Lamar Alexander

Senate Health Care Failure Prompts Republican Soul Searching
Onus falls to Mitch McConnell to unite GOP conference

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, seen here Tuesday with Majority Whip John Cornyn, is facing questions over his strategy used in crafting the health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell employed an iron fist over the Republican health care effort, keeping top lieutenants in the dark about key decisions and withholding detailed policy information from the conference as a whole until just before it was released publicly.

Now with the seven-year effort to gut the 2010 health care law in tatters, it falls on the Kentucky Republican to deal with the aftermath, and quell concerns about whether he can continue to lead effectively. 

Trump Dined on Rib-Eye, Cobbler With ‘Yes’ Votes as Health Care Bill Crumbled
White House defends dinner as ‘strategy session’ with vote-wranglers

President Donald Trump met Monday night with senators who were already expected to support the since-derailed Republican health care legislation. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

As the Senate Republican health care bill began taking on water, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence dined on “rosemary-grilled” rib-eye steaks and “farm stand” peach cobbler with seven senators who were expected to support the legislation.

There was Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, a vocal proponent of the legislation, who was involved in writing it and led the effort to wrangle the necessary votes. The same was true of his fellow GOP leaders present, Sens. John Thune of South Dakota and Roy Blunt of Missouri. All were sure to vote for the bill.

Mitch McConnell’s Plan B on Health Care Appears Dead
Murkowski joins Collins and Capito to oppose proceeding on measure

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowskisays she would vote against the current GOP repeal-only plan, giving opponents the necessary votes to block the measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not have the votes necessary to pass a bill to repeal portions of the 2010 health care law, the Kentucky Republican’s “Plan B” following the failure of the GOP plan to overhaul the U.S. health insurance markets.

Three Republican senators — Maine’s Susan Collins, West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski — have all stated their intentions to vote against a procedural motion that would allow McConnell to bring up a 2015 measure that would end the law’s Medicaid expansion and repeal other portions of it starting in two years.

Latest GOP Leadership Health Care Plan Bleeding Support
Some senators have doubts about repeal-only proposal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell still appears to be short of the votes to get to a health care measure. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Republican leaders continued to push their strategy to repeal the 2010 health care law, leaning on support from the White House even as their rank and file continued to express doubts about such an approach. 

“I regret that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failures of Obamacare will not be successful,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in his opening remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday morning. The Kentucky Republican wants his colleagues to vote soon on a procedural motion to get to the House-passed health care legislation so he can offer an amendment modeled on legislation Congress passed in 2015 to repeal the 2010 law.

McConnell Abandons Obamacare Repeal and Replace Effort
Announcement comes after Lee, Moran pulled support for health care bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is switching gears on health care after saying the effort to repeal and immediately replace the 2010 law has been unsuccessful. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated July 18, 2017, 12:14 a.m. | Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pulled the plug late Monday on the Republican effort to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system and pledged the chamber will now focus on only dismantling the 2010 health care law.

“Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful,” the Kentucky Republican said.

Medicaid Still Key Sticking Point in GOP Health Debate
Additional changes impacting the entitlement program are under consideration

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is one of several GOP members who have not yet publicized their position on the revised bill to repeal and replace the 2010 health law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Just hours after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellunveiled an updated bill to overhaul the U.S. insurance system, lawmakers hesitant about the proposed changes to Medicaid huddled in the Kentucky Republican’s office in search of a solution.

The members, which included Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Rob Portman of Ohio, were also joined by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma.

McConnell Signals Openness to Shoring Up Insurance Exchanges

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that at a minimum, health insurance exchanges should be shored up. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday if 50 Republican senators don’t agree on a rollback of the 2010 health care law through the budget reconciliation process, there will need to be some sort of bipartisan measure to help the insurance markets.

“If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action with regard to the private health insurance market must occur,” the Kentucky Republican said, according to the Associated Press.

Word on the Hill: Happy Recess!
What to do for the Fourth, and Mall concert series lineup

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham walks through the Capitol’s Senate subway on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Fourth of July recess is finally here.

Enjoy the long weekend, and if you’re looking for things to do, check out our roundup of eight different ways to spend the Fourth of July in the DMV. Also check out our calendar for Tuesday in D.C. and logistics you should know.

GOP Wheeling and Dealing Takes Center Stage in Senate
A bonanza of options could signal a breaking point on health care negotiations

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says Republicans are making "steady progress" toward bring their conference to agreement on their health care proposal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Deal-making was the name of the game Thursday as Senate Republican leaders met with skeptical lawmakers in an attempt to bridge deep policy divides among the GOP conference on their legislation to overhaul the U.S. health care system.

Vice President Mike Pence and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma were also on Capitol Hill, joining in the effort to rework a bill that would tighten the cap on federal funding for Medicaid over several years and alter the 2010 health care law’s subsidies that help individuals afford insurance.

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.