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Chaffetz Departure Opens Coveted Oversight Chairmanship
Freedom Caucus members in panel’s leadership poised to make a play for seat

The departure of Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, left, could give Reps. Trey Gowdy, middle, and Jim Jordan, right, an opportunity to capture the coveted seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Chairman Jason Chaffetz suggested Wednesday he may not finish his congressional term, top Republicans on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee mostly avoided weighing in on whether they would seek the seat under a GOP White House.

The Utah Republican unabashedly used the position of being the House’s top inquisitor to become nationally prominent in a coveted seat. But he did so under a Democratic administration that the House GOP despised.

Republicans Have No Deal on Obamacare Repeal But Talks Continue
Trump: “We are doing very well on health care.”

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., arrives for a hastily called House Republican caucus meeting after Speaker Ryan canceled the vote on the American Health Care Act of 2017 on Friday, March 24, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House lawmakers are preparing to return to Capitol Hill next week with no deal so far on legislation to repeal the 2010 health care law, but negotiations are continuing as Republicans seek to fulfill their seven-year campaign promise, according to several congressional aides and lobbyists. Lawmakers are expected to discuss the issue in a conference call Saturday.

The White House is pushing for work to continue on efforts to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care achievement. House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., co-chairman of the moderate Tuesday Group, discussed over the recess a potential amendment that was designed to build support from hesitant lawmakers on both sides of the GOP political spectrum.

Rising Stars 2017: Administration Staffers
A mix of fresh and familiar Washington faces

Four Trump administration staffers are among CQ Roll Call’s 17 Rising Stars of 2017. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Over the course of this week, CQ Roll Call is taking a look at 17 Rising Stars of 2017 — people who will now wield power and influence in a Washington that has been turned upside down by the presidency of Donald Trump.

Some of the names are familiar, others have recently burst on the scene. They include members of Congress, congressional and administration staffers, and advocates.

Wittman Answers Questions at Public Forum, Constituents Hold Mock Town Hall
Republican congressman says he favors smaller-scale meetings over massive town halls

Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., leaves a meeting of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors in Stafford, Va., on April 18, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

STAFFORD, Va. — Rep. Rob Wittman provided an update on congressional affairs to the local governing body here Tuesday evening. It was his fifth constituent meeting of the day.

Meanwhile, just over 30 miles northwest in Nokesville, Virginia, citizens held a mock town hall to discuss the congressman’s voting record.

Take Five: Lou Correa
California Democrat says ‘downtime is nonexistent’ in this Congress

California Rep. Lou Correa says people tell him he came to Congress at the wrong time. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Freshman Rep. Lou Correa, 59, a California Democrat, talks about advice he received from Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, sleeping in his office, and making friends in Congress.

Q: What has surprised you about Congress so far?

Analysis: Moderate Republicans Also to Blame for Health Care Impasse
Arguably more hard ‘no’ votes among moderates than conservatives

Tuesday Group Co-Chairman Charlie Dent is among the moderate Republicans unlikely to be convinced to vote for the GOP’s health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus have shouldered the majority of the blame for the Republicans’ failure to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, but GOP moderates may be equally — if not more — responsible for the impasse. 

There are arguably more hard “no” votes (members not likely to be convinced to move to “yes”) for the GOP leadership’s plan among moderate Republicans than there are among Freedom Caucus members.

Maine’s Susan Collins Weighing 2018 Gubernatorial Bid
The four-term senator is considering where she can do ‘the most good’

Maine Sen. Susan Collins may run for governor in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File photo)

There’s been no shortage of speculation that Maine Sen. Susan Collins would run for governor in 2018. But she addressed the subject head-on in an interview with WGAN radio Tuesday morning. 

“Let me say that I am looking at where I can do the most good for the people of Maine,” said Collins, according to a report in the Portland Press Herald. “In the Senate I now have significant seniority and that allows me to do a lot,” she said. 

K Street Offers Five Tips for Tax Overhaul
Tip #2: Get the Freedom Caucus involved

Some K Street insiders say President Donald Trump’s salesman skills may be key to the success of a tax code overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional Republicans and the White House can’t gloss over the collapse of their first signature measure — the 2010 health care law repeal and replace effort — but veteran lobbyists see cautionary tales in that mess for the next major overhaul.

A comprehensive revamp of the nation’s tax laws may avoid the health care bill’s fate, if lawmakers and administration officials take note of five lessons learned by K Street.

Stop-Loss an Option for Air Force to Keep Departing Pilots
‘If I can’t put warheads on foreheads, then [ISIS] is winning’

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Matthew Bruch, an aerial photographer with 1st Combat Camera Squadron, takes a self portrait during a flight in an F-15D. (Matthew Bruch/U.S. Air Force)

Faced with pilots leaving the Air Force in droves for the airlines, top generals are considering the option of forcing some to stay in the service against their will, a senior Air Force general told CQ Roll Call. 

Gen. Carlton Everhart, chief of the Air Mobility Command, said in an interview that he and other senior Air Force generals will join Gen. David Goldfein, the service’s chief of staff, alongside representatives of the other armed services, in a meeting with U.S. airline executives May 18 at Andrews Air Force Base.

House GOP Leaders Tweak Health Care Proposal
Action before recess won’t make bill ready for a vote

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan has announced an amendment to the GOP’s health care bill that would create a high-risk pool for people with pre-existing conditions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican leaders seeking to change the narrative on the health care talks announced plans to tweak their proposal on Thursday before members leave for a two-week recess, a move they touted as “progress.”

But they acknowledged it does not make the legislation ready for a vote.