Charlie Dent

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.

Key Conservatives Come Around on GOP Health Plan
Republican Study Committee leaders sign off, but Freedom Caucus still wary

Walker and several members of the Republican Study Committee voiced their support for the GOP health plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By JOHN T. BENNETT And LINDSEY McPHERSON, CQ ROLL CALL

Several key Republicans on Friday endorsed the health care overhaul bill crafted by GOP leaders and the White House, saying President Donald Trump had agreed to changes they favored minutes earlier during an Oval Office meeting. With a vote on the so-called American Health Care Act scheduled for this coming Thursday in the House, the news was welcomed by supporters of repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law.

3 GOP Dissenters as Budget Committee Passes Health Care Plan
Reps. Sanford, Brat, Palmer vote against sending to full House

Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., was one of three House Freedom Caucus members to vote against the health care plan in the Budget Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Budget Committee on Thursday approved 19-17 a motion to send the Republican legislation to repeal and replace the 2010 health care to the full House for consideration.

Republican Reps. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Dave Brat of Virginia, and Gary Palmer of Alabama — all members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus — voted against the motion, despite a plea from panel chairwoman Diane Black of Tennessee.

Despite Conservative Unrest, Ryan Steadfast on Health Effort
House speaker confident bill will pass despite GOP reservations

Speaker Paul Ryan said he was confident a repeal and replace health care bill would pass in the Republican-controlled House despite concerns from conservatives. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By REMA RAHMAN AND LINDSEY MCPHERSON, CQ ROLL CALL

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan remained confident Wednesday that a repeal and replace health care bill in its current form would get enough votes to pass Congress despite some conservatives who flatly said the bill does not have the 218 votes needed to pass.

Foreign Affairs Staffers Group Connected to the World
Group provides access to foreign service institutes and professionals

From left, Varun Krovi, Francisco Bencosme, Sean Snyder, Katharine Denby, Aaron Allen, and Michael Mansour of the Foreign Affairs Congressional Staff Association. (Tom Williams/ CQ Roll Call)

Just like members of Congress, expertise in foreign policy can boost staffers’ careers.

Most staffers are interested in it in some form. But until three years ago, the Foreign Affairs Congressional Staff Association didn’t exist.

White House Puts GOP in Awkward Position
Flynn fallout, security considerations keep dominating news

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to talk about Cabinet nominations on Tuesday. But most of the questions at his press availability were about the latest scandals coming from the White House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s domination of the news, whether due to the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn or the spectacle of the president discussing national security at his Mar-a-Lago resort’s dining room, is putting Republican leaders in an awkward position.

“Look, I — I — you’ll have to ask those — the White House those kinds of questions,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday at his traditional media availability after the Republicans’ policy lunch. 

Democrats To Rally Against Trump Order at Supreme Court
Pelosi 'Dear Colleague' letter decries travel ban as 'immoral'

From left, Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., speak to the press and protesters about possible detention of travelers and legal access at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Also participating were Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., and Rep. John Delaney, D-Md. Protests erupted at airports around the country following President Trump’s executive order restricting travel from several Islamic countries. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional Democrats are taking their protest of President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travelers from Muslim countries to the Supreme Court — at least for a rally.

While several federal judges temporarily halted the president’s executive order, House and Senate Democrats on Monday plan to gather in front of the high court to call on Trump to rescind his order that is preventing refugees and other travelers from Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

Congress Reacts to Trump Ban on Refugees
McConnell said tighter vetting is good, but highlighted need for Muslim allies

A passenger from a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight from Jeddah walks by demonstrators at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on Sunday. Protests erupted at airports around the country following President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered some skepticism of President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily barring refugees and immigrants from certain countries, but declined to offer a “blanket criticism” of the order.

Trump issued an order Friday evening that banned for 90 days citizens from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Sudan and Yemen. Syria, Iraq and Somalia were among the top five countries of origin for refugees entering the United States in 2016, according to the State Department.

GOP Unity Goals Tested as Trump Arrives at Retreat
President moves on immigration actions, while lawmakers focus elsewhere

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s press briefing plays on C-SPAN as House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune walk off stage at the GOP retreat in Philadelphia on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

PHILADELPHIA — President Donald Trump is headed to the joint Republican retreat Thursday, where he will try to bridge the divide between the White House and the GOP-controlled Congress. But if Day One of the gathering was any indication, reaching consensus on some issues will be not be easy. 

Take immigration, an issue that has dogged Congress for years, and one that became central to Trump’s campaign. The president moved forward Wednesday with executive orders regarding immigration. But at the GOP retreat, addressing immigration issues was not a top priority, particularly compared to health care, taxes and even passing appropriations bills.

Ryan Lays Out Ambitious 200-Day Congressional Agenda
Health care and tax overhauls slated to be done by August per GOP plan

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., does a television interview at the GOP retreat in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. House and Senate Republicans are holding their retreat through Friday in Philadelphia, with a visit from President Donald Trump expected Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

PHILADELPHIA — House Speaker Paul D. Ryan is laying out an aggressive 200-day agenda that will have Congress rolling back regulations, repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law, funding a border wall, rewriting the tax code, expanding the veterans’ choice program, advancing an infrastructure package and avoiding a debt default — all before the August recess. 

“It’s the president and his administration working hand and glove with the speaker and the majority leader,” New York Rep. Chris Collins told reporters after Ryan’s presentation at the start of the GOP retreat here on Wednesday. “It’s going to be hard. We’re going to be doing controversial things. The speaker’s message was, ‘None of this is going to be easy, and we’re going to be attacked by somebody regardless of what we do, so let’s buckle our seat belts and understand we have an obligation here.’”