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GOP Struggles to Salvage Health Care Reform
Meadows trying to get 30 to 40 members to switch from ‘no’ to ‘yes’

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, is interviewed in Rayburn Building after he and other members of the HFC met at the White House with President Trump, March 23, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans struggled to work out a deal to salvage the troubled health care reform legislation ahead of a House Republican Conference meeting Thursday evening.

Negotiations over how to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law were moving along two parallel tracks: conservatives in the Freedom Caucus were dealing with President Donald Trump and his staff, and moderates in the Tuesday Group were talking to Speaker Paul D. Ryan and his leadership team.

Appreciation | Jimmy Breslin and the Art of Describing Washington
Book by New York newspaperman is an invaluable portrayal of Capitol Hill

Jimmy Breslin found his muse in the late Massachusetts Democrat Tip O’Neill, above, whom he portrayed in his book “How the Good Guys Finally Won” as a consummate professional. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Jimmy Breslin will always be remembered as a New York newspaperman. But he also made an indelible contribution to documenting the Watergate scandal and in doing so, breathed life into some of Capitol Hill’s most influential characters. 

The hard-boiled columnist, who died March 19 at the age of 88, brought the full force of his observational skills to his 1975 book “How the Good Guys Finally Won.” Breslin made a career out of focusing on big stories through the perspective of working stiffs, so it’s no surprise he latched on to two methodical House Democrats who took on President Richard Nixon, fresh off a landslide 1972 re-election victory and whose team seemed to be brushing off the Watergate break-in.

Rising Waters at Home Cause Republicans to Buck Party in D.C.
Moderate Republicans are out front on climate change threat

New York Rep. John J. Faso is one of several GOP freshmen concerned about climate change. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Whipping out his iPhone, New York Rep. John J. Faso scrolled through text messages from his wife until he found the photo he sought. 

“There’s my wife’s car in the driveway,” he said, pointing to a lump covered in snow. “So there was no climate change that we were worried about in the last couple of days.”

What It Costs to Educate New Members of Congress
Recent House disbursement report includes total for fall orientation, though number could grow

Newly elected Minnesota Rep. Jason Lewis arrives at the Capitol Hill Hotel in November 2016 — the day freshman members checked in for orientation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As empty nesters know, getting a freshman prepared for college can be expensive.

The same goes for a freshman in Congress.

Federal Judges Block Trump’s Modified Travel Ban
President says ruling ‘makes us look weak’

Demonstrators hold signs at Dulles International Airport on Jan. 29 to protest President Donald Trump’s first executive order on immigration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland issued nationwide temporary restraining orders halting President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban, with one coming just hours before the executive action was set to go into effect.

A decision Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson in Hawaii was the second such ruling against Trump’s efforts to block temporarily certain immigrants, refugees and travelers from Muslim-majority nations from entering the country. A judge in Washington state blocked the original travel ban, which was broader in scope, shortly after it was signed Jan. 27.

Trump’s Travel Order Opens Door to Targeting More Countries
Order also mandates data collection on honor killings in the U.S.

A passenger from a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight from Jeddah arrives at Dulles International Airport on Jan. 29 to demonstrators protesting President Donald Trump’s first executive order on immigration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Pool file photo)

President Donald Trump’s modified executive order on travel and refugees creates requirements for a stream of reports that could lead to more countries being targeted for visa restrictions and a new effort to tally the prevalence of honor killings in the United States.

Trump’s order takes effect Thursday and will stop the issuance of new U.S. visas to nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for three months. It also halts the arrival of refugees for four months while the State, Homeland Security and Justice departments review and tighten entry procedures for foreigners.

Liberals Put Political Money in Spotlight of Gorsuch Fight
Senate Democrats urged to probe nominee’s views on campaign finance law

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, seen here meeting with Judge Neil Gorsuch last month, is facing pressure from liberals and conservatives ahead of the Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation hearings. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic lawmakers and liberal interest groups are intensifying their pressure on senators to probe Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s views on campaign finance law during his confirmation hearings next week.

“He does not come into this with the benefit of the doubt in his favor,” said Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Judiciary Committee member. The panel is scheduled to begin the Colorado judge’s hearings at 11 a.m. Monday.

McCaul Worries Immigration Rhetoric Hurting Border Economies
Represents a district along the U.S.-Mexico border

House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said he wants to make sure trade policies doesn't hurt local economies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul wants to make sure that rhetoric surrounding Mexico and immigration does not hurt border region economies.

McCaul, who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, spoke with NPR about concerns from local elected officials and businesspeople that President Donald Trump’s talk about the border has reduced tax revenue in McAllen.

Take Five: Luther Strange
Newest senator is staying with another tall guy in D.C.

Alabama’s Luther Strange was appointed to fill out the term of former Sen. Jeff Sessions, now the attorney general. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman Republican Sen. Luther Strange of Alabama, who replaced Attorney General Jeff Sessions, talks about his height, first impressions of the Senate, and when his dog will join him in D.C.

Q: How do you feel about being the tallest senator in modern history? [Editor’s note: Strange is 6 feet 9 inches tall]

Trump Travel Ban Part II Could Put GOP in Tough Spot
Defying polls, president signs second executive order

Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., speaks with an ACLU legal observer during the protest at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on Jan. 29. Protests erupted at airports around the country following President Trump’s since-frozen executive order restricting travel from several Islamic countries; on Monday, he signed a revised version. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump’s second generation travel ban on individuals from several Muslim-majority countries could put his fellow Republicans in a tough spot.

The new order, signed Monday, comes after federal courts blocked an earlier version and despite polls showing most Americans oppose it.