Medicaid

New $44 Billion Disaster Aid Request Paltry, Lawmakers Say
Extensive offsets could also prove controversial

Rep. John Culberson of Texas said the White House’s most recent aid request “would sabotage what has been an incredible response by President Trump to Hurricane Harvey up to this point.” (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In its third emergency aid request since August, the White House on Friday asked Congress to approve $44 billion for ongoing hurricane recovery efforts, a figure seen as insufficient on both sides of the aisle. 

At the same time, the White House asked lawmakers to consider a lengthy list of offsets, noting in a letter that the administration “believes it is prudent to offset new spending.”

HHS Pick at Odds With Trump’s Rhetoric on Drug Prices
Alex Azar previously led Eli Lilly’s U.S. operations

Alex Azar is President Donald Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary. (Screenshot/Veeva Systems/YouTube)

President Donald Trump’s tweet Monday announcing former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar as his choice to lead the Department of Health and Human Services boasted that Azar “will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!”

But Azar, who led drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co.’s United States operations from 2012 until earlier this year, has contributed significantly to the pharmaceutical industry political spending that the president has decried.

Trump to Nominate New HHS Secretary Alex Azar
Former pharmaceutical president vocal Obamacare opponent

Tom Price (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Trump announced on Twitter he plans to nominate Alex Azar to be the next secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Azar will be “a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices,” Trump wrote in his tweet announcing the coming nomination.

5 Things Tuesday’s Results Tell Us About 2018
GOP losses could spell trouble for Virginia’s Barbara Comstock

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock is one of the most vulnerable incumbents up for re-election next year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Tuesday’s victories in Virginia and New Jersey had Democratic strategists practically tripping over themselves to predict 2018 good fortunes.

Democrats won the governor’s mansion in both states by wide margins. They picked up at least 16 state legislative seats in Virginia. That included a transgender Democrat defeating a longtime conservative Republican state legislator who authored a so-called bathroom bill. And in Maine, voters supported a ballot measure to expand Medicaid.

Opinion: Democrats Go from the Window Ledge to Giddy
Caution advised in interpreting Va. gubernatorial election results

Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam greets supporters at a Tuesday night election night rally in Fairfax, Virginia. Northam defeated Republican candidate Ed Gillespie. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

For those Democrats who still revere the memory of Franklin Roosevelt, Tuesday night was a time for many lusty choruses of his theme song, “Happy Days Are Here Again.”

In 48 hours, the Democrats have gone from the fetal crouch to giddy exuberance. New Jersey offered few surprises as former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy bridged his Wall Street background to cruise to any easy victory over Chris Christie’s lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno.

Kevin Brady: A Low-Profile Tax Writer for the Highest-Stress Time
Texan may be the most obscure Ways and Means chairman in such a pivotal role

Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, places books of the current tax code on the dais, during a House Ways and Means Committee markup of the Republicans’ tax reform plan titled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, in Longworth Building on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Millions of taxpayers, not to mention seemingly all of K Street’s lobbyists, are focused this week on the work of a man precious few outside the Beltway have ever heard of — but who’s among the most powerful people at the Capitol at the moment.

Perhaps expecting Kevin Brady to be a household name is asking too much of the typical American household, where two out of three people can’t name their own member of Congress.

Take Five: Salud Carbajal
California Democrat says regular order in the House ‘is like the Loch Ness Monster’

Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., says his toughest time as a Marine was in boot camp. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman Rep. Salud Carbajal, 52, a California Democrat, talks about immigrating from Mexico, Marine boot camp and his Republican friends.

Q: What has surprised you so far about Congress?

House Volleys CHIP Measure to Senate
Issue of offsets to cost are major sticking point

The House passed a reauthorization of CHIP, and now it’s the Senate's turn to consider renewing the health insurance program’s funding. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After months of disputes and delays, the House voted Friday to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, community health centers and other public health programs. The legislation passed easily, 242-174, although many Democrats opposed the measure due to disagreements over the offsets.

“Three times at the request of the Democrats, we delayed committee action,” said Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon. “These delays meant Congress went past the deadline of Sept. 30. We cannot wait any longer. Patients cannot wait any longer.”

Democrats Face Messaging Hurdles on GOP Tax Plan
Condensed timeline, dissension complicate strategy

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, followed by Hawaii Sen. Mazie K. Hirono and Delaware Sen. Chris Coons walks to the microphones in the Capitol after the Senate Democrats’ policy lunch on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats and their supporters had a unified message when it came to standing against Republican efforts to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. But when it comes to resisting President Donald Trump and the GOP on tax legislation, it might get more complicated.

Democratic leadership is sending signals it is not willing to negotiate on the GOP tax bill until the current partisan effort fails, but some members of the conference appear ready to buck that message, if need be.

House GOP Leaders Announce Children’s Health Insurance Vote

Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Arguments erupted on the House floor Thursday between Republican and Democratic leaders over the prospect of a vote next week on a GOP-only bill to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced the bill would be debated next week — a plan opposed by Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md. Democrats have pushed to delay the House bill until an agreement is reached on a bipartisan solution to pay for it.