Lamar Alexander

Senate Strategy on House Health Care Bill: That’s Not Ours
Republican members sidestep commenting on CBO report

From left, Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, arrive for a news conference after the Senate Policy luncheons in the Capitol, March 14, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans have a plan to avoid answering questions on the House legislation to repeal large portions of the 2010 health law: to say it’s not their bill.

The chamber on Friday begins a 10-day recess and lawmakers could face questions from constituents about a recent analysis on the House bill by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The report, released on Wednesday, said that the legislation would result in 23 million more uninsured individuals over the next decade compared to the current law’s trajectory.

Republican Senator Seeks to Save Obamacare Before Dismantling It
Lamar Alexander advocating for two-step approach to repealing law

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander is advocating short-term market stabilization measures for the 2010 health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Lamar Alexander has found himself in an uncommon position for most Republicans this year: Trying to save the shaky insurance markets created by the 2010 health care law before attending to a major overhaul of the law.

The opinions of the Tennessee’s senior senator carry significant weight among his colleagues. He is a close confidant of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and also chairs the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Senate Takes Baby Steps on Health Care Overhaul
Meetings have focused on ‘brainstorming’ and sharing ideas

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is giving his caucus a wide berth in discussing health insurance legislation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By JOE WILLIAMS and ERIN MERSHON, CQ Roll Call

Senate Republicans remain in the very early stages of revamping a House bill to repeal the 2010 health care law: the ideas stage, as one of them puts it.

Post-Comey Senate Forecast Is Turbulent
Procedural roadblocks could set back legislative ambitions

Aides to Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer declined to comment on what steps Democrats planned to take should none of their demands on the Russia probe be met. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

BY JOE WILLIAMS AND NIELS LESNIEWSKI

A partisan standoff in the fallout of the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey could significantly stall the Senate legislative calendar, as Democrats appear ready to utilize procedural rules to coerce Republicans into acting on a number of demands.

An Early Preview of Democrats’ Health Care Strategy
Amendments on health law possible at unrelated markup

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One Senate Democrat is looking to quickly ratchet up pressure on Republicans in the chamber who are now crafting their own legislation to repeal large portions of the 2010 health law.

The Senate’s Key Health Care Players
Hatch, Alexander sure to play big roles in debate

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, as chairman of the Finance Committee, would have significant influence over the fate of the GOP health care bill in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Competing interests among Senate Republicans could significantly complicate efforts to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. But despite the influence individual members will have, two have enhanced sway among their colleagues: Orrin G. Hatch of Utah and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

While leadership is expected to have a heavy hand in the process, the two senior lawmakers, as chairmen of the committees of jurisdiction, will be instrumental in driving support for any measure the chamber considers. Jockeying between the two panels over authority, however, could be a detriment to any serious attempts at an overhaul of the U.S. health care system.

GOP Senators Tell Pence They Aren't Changing Filibuster
McConnell reiterates opposition to changing legislative filibusters

Republican senators talked about their support for legislative filibusters with Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By NIELS LESNIEWSKI AND JOE WILLIAMS

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday ruled out, yet again, the possibility that the chamber would attempt to get rid of the legislative filibuster, and he did so to Vice President Mike Pence.

Rising Stars 2017: Advocates
On the front lines in a new era

Seven advocates made the CQ Roll Call’s list of Rising Stars of 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

All this week, CQ Roll Call has been looking at 17 Rising Stars of 2017 — people who will now wield power and influence in a Washington that has been turned upside down by the presidency of Donald Trump.

Some of the names are familiar, others have recently burst on the scene. They include members of Congress, congressional and administration staffers, and advocates.

Corker Criticizes Ryan for Not Wanting Trump to Work With Democrats
Tennessee Republican: ‘We have come a long way in our country’

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker appeared to criticize House Speaker Paul D. Ryan in a Thursday tweet. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s pronouncement that he does not want President Donald Trump working with Democrats on health care wasn’t received well by one senior Republican.

Sen. Bob Corker tweeted that “we have come a long way in our country when the speaker of one party urges a president NOT to work with the other party to solve a problem.”

FDA Nominee Addresses Conflicts as Panel Sets Hearing
“I will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter”

The outside of the Food and Drug Administration headquarters is seen in White Oak, Md., on Monday, November 9, 2015. The FDA is a federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and has been in commission since 1906. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The Trump administration’s nominee to lead the Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb, will resign from positions with drug industry clients and divest himself of stock holdings. Gottlieb said in a letter about his plans to avoid conflicts of interest that he would also recuse himself from decisions affecting firms he is linked to for a year after his confirmation. Gottlieb has ties of some sort to 38 companies.

Gottlieb was an FDA deputy commissioner during the George W. Bush administration. Before and after his government tenure, he worked or consulted for a variety of pharmaceutical interests.