policy

Podcast: Latest Obamacare Repeal Bill Unravels
The Week Ahead, Episode 71

Arizona Sen. John McCain with reporters in the basement of the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. John McCain’s opposition to the latest Republican bill to repeal Obamacare may well kill it, says Roll Call Senate reporter Niels Lesniewski. CQ health reporter Mary Ellen McIntire explains what’s in the bill.

Show Notes:

State Medicaid Directors Say Graham-Cassidy ‘Fails to Deliver’
Group that represents Medicaid directors in all 50 states says bill shouldn’t be rushed

From left, Sens. Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller, Ron Johnson and Lindsey Graham hold a news conference to discuss block grant funding for health care Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

State Medicaid directors voiced their opposition Thursday to the latest effort in the Senate to repeal the 2010 health care law.

The National Association of Medicaid Directors, a group that represents the directors of all 50 states, urged Senate Republicans to reconsider their support of the new repeal bill sponsored by GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Louisiana’s Bill Cassidy.

Photos of the Week: Health Care Dominates Senate While House Is Out
The week of Sept. 18 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Sen. Bernie Sanders raises his fist as rally attendees chant "Bernie" following his speech on the Capitol grounds Tuesday. Senate Democrats held the rally to oppose the Graham-Cassidy health care proposal, which is expected to reach the Senate floor next week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate was in town for just a few days this week, while the House was recessed for a district work week and in observance of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah on Thursday and Friday.

Here's the short week in photos: 

Military Groups Join Democrats’ Defense of Arbitration Rule
‘We will not accept a future where our military veterans’ financial protections are chipped away’

Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed in the Senate subway before a lunch in the Capitol on July 27. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Service member and veterans groups on Wednesday criticized a Republican effort to overturn the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s rule barring mandatory arbitration in many consumer contracts. 

The groups joined Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a member of the Senate Banking Committee, to oppose Senate Republicans’ plan to pass a measure that would repeal the CFPB rule. The rule took effect Monday, but the agency is giving companies until March 2018 to comply.

Trump, Afghan President Contradict One Another on Situation There
U.S. president sees 'hornets' nest,' but Ghani says 'victory is within our sights'

U.S. Army soldiers walk as a NATO helicopter flies overhead at Forward Operating Base Connelly in the Khogyani District in the eastern province of Nangarhar, Afghanistan. President Donald Trump and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani see the situation there differently, according to comments Thursday. (WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani delivered contradictory assessments Thursday of the situation on the ground as the U.S. military operation there enters its 16th year.

Addressing reporters together on the sidelines of a U.N. General Assembly session, the leaders offered their conflicting assessments a month after Trump altered America’s strategy and deployed more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to help indigenous forces and target extremist groups.

How Graham-Cassidy Stacks Up, in One Chart
Comparing the Senate GOP's latest plan, and the House-passed option, to current law

Senate leadership talks with reporters in the Capitol after the policy luncheons on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate leaders are considering an attempt next week to pass a repeal of the 2010 health care law, while chamber rules still allow for a 50-50 vote option. Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., put together a proposal — after the chamber considered and rejected multiple other options this summer — that they hope will get the repeal over the finish line.

Eisenhower Memorial Clears Key Construction Hurdle
Commissioners hope to break ground in October

A monument to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 17 years in the making, is finally moving ahead. (Courtesy The Eisenhower Memorial Commission, 2017. Memorial Design by Gehry Partners, LLP; Tapestry by Tomas Osinski; Sculpture by Sergey Eylanbekov)

Seventeen years, eight Congresses and three presidents after Bill Clinton commissioned planning for a massive memorial honoring President Dwight D. Eisenhower, planners finally expect to break ground by the end of fall.

The Eisenhower family is on board. Republicans and Democrats on the House Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee are on board.

Republicans Cast Aside Previous Concerns in Latest Repeal Effort
Senators cite the flexibility included in the proposal as justification for the reversal

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., is one of several GOP lawmakers who have expressed serious concerns about the impact of prior GOP proposals to repeal the 2010 health care law. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican senators face the prospect of retreating from their previous public stances in order to support fast-moving legislation that would significantly overhaul the U.S. health care system.

Concerns about the impact on people suffering from opioid addiction, drastic cuts to Medicaid and the lack of robust analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office appear to have vanished as the GOP hopes to advance a bill to repeal the 2010 health care law before the fast-track budget reconciliation mechanism they are using expires on Sept. 30.

Trump Endorses Graham-Cassidy, Knocks Rand Paul
In morning tweet, president calls legislation ‘GREAT!’

Sen. Lindsey Graham, right, speaks at a news conference Wednesday to discuss a bill he and Sen. Bill Cassidy, far left, are pushing to overhaul the health care system. Sen. Dean Heller, Sen. Ron Johnson and former Sen. Rick Santorum look on. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump formally threw his weight behind a health care overhaul sponsored by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, and criticized another high-profile Republican for opposing it.

Trump used a pair of Wednesday morning tweets to call the bill “GREAT!” and touted its plan to provide federal “Money direct to States!”

Republican Senators Mostly Silent After Trump’s North Korea Threat
President would hit regime, military targets - not civilians, White House says

Republican Sens. Bob Corker (center), Marco Rubio (seated right) and Jim Risch (standing right) all declined to comment on GOP President Donald Trump's threat to "totally destroy" North Korea if it attacks the United States. Also pictured are GOP Sens. Cory Gardner (standing left) and Ron Johnson (seated left). (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker hurried into an elevator. Sen. Marco Rubio quickly ducked into the Capitol Visitor Center television studio. And Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain shut down reporters’ repetitive questions.

No Republican senator could be found Tuesday who was willing to question President Donald Trump’s threat before the United Nations General Assembly to “totally destroy” North Korea unless it gives up its nuclear arms and long-range missile programs, which he views as a direct threat to the sovereignty and security of the United States and its allies.