Abortion

GOP Health Care Vote Could Complicate Funding Talks
Minority Whip advises caucus to go against spending bill if health care vote comes to floor

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer is telling his fellow Democrats to vote against a stopgap spending measure if Republicans bring a health care bill for a vote this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If House Republicans press for a vote this week on a revised health care legislative proposal, it could unravel delicate negotiations to avoid a government shutdown. 

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer on Thursday morning advised his Democratic caucus to vote against a one-week continuing resolution if Republicans bring their health care bill to the floor this week.

Opinion: The Obama Effect — Pros and Cons for Republicans and Democrats
Former president could unite a party in distress

Former President Barack Obama’s influence could unite a Democratic Party that showed togetherness after President Donald Trump’s win but is already breaking apart on issues such as abortion rights, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Barack Obama, the charismatic former president, can cause a scene just by walking into a coffee shop, as the rapturous crowds in usually blase New York City demonstrated at one of his cameos. So as he gently re-entered the public and policy eye this week, it’s no surprise that he could throw both Democrats and Republicans off balance — though of course for very different reasons.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave President Donald Trump possibly his most important first-100-day achievement by spearheading the maneuver to transform Obama’s Supreme Court pick to replace Antonin Scalia into the conservative Neil Gorsuch, whose first significant vote allowed an Arkansas execution to proceed. McConnell’s obstruction and subsequent “nuclear option” may have played a part in breaking the democratic process, but isn’t that a small price to pay for a win —  at least I’m sure the president feels that way.

Opinion: A Disturbing Trend Against Women’s Health
President Donald Trump is undermining access to critical services

President Donald Trump has attacked women’s access to critical health care services, New York Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite the fact that most Americans want their leaders focused on creating jobs and boosting the economy, in his first 100 days in office, President Donald Trump has spent significant time and effort attacking women’s access to critical health care services and it is clear that women should expect even more harmful policies in the future.

On January 23, 2017, just two days after millions across the country and the world came together for the historic Women’s March, President Trump signed an executive order taking away rights from millions of women. He reinstated and expanded the global gag rule, a policy that bars both foreign nongovernmental and multilateral organizations from receiving U.S. family planning funds if — with other, non-U.S. funds — they provide abortion counseling, referrals, or even advocacy efforts.

Should Democrats Turn to South Carolina’s Special Election Next?
Next week’s primaries could set up another competitive contest

Archie Parnell is the leading Democrat running for the seat left behind by former Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who’s now the director of the Office of Management and Budget. (Screenshot, Courtesy Archie Parnell for Congress)

Democrats enthused by last week’s primary in Georgia, and their strong showing in Kansas earlier this month, have been making noise about playing more aggressively in upcoming elections that were previously dismissed as long shots — specifically Montana.

Mentioned less often, however, is South Carolina.

Opinion: Scorecard — America After 100 Days of Trump
The good news is maybe the nation will endure the next four years

The good news is  despite President Donald Trump, the nation may weather the next four years, Walter Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

It may be news to Donald Trump that the original One Hundred Days ended with Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. In fact, if Trump learned about Napoleon from “Fox & Friends,” he would probably snarl, “I like my conquerors of Europe not to end up exiled to an island so remote you can’t even build a world-class hotel on it.”

The news media may be reeling in an era of fake news, but nothing halts the journalistic passion for predictable rituals like toting up presidential accomplishments after 14 weeks and 2 days in office. Trump himself would admit that he is no Franklin Roosevelt. After all, the 45th president would have spurned marrying a woman like Eleanor Roosevelt — who was never mistaken for an international fashion model when she was touring coal mines on behalf of FDR.

Opinion: Trump’s 100th Day Could Start With a Government Shutdown
President should look for bipartisan agreement on spending bill

The biggest wildcard and the most serious potential stumbling block to a spending bill is President Donald Trump himself, Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Getting to the 100th day in the White House is a major milestone for any new president. But because of a case of truly unfortunate timing, Donald Trump’s 100th day in office could also be the day that the federal government shuts down unless Trump and a bipartisan majority in Congress pass a major spending bill to lock in federal funding for the rest of the year.

But how will President Trump get an agreement on a difficult piece of legislation that he must pass when he’s had so much trouble managing bills that he and congressional Republicans wanted to pass?

With Enthusiasm High, Democrats School Potential Candidates on Realities of Running
The party is seeing unprecedented early interest in running for Congress

Amid the high interest, many first-time candidates may not be aware of what it takes to run for Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

All around the country, Democrats interested in running for office are crawling out of the woodwork. But how many of these potential candidates will turn into serious congressional candidates? 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already talked to 275 people in 68 districts wanting to run — 20 people in one Illinois district alone.

Trump Steps Into Closer-Than-Expected Kansas Special Election
National Republicans have made late investments in heavily GOP district

Kansas Treasurer Ron Estes is the Republican nominee in Tuesday’s 4th District special election. (Courtesy Kansas for Estes Facebook page)

It’s not often that a sitting Republican president, vice president, a former presidential candidate and senator and the speaker of the House make an effort days before a special election to hold what’s supposed to be a safe GOP seat. 

“Today, the eyes of the whole country are on Kansas,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said at a Monday rally for state Treasurer Ron Estes, the GOP nominee in the 4th District.

Tense Senate Confirms Gorsuch to Supreme Court
Colorado jurist will restore conservative tilt as Scalia replacement

Neil Gorsuch is the next associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 1:41 p.m. | The Senate confirmed Judge Neil Gorsuch as the next Supreme Court justice on Friday on a mostly party-line vote, 54-45. Democrats Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana joined all Republicans present in voting to confirm. Republican Johnny Isakson of Georgia did not vote.

Gorsuch was supported by the fewest number of senators since Justice Clarence Thomas was confirmed in 1991 on a 52-48 vote. 

Moderates Could Get More Attention in Post-Nuclear Senate
Need to get just a simple majority for SCOTUS nominees will create new dynamic

Moderates like Maine’s Susan Collins could occupy a more prominent role in a post-nuclear option Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As the Senate moves toward getting rid of the ability of 41 senators to block Supreme Court nominees, moderates could see their profiles rise in any post “nuclear option” reality with a renewed emphasis on party unity. 

Conventional wisdom is that presidents would be able to pick more stridently partisan nominees for the high court if the risk of a super majority filibuster is eliminated. But such a procedural change would also put a bigger target on moderate members of the majority.