Politics

Collins Opposition to Graham-Cassidy Likely Dooms Obamacare Repeal
Third GOP senator announced against it

Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced her opposition to the Graham-Cassidy health care repeal proposal Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Susan Collins delivered the likely final blow to the Senate Republicans’ latest effort to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law.

“Sweeping reforms to our health care system and to Medicaid can’t be done well in a compressed time frame, especially when the actual bill is a moving target. Today, we find out that there is now a fourth version of the Graham-Cassidy proposal, which is as deeply flawed as the previous iterations,” the Maine Republican said in a statement of the effort spearheaded by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

Amid Health Care Chaos, Graham and Cassidy Still Lacking Votes
Finance hearing rocked by protests, S&P prediction dire

A protester is taken out of a Senate Finance Committee hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on the proposal by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy to change the U.S. health insurance system. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate on Monday was consumed by a now-familiar sense of chaos as Republicans continued their quest to pass in an accelerated fashion a major overhaul of the U.S. health care system, even as protests erupted in the hallways of the Capitol and independent forecasters predicted dire consequences in the form of lost jobs and diminished economic activity. 

Sponsors of the bill, which would essentially turn all federal funding included in the 2010 health law into massive block grants to states, tried mightily to gather support, but the effort continued to hit fierce head winds.

Trump’s NFL Feud Competes With Health Care, Tax Pushes
Policy agenda has to contend with fights over flag, race and First Amendment

President Donald Trump has been unrelenting in his criticism of NFL players protesting during the national anthem. (White House photo)

President Donald Trump’s feud with the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem continued Monday, threatening to overshadow his domestic agenda as several legislative matters approach crucial milestones.

White House officials wanted to focus on policy this week, with time dedicated to health care, taxes, and a new science, technology, engineering and mathematics education initiative led by the president’s daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump.

Democrats May Sink FAA Extension, Hurricane Tax Relief Package
Minority support needed to pass measure under fast track procedure

Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., oppose a GOP package to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration for six months and provide tax relief for hurricane victims. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Legislation that would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration for six months and provide tax relief to victims of recent hurricanes could fail on the House floor Monday evening amid Democratic opposition. 

The minority party’s support is needed to pass the measure under a fast-track procedure known as suspension of the rules. Two-thirds support is required for passage on the suspension calendar, meaning at least 50 Democrats would need to vote “yes” if all 240 Republicans support the legislation. 

Candidates to Rally Supporters Ahead of Alabama Senate Race
Each campaign will host a rally ahead Tuesday's election

Vice President Mike Pence will head to Alabama on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Both Republican candidates in the Alabama Senate race are bringing in heavy hitters to rally their supporters on the eve of the GOP runoff.

Republican voters head to the polls Tuesday to choose between former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to the seat after former Sen. Jeff Sessions became attorney general. Both candidates will hold rallies on the eve of the election, highlighting outside forces that are backing their campaigns.

Gohmert Calls for McCain’s Recall
Texas Republican suggests way to support senator and get health care repeal

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert says Arizona Sen. John McCain should be recalled while he undergoes cancer treatment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert believes Arizona Sen. John McCain should be recalled while he undergoes treatment for cancer so that Republicans can replace him with someone who will support the party’s latest effort to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law.

“He’s got cancer, it’s a tough battle,” the GOP congressman told “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning. “But stress is a real inhibitor to getting over cancer.”

Pelosi Calls Out Trump for War on NFL, NBA
Sports are ‘where we put our differences aside,’ minority leader says

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said President Donald Trump should have used the controversy surrounding NFL national anthem protests as an opportunity to "bring people together.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As President Donald Trump uninvited the NBA champion Golden State Warriors from their White House visit and called any NFL player who kneels during the national anthem before games a “son of a bitch” over the weekend, Rep. Nancy Pelosi struck a different tone about the interplay between sports and politics.

“I have always said sports and the arts will bring America together,” the House minority leader said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It’s where we put our differences aside.”

Poll: Slight Majority of Americans Disapprove of Graham-Cassidy
Only 18 percent of independents approve of latest GOP effort to replace 2010 health care law

From left, Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Cornyn, R-Texas, John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and John Thune, R-S.D., talk with reporters in the Capitol after the Senate policy luncheons last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A new poll shows that a majority of Americans disapprove of the latest Republican legislation to replace the 2010 health care law.

The CBS News poll released Monday found that 52 percent of those surveyed disapprove of the law being proposed by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Dean Heller of Nevada.

Weiner Sentenced to 21 Months in Prison
Former congressman pleaded guilty to transferring obscene material to 15-year-old girl

Former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner exits federal court in Manhattan after pleading guilty in his sexting case in May. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images file photo)

Former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner was sentenced Monday to 21 months in prison in a sexting scandal that scuttled his career and might have implications on the 2016 presidential election.

In court Monday, Weiner called the crime his “rock bottom,” The Associated Press reported.

Meet the 10 Members of House Republicans’ DACA Task Force
Group holds varying immigration views, making road to compromise difficult

House Republicans want to ensure any legislation replacing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, would have the support of the majority of their conference before it goes to the floor.

That’s why Speaker Paul D. Ryan formed a task force featuring a cross section of Republicans who serve on committees with jurisdiction over immigration and border security to come up with a plan the conference can support.

McConnell Avoided Making a Promise He Couldn’t Keep
McCain’s health care announcement showed value of majority leader’s caution

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had intended to turn back to health care this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell never quite guaranteed a floor vote on the latest Republican effort to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law as the clock ticked toward an end-of-September deadline.

The Kentucky Republican’s office was measured last week when asked about the prospects for floor action, with the majority leader saying through multiple spokespersons that it was “the Leader’s intention to consider” the legislation drafted by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

CHIP, FAA Face Deadlines This Week
Even with typical drama absent, funding cliffs still loom

South Dakota Sen. John Thune chairs the Commerce Committee, which approved an FAA authorization bill earlier this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is spared the usual end-of-the-fiscal-year drama this month, with normal fights over government spending punted until December, but lawmakers still face several deadlines before the Sept. 30 cutoff for fiscal 2017.

With the Republicans’ last-gasp effort to undo the 2010 health care law fizzling, Congress may now try to pass short-term extensions to avoid running aground on the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Federal Aviation Administration and community health centers, authorizations for which expire at the end of the month. 

On North Korea, Some Lawmakers See Scattershot Trump Approach
‘It’s hard to figure out what the consistent message or the priority is’

People at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, watch a television showing President Donald Trump on Aug. 9. (JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images File Photo)

One day, aggressively enforcing sanctions is the key to solving the North Korea issue. The next, President Donald Trump threatens to “totally destroy” the country. And some senior lawmakers are troubled by what they see as a lack of consistency from the commander in chief.

As the president vacillates between a sanctions-based approach that presses North Korea’s allies to do more and threats to take down the Kim Jong Un government along with its nuclear and missile programs, some top Democrats want Trump and his team to settle on a consistent strategy. But it appears there is little they can do to bring that about.

New Democrats’ PAC Adds 12 Challengers to Candidate Watch List
Moderate Democratic group is stepping into races earlier this cycle

Harley Rouda is one of two Democratic challengers to GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher that the NewDemPAC is adding to its candidate watch list. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

The political arm of the moderate New Democrat Coalition is adding 12 House challengers to its list of candidates to watch in 2018. 

NewDemPAC’s recognition comes with a $1,000 contribution this quarter and guidance about messaging and strategy. The watch list is a way for the group to get involved in races earlier than it previously has. Last cycle, the PAC contributed about $1 million to federal candidates and it expects to give out at least that much this cycle. 

Trump Issues Revised Travel Restrictions on Eight Countries
Targeted nations are not satisfying new vetting standards, president says

The new restrictions on travelers from eight countries go into effect Oct. 18. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a revised travel ban targeting citizens of eight countries, adding North Korea, Venezuela and Chad to a list of nations the administration says pose a threat to national security.

Restrictions will remain on the majority-Muslim countries of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Sudan was dropped from the list of countries originally targeted by sections of a March 6 executive order that expired Sunday.