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Senate GOP: Knowing Health Care Plan Is ‘Luxury We Don’t Have’
Uncertainty surrounds floor strategy for Republicans’ health care effort

Many members in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s conference do not know what they would be considering days before a key vote . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JOE WILLIAMS and LAUREN CLASON

Republican senators left Washington no closer to a deal on their health care effort, with no idea what measure might be brought up for a vote early next week or whether the chamber could even clear a key procedural hurdle needed to begin consideration of any legislation.

Democrats Want Probe of Interior Scientists' Reassignments

Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and other Democrats are concerned the administration is reassigning scientists to try to get rid of them. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats at a hearing for Interior and Energy Department nominees seized on the published comments of an Interior scientist who claims that Secretary Ryan Zinke was using forced reassignments to coax experienced scientists to resign.

The top Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Maria Cantwell of Washington, said at the Thursday hearing that she will ask Interior’s Inspector General to investigate the allegations raised by the scientist, Joel Clement, in an op-ed published by The Washington Post.

Opinion: The Freewheeling John McCain — An Appreciation
Flawed, but still the embodiment of honor, civility, patriotism and bipartisanship

Arizona Sen. John McCain deserves to be ranked among the two or three leading Senate figures of the last quarter-century, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For all their outward cynicism, campaign reporters tend to be closet idealists who dream of covering a candidate who will summon forth the better angels of the American people. Such a mythic candidate is not aloof like Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, but rather is a flawed figure who transforms himself in the act of running for president.

The doomed Bobby Kennedy of 1968 was that kind of uplifting candidate for an earlier generation of reporters. For a few short months during the primaries, Kennedy rose above his life of privilege and his reputation for ruthlessness to become the tribune of the poor and the dispossessed of all races.

Ralph Regula, Avuncular Appropriator from Ohio, Dies at 92
Canton-area congressman unapologetic for pushing bipartisanship

Former Rep. Ralph Regula, a long-time congressman from Northeast Ohio, has died at age 92. (CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

Former Rep. Ralph Regula, a moderate Republican from Ohio known for his deal-cutting acumen, avuncular manner and skills as an appropriator, died July 19. He was 92.

Born in Beach City, Ohio on Dec. 3, 1924, Regula was first elected to Congress in 1972 after stints in the Ohio state House and Senate. Between then and his retirement after the 2008 elections, he embodied a middle-of-the-road Midwestern approach to politics that valued working across the aisle and taking care of the folks back home.

Word on the Hill: Whipping Votes for Tilly
Emgage, White Ford Bronco, and hip hop

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, right, lobbies Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick J. Toomey on Wednesday to vote for Tilly, a Boston terrier in Tillis’ office, in a cutest dog on the Hill contest. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Roll Call’s Bridget Bowman spotted a bipartisan pup moment Wednesday.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., brought seven-month-old Boston terrier Tilly around with him on Wednesday, whipping votes for her in a cutest dog contest, and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., stopped to say hello.

Why Ted Lieu Trolls Donald Trump
California Democrat, a prolific tweeter, sees president as a “bully”

California Rep. Ted Lieu has become one of President Donald Trump's main Twitter antagonists on the Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The first thing you see outside California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu’s Washington office is a piece of paper taped to his nameplate that says, “Alternative Fact Free Zone, Period.”

The sign is meant to poke fun at White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s now infamous pronouncement about the crowd size at President Donald Trump’s inauguration and it is indicative of Lieu’s approach on social media in response to Trump’s prolific and provocative tweets.

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.

Opinion: Trump Is Losing the Republican Congress
But don’t expect impeachment any time soon

After the recent revelations of the Trump Tower meeting last June, defenders of President Donald Trump can no longer dismiss evidence of Russia collusion as circumstantial, Allen writes. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump is losing the Republican Congress.

The June 2016 meeting between a Russian lawyer and Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, among others, underscores what was obvious to anyone paying close attention to the election before ballots were cast: Russia wanted Trump to win, and Trump wanted Moscow’s help.

A Friendly Face: Pence Deployed to Governors
Former Indiana governor knows the crowd well

Vice President Mike Pence, seen here on Capitol Hill on Tuesday with Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, will address health care, education and infrastructure at the NGA conference in Rhode Island on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Vice President Mike Pence on Friday will continue his quiet campaign as the Trump administration’s ultimate inside player when he tries to convince governors to view President Donald Trump as a partner on issues such as health care and infrastructure.

With Trump in France participating in that country’s Bastille Day festivities, Pence is being deployed to the National Governors Association conference in Rhode Island. It will be a familiar role for Pence, a former Indiana chief executive, who also is a former House GOP leader who meets weekly with his congressional colleagues.