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CBO Estimate of Revised House Health Care Bill Changes Little
Senate GOP leaders say the votes still are not there for passage

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Wednesday said there were not 50 votes in the Senate for a health care bill. And that was before the CBO score came in. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BY KERRY YOUNG AND SANDHYA RAMAN

A House-passed health care bill would reduce federal spending by $119 billion over a decade, compared to a previous estimate of $150 billion over a decade. And it would cause the number of Americans lacking medical insurance to rise by 23 million by 2026, which is 1 million less than under previous iterations of the measure, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

Debt Limit Deadline Already Creeping Up Congress
Mnuchin, Mulvaney make case for action sooner rather than later

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney says the debt limit deadline my arrive sooner than expected. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress and the Trump administration may be facing off over raising the debt limit sooner than planned.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he wanted Congress to complete a clean measure to lift the debt ceiling before the August recess on Wednesday.

Republican Senator Seeks to Save Obamacare Before Dismantling It
Lamar Alexander advocating for two-step approach to repealing law

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander is advocating short-term market stabilization measures for the 2010 health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Lamar Alexander has found himself in an uncommon position for most Republicans this year: Trying to save the shaky insurance markets created by the 2010 health care law before attending to a major overhaul of the law.

The opinions of the Tennessee’s senior senator carry significant weight among his colleagues. He is a close confidant of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and also chairs the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Tax Overhaul Challenges Unified Republican Government
Contentious House provisions spark interest in bipartisan Senate plan

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had planned to pass a tax overhaul by August, a timeline that has slipped amid intraparty divisions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

BY LINDSEY MCPHERSON AND JOE WILLIAMS

Republican leaders are applying a lesson learned from health care to the tax overhaul debate: build consensus before releasing a bill.

Congressional Day Care Wait List Up to ‘Several’ Years
266 children waiting for the call

Staffers pay anywhere from around $1,000 to $1,400 a month for child care on the Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By ALEX GANGITANO and KATHERINE TULLY-MCMANUS

If you’re a House staffer and thinking about having a baby in three years, you probably should get on the congressional day care wait list now.

Lawmakers Greet Mueller Appointment With Relief
Rank and file smile, although GOP leaders remain reticent

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel by the Justice Department on Wednesday to investigate alleged Russian interference in last year’s election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By JOE WILLIAMS, LINDSEY McPHERSON and REMA RAHMAN

Even as House and Senate Republicans turned up the heat on the Trump White House for answers about the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey, Democrats got a big win when the Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including any connections to the Trump presidential campaign.

Trump Appears to Confirm Report He Gave Russians Classified Info
After partial denials from aides, president claims ‘absolute right’ to share data

President Donald Trump concludes his remarks at the 36th annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service at the Capitol on Monday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump appeared to confirm a report that he discussed highly classified information with senior Russian officials last week, contradicting some of his top aides while claiming an “absolute right” to do so.

Around 7 p.m. Monday, the president dispatched National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster to partially deny a Washington Post report that he revealed highly classified information about Islamic State plot involving laptop computers and passenger airliners gleaned by a U.S. ally to senior Russian officials. McMaster told reporters the article “as it came out tonight, is false.” He said no intelligence sources or methods were disclosed — something not alleged in the Post article.

A Senator Out of His Shell, and Under Trump’s Skin
Connecticut’s Blumenthal at the center of opposition to president

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal makes his way through the Senate subway in the Capitol after a meeting of Senate Democrats on May 10. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Of the 157 tweets President Donald Trump has sent in the last month alone, just six have singled out individuals for ridicule. And half of those have been directed at Richard Blumenthal.

The senior senator from Connecticut, who’s made reticence and prudence the guideposts of his first four decades in political life, is projecting a very different sort of persona these days. While presenting himself in public as quietly as ever, he’s become one of president’s most incisive Democratic antagonists on an array of topics.

Western North Carolina Notices Meadows’ Newfound Notoriety
Supporters and protesters greet Freedom Caucus chairman back home

Rep. Mark Meadows gives advice to middle school students in McDowell County, North Carolina preparing for a cardboard boat competition. (Lindsey McPherson/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mark Meadows has long been a household name in western North Carolina, but his newfound notoriety outside the 11th District has not gone unnoticed by those back home.

“If you watch TV at all you know that our congressman is very much a mover and shaker in Washington, D.C.,” South Caldwell High School teacher Tony Crump said, as he introduced Meadows at a masonry competition Thursday for three area high schools.

Critics Call Trump Election Panel a ‘Sham’
‘We need to be vigilant and rely on the evidence and the data.’

U.S. President Donald Trump, stands with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows after Republicans passed legislation aimed at repealing and replacing ObamaCare, during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House, on May 4, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

Voting-rights advocates lambasted a new Trump administration directive to probe alleged election fraud, calling the effort a distraction that also could ultimately prevent legitimate voters from casting ballots.

President Donald Trump signed the executive order Thursday creating a commission, led by Vice President Mike Pence, to study the U.S. voter registration and election system. It comes months after Trump alleged, without evidence, that thousands of noncitizens had voted in the 2016 elections.