Library of Congress

A Republican Party Pulled in Multiple Directions
Same factors could bedevil other legislative priorities

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan will face the same factions in his Republican caucus that helped sink the GOP health care measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan wasted no time, fresh off his defeat on the Republican health care plan, in pivoting to priorities like a tax overhaul. But the constituencies pulling his party in different directions will still be present for those complicated debates as well.

“Our members know that we did everything we could to get consensus,” the Wisconsin Republican said shortly after he pulled a measure that would have partially accomplished what has motivated his party for more than seven years: getting rid of the 2010 health care law. But in the end, the GOP’s factions pulled it in so many directions that they couldn’t even muster a majority to pass a bill that would put a win on the board.

The Snapchat Senators
Daines, Murphy, Booker and McCain talk about the social mobile app

Montana Sen. Steve Daines Snapchats in Statuary Hall before President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Snapchat was initially established in 2011 and within the last year or so, a few senators have jumped on the social messaging app popular with millennials.

The lawmakers usually send multimedia messages, or snaps, themselves — as opposed to having their staffers do it — and they get pretty creative with what they send to followers.

Word on the Hill: How Involved Are You?
What the week ahead looks like

When staffers aren’t busy with their bosses, there are clubs for them. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’ve covered several congressional staff associations in Heard on the Hill and a bunch of them got together last week to tout their groups.

The Staff Association Fair on Friday was similar to a college activities fair and allowed staffers to learn about the many different options for them to get involved.

After Health Care Defeat, Brady Schedules Markup on Trump Tax Returns
Democrats using procedural tool to force committee vote

House Ways and Means chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, announced that the committee would mark up a “resolution of inquiry” into President Donald Trump’s tax returns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hours after House GOP leaders and President Donald Trump on Friday made the decision to finally pull their ill-fated health care plan, one of the bill’s architects made an interesting pivot to Trump’s tax returns.

But not by choice.

Opinion: Trump Needs to Reread ‘The Art of the Comeback’
The president’s political embrace and his threats are both equally empty

President Donald Trump waves to the crowd after addressing a joint session of Congress in the Capitol's House Chamber, February 28, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After just nine weeks in the Oval Office, Donald Trump is already forced to resort to his third book, “The Art of the Comeback.”

From James Comey’s artfully cloaked shiv in last Monday’s congressional testimony to the head-for-the-lifeboats abandonment of Trumpcare on Friday, it is hard to recall a president who has had a worse week without someone being indicted.

Democrats Delight in GOP Health Care Defeat
Pelosi says party is glad to own 2010 health law

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, left, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, right, welcomed the decision by Republican leadership to pull the health care bill from the House floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cheers went out from the Democratic cloakroom Friday when the news broke that Republicans were pulling their health care bill from the floor, and Democrats on the floor chanted “vote! vote!” as the majority lacked the votes opted to pass it. 

The minority party was more subdued at a press conference afterward, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team still delighted in their victory.

How The GOP’s Health Care Law Went Down
A play-by-play of one of the most momentous days in Trump’s presidency

Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, R-Wisc., approaches the podium to make a statement and take questions from reporters after he pulled the Republican bill to partially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It was a nail-biter of a day with a photo finish.

The Republican Party’s seven-year effort to repeal the 2010 health care law ended with a thud Friday when the GOP decided not to even subject its do-or-die alternative to a vote.

Opinion: The GOP’s Big Health Care Winner — Mitch McConnell
House in flames but crisis avoided in the Senate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell remains untarnished by the GOP effort to repeal the 2010 health care law, Allen writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There’s exactly one big winner in the Republican leadership right now: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

The Kentucky Republican, long known for his sixth-sense acumen as a political and legislative strategist, completely avoided the direct and collateral damage of the GOP health care debacle of 2017.

Republicans Cancel Vote on Health Care Bill
Democrats chant ‘Vote, vote, vote’

Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price leave their meeting with members of the House Freedom Caucus at the Capitol Hill Club. A failed final effort to secure the votes necessary to pass legislation repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Friday canceled a scheduled vote on the Republican bill to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, in what could be a catastrophic blow to the party’s seven-year campaign against the law.

Cheers could be heard from the House Democratic cloakroom as the news spread.

Jimmy Panetta Takes a Hard Line on Military Spending
Son of Defense secretary represents Monterey County

Rep. Jimmy Panetta, left, was sworn in to Congress alongside his father, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, also a former member of the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When the House approved the $577.9 billion fiscal 2017 defense spending bill on March 8, only 48 members — including four freshmen — voted against it. It’s politically difficult to vote against a measure that pays for the weapons U.S. forces need and supplies the funds for a 2.1 percent pay increase for Americans in uniform.

One of the freshmen was Jimmy Panetta, the youngest of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s three children. He explained that he opposed the bill because it did not spend enough. “It could have done more to help my area on the central coast of California,” Panetta says.