leadership

Capitol Ink | Beep Beep

Opinion: The GOP’s Big Health Care Winner — Mitch McConnell
House in flames but crisis avoided in the Senate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell remains untarnished by the GOP effort to repeal the 2010 health care law, Allen writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There’s exactly one big winner in the Republican leadership right now: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

The Kentucky Republican, long known for his sixth-sense acumen as a political and legislative strategist, completely avoided the direct and collateral damage of the GOP health care debacle of 2017.

Spicer: Ryan Has Done ‘Everything He Can’ on Health Care Bill
Speaker returns to Capitol after meeting with Trump as vote nears

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.,is meeting with President Donald Trump ahead of the House's vote on health care. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Announcing Keystone, Trump Declares ‘New Era of American Energy Policy’
President tells TransCanada boss his lobbyists did not do ‘a damn thing’ to get his OK

Pipes like these will be used to build the Keystone Pipeline in the United States, which President Trump formally approved on Friday. (Courtesy shannonpatrick17/Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

President Donald Trump announced Friday he has formally approved a Canadian firm’s application to construct the Keystone XL pipeline, a project long blocked by his predecessor and demanded by Republican lawmakers.

“It’s a great day for American jobs, a historic day for North America and energy independence,” Trump said at his desk in the Oval Office. “This announcement is part of a new era of American energy policy that will lower costs for American families, and very significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

Trump Cites Planned Parenthood to Exert Late Pressure on Conservatives
In need of perhaps 40 votes, president turns to his Twitter bully pulpit

President Donald Trump invoked one of the scourges of conservatives — Planned Parenthood — to try to sway holdouts to vote for the Republican health care bill. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump, hours from perhaps his first legislative defeat, used his favorite bully pulpit — Twitter — to pressure a conservative House group into supporting a GOP-crafted health overhaul bill.

Trump huddled at the White House on Thursday with more than 30 members of the House Freedom Caucus, trying to convince them to back the American Health Care Act. He failed to win over the entire group — and later moderates in the Tuesday Group — and eventually dispatched top aides to the Capitol with a message: It’s time to vote.

House GOP Heads Into Health Care Vote ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place’
Regardless of outcome, Republicans will walk away with losses

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., has been trying to woo undecided Republicans to support the health care bill as a do-or-die vote approaches on Friday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The outcome of Friday’s House vote to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law is not certain, but one thing is: All parties to the Republican negotiations will walk away with some losses.

After a marathon few weeks of debate over the health care measure, President Donald Trump decided he was done dealing and urged the House to vote on the measure and let the chips fall where they may.

Despite Lack of Deal, White House Promises Health Bill Passage
Before delay, Trump spokesman: 'It’s going to pass. So that’s it.'

President Donald Trump is confident the GOP health measure will pass, according to his top spokesman, despite negotiations having produced no path there yet. A planned Thursday evening vote has been postponed. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The White House on Thursday laid down several markers on the contents of a still-under-negotiation GOP health overhaul bill, and insisted the measure would eventually pass.

But just when remains unclear. A House leadership aide confirmed to CQ Roll Call that there will be no vote on final passage of the American Health Care Act on Thursday; an evening vote had been planned.

No Deal on Health Care Bill
Freedom Caucus chairman says talks continue: ‘We’re trying to get creative’

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan walks through Statuary Hall to the House floor in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House conservatives left a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday without a deal on changes to the Republican health care bill that would repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, putting a vote later in the day in doubt.

The apparent offer on the table is something the House Freedom Caucus, the bloc of hard-line conservatives that has held its ground against Republican leadership, has deemed a nonstarter.

Senators Working the Ref Already on Health Care Bill
Parliamentarian rulings could make or break GOP legislation

Sen. Bill Cassidy is among the senators looking to make sure any health legislation or amendments will comply with the Senate’s procedural rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As House Republicans struggle to cobble together the votes to pass legislation to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, members are already looking to navigate the Senate’s labyrinth of procedural rules that could make or break the measure. 

Senate Democrats are already setting up for the battle with the parliamentarian about which provisions could run up against the Byrd Rule, which requires budget reconciliation bills that can pass with a simple-majority vote to be primarily about spending and revenues, without extraneous matter.

Opinion: Art as Soul Food – A Tough Yet Essential Case to Make
President Trump’s proposed budget cuts are ill-advised

Funding for humanities programs, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, is only a fraction of the federal budget and should not be cut, Curtis writes. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

Most critics expressing outrage at President Donald Trump’s proposed budget have focused on cuts to the Community Development Block Grant program that funnels money to Meals on Wheels. And who can blame them? 

If you’re looking for allies for your cause, that’s the narrative you want — one that sets up clear-cut heroes and villains, especially with budget director Mick Mulvaney, sent from central casting and all but twirling a mustache as he says, “We can’t spend money on programs just because they sound good,” or “There’s no demonstrable evidence” that after-school programs that also feed children are actually “helping kids do better at school.”