South Dakota

CBO Estimate of Revised House Health Care Bill Changes Little
Senate GOP leaders say the votes still are not there for passage

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Wednesday said there were not 50 votes in the Senate for a health care bill. And that was before the CBO score came in. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BY KERRY YOUNG AND SANDHYA RAMAN

A House-passed health care bill would reduce federal spending by $119 billion over a decade, compared to a previous estimate of $150 billion over a decade. And it would cause the number of Americans lacking medical insurance to rise by 23 million by 2026, which is 1 million less than under previous iterations of the measure, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

Senate Republicans Look to Refocus on Agenda
Appointment of special counsel for Russia probe provides cover

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein arrives in the Capitol to brief all 100 Senators on the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 campaign on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans see the appointment of a special counsel to oversee the investigation into Russian influence of the 2016 elections as an opportunity to refocus attention on their legislative agenda.

Conversations on Capitol Hill this week have been dominated by a series of bombshell reports alleging that President Donald Trump shared sensitive information with Russian officials in Oval Office and tried to influence an FBI investigation into one of his former top aides.

Senate Takes Baby Steps on Health Care Overhaul
Meetings have focused on ‘brainstorming’ and sharing ideas

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is giving his caucus a wide berth in discussing health insurance legislation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By JOE WILLIAMS and ERIN MERSHON, CQ Roll Call

Senate Republicans remain in the very early stages of revamping a House bill to repeal the 2010 health care law: the ideas stage, as one of them puts it.

Five Questions Key to Passage of the GOP’s Tax Overhaul
White House tax plan vies with House and Senate proposals

President Donald Trump’s tax plan released Wednesday offered few details on how it would not increase the deficit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump put the pressure on congressional Republicans last week to fall in line or advance an alternative on a tax overhaul by releasing a list of his tax principles.

As lawmakers scramble to respond, they will need to find answers to five big questions dealing with issues such as revenue and deductions that could hold the key to completion of major tax legislation that’s long been the goal of Republicans.

The Important Connection Between Governors and Congress
A first look at the gubernatorial race ratings for 2017-18

South Dakota Rep. Krisit Noem is a candidate for governor in 2018 and leaves behind a safe Republican seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In Washington, it’s easy to ignore governors as distant rulers over far away lands. But now is a good time to start paying attention to what’s happening in state races.

Voters in 38 states (including nine of the 10 most populated) will elect a governor over the next two years, and the results have a direct connection to Capitol Hill. The large number of races give aspiring (or weary) members an opportunity to leave the House, and consequently, leave behind potentially vulnerable open seats. And governors in 28 of those states will have a role (specifically veto power) in the next round of redistricting, which will impact what party controls the House in the next decade. 

Senator Plots Bill to Prevent a Repeat of United Airlines Episode
Van Hollen seeks support for ‘Customers Not Cargo’ Act

Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen says his draft bill aims to avoid a repeat of the United Airlines incident at Chicago O’Hare on Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Chris Van Hollen is drafting legislation to make the forcible removal of passengers from commercial airlines illegal.

The Maryland Democrat circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter Wednesday, seeking co-sponsors for what he is billing as the “Customers Not Cargo Act.”

Photos of the Week: Senate Goes Nuclear to Confirm Gorsuch
The week of April 3 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gives a thumbs-up on Thursday after the Senate invoked the "nuclear option" which will allow for a simple majority vote to confirm a Supreme Court justice nominee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The consideration of Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court was front and center all week on Capitol Hill. The final vote for confirmation took place Friday morning, with Vice President Mike Pence presiding over the Senate, but the lead-up had more fireworks — with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoking the “nuclear option” on Thursday to lower the threshold of cloture votes needed, effectively clearing the way for Gorsuch’s approval. 

Amtrak K-9 Team Fetches Attention of Senators
Commerce Committee sees canine security team in action

Ladley, of the Amtrak K-9 explosive detection team, sits near a bag with an explosive odor, during a demonstration at a Senate Commerce Committee markup. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“These dog teams are just amazing,” said Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, who was among the senators treated to a demonstration by an Amtrak K-9 security team at a Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee meeting on transportation security on Wednesday.

“Scientists are trying to replicate with technology the detection ability these dogs have, but we’ll never get as sophisticated as a dog’s nose,” Nelson, the panel’s top Democrat said.

New CBO Estimate Does Little to Woo Critics
Pelosi: ‘As bad as TrumpCare already was, the Manager’s Amendment is crueler to Medicaid recipients‘

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., attend a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center to voice opposition to House Republican's health care plan, the American Health Care Act, March 14, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By ERIN MERSHON and JOE WILLIAMS, CQ Roll Call

An updated bill from House Republicans to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law would save the government less than half as much as the prior version, but wouldn’t result in any more people keeping their insurance coverage or lower premiums, according to a new analysis of the legislation released Thursday.

McConnell: ‘We’re Not Slowing Down’ on Obamacare Repeal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., heads to the Senate floor as he leaves the Senate Republicans' policy lunch on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

BY ERIN MERSHON and JOE WILLIAMS, CQ Roll Call

This story originally appeared on CQ.com.