Kentucky

Ready or Not, McConnell Says Senate Voting on Health Care Tuesday

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the chamber would vote on a procedural motion on the health care measure on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed on Monday that the chamber would hold a procedural vote on Tuesday on a House-passed measure to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system.

“Seven years ago, Democrats forced Obamacare on the American people. It was supposed to lower health costs, but, of course, they skyrocketed. It was supposed to provide more health options, but they plummeted,” the Kentucky Republican said during his opening remarks. “I will vote yes on the motion to proceed. And I would urge all of our colleagues to do the same.”

Trump Turns Bully Pulpit on Senate Republicans
President says it is time to vote on health care measure

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., along with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, are looking for the votes to advance their health care measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump turned up the heat on his own party Monday when he sent a blunt message to Senate Republicans: end years of merely talking about overhauling Barack Obama’s health law and send him a bill to get it done.

“There has been enough talk and no action. Now is the time for action,” Trump said in a Monday afternoon statement ahead of a planned Tuesday Senate vote on whether to officially take up a health bill.

Podcast: Much to Do About a Budget With No Clear Outcome
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 26

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black, R-Tenn., and ranking member John Yarmuth, D-Ky. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A flurry of activity has kept lawmakers busy setting spending levels for various programs, writing a budget blueprint and talking about a tax overhaul. But plenty of obstacles could still stand in their way, say CQ’s Budget Tracker editor David Lerman and senior budget reporter Paul M. Krawzak.

Liberal Group Offers Trump White House Staff Free Legal Advice
‘Lifeline’ comes as president boasts of ‘complete’ pardon powers

President Donald Trump, shown here with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, in March at the White House, with son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump, tweeted this weekend he can pardon anyone. (Courtesy Shealah Craighead/White House)

A liberal group will offer Donald Trump’s White House staffers free legal advice amid his ongoing Russia scandal — but if the president’s legal analysis is correct, they might choose to decline it.

Tax March is poised to announce an initiative the organization described as a “lifeline” to those who chose to take positions in Trump’s embattled White House. Under the program, lawyers working on a pro bono basis will provide any White House staffer a “free gateway” to legal advice.

Word on the Hill: Week Ahead
Your social schedule for the week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican Conference continue debate over health care this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Welcome back to another full legislative week.

It won’t be as hot as it has been after the temperature drops tonight, so you might actually want to get outside tomorrow.

Trump Lashes Out at Republicans, Saying They Won’t ‘Protect’ Him
President denounces disloyalty of those he ‘carried’ in last year’s election

President Donald Trump, shown here meeting with Republican senators at the White House on June 27, lambasted unnamed Republican members on Sunday for failing to "protect" him even though they rode his coattails to re-election. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump angrily lashed out at unnamed Republican lawmakers on Sunday, saying they should “protect” him as repayment for his 2016 election coattails.

“It's very sad that Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their President,” Trump tweeted at 4:14 p.m., EDT. That was just over an hour after he arrived back at the White House after spending around four hours at Trump National Golf Club in nearby Sterling, Virginia.

Parts of Senate GOP Health Care Bill Break Rules, Parliamentarian Says
Abortion, insurance regulations, cost-sharing subsidies would require 60 votes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., along with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks to reporters about the path forward for health care legislation in the Ohio Clock Corridor after the Senate Republicans' policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday, July 18, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Several parts of the Senate health care bill would violate the chamber’s budget reconciliation rules, the Senate parliamentarian said in a guidance late Friday.

Provisions related to abortion, certain insurance regulations and funding the law’s cost-sharing subsidies could be struck under the so-called Byrd rule and would require 60 votes to survive.

New FBI Director Expected to Be Confirmed Before August Recess
Approved by Judiciary Committee on Thursday

Christopher Wray, nominee for FBI Director, is expected to win confirmation before August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators want the new FBI director on the job as soon as possible, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to see Christopher Wray confirmed before August recess. That looks increasingly likely, as the Judiciary Committee unanimously approved his nomination, teeing it up for floor consideration as soon as McConnell moves ahead.

But the year’s nomination process has been so fraught that McConnell’s staff sent a statement out announcing the Kentucky Republican’s intentions complete with a warning shot to Democrats. 

McCain Diagnosis Puts Health Care Effort in More Jeopardy
Corker: ‘Obviously, it makes things difficult’

Arizona Sen. John McCain’s brain tumor diagnosis puts greater stress on the Senate’s already strained health care efforts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By MARY ELLEN McINTIRE and JOE WILLIAMS

Abrupt news that Arizona Sen. John McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer sent shock waves through an all-Republican meeting late Wednesday on the health care effort. Amid words of concern and encouragement for their GOP colleague, lawmakers acknowledged the difficulty his extended absence would place on the effort to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system.

Amid Trump’s Shifting Health Care Stances, a Recurring Infatuation
President keeps bringing up letting 2010 law fail

President Donald Trump have often said Democratic leaders like Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will eventually come to him to make a deal on health care. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday again appeared to change his stance on just which path he wants Republican senators to take on health care. But he has long been infatuated with the notion of House and Senate Democratic leaders asking — begging, even — for his help on health care.

This week, the president and his aides have been posturing to put that very scenario in play, even as his own party attempts to resurrect a measure that would repeal most of and partially replace the 2010 health care law in one swoop.