Maine

Health Care Politics Serve as Senate Bill Text Prelude
Wednesday’s campaign fodder a preview of Thursday’s discussion draft

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is preparing to release a draft bill to rework the U.S. health insurance system he has assembled in secret. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate procedural wonks huddled Wednesday with the parliamentarian’s office, making their case for whether Republican legislation to rework the health insurance system complies with the chamber’s rules, even as Washington braced for the release of the draft GOP measure. 

Over the next week, though, the debate will play out on both the procedural and political fields.

Rural Areas Brace for Health Care Bill Impact
Senate GOP bill could undermine health insurance coverage

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is concerned her state's residents could lose out on health insurance safeguards. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate historically has paid special attention to the needs of rural areas, but as the chamber readies its health care bill, there are concerns that the bill would undermine coverage in those places more than anywhere else.

While the exact text of the Senate bill is not yet posted publicly, all signs point to somewhat similar language to the House bill (HR 1628), which would reduce funding for Medicaid compared to current law and impose caps on Medicaid funding. Under the House bill, older people also would face higher premiums — and rural areas tend to be home to a large number of older Americans.

Ivanka Trump, Senators Hope to Push Family Tax Credits
Rubio: ‘Paid family leave is a part of it’

Ivanka Trump walks with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to a meeting at the Capitol with Republican senators on paid family leave on Tuesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A group of Senate Republicans met with Ivanka Trump on Tuesday to begin constructing a tax credit package that could include family leave and other child care proposals. 

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who touted paid family leave during his 2016 presidential run, said lawmakers and President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter discussed a variety of tax proposals meant to benefit families, particularly those who are low-income.

Obamacare in Alaska: Cost-Control Plan Is Challenging but Working
Might be difficult to duplicate in other states

(Photo illustration by Marilyn Gates-Davis and Erin Mershon/CQ Roll Call)

JUNEAU, Alaska — It’s hard to get excited about a health insurance premium spike.

But for Lori Wing-Heier, Alaska’s blunt but friendly state insurance commissioner, the decision by the state’s Blue Cross Blue Shield plan to raise its rates by just 7 percent was a moment of joy.

EMILY's List Names Maine’s Emily Cain Executive Director
Former state legislator ran against GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin in 2014 and 2016

EMILY’s List has named two-time Maine congressional candidate Emily Cain its new executive director. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EMILY’s List named two-time Democratic congressional candidate Emily Cain as its executive director Wednesday.

Cain ran against Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin in Maine’s 2nd District in 2014 and 2016, with the endorsement of the group, which backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights. She replaces Jess O’Connell, who is now the CEO of the Democratic National Committee. 

Media Swarm Accompanies Sessions Testimony
Intelligence hearing came amid dispute about access for TV cameras

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., ranking member on the Senate Rules Committee, pushed back hard on the Rules Committee directive restricting press access on a busy day on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions finished testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday, members of the committee faced swarms of television cameras and boom microphones outside the front and rear of the hearing room.

Some senators left quickly, but others faced the barrage of media. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, for instance, held court in an extended interview that featured correspondents from both CNN and NBC.

Sessions Declines to Testify About Any Conversations With Trump About Russia
Says potential exists for an executive privilege claim that has not happened

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is greeted by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.), right, and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., before his testimony on Tuesday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

BY JOHN T. BENNETT AND NIELS LESNIEWSKI, CQ ROLL CALL

Attorney General Jeff Sessions declined to answer questions Tuesday about conversations with President Donald Trump, citing the potential that the White House could assert executive privilege — which has not yet happened.

Word on the Hill: Watergate Anniversary
Harris to be recognized

From left, Connecticut Sen. Lowell P. Weicker Jr., Florida Sen. Edward J. Gurney, Chief minority counsel (and later senator) Fred Thompson, Tennessee Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr., North Carolina Sen. Sam J. Ervin Jr., Chief counsel Samuel Dash, Georgia Sen. Herman E. Talmadge, Hawaii Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, and New Mexico Sen. Joseph M. Montoya during the Senate Watergate hearings. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s been 45 years since Watergate and the landmark hotel where it all began wants to talk about how the scandal reverberates today.

Rakel Cohen, co-owner of the hotel, is hosting a “Watergate Chat” Wednesday evening with The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons to discuss the break-in and how it relates to current politics. 5 p.m. at The Watergate Hotel (2650 Virginia Ave. NW)

Podcast: In Comey We Trust?
The Week Ahead, Episode 57

Word on the Hill: Calm After the Storm
Security increased for Capital Pride weekend

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein wore a seersucker suit Thursday in honor of National Seersucker Day in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Things on Capitol Hill should have settled down today, a day after former FBI Director James B. Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Members of Congress and senators have skipped town and headed home.