leadership

State Medicaid Directors Say Graham-Cassidy ‘Fails to Deliver’
Group that represents Medicaid directors in all 50 states says bill shouldn’t be rushed

From left, Sens. Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller, Ron Johnson and Lindsey Graham hold a news conference to discuss block grant funding for health care Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

State Medicaid directors voiced their opposition Thursday to the latest effort in the Senate to repeal the 2010 health care law.

The National Association of Medicaid Directors, a group that represents the directors of all 50 states, urged Senate Republicans to reconsider their support of the new repeal bill sponsored by GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Louisiana’s Bill Cassidy.

Analysis: Why Ryan Has Stepped Into the Senate Health Care Debate
Speaker has typically steered clear of offering advice or taking on other chamber

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has signaled the Graham-Cassidy health care measure in the Senate will get a House floor vote. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan doesn’t like to meddle in Senate affairs — except when he does.

Throughout July when the Senate was working through various proposals to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, Ryan frequently declined to comment on what the other chamber was considering.

Trump Encouraged Corker to Seek Another Term, Despite Recent Friction
Tennessee senator to decide legislative future ‘very, very soon’

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., was encouraged to run for re-election by President Donald Trump in a face-to-face meeting last Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump encouraged Sen. Bob Corker to seek a third term in a face-to-face meeting last week even though the two butted heads throughout August and September, the Tennessean reported Monday.

The Tennessee Republican has asked multiple members of the GOP brass, including the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for advice as he weighs whether to re-up for another term or return to the private sector, where he was a construction and real estate titan before entering public service.

Senate Finance Staff — Old and New — Ready for Tax Challenge
Staffers promoted to replace departed colleagues

From left, Senate Finance majority staffers Jay Khosla, Jeff Wrase, Jen Kuskowski, Julia Lawless, Chris Armstrong, Mark Prater, and Shane Warren in the committee’s Dirksen hearing room. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“A little bit like Bill Belichick.”

That’s how Jay Khosla, the new staff director for the Senate Finance Committee, described the personnel management style of Chairman Orrin G. Hatch.

Trump Casts Doubt on GOP Clearing 60-Vote Hurdle in Senate on Tax Bill
Criticizes UK officials after terror attack on London

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Senate Republicans in the East Room of the White House on June 27. On Friday, he again called for Senate GOP leaders to change the rules so legislation can pass with 51 votes; the president said Republicans “can't get” to 60 votes. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday declared Senate Republicans “can’t get” 60 votes in the Senate and again urged GOP leaders to alter rules for major legislation.

He followed his Twitter rant against Senate Republicans with his first comments on Friday’s terrorist attack in London to criticize British security officials.

Mitch McConnell’s Myanmar Balancing Act
Senate majority leader defends Suu Kyi but calls for end to violence against Rohingya

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of Myanmar, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., at the Capitol last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday the violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar must end, while seeking to blunt criticism of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, his longtime ally and friend.

“In my view publicly condemning Aung San Suu Kyi, the best hope for democratic reform in Burma, is simply not constructive,” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor.

Before Confusion, Trump and Democrats Agreed to Keep Talking
‘No deal was made last night on DACA,’ president tweets

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared victory on the DACA program after a dinner with President Donald Trump Tuesday evening. But by Wednesday morning, the president was denying they had a deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 1:04 p.m. | One thing appears clear amid the web of confusion after a Tuesday dinner meeting at the White House: President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders agreed to keep talking about immigration and border security issues.

But beyond that, Trump and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York are having a tough time clearly describing what was agreed to over Chinese food in the White House’s Blue Room.

How the Calendar Puts Pressure on GOP’s Tax Effort
Party wants to avoid health care-style debacle, Ryan says

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady talks with reporters in the Capitol on Wednesday after a meeting of the House Republican Conference. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican lawmakers for months have been talking about a tax overhaul with a sense of urgency, but those words have yet to translate into action.

President Donald Trump seems to want to kick-start the legislative process and took to Twitter on Wednesday with some encouragement. “Move fast Congress!” he tweeted, followed by: “Go Congress, go!”

After Deal, Debt Limit Talk Still Permeates Debates
McConnell dismisses calls to eliminate borrowing ceiling

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer sparred with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday on how to frame the debt limit deal Congress passed last week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Policymakers are still talking about last week’s surprise deal to fund the government and suspend the debt limit, and they might be talking about it for a while.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has thrown cold water on the idea of abolishing the debt ceiling.

White House Nudge for Long-Shot Repeal Bill
Trump Hill boss seeks boost on Graham-Cassidy legislation

Marc Short, White House legislative affairs director, signaled Tuesday that the administration is interested in a long-shot health care repeal bill. (Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor)

Updated at 2:28 p.m. The White House gave a subtle nudge to a long-shot bill from two Republican senators that would overhaul the 2010 health care law as a Sept. 30 deadline to take up the measure quickly approaches.

Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana have been working on legislation that would incorporate much of the Senate GOP leadership-crafted health care measure that failed to pass the chamber earlier this year.