Politics

CBO Score Makes GOP Health Care Slog Harder
Growing number of senators oppose bringing current bill to floor

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan to vote on a health care measure by the end of the week has been complicated by a Congressional Budget Office score that estimated millions would lose their health insurance under the measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to pass a massive overhaul of the U.S. health insurance system that has virtually no support outside of Congress and the White House became even more difficult after the release of a damaging analysis of the legislation from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

And now, with several Republican members voicing opposition to the current proposal, even a vote on a procedural motion to start consideration of the legislation appears destined to fail.

Ethics Committee Investigating Luján, Conyers and House Staffer
House panel reveals it took up matter from OCE in May

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., is being investigated by the House Ethics Committee along with Ben Ray Luján and a House staffer. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Ethics Committee acknowledged Monday it is investigating Reps. Ben Ray Luján, John Conyers and House staffer Michael Collins.

The panel did not disclose details of its inquiry. Since the probe was referred to the House committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics, details of the OCE’s reports are expected to be made public August 9.

22 Million More Uninsured Under Senate Health Care Bill, CBO Says
$321 billion would be saved over 10 years

The draft health care bill written by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, would result in 22 million more Americans without health insurance by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Republican health care bill would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 22 million over a decade to 49 million, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday. This estimate likely will increase the challenges for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky in trying to pass the bill before the July Fourth recess.

In comparison, the version the House passed May 4 would increase the uninsured population by 23 million over a decade, the CBO said last month. The Senate bill would save $321 billion over a decade, more than the House bill’s $119 billion reported by the CBO last month.

Trump Wants Health Care Bill by August Recess
Press secretary won't take position on Senate vote this week, however

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said President Donald Trump wants a health overhaul bill on his desk by the time lawmakers leave for their annual August recess. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump would like Congress to send him a final health care measure by the time lawmakers depart for their annual August recess — but he is not, for now, taking a position on whether the Senate has to vote on its version this week.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced the president’s desired timeline at his Monday briefing, which was held with the television cameras turned off, as is becoming the norm. But Spicer did not take a position on Trump’s behalf when asked if the president wants the Senate to vote on its health bill this week no matter what.

Security Boost in House Legislative Branch Bill Approved
More funding for Capitol Police and sergeant-at-arms, among others

Capitol Police would get a boost from the Legislative Branch spending bill being considered in the House. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

House appropriators have approved a fiscal 2018 Legislative Branch spending bill that would boost security both at the Capitol and in members’ districts.

The House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee at a brief meeting on Friday approved by voice vote the $3.58 billion fiscal 2018 Legislative Branch measure. No amendments were offered.

Opponents Prepare for Week of Fighting Obamacare Repeal
Activists plan marches and rallies, smaller groups focus on individual lawmakers

Protesters yell “Shame!” to members of Congress on the East Front of the Capitol after the House passed the Republicans’ Obamacare repeal bill in May.. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Fresh off of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ weekend of rallies opposing the Republican health care bill, opponents are gearing up for a week of protests.

Republican leadership wants a vote on the bill before Congress leaves at the end of the week for its Fourth of July recess, but some GOP senators are doubtful that’s going to happen.

What Voters Can Learn From Tax Returns
Tax returns and annual financial disclosures contain different information

Tax returns provide snapshots of an individual’s annual net taxable income. (Courtesy Ken Teegardin/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

Candidates and members of Congress are required by law to file personal financial disclosures that are designed to shed a light on their potential conflicts of interest.

These documents show a lawmakers' assets and liabilities, reported in broad ranges. Tax returns, in contrast, provide snapshots of their annual net income, are subject to audit and require taxpayers to report specific amounts.

In Tax Return Secrecy, Congress Unites
What some lawmakers said when we asked for copies of their returns

Only 37 of 532 members of Congress responded when Roll Call asked for copies of their tax returns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

No matter what their political affiliation, members of Congress have this in common: They don’t like releasing their tax returns. Only 37 of the 532 members of the House and Senate responded when Roll Call asked for copies of their tax returns over several weeks, starting in April. Most of them declined to release their tax returns.

Here are some of their responses.

Lawmakers Want Trump’s Tax Returns, but Won’t Release Their Own
Only a handful willing to release documents to Roll Call

New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján has called on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ben Ray Luján — like many in Congress — wants President Donald Trump to release his tax returns.

Transparency, the New Mexico Democrat said recently in a Facebook post, “is a cornerstone of democracy.”

Court Allows Some of Travel Ban, Will Decide Legality Later
The court also announced decisions on immigration detention, gun rights, same-sex marriage, separation of church and state

Activists hold signs during a protest outside the White House in March against President Donald Trump’s second executive order banning travel from some Muslim-majority countries. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to implement much of its revised travel ban, but also agreed to review the legality of the controversial executive order in October.

The justices lifted injunctions from two federal appeals courts that had blocked the order, which seeks to stop foreign travelers from six majority-Muslim countries for 90 days and suspends all refugees from entering the United States for 120 days. The rulings had stymied one of President Donald Trump’s major policy initiatives in his first months in office — moves that he argued are key for national security.

GOP Senators Express Doubt About Health Care Vote

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., says there is simply not enough time for his constituents to weigh in on the health care measure under the current schedule. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Several Senate Republicans spent the weekend highlighting their objections to a sweeping draft health care bill and the rapid pace at which it’s moving in the chamber, even as GOP leaders would like to pass the measure before the July Fourth recess.

“I would like to delay this thing. There’s no way we should be voting on this next week,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “No way.”

Trump Appears to Finally Admit Russia Meddled in Presidential Race
President demands an apology, saying investigators have no evidence of collusion

President Donald Trump is accusing former President Barack Obama with opting against responding to Moscow's meddling in the U.S. presidential election.(Wikicommons)

President Donald Trump for the first time appeared to definitively acknowledge an unanimous U.S. intelligence community conclusion that Russia interfered in America's 2016 presidential election.

He even demanded an apology from those investigating the matter.

Poll: Younger Republicans More Liberal on Immigration
Also more likely to support same-sex marriage than older Republicans

Immigration rights activists rally in Dupont Circle in Washington before their May Day march to the White House to voice opposition to President Donald Trump's immigration policies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new poll shows younger Republicans hold more liberal views on immigration than older members of their party.

The American Values Atlas conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute showed that 60 percent of Republicans between the ages of 18 and 29 believe immigrants face a lot of discrimination in the United States, The Associated Press reported. This is compared to 41 percent of Republicans of all ages.

Kochs to Challenge GOP Senators on Health Bill
Comments come at Koch network summit over the weekend

Sen.. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., was cagey at the Kock network summit when asked if he would support the GOP health care bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The leaders of Charles and David Koch’s network said they will challenge Republicans because of the proposed Republican replacement to the 2010 health care law.

Aides to the organization said they were “disappointed” the bill did not do enough to repeal the 2010 law, NBC reported.

The Senate at a Deliberative Crossroads
Health care debacle challenges unique traditions, process

Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune highlighted bipartisan work ongoing at the Commerce Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The release of the Senate Republicans’ draft health care measure, coming on the heels of the demise of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, provoked a spasm of hard feelings in the chamber and questions about whether senators could restore its now-quaint reputation as the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body. 

“This is not the role model in my world, but I also understand that when the Democrats say, ‘We’re not going to vote for anything,’ that limits the options,” said Sen. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican. “But, I would love to see a Senate that functions, in which all hundred senators have the opportunity to present ideas, amendments and take votes.”