Budget

Trump’s Health Care Ultimatum Channeling ‘The Art of the Deal’?
But president may not be the only one willing to walk away

President Donald Trump may be taking a page from “The Art of the Deal” with his ultimatum on plans to partially repeal and replace Obamacare. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By LINDSEY McPHERSON and REMA RAHMANCQ Roll Call

A lesson from “The Art of the Deal,” President Donald Trump’s 1987 bestseller, may play out in the House on Friday.

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.

New CBO Estimate Does Little to Woo Critics
Pelosi: ‘As bad as TrumpCare already was, the Manager’s Amendment is crueler to Medicaid recipients‘

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., attend a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center to voice opposition to House Republican's health care plan, the American Health Care Act, March 14, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By ERIN MERSHON and JOE WILLIAMS, CQ Roll Call

An updated bill from House Republicans to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law would save the government less than half as much as the prior version, but wouldn’t result in any more people keeping their insurance coverage or lower premiums, according to a new analysis of the legislation released Thursday.

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.

Despite Lack of Deal, White House Promises Health Bill Passage
Before delay, Trump spokesman: 'It’s going to pass. So that’s it.'

President Donald Trump is confident the GOP health measure will pass, according to his top spokesman, despite negotiations having produced no path there yet. A planned Thursday evening vote has been postponed. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The White House on Thursday laid down several markers on the contents of a still-under-negotiation GOP health overhaul bill, and insisted the measure would eventually pass.

But just when remains unclear. A House leadership aide confirmed to CQ Roll Call that there will be no vote on final passage of the American Health Care Act on Thursday; an evening vote had been planned.

Pentagon Leaders Say Soft Power Central to ISIS Strategy
Mattis, Dunford pitch appropriators on supplemental funding proposal

Defense Secretary James Mattis says soft power is key to defeating terrorists abroad. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pentagon leaders on Wednesday stressed the importance of diplomacy in the fight against the Islamic State but sidestepped questions from Senate appropriators about the Trump administration’s proposed 29 percent cut to the State Department and other foreign operations accounts in fiscal 2018.

Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford pitched lawmakers on the military’s $30 billion request for supplemental funding for fiscal 2017, as well as the planned $54 billion boost to defense accounts proposed for next year, arguing that military readiness has been depleted after 16 years of war.

Little Agreement Among GOP Members on Health Care Bill Next Steps
Regular conference meeting canceled ahead of Freedom Caucus meeting with Trump

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers said repeal of the so-called essential health benefits provision in the Republican health care plan, which Freedom Caucus members have pushed for, might not be allowed under Senate rules. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans had hoped to vote on a bill to partially repeal and replace the landmark 2010 health care law on Thursday, seven years to the day after President Barack Obama signed it. Instead, they find themselves without the votes to do so and little agreement on their next move.

The House GOP conference’s weekly Thursday planning meeting, at which lawmakers might have decided on next steps, was canceled Thursday morning. Members of the conservative Freedom Caucus, which opposed the bill, are scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump at 11:30 a.m., so progress on the bill may not be made until midday Thursday or later.

Senators Working the Ref Already on Health Care Bill
Parliamentarian rulings could make or break GOP legislation

Sen. Bill Cassidy is among the senators looking to make sure any health legislation or amendments will comply with the Senate’s procedural rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As House Republicans struggle to cobble together the votes to pass legislation to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, members are already looking to navigate the Senate’s labyrinth of procedural rules that could make or break the measure. 

Senate Democrats are already setting up for the battle with the parliamentarian about which provisions could run up against the Byrd Rule, which requires budget reconciliation bills that can pass with a simple-majority vote to be primarily about spending and revenues, without extraneous matter.

Indiana Headed for Another Member-on-Member Senate Primary
Messer close to announcing a bid and Rokita expected to follow

Indiana Rep. Luke Messer is assumed to be running for Senate, but he could be joined by another member of the Indiana delegation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hoosier politicos call it the “Wabash mafia.” And now two graduates of the tiny, all-male college in Indiana are likely to face off in the Republican primary to take on Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in 2018.

GOP Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita graduated from Wabash College just one year apart. And while neither has officially entered the race, they’re both making moves that suggest this cycle’s primary could again feature member-on-member theatrics.

Opinion: Art as Soul Food – A Tough Yet Essential Case to Make
President Trump’s proposed budget cuts are ill-advised

Funding for humanities programs, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, is only a fraction of the federal budget and should not be cut, Curtis writes. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

Most critics expressing outrage at President Donald Trump’s proposed budget have focused on cuts to the Community Development Block Grant program that funnels money to Meals on Wheels. And who can blame them? 

If you’re looking for allies for your cause, that’s the narrative you want — one that sets up clear-cut heroes and villains, especially with budget director Mick Mulvaney, sent from central casting and all but twirling a mustache as he says, “We can’t spend money on programs just because they sound good,” or “There’s no demonstrable evidence” that after-school programs that also feed children are actually “helping kids do better at school.”