leadership

Paul Ryan: 'Don't Fall For' Cynicism on Tax Overhaul
Speaker touts plan at New Balance factory in Massachusetts

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., spoke Thursday about GOP plans to overhaul the tax code. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has a message for American families who only hear cynical talk coming out of Washington: “Don’t fall for it.”

Specifically, the Wisconsin Republican was addressing cynicism surrounding his top legislative priority of rewriting the nation’s tax code, which he acknowledges will be a heavy lift.

New FBI Director Expected to Be Confirmed Before August Recess
Approved by Judiciary Committee on Thursday

Christopher Wray, nominee for FBI Director, is expected to win confirmation before August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators want the new FBI director on the job as soon as possible, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to see Christopher Wray confirmed before August recess. That looks increasingly likely, as the Judiciary Committee unanimously approved his nomination, teeing it up for floor consideration as soon as McConnell moves ahead.

But the year’s nomination process has been so fraught that McConnell’s staff sent a statement out announcing the Kentucky Republican’s intentions complete with a warning shot to Democrats. 

McCain Diagnosis Puts Health Care Effort in More Jeopardy
Corker: ‘Obviously, it makes things difficult’

Arizona Sen. John McCain’s brain tumor diagnosis puts greater stress on the Senate’s already strained health care efforts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By MARY ELLEN McINTIRE and JOE WILLIAMS

Abrupt news that Arizona Sen. John McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer sent shock waves through an all-Republican meeting late Wednesday on the health care effort. Amid words of concern and encouragement for their GOP colleague, lawmakers acknowledged the difficulty his extended absence would place on the effort to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system.

Amid Trump’s Shifting Health Care Stances, a Recurring Infatuation
President keeps bringing up letting 2010 law fail

President Donald Trump have often said Democratic leaders like Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will eventually come to him to make a deal on health care. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday again appeared to change his stance on just which path he wants Republican senators to take on health care. But he has long been infatuated with the notion of House and Senate Democratic leaders asking — begging, even — for his help on health care.

This week, the president and his aides have been posturing to put that very scenario in play, even as his own party attempts to resurrect a measure that would repeal most of and partially replace the 2010 health care law in one swoop.

Paul Ryan Pivots to Tax Code Rewrite, Welfare Overhaul
Speaker still wants Senate to get health care done but makes no assurances

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan appears ready to move on to other Republican priorities such as tax and welfare overhauls. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Amid a Senate Republican impasse over health care, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan is trying to pivot to two other major priorities: rewriting the tax code and overhauling welfare programs.

“Welfare reform and tax reform are the two big things” Republicans need to get done this fall to complete their agenda for the year, as well infrastructure, Ryan told talk radio host Mike Gallagher on Wednesday.

House GOP to Stick With Partisan Strategy on Taxes
Rep. Mark Walker: ‘I feel like it’s our only option’

North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker thinks a partisan approach on a tax overhaul is the only way forward for the GOP. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans’ partisan push to overhaul the health care system failed in the Senate, but House GOP lawmakers say they plan to stick to that approach in rewriting the tax code.

Since the start of the year, Republicans have said the health care and tax overhauls, the top two items on their legislative agenda, would likely be partisan efforts given wide policy gaps with Democrats on both issues.

Trump Controls Key Funding Move in Health Care Fight
President could stop cost-sharing subsidy payments to insurers

President Donald Trump could choose to stop cost-sharing subsidy payments to health insurers. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

If President Donald Trump wants to “let Obamacare fail” as he says, there’s a ready way for him to give it a push.

So far, the Trump administration and House Republicans have agreed to keep frozen a case in a Washington appeals court over appropriations as part of a push to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. The case is left over from when House Republicans sued the Obama administration in 2014.

Critics From All Sides Hammer McConnell
Politicians and pundits criticize majority leader’s legislative tactics

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellhas come under criticism from all sides after he was forced to scuttle the GOP repeal-and-replace bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing mounting criticism from politicians and pundits on both sides of the aisle after the collapse of his chamber’s Republican health care legislation.

Before the bill was pulled Monday night, Sen. Ron Johnson told a local newspaper that McConnell’s conflicting statements to different members of his caucus were a “significant breach of trust.”

Mitch McConnell’s Plan B on Health Care Appears Dead
Murkowski joins Collins and Capito to oppose proceeding on measure

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowskisays she would vote against the current GOP repeal-only plan, giving opponents the necessary votes to block the measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not have the votes necessary to pass a bill to repeal portions of the 2010 health care law, the Kentucky Republican’s “Plan B” following the failure of the GOP plan to overhaul the U.S. health insurance markets.

Three Republican senators — Maine’s Susan Collins, West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski — have all stated their intentions to vote against a procedural motion that would allow McConnell to bring up a 2015 measure that would end the law’s Medicaid expansion and repeal other portions of it starting in two years.

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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell still appears to be short of the votes to get to a health care measure. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

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.