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Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The results of recent congressional elections suggest that Democrats could “take 50 seats” in the House of Representatives in 2018, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said on ABC’s The View Thursday.

Perez noted that Democrats are losing, but by encouraging margins, citing the April special election in Kansas’ 4th district where he said Democrats were expected to lose by 30 percentage points but lost by less than 7.

“If we keep taking the margins down by 20 points like we have done, we’re going to take 50 seats,” Perez said.

Democrats hold 193 seats and need to gain 24 to be in the majority.

“If you look at our history, the last three times we have had single-party control … the following midterm election, the party out of power won 28 seats,” he said.

He added, however, that “History … is not always prologue.”

Perez, a former labor secretary, said there are 71 congressional districts “more competitive” than Georgia’s 6th district, where Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff lost to Republican Karen Handel Tuesday by less than 4 points.

Perez says he was “disappointed” by that election, but suggested it was to be expected. “This was Newt Gingrich’s old seat. Democrats haven’t won there in 37 years,” he said of the former speaker of the House.

“All of the seats that have been in play, the congressional seats are beet-red districts,” he added.

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US Senate(WASHINGTON) — A quartet of Republican Senators released a statement on Thursday in opposition to the Republican-controlled Senate’s health care bill.

Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson and Mike Lee issued a joint statement following the release of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. “For a variety of reasons,” the four Senators wrote, “we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor.”

“There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current healthcare system” the four explain. “But it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their healthcare costs.”

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Netflix(NEW YORK) — After years of struggling with an eating disorder, Lily Collins has done something she never thought she’d do.

“I never dreamed I’d be posing in a bikini on the cover of Shape. It’s a complete 180 for me. It’s a magazine about what it means to be healthy,” the 28-year-old actress said in an interview in the July issue of Shape.

Not only does she appear on the cover in a two-piece but she is also shown posing in several different swimsuits for a photo spread in the magazine.

Collins’ swimsuit display comes after more than half a decade of her suffering from an eating disorder that she kept hidden from friends and family.

Now fully recovered, Collins has a new definition of healthy.

“I used to see healthy as this image of what I thought perfect looked like — the perfect muscle definition, etc. But healthy now is how strong I feel,” she said. “It’s a beautiful change, because if you’re strong and confident, it doesn’t matter what muscles are showing. Today I love my shape. My body is the shape it is because it holds my heart.”

Collins is opening up about her battle in a new book, Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me.

“I did consider that talking about my struggles with an eating disorder would overshadow my accomplishments as an actor, but I also knew this was something I needed to do to move forward as a human and an actress. I needed to let go,” she told Shape. “Having suffered from an eating disorder doesn’t define me; I’m not ashamed of my past.”

Collins also confronts her past in her new film To the Bone, in which she plays a woman sent to rehab for an eating disorder.

“It was a new form of recovery for me. I got to experience it as my character, Ellen, but also as Lily. I was terrified that doing the movie would take me backward, but I had to remind myself that they hired me to tell a story, not to be a certain weight,” she said. “In the end, it was a gift to be able to step back into shoes I had once worn, but from a more mature place.”

To the Bone, debuts on Netflix July 14.

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(NEW YORK) — If you ask Will Arnett why he decided to executive produce a reboot of the campy ’70s game show The Gong Show, and the Arrested Development star will smile.

“Anytime you say the name The Gong Show, you smile,” he told Good Morning America After Hours host Lynda Lopez. “I had such good memories of the [original] show, and I thought, ‘When you have something like that…it has so much good will built in…It’s so much fun, and it’d be nice to do a show that’s just about having a good time.”

Like the original, celebrity judges are key to the reboot, which debuts Thursday night. “Everybody from Jack Black, to Zach Galifianakis, to Will Forte and Fred Armisen, and Elizabeth Banks…the list just keeps going. All these fun, funny people, who are friends of mine, who had the same reaction that I did about The Gong Show, and said, ‘Yeah, I wanna come on.'”

The show is hosted by Tommy Maitland — a fictional British comedian who’s actually Mike Myers in disguise. Even so, Arnett insists he’s been a Maitland fan for years.

“I was looking forward to Tommy exposing himself to America,” Arnett deadpanned.

The Gong Show debuts Thursday night at 10 p.m. Eastern time on ABC.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Despite his tweet in the aftermath of James Comey’s dismissal in May, President Donald Trump did not make and does not have tapes of his conversations with the former FBI director, he tweeted Thursday.

“With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea… whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings,” wrote Trump in a series of tweets.

In May, three days after Comey’s firing, Trump wrote: “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

Trump previously declined to confirm or deny the existence of tapes, even as Comey shared details of his interactions with the president with associates, and testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“I’ll tell you about it over a short period of time. I’m not hinting at anything,” said Trump at a joint press conference with the president of Romania on June 9.

“You’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer,” he later added.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Seven weeks after the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act, Senate Republicans unveiled their version of the health care bill on Thursday.

Here’s how the Senate bill differs from the one passed by the House:

Inside the Senate bill

  • Funds two years of current Obamacare payments to insurers (which President Trump has repeatedly threatened to pull) to stabilize the insurance marketplace.
  • Delays cuts to Medicaid.
  • Eliminates Obamacare’s individual mandate and doesn’t include penalties for a lapse in coverage.
  • Allows children to stay on parents’ plans through the age of 26.
  • Does not include the House bill language to waive essential health benefit coverage, but does give states the ability to opt out of other Obamacare rules.

Recapping the House bill

  • Prevents women from using federal tax credits to buy plans that cover abortion and temporarily blocks Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds for one year.
  • Lets states impose work requirements for Medicaid.
  • Allows states to seek waivers from covering essential health benefits — including maternity care and emergency room trips.
  • Allows states to waive an Obamacare regulation that prevented insurers from charging sicker consumers more, which would effectively undermine pre-existing conditions protections.
  • Repeals Obamacare’s individual mandate but penalizes people who let their coverage lapse for 63 days.
  • Replaces Obamacare’s income-based tax credits with age-based tax credits that don’t vary with local insurance costs.
  • Adds $8 billion to high-risk pools for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Going forward

The bill’s release follows months of speculation and contentious debate. Senate Democrats have criticized their Republican counterparts for working on the bill behind closed doors.

Earlier this week, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., appearing on ABC News’ Powerhouse Politics podcast, noted that when crafting the Affordable Care Act, Republicans had a chance to offer changes.

“In the Health Committee, I think 160 Republican amendments were accepted into the bill,” he said. “It was debated for 25 straight days before it was voted on. It was scored well in advance. This is a sham.”

The Congressional Budget Office, which provides nonpartisan, quantitative analyses to Congress, will now evaluate the bill. A CBO score could come as soon as Friday.

The CBO estimated that the version of the American Health Care Act passed by the House would leave 24 million more Americans uninsured by 2026 than under the Affordable Care Act. The office also estimated the bill would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion from 2017 to 2026.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Senate Republicans unveiled a “discussion draft” of their long-awaited health care bill Thursday, a part of their party’s ongoing efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act.

“A little negotiation, but it’s going to be very good,” President Trump told reporters this week.

A number of Capitol Hill lawmakers have responded to the bill, which critics on both sides of the aisle said was shrouded in secrecy.

As Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor Thursday morning to tout the bill, a large protest gathered outside the Kentucky senator’s office.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed the Senate Republicans’ “Better Care Reconciliation Act” as “every bit as bad” as the American Health Care Act passed in the House.

“The president said the Senate bill needed heart. The way this bill cuts health care is heartless,” Schumer said Thursday. “The president said the house bill was mean. The Senate bill may be meaner.”

He continued, “The Senate Republican health care bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, only this wolf has even sharper teeth than the House bill.”

During her weekly press conference, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said it’s important to stop the Republican legislation that she calls “a tax bill disguised as a health care bill.”

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said in a statement that she “will carefully review the text of the Senate health care bill this week and into the weekend.”

A vote from Collins, who has been willing to break from her party in the past, would be key to ensure the bill’s passage.

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Getty Images/J.B. Lacroix(LOS ANGELES) — The Millennium Falcon has a new pilot: Ron Howard has stepped in to direct the upcoming untitled Han Solo film, Lucasfilm announced Thursday. The news comes two days after The LEGO Movie co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller parted ways with the project over creative differences.

In a statement, Lucasfilm noted, “we’re thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume the 10th of July.”

Oscar-winner Howard has been a part of George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away for years. He starred in Lucas’ American Graffiti, in which Harrison Ford had a small part, and several of his co-stars auditioned for various Star Wars roles. Years later, he directed the fantasy epic Willow for Lucasfilm.

Howard — who went on to win Best Picture and Best Director for A Beautiful Mind — recently admitted Lucas wanted him to direct Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. Calling that offer “an honor” but ultimately “too daunting,” Howard became one of the close group of filmmaker friends whom Lucas used as a sounding board while he worked on the Star Wars prequels.

In 2012, Lucas sold Lucasfilm and the Star Wars universe to Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

The Han Solo movie, which stars Alden Ehrenreich as a younger version of the scoundrel famously played by Harrison Ford in the Star Wars movies, is still slated for a May 25, 2018, release.

Although few details are known about the movie, we do know that Atlanta star Donald Glover will play the young Lando Calrissian, and Woody Harrelson has been cast as unlikely mentor for the pilot and Rebellion hero-to-be. Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke is also in the cast.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Seven weeks after the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act, Senate Republicans unveiled their version of the health care bill Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky released a “discussion draft” at an all-members meeting at 9:30 a.m.

Democratic outrage

The bill’s release follows months of speculation and contentious debate. Ever the dominant issue, health care remains a critical focus for many, as worried Americans swarmed congressional town hall meetings in recent months to voice their outrage.

Some Republican representatives were willing to face their constituents head-on on the issues, while others shunned the events. Senate Democrats have criticized their Republican counterparts for working on the bill behind closed doors.

Democrats have voiced pessimism about the substance of the bill. On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he agreed with President Donald Trump, who reportedly called the House bill “mean.”

McConnell has disagreed, saying, “It’s going to have a profound, positive improvement over the status quo. The status quo is simply unsustainable.”

But when ABC News’ Mary Bruce asked McConnell if Americans have a right to see the negotiations process, he did not provide an answer.

What does the bill look like?

The bill is expected to dramatically roll back the expansion of Medicaid, and also establish a system of tax credits to help consumers buy insurance.

However, the details have not been publicized. Although the bill unveiled Thursday will be a wholly Republican-crafted piece of legislation, not all Republicans are on board. Republican leaders want a vote next week, but with health care for millions on the line, some Republican members are asking: What’s the hurry?

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., explained: “The public needs time to digest it, I need time to digest it, we need to gather genuine input from our constituencies — that’s going to take longer than a week.”

This means the Senate bill released Thursday could be very different from the one eventually voted on. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., appearing on ABC News’ Powerhouse Politics podcast, noted that when crafting the Affordable Care Act, Republicans had a chance to offer changes.

“In the Health Committee, I think 160 Republican amendments were accepted into the bill,” Franken said. “It was debated for 25 straight days before it was voted on. It was scored well in advance. This is a sham.”

Going forward

Once the bill is unveiled, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which provides nonpartisan, quantitative analysis to Congress, will evaluate it. Republican leaders expect the new CBO score to come on Monday, but are hopeful it could come as soon as Friday.

The CBO estimates that the version of the American Health Care Act passed by the House would leave 24 million more Americans uninsured by 2026, as compared to estimates under the current law, the Affordable Care Act. The legislation is also estimated to potentially reduce federal deficits by $337 billion from 2017 to 2026.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Yogurt is a top choice for breakfast and a go-to snack for both adults and kids.

Low-fat and fat-free versions have long been top favorites but now, whole-fat yogurt is making a comeback. And studies are showing that it might actually be more beneficial for a number of reasons in comparison to low-fat yogurt.

Find out why in the video below with ABC News’ Mara Schiavocampo:

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