congressional-affairs

White House ‘Only’ Focused Health Care ‘Plan A’
Administration issues harsh warning to would-be undocumented immigrants

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a recent press briefing. On Wednesday, she said the president is solely focused on helping GOP lawmakers pass a health overhaul bill. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

White House officials say they are exclusively focused on helping Republican lawmakers craft and pass a health care overhaul, despite President Donald Trump’s repeated public statements about simply allowing the 2010 law to continue taking on water.

“We’re focused on Plan A,” which is Trump eventually signing a GOP-crafted overhaul bill, said White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “That’s the focus now, and that’s the only focus.”

Hatch Promises Open Process for Senate Tax Bill
Utah senator says all Finance panel Republicans will be involved

Senate Finance Chairman Chairman Orrin G. Hatch says his panel’s tax overhaul efforts will not be a “secretive exercise.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Trump Labels Notion He's Not Involved in Senate Health Debate a ‘Joke!’
‘I know subject well,' president tweets about health care after report that he doesn’t

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Senate Republicans at the East Room of the White House on Tuesday to discuss the GOP health care bill. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A day after a vote on a Senate health care bill he backed was delayed, President Donald Trump pushed back against reports that he has not taken a hands-on role in crafting the measure or garnering ample votes to pass it.

Trump used one of his typical morning tweets to lash out at a narrative that has emerged in recent days, including a New York Times piece posted online Tuesday evening, describing the president as not heavily involved in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to piece together a package that would repeal and replace Barack Obama’s 2010 health law and then find the 50 votes to pass it (with Vice President Mike Pence casting the 51st and final necessary vote).

Six Who Could Succeed Pelosi — Someday
Ouster talk fades, but speculation continues about the next generation of House Democratic leaders

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she’s “very confident” she retains the support of most members of her Democratic Caucus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One week after House Democrats finished 0-for-4 in this special election season, their burst of frustration and pique vented toward Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appears to have fizzled.

The vexation is not going to fade away altogether, however, and neither will the lawmakers’ whispered talk in the cloakrooms or after their nightly fundraisers about which of them has a plausible shot at someday becoming Pelosi’s successor.

Republican Opposition to Health Care Bill Mounts
McConnell’s margins appear to be slipping

From left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., conclude a news conference after the Senate Policy luncheon in the Capitol on June 27, 2017, where McConnell told senators there would be no vote on the health care bill this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BY JOE WILLIAMS and NIELS LESNIEWSKI

Republican opposition to legislation to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system grew after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell chose to delay a vote on the measure until after the upcoming Fourth of July recess, a sign of the challenges GOP leadership faces in crafting legislation with support solely from their own party.

GOP Struggles With Message on Repealing Health Care Taxes
Plans to kill levies imposed by 2010 law slammed by Democrats

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady is the GOP point man for the overhaul of the tax code. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Democrats enacted two taxes on wealthy families to help finance the 2010 health care law, Republicans predicted the levies would be politically unpopular and would not survive.

Now, the GOP faces a partisan messaging battle over plans to end a Medicare payroll surtax and a separate tax on investment income that are both levied on taxpayers earning more than $200,000 (for an individual) and $250,000 (for a married couple).

Trump Huddles With GOP Senators as McConnell Issues Warning
At White House, majority leader says Republicans would lose leverage in talks with Dems

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, seen here at the Capitol on Tuesday, has major concerns about the Senate health care legislation. She sat next to the president at Tuesday's White House meeting on health care. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump summoned Senate Republicans to the White House on Tuesday to discuss differences that are holding up a GOP leadership crafted health bill, declaring talks are “very close” to producing a deal and that it would be “OK” if the effort fails.

The Republican senators boarded busses outside the Capitol and made the short trek down Pennsylvania Avenue shortly after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky announced a vote on a still-evolving health overhaul measure would be delayed until after next week’s July Fourth recess. The move offered Trump, who held a Rose Garden victory celebration after the House passed its version in May, an opportunity to again cast himself as the dealmaker in chief.

Kasich on Health Care Bill: ‘Not Acceptable’
Ohio governor says he’s worried about bill’s effects on mentally and chronically ill, and working poor

Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich, right, and Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper discuss the Senate health care reform bill at the National Press Club on Tuesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich didn’t want to talk about how Ohio Sen. Rob Portman might vote on the Republican health care bill.

“I’ve told him how important I think all this is,” Kasich cut off a reporter in mid-question when asked at a National Press Club event Tuesday about his discussions with Portman on the bill. “I don’t cast his vote. … We’ll see what happens when the card goes in the box — or however they vote in the Senate.”

Paul Ryan Defends CBO Role as Referee
Speaker makes comments one day after White House swipe

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan is defending CBO Director Keith Hall and his office amid White House criticism of the nonpartisan agency. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One day after the White House criticized the Congressional Budget Office as an inaccurate arbiter, amid a heated debate over the effects of the Republicans’ plans to change the health insurance system, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan is defending the nonpartisan office. 

“Yeah, he’s actually a Republican appointee. If I’m not mistaken, Tom Price appointed him,” Ryan said Tuesday morning when asked whether he had full confidence in CBO Director Keith Hall. Price, the secretary of Health and Human Services and a key advocate of GOP efforts to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, was previously the House Budget Committee chairman. 

Napolitano to Miss Votes as Her Husband Undergoes Chemotherapy
Congresswoman to miss votes.

Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Calif., will miss votes to be with her husband during chemotherapy (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)