Andy Harris

Whip List: Obamacare Rollback Vote Nears Breaking Point
A handful more GOP opponents would doom measure

House Freedom Caucus members, from left, Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho, Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Jim Jordan of Ohio make their way to a procedural vote in the Capitol on Friday before the vote on the Republican health care bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Enough Republicans appeared on the verge of voting against the House health care overhaul to require frantic lobbying and send House Speaker Paul D. Ryan to the White House as floor debate got underway Friday.

At least 20 House Republicans had already signaled opposition since the end of a Thursday evening huddle with top Trump administration officials in which Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney delivered an ultimatum, saying President Donald Trump was done negotiating on partially repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law.

House Heads to Do or Die Vote on Health Care
White House threatens to walk if health bill fails

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)

Regardless of whether the votes are sewn up, the House will likely vote Friday on Republican leaders’ plan to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law — and President Donald Trump is willing to walk away from the effort if the measure fails in the chamber. 

In a closed-door meeting of the Republican conference attended by Trump’s senior aides, including Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Senior Adviser Steve Bannon, Counselor Kellyanne Conaway and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, the president’s aides delivered the message that they were done negotiating and the time was now to vote, win or lose.

Republican Members Opposed to GOP Health Care Bill
If the tally stands, it's enough to sink bill on House floor

Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, has led the charge to oppose the bill as unveiled by GOP leaders. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

CQ Roll Call has confirmed the following members as “no” votes on the American Health Care Act, absent further changes. If this tally stands on the floor, the bill will fail.

Late Wednesday, members of the House Freedom Caucus suggested negotiations with the White House were under way to make changes to the bill that would appease its members. No details of any deal were discussed by members leaving a meeting.

White House Health Care Full-Court Press Changes Few Minds
Trump, Ryan lack needed 216 votes in House, says Freedom Caucus chairman

President Donald Trump and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price arrive in the Capitol to meet with the House Republican Conference about the party’s health overhaul bill on Tuesday morning. Despite Trump’s full-court press, there was little evidence he changed many minds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A White House in full-court press mode deployed President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to call out and fire up Republican members about the party’s health care overhaul bill, but there was scant evidence it worked.

Trump made a rare morning trek to the Capitol’s basement in his quest for the 216 Republican votes, where he addressed the GOP House caucus with his signature brashness: Members present said he called out reluctant members, including Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, by name. A few hours later, Pence tried to keep skeptical GOP senators in the loop about what kind of bill they might soon receive.

Reacting to Trump Budget, Van Hollen Previews 2018 Message
DSCC chairman says budget will be ‘wake-up call’ to Trump voters

Reacting to President Donald Trump's proposed budget, DSCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen said it will likely be a wakeup call to GOP voters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Previewing a likely political argument heading into 2018, Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen says the proposed reductions in President Donald Trump’s budget would disproportionately hit more rural, Republican areas.

“I think this is going to be a wake-up call to a lot of people who supported Donald Trump that his budget is betraying them,” Van Hollen, the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said at a Thursday afternoon news conference on Capitol Hill. 

TV Ads Tell Conservatives to Vote With Trump on Health Care
American Action Network targets Freedom Caucus members in their districts

From left, Republican Reps. Dave Brat of Virginia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, and Mark Meadows of North Carolina are among the targets of the new GOP ad campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Republican issue advocacy group with close ties to House leadership is running half a million dollars in TV ads to pressure Freedom Caucus members to vote with President Donald Trump on the Republicans’ health care plan. 

American Action Network is running spots in 30 districts on Fox News beginning Thursday for two weeks. It’s the first time an outside group is invoking the president’s support for the health care plan in its paid advertising for the bill. 

Conservatives Outline Wishlist for GOP Health Plan Changes
Among asks is an accelerated freeze on Medicaid enrollment

Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., left, and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, D-N.J., talk during a House Energy and Commerce Committee markup of a bill to repeal and replace the the Affordable Care Act. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House conservatives have outlined changes they’d like to see in the health care measure currently moving through the chamber, including an accelerated freeze of Medicaid expansion enrollment and at least a partial reduction in the refundable portion of the tax credits proposed to help individuals buy health insurance.

Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker said his group is asking for the enrollment freeze for the Medicaid expansion program to begin sometime in the current 115th Congress. The bill currently proposes that the enrollment freeze begin in 2020, halfway through the 116th Congress.

With No Vote in Congress, D.C. Residents Find Power in Cash
District voters are supporting Jason Chaffetz’s challenger in Utah

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz is fast becoming a target of Washington, D.C., residents, upset about his efforts to overturn local laws. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It was only the second political contribution Sarah Carr had made in her life. A $100 gift to an obscure politician from a distant state whose values hardly align with her own.

But Carr, a 41-year-old marine scientist who lives on Capitol Hill, had a clear goal: she wanted to support anyone who might oust Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Word on the Hill: Gotcha — Or Not
New caucus launches

Arizona Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva didn’t get got. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Gotcha — wait, maybe not.

A tipster contacted HOH to allege hypocrisy on the part of Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., for flying first class on his way back to D.C. this week when a bill he sponsored prevented such a thing.

RSC Chairman: Conservatives May Clash With Trump on Infrastructure, Debt Ceiling
Walker advocates for Obamacare replacement in 2017, no earmarks

Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker says Congress will work with Trump but conservatives may disagree with him on issues such as infrastructure and the debt ceiling. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The new chairman of the Republican Study Committee said Thursday that conservatives could clash with President-elect Donald Trump early in his administration on infrastructure spending and on the debt ceiling.

In an interview for C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” scheduled to air Sunday, North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker said it is incumbent upon Congress to work with the incoming administration but that there will likely be some differences of opinion.