Rand Paul

Opponents, Led by Sanders, Mobilize to Fight Health Care Bill
With days before a possible vote in the Senate, activists hit the streets

Sen. Bernie Sanders at a June 2016 rally. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Bernie Sanders will spend his weekend pressuring Republican colleagues in the Senate to vote against the Republican health care bill as Republicans hope to bring it to a vote next week.

That’s one tactic of many that Democrats and aligned groups are using to prevent the bill from clearing the Senate and replacing the 2010 health care law.

Trump Says Senate GOP Health Care Holdouts Are ‘Four Good Guys’
President appears eager to avoid offending conservative senators in quest for 50 votes

President Donald Trump told Fox News four Senate Republican holdouts on the health care bill want to see some changes, “and we’ll see if we can take care of that.” (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump called four conservative holdouts who could wreck Senate Republican leaders’ health care bill “good guys,” saying there is a “narrow path” to win their support and pass the measure.

Hours after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other GOP leaders briefed senators on then released a “discussion draft” of a bill that would repeal and replace the 2010 health law, GOP Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah announced they could not support the bill as-is.

The ‘Wait and See’ Caucus vs. the ‘Not Yet’ Quartet
Republicans show wide range of reaction to health care draft

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was one of four Republican senators who said he wouldn’t support the current Senate health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The divisions among Senate Republicans on their health care bill to change the U.S. health insurance system can be summed up as the interests of the “Wait and See” caucus versus the “Not Yet” quartet.

Four members on Thursday, just hours after the text of the draft was posted online, said they are “not yet ready” to vote for the proposal that would make significant changes to the Medicaid program and alter some aspects of the current health care law.

Senate Health Care Bill Gets Lukewarm White House Reaction
Tepid response follows cheerleading from Mike Pence

President Donald Trump will not take a position on any provision in Senate GOP leadership’s health care bill, his spokeswoman said Thursday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump and his top aides responded to the health care overhaul bill crafted by Senate Republican leaders with striking silence, even after Vice President Mike Pence said a final vote must happen in the next few weeks.

The White House did not issue any paper statement about the bill, either under Trump’s name or that of any senior official. And when Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders briefed reporters a few hours after the bill was made public, she declined to discuss any of its contents.

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.

By the Numbers: Richmond, DeSantis, Others Pad Their Baseball Resumes
Both sides had standout performers at the Congressional Baseball Game

Louisiana Democratic Rep. Cedric L. Richmond pitches during the 56th annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When the usually lighthearted run-up to the annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game was marred by a horrific shooting at the Republican practice session last week, Capitol Hill came together for an emotional night of bipartisanship and baseball. But one thing it did not do was make the players go easy on one another.

“I did tell [Republican manager Texas Rep. Joe L. Barton] that I love him before the game, and I love him after the game, but during the game, we’re going to play to win,” Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle, the Democratic manager, quipped at a pre-game press conference. With the coveted Roll Call Trophy on the line, that was exactly what they did, defeating the Republican squad, 11-2. Despite the lopsided score, though, there were standout individual performances on both sides.

In Search of Missing Bills, Congress Is on the Case
Today's search of CBO by Senate Democrats isn't the first time Congress has gone on the hunt

Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Cory Booker, D-N.J., ride an elevator in the Ford Building after leaving the Senate just after a vote Tuesday to meet with the Congressional Budget Office Director Keith Hall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BY GILLIAN ROBERTS and JASON DICK

Democratic senators started the week of June 19 on a mission — to find the Republican health care bill. Several senators took to the chamber’s floor early in the week to lament the absence of so-called regular order — a bill’s journey through subcommittee, committee and eventually the floor on its way toward consideration and possible passage — for the Senate’s version of the bill to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. Leadership has said the bill would be released Thursday with the expectation of a vote next week.

Trump Finds Strange Bedfellows on Cuba Policy
US-Cuba analyst: Given executive powers, president needs little Hill buy-in

Tourists walk near a poster of Cuban President Raul Castro and then-President Barack Obama in Havana last year. On Friday, President Donald Trump announced changes to Cuba policies instituted by Obama. (YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images file photo)

By wading into the always-tricky domestic politics of U.S.-Cuba relations, President Donald Trump finds himself working “hand in glove” with some former foes and new allies.

The businessman turned chief executive promised during the campaign to roll back some of President Barack Obama’s policies aimed at warming relations with America’s Caribbean neighbor. In doing so before his 200th day in office, Trump defied the wishes of some lawmakers and corporate titans.

Democrats Reclaim Congressional Baseball Title, Bipartisanship Rules
Night ends with gracious hand-over of trophy

California Rep. Jimmy Panetta slides in safe at home as GOP catcher Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois tries to apply the tag during the the 56th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats regained their mojo on Thursday night at Nationals Park with a commanding 11-2 victory over the Republicans at the 56th annual Congressional Baseball Game.

But with the tragic shooting during the Republicans’ team practice the day before, esprit de corps was the main game plan for both teams, dispelling for at least a night, the clouds of highly charged partisanship that has plagued both sides of the aisle this year.

Bipartisan Medical Marijuana Legislation Reintroduced
Bill would allow states to set their own laws

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers who support legislation that would enable states to set their own medical marijuana policies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 A bipartisan group of senators and representatives have reintroduced legislation that would enable states to set their own medical marijuana policies.

That is at odds with a letter U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent to congressional leaders, in which he asked that federal medical marijuana protections be reversed.