Rand Paul

Analysis: Syria Strike Puts Trump’s Still-Young Presidency at Risk
Slide into deeper U.S. involvement could set up armed hostilities with Russia

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross fires a Tomahawk missile as part of strikes on Syria ordered by President Trump on Thursday evening. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert S. Price/U.S. Navy)

By pounding a Syrian air base with nearly 60 cruise missiles, Donald Trump created for himself a number of political and foreign policy risks that threaten to alter his still-young presidency.

Just shy of his 80th day in office, the populist “America-first” president — should he entangle the United States into the complex Syrian conflict — could see his record-low approval ratings fall even further, while also finding himself in the same Middle East quicksand that his two predecessors found so stymying.

Congress Wants to Hear Trump’s Syria Policy — and Fast
Members say Trump needs to consult them before taking any more action

The top Democrats on Capitol Hill, Charles E. Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, both advocate a role for Congress in future actions in Syria by the Trump administration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle say they are waiting to hear President Donald Trump’s plan for his next step in Syria.

Many lawmakers — including some of Trump’s most vocal critics — offered support in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. bombing of a Syrian airbase Thursday night. But they said Trump needs to consult Congress before he takes any more steps.

In Abrupt Reversal, Trump Fires Cruise Missiles at Syria
President: Strikes in ’vital national security interest’

President Donald Trump arrives back at the White House on Feb. 6. On Thursday night, he ordered missile strikes on a Syrian air base in response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons on civilians (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By JOHN T. BENNETT and BRIDGET BOWMANCQ Roll Call

In an abrupt policy reversal, President Donald Trump on Thursday evening ordered missile strikes on a Syrian air base after that country’s embattled regime carried out a deadly sarin gas attack that killed dozens of civilians.

Is Trump Capable of Picking Primary Fights With Incumbents?
Threats could embolden House hard-liners, Republicans say

President Donald Trump has tweeted about challenging members of the House Freedom Caucus, led by North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There are primary threats, and then there are primaries.

President Donald Trump’s tweets last week calling for House Freedom Caucus members to be challenged have left the political class scratching its head and pondering alliances that defy conventional logic.

Rand Paul Proffers Kinda, Sorta Obamacare Repeal, Replace
After golfing with Trump, Kentucky Senator explores alternatives

Sen. Rand Paul is exploring compromises on approaching the 2010 health care law . (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Before huddling with members of the House Freedom Caucus Monday, Sen. Rand Paul said he was pushing President Donald Trump on a new construct for the repeal and replacement of the 2010 health care law.

Paul, a Kentucky Republican, suggested a possibility of keeping some subsidies in the 2010 law in place rather than replacing them with a new bundle of tax credits, a move that could keep conservatives from basically voting for new entitlements.

Rand Paul and Trump ‘Closer’ on Health Care After Round of Golf
Comes after Paul was a vociferous critic on Trump-backed repeal effort

Rand Paul, R-Ky., golfed with President Donald Trump on Sunday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul said he and President Donald Trump are “getting closer and closer” on a path to repealing the 2010 health care law after a round of golf on Sunday.

Trump and Paul, a former Republican primary opponent and critic of the Republican health care bill that was pulled from the floor, joined by budget director Mick Mulvaney. The Associated Press reported.

The Senate’s Big Week That Wasn’t
Senators fill the week before Gorsuch comes to the floor

Without a health care bill to consider, senators are waiting for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to hit the floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators were gearing up for a marathon week of debate on a House-passed health care measure, including the peculiar ritual of voting on an unlimited number of amendments known as the vote-a-rama, but political reality has laid that plan to waste. 

The House’s failure to pass a rollback of the 2010 health care law has left senators burning time until the Judiciary Committee sends to the floor the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice on the Supreme Court.

A Republican Party Pulled in Multiple Directions
Same factors could bedevil other legislative priorities

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan will face the same factions in his Republican caucus that helped sink the GOP health care measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan wasted no time, fresh off his defeat on the Republican health care plan, in pivoting to priorities like a tax overhaul. But the constituencies pulling his party in different directions will still be present for those complicated debates as well.

“Our members know that we did everything we could to get consensus,” the Wisconsin Republican said shortly after he pulled a measure that would have partially accomplished what has motivated his party for more than seven years: getting rid of the 2010 health care law. But in the end, the GOP’s factions pulled it in so many directions that they couldn’t even muster a majority to pass a bill that would put a win on the board.

Opinion: The GOP’s Big Health Care Winner — Mitch McConnell
House in flames but crisis avoided in the Senate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell remains untarnished by the GOP effort to repeal the 2010 health care law, Allen writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There’s exactly one big winner in the Republican leadership right now: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

The Kentucky Republican, long known for his sixth-sense acumen as a political and legislative strategist, completely avoided the direct and collateral damage of the GOP health care debacle of 2017.

White House to Skeptical GOP Members on Health Bill: This Is It
President meets with various members, Republican and Democrat, over course of day

President Donald Trump still doesn't have the House votes to pass the GOP health plan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House intensified its game of chicken with Republican lawmakers over the party’s health care overhaul plan, saying there is no Plan B.

Even as one GOP lawmaker told Roll Call there likely are around 30 “no” votes among the Republican conference — more than enough to sink the legislation — White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer warned members of his party “this is it.”