer said the Fed and other regulators must not become complacent, because more work is necessary. But he said it is 'not clear' that breaking up the largest banks would end the need for future government bailouts, pointing out that bankrupt investment bank Lehman Brothers was not a U.S. financial giant and arguing that the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and '90s was due to small firms 'behaving unwisely.'" Richard Valdmanis in Reuters.
Could the Fed overhaul the federal funds rate? "The US Federal Reserve is exploring an overhaul of the Federal funds rate — a benchmark that underlies almost every financial transaction in the world — as it prepares for an eventual rise in interest rates. The Fed funds rate is the main measure of overnight US interest rates and is based on the actual rates reported by brokers for overnight loans between US banks....The Fed could redefine its main target rate so that it takes into account a wider range of loans between banks, making it more stable and reliable." Robin Harding in The Financial Times.
Meanwhile, Republicans re-up their attacks on the Fed. "The most prominent piece of legislation...would require the Fed to set interest rates based on a published rule like the Taylor Rule, a formula...that specifies the appropriate level of interest rates based on the pace of inflation and the gap between actual and potential economic output. The Fed would be required to explain deviations from its rule, although it could change the rule. It would also be subject to audits....The Fed has moved in the direction favored by Republicans in recent years, most notably by adopting an explicit inflation target in 2012. But the Fed’s chairwoman, Janet L. Yellen, and other officials have emphasized the need for flexibility." Binyamin Appelbaum in The New York Times.
U.S. agencies are in a rift over how to determine penalties for banks. "Banks being investigated by the US for sanctions violations are grappling with new uncertainty after the BNP Paribas case showed that the country’s enforcement officials are taking different views on how to determine penalties. This is creating new risks for banks that are still in talks with authorities over possible sanctions settlements, including Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Crédit Agricole and Société Générale." Gina Chon and Kara Scannell in The Financial Times.
A popular way for big banks to boost their profits may have just run its course. "The practice of dipping into funds set aside for bad loans, known as releasing loan-loss reserves, has helped the industry weather weak loan demand and lower fee income. But it is expected to have a smaller impact on banks' second-quarter earnings, which will start being unveiled on Friday, because loss rates and reserves are nearing their lower limits....The decline in income from reserve releases is the latest obstacle for banks to increase earnings in an environment of slow economic growth and low interest rates." Peter Rudegeair in Reuters.
Chicago Fed just gave a boost to the push for high-speed trading regs. "Recommendations in a working paper...include breaking up the trading session into a series of half-second periods, a snail’s pace in an era of microsecond trading. The Fed’s John McPartland also suggested curbing hidden orders on public markets by mandating that they stay at the back of the queue, executed only after fully public trades at the same price are filled. While some of the Fed’s suggestions have been made elsewhere, they may give further credence to the argument that computerized financial markets are rife with problems that need to be solved...and allegations that speed traders, exchanges and brokers have rigged markets." Doni Bloomfield and Sam Mamudi in Bloomberg.
Other economic/financial reads:
Economists downgrade U.S. growth forecasts. Christopher S. Rugaber in the Associated Press.
Drop in U.S. jobless claims points to healing in labor market. Jason Lange in Reuters.
Amusement park interlude: See what it's like to go down the world's tallest water slide.
4. Cyber woes at home are complicating matters abroad
Chinese hackers are going after U.S. workers' personal data. "Federal authorities are investigating a breach of the computer networks of the Office of Personnel Management, which stores detailed data on up to 5 million U.S. government employees and contractors who hold sensitive security clearances. Authorities have traced the intrusion to China, but it is not clear whether the hackers worked for the government, said a U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. So far, no personal data appears to have been stolen, according to OPM spokeswoman Nathaly Arriola. A U.S. official said the data is encrypted." Ellen Nakashima and Lisa Rein in The Washington Post.
Related: U.S., China talk cyberhacking amid new allegations. Bradley Klapper and Louise Watt in the Associated Press.
Surveillance has seriously hurt U.S. relations with Germany. "Merkel's decision to ask the top U.S. intelligence official to leave is the culmination of nearly a year's worth of spying scandals that have angered the powerful ally—and repeatedly left U.S. officials scrambling to do damage control.Tensions boiled to the surface when leaks from Edward Snowden revealed that U.S. spies had tapped Merkel's phone, but a cascade of recent controversies since then have brought the diplomatic mess to a new level....Germany's outrage at the U.S. for its spying has even had an economic impact. Last month, Germany announced it would cancel a contract with Verizon because of concerns over data privacy sparked by the Snowden files." Dustin Volz in National Journal.
Google to tour Europe to discuss privacy. "The series of meetings, which is expected to start as early as September and last up to nine months, will form part of the company’s response to a recent European court ruling that gives people the right to ask that links about themselves be removed from certain Internet searches. On Friday in Europe, Google is expected to open a website for its 10-person privacy advisory group. The site is to include an online form where people can give suggestions for how the company should respond to the court’s decision." Mark Scott in The New York Times.
Other tech reads:
Signs of life for patent reform in Congress? Dustin Volz in National Journal.
Bill to allow cellphone unlocking advances in Senate. Rebecca Bratek in the Los Angeles Times.
Aereo presses case despite Supreme Court setback. Anick Jesdanun in the Associated Press.
Happy birthday interlude: Tiny hedgehog has an adorable birthday party.
5. The other veterans' health care crises
House VA chairman to introduce bill to combat veteran suicides. "Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) on Thursday plans to introduce legislation to help combat veteran suicides after a hearing on access to mental health treatment at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Miller, who chairs the House Veterans Affairs Committee, is scheduled to unveil the legislation at a news conference with the parents of former Marine Clay Hunt, who committed suicide in 2011 after serving two combat tours, one apiece in Iraq and Afghanistan. An estimated 22 veterans killed themselves every day in 2010, up from 18 per day in 2007, according to the latest figures from the VA." Josh Hicks in The Washington Post.
Veterans are also struggling to quit painkillers. "During wartime, doctors and medics need to treat troops for pain, and often use prescription opiates to solve that problem. Americans in the military are prescribed narcotic painkillers three times as often as civilians. This year, the Department of Veterans Affairs is treating about 650,000 veterans by giving them opiates. And that can end up creating a new problem for patients with pain: addiction. Abuse of prescription drugs is higher among troops than civilians, and the rate soared throughout the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both the Pentagon and the VA fear this drug use contributes to suicide and homelessness among the men and women who have served in the military." Quil Lawrence in NPR.
Meanwhile, in the VA reform effort, cost projections continue to vex lawmakers. "The sky-high CBO score for a veterans’ health care overhaul continues to stall progress weeks after separate bills blitzed through the House and Senate....Last month the CBO estimated the cost of a bill passed by the Senate to be $50 billion a year, mostly because the bill would allow veterans to seek care from private health care providers if the have an unreasonable wait time or live more than 40 miles, a provision that would last two years." Humberto Sanchez and Niels Lesniewski in Roll Call.
World Cup interlude: Watch Argentina fans on an airplane react to their team's victory.
Our schizophrenic relationship with Amtrak. Emily Badger and Christopher Ingraham.
Fed vice chairman suggests including financial stability among chief goals. Ylan Q. Mui.
Waitresses of the world unite: The tipped minimum wage hasn’t increased in 23 years. Roberto A. Ferdman.
Are Uber and Lyft responsible for reducing DUIs? Emily Badger.
Credit card debt is on the rise. Here’s why that’s not a bad thing. Danielle Douglas.
Politicians are the No. 1 cause of daily stress in our lives. Christopher Ingraham.
Here’s why the Fed shouldn’t try to pop bubbles with higher rates. Matt O'Brien.
The sorry state of Amtrak’s on-time performance, mapped.Christopher Ingraham.
It looks like Obamacare patients can see their doctors, after all. Jason Millman.
Judge tosses Florida's congressional map. Tarini Parti in Politico.
Short-term highway fund boost gets both parties' support. Laura Litvan and Richard Rubin in Bloomberg.
Why did America's only pot researcher get fired? Abby Haglage in The Daily Beast.
EPA moves to restrict additional greenhouse gases. Timothy Cama in The Hill.
Senate confirms Donovan as White House budget director. Damian Paletta in The Wall Street Journal.
Roads, bridges in rural America in disrepair. Gary Stoller in USA Today.
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Wonkbook is produced with help from Michelle Williams and Ryan McCarthy.