Jason Dick

Bipartisan Health Care Talks Shut Down Amid Rush to Repeal
Talks by Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray sidelined

A bipartisan effort to stabilize the health insurance markets suffered a potentially fatal blow Tuesday as Senate Republicans kicked into high gear their attempt to repeal the 2010 health care law.

Facing a Sept. 30 deadline to utilize the 2017 budget reconciliation process that would allow passage of the health care legislation without having to worry about the filibuster, GOP leaders and Vice President Mike Pence lobbied their rank and file to pass legislation spearheaded by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. It would repeal the 2010 law’s mandates for coverage, curtail the Medicaid program and block-grant money to the states to construct their own health care programs. 

Hispanic Lawmakers Show Bipartisan Tone on Immigration
DACA debate has prompted strong positions from members of both parties

When it comes to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, there is little daylight among most Hispanic members of Congress, regardless of party affiliation.

President Donald Trump has said he will phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, but gave Congress a six-month window to come up with a legislative fix. By and large, Hispanic lawmakers from both parties criticized the president’s decision and said Congress needs to protect immigrants covered by DACA, also known as Dreamers, so named after the proposed DREAM Act that would provide them with a path to legal status. 

Podcast: Quitting Congress
The Big Story, Episode 71

A spate of high profile lawmakers have announced they're retiring from Congress, but they are likely to be followed by others, says Roll Call elections analyst Nathan Gonzales. Senior political writer Bridget Bowman and leadership editor Jason Dick discuss who else might retire.

Show Notes:

A Tale of Two Photos: Post-White House Meeting Edition
Smiles and frowns from Senate leaders after huddling with Trump

As Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., met the press Wednesday after a White House meeting with President Donald Trump, they presented different game faces, as you can see from the above photos.

Senate congressional leadership held their traditional post-policy lunch press conferences, which came shortly after the top leaders met with Trump. 

Podcast: Jeff Flake Feels the Heat
The Big Story, Episode 68

Sen. Jeff Flake's path to re-election is complicated. The Arizona Republican was potentially vulnerable even before President Donald Trump touched down in Phoenix to criticize him at a campaign style rally.

Now Flake, who has argued for more civility in politics, finds himself in a big fight in both the GOP primary and, if he gets past that, a compressed general election. Roll Call elections analyst Nathan Gonzales discusses the 2018 Senate race in Arizona with Roll Call leadership editor Jason Dick on the Big Story Podcast.

Podcast: Alabama's Strange Election Turns Anti-McConnell But Pro-Trump
The Big Story, Episode 66

CQ Roll Call's senior political reporter Bridget Bowman says Republicans competing for Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat in Alabama are striving to tell primary voters just how much they support Donald Trump and, perhaps surprisingly, are using Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a punching bag.

Some Notable Confirmations, Honors as Senate Wraps Up for Recess
Chamber approves Kay Bailey Hutchison, Mark Green, honors Bob Dole

The Senate wrapped up its summer session Thursday after confirming a large bloc of executive nominees, including a former senator and former House member. It also approved awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to former Sen. Bob Dole, the 94-year-old Kansas Republican whose long service included stints at majority and minority leader and who has continued to advocate causes ranging from the rights of the disabled to veterans issues. 

Among the 69 nominees confirmed in multiple en bloc packages, by voice vote and by unanimous consent, was a former member of the club, Texas GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, President Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. ambassador to NATO. Her selection comes at a time when relations with NATO have frayed in light of Trump’s criticism of fellow NATO signatories and his icy relationship with top NATO leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

John McCain Returns With a Strong Message
Ailing senator chides both sides after delivering GOP win

By JASON DICK and DAVID HAWKINGS

Years from now, when the history of the modern Congress is written, John McCain’s address to the Senate on July 25, 2017, is likely to stand among the defining summations of the era.

Ready or Not, McConnell Says Senate Voting on Health Care Tuesday

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed on Monday that the chamber would hold a procedural vote on Tuesday on a House-passed measure to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system.

“Seven years ago, Democrats forced Obamacare on the American people. It was supposed to lower health costs, but, of course, they skyrocketed. It was supposed to provide more health options, but they plummeted,” the Kentucky Republican said during his opening remarks. “I will vote yes on the motion to proceed. And I would urge all of our colleagues to do the same.”

Ralph Regula, Avuncular Appropriator from Ohio, Dies at 92
Canton-area congressman unapologetic for pushing bipartisanship

Former Rep. Ralph Regula, a moderate Republican from Ohio known for his deal-cutting acumen, avuncular manner and skills as an appropriator, died July 19. He was 92.

Born in Beach City, Ohio on Dec. 3, 1924, Regula was first elected to Congress in 1972 after stints in the Ohio state House and Senate. Between then and his retirement after the 2008 elections, he embodied a middle-of-the-road Midwestern approach to politics that valued working across the aisle and taking care of the folks back home.

In Memoriam: Bob Wolff, Broadcast Legend and Voice of Washington Senators
TV pioneer interviewed some of sports’ greatest figures

It was the understatement of Bob Wolff’s career, under the circumstances.

“I do get very verbose,” Wolff said on April 26, 2013, the day the legendary sportscaster donated decades’ worth of his interviews with sports’ greatest figures to the Library of Congress

Latest GOP Leadership Health Care Plan Bleeding Support
Some senators have doubts about repeal-only proposal

Senate Republican leaders continued to push their strategy to repeal the 2010 health care law, leaning on support from the White House even as their rank and file continued to express doubts about such an approach. 

“I regret that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failures of Obamacare will not be successful,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in his opening remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday morning. The Kentucky Republican wants his colleagues to vote soon on a procedural motion to get to the House-passed health care legislation so he can offer an amendment modeled on legislation Congress passed in 2015 to repeal the 2010 law.

Podcast: Short Recess, Long on Goals
The Big Story, Episode 62

The Senate will stick around Washington a little longer in August, shortening its recess to focus on an ambitious agenda. The list of things to do could include confirming the new FBI director. CQ Roll Call Senior Senate Reporter Niels Lesniewski and Leadership Editor Jason Dick break down what is doable.

Podcast: What We Learned From 2017’s Special Elections
The Big Story, Episode 59

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At AFI Docs, Timely Topics

AFI Docs, the annual documentary film festival put on by the American Film Institute in Washington, has to plan months ahead to get its slate of nonfiction movies.

Nevertheless, festival organizers seem to have a knack for finding films that have political currency.

House Cancels Votes in Wake of Shooting
Hearings, events across Capitol also postponed

The House canceled floor votes on Wednesday in the wake of the shooting at the Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Va. 

Several hearings across the Capitol, including an Appropriations subcommittee that was due to examine the budget of the Capitol Police, were canceled or postponed. 

Schumer Passes on Chance to Star With Kate Mara
Capitol Hill gets cameo in new film ‘Megan Leavey’

The old saying that the most dangerous place in Washington is between Sen. Charles E. Schumer and a camera? New evidence suggests otherwise.

“I didn’t want to ruin the film,” the New York Democrat said about turning down an offer to play himself in the new movie “Megan Leavey.”

Podcast: Senate Picks Up Pace on GOP Health Care Bill
The Big Story, Episode 57

President Donald Trump with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. (CQ Roll Call/File Photo)

After a series of fits and starts, the Senate is starting to clear a path so it can consider legislation dismantling Obamacare, say CQ Roll Call’s Jason Dick and Ed Pesce. They review how the Senate got there and what’s next.