Florida

Senate Republicans Delay Vote on Health Care Bill
GOP leaders say more time needed to negotiate the proposal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., right, and Vice President Mike Pence are still looking for the GOP votes to advance their legislation to redo the U.S. health insurance system. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JOE WILLIAMS and NIELS LESNIEWSKI, Roll Call

The Senate will not vote this week on a Republican bill to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system despite continued pressure from conservative activists and the Trump administration to act.

GOP Super PAC Plans to Go All In on Pelosi Attacks
Congressional Leadership Fund polling shows minority leader underwater

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will continue to be targeted by outside groups to attack Democrats in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On the heels of a Republican victory in Georgia’s 6th District last week, the major GOP super PAC that played in that race is making known its plans to spend millions tying Democratic House candidates to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in 2018.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC backed by House GOP leadership, spent $7 million in the Georgia special election — much of it on attacks that tried to tie Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff to Pelosi. It launched similar attacks against the Democrat in the special election for Montana’s at-large district, which Republicans also won.  

Lawmakers Want Trump’s Tax Returns, but Won’t Release Their Own
Only a handful willing to release documents to Roll Call

New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján has called on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ben Ray Luján — like many in Congress — wants President Donald Trump to release his tax returns.

Transparency, the New Mexico Democrat said recently in a Facebook post, “is a cornerstone of democracy.”

The Senate at a Deliberative Crossroads
Health care debacle challenges unique traditions, process

Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune highlighted bipartisan work ongoing at the Commerce Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The release of the Senate Republicans’ draft health care measure, coming on the heels of the demise of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, provoked a spasm of hard feelings in the chamber and questions about whether senators could restore its now-quaint reputation as the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body. 

“This is not the role model in my world, but I also understand that when the Democrats say, ‘We’re not going to vote for anything,’ that limits the options,” said Sen. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican. “But, I would love to see a Senate that functions, in which all hundred senators have the opportunity to present ideas, amendments and take votes.”

Scalia’s Unique Relationship with ‘Doppelganger’ Who Plays Him
Edward Gero recalls meeting with the late Supreme Court justice

Edward Gero as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in “The Originalist,” which runs from July 7 to 30 at Arena Stage. (Courtesy C. Stanley Photography)

The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s legacy, in part, lies with one man who had a very unique friendship with him: Edward Gero who plays Scalia in “The Originalist,” which returns July 7 to Arena Stage.

“I feel myself, in a way, representing the legacy of Scalia and all those great characteristics that he had as an intellectual, as a lover of language, as a grammarian, as a philosopher,” Gero said.

Heller ‘Will Not Support’ Draft Senate GOP Health Bill
Nevada Republican joins chorus of senators raising concerns over proposal

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., listens as Secretary of Commerce nominee Wilbur Ross Senate testifies during his confirmation hearing in the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By JOE WILLIAMS and BRIDGET BOWMAN, Roll Call

Sen. Dean Heller came out in opposition Friday to draft legislation released Thursday that would overhaul the U.S. health insurance system, teeing up a major battle for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

The ‘Wait and See’ Caucus vs. the ‘Not Yet’ Quartet
Republicans show wide range of reaction to health care draft

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was one of four Republican senators who said he wouldn’t support the current Senate health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The divisions among Senate Republicans on their health care bill to change the U.S. health insurance system can be summed up as the interests of the “Wait and See” caucus versus the “Not Yet” quartet.

Four members on Thursday, just hours after the text of the draft was posted online, said they are “not yet ready” to vote for the proposal that would make significant changes to the Medicaid program and alter some aspects of the current health care law.

Batter Up! The 9th Congressional Women's Softball Game in Photos
The June 21 event as captured by Roll Call's photographer

Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., bats in the Congressional Women’s Softball Game on Wednesday that pits members of Congress against female journalists at Watkins Recreation Center on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The press team prevailed 2-1 in this year’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game that pits journalists against members of Congress. It’s the ninth annual such event. Bipartisanship was on full display more than ever this year, Alex Gangitano reports, at an event where members from both sides of the aisle have traditionally played on the same team.

The game benefits the Young Survival Coalition that helps young women with breast cancer.

GOP Frets About Fiscal Restraint Progress
Conservatives pushing cuts to mandatory spending

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan says Republicans are still discussing options for the budget and appropriations process, even as conservatives are pushing for steep cuts to mandatory spending. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Fiscal restraint has long been part of the Republican Party’s brand, but GOP lawmakers have made little progress on reducing the amount of money the federal government spends. And frankly, they’re sick of it.

That’s the impetus for what has become a serious push by rank-and-file House Republicans to use the budget reconciliation process to enact mandatory spending cuts.

By the Numbers: Richmond, DeSantis, Others Pad Their Baseball Resumes
Both sides had standout performers at the Congressional Baseball Game

Louisiana Democratic Rep. Cedric L. Richmond pitches during the 56th annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When the usually lighthearted run-up to the annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game was marred by a horrific shooting at the Republican practice session last week, Capitol Hill came together for an emotional night of bipartisanship and baseball. But one thing it did not do was make the players go easy on one another.

“I did tell [Republican manager Texas Rep. Joe L. Barton] that I love him before the game, and I love him after the game, but during the game, we’re going to play to win,” Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle, the Democratic manager, quipped at a pre-game press conference. With the coveted Roll Call Trophy on the line, that was exactly what they did, defeating the Republican squad, 11-2. Despite the lopsided score, though, there were standout individual performances on both sides.