congressional-affairs

No Deal on Health Care Bill
Freedom Caucus chairman says talks continue: ‘We’re trying to get creative’

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan walks through Statuary Hall to the House floor in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House conservatives left a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday without a deal on changes to the Republican health care bill that would repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, putting a vote later in the day in doubt.

The apparent offer on the table is something the House Freedom Caucus, the bloc of hard-line conservatives that has held its ground against Republican leadership, has deemed a nonstarter.

Little Agreement Among GOP Members on Health Care Bill Next Steps
Regular conference meeting canceled ahead of Freedom Caucus meeting with Trump

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers said repeal of the so-called essential health benefits provision in the Republican health care plan, which Freedom Caucus members have pushed for, might not be allowed under Senate rules. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans had hoped to vote on a bill to partially repeal and replace the landmark 2010 health care law on Thursday, seven years to the day after President Barack Obama signed it. Instead, they find themselves without the votes to do so and little agreement on their next move.

The House GOP conference’s weekly Thursday planning meeting, at which lawmakers might have decided on next steps, was canceled Thursday morning. Members of the conservative Freedom Caucus, which opposed the bill, are scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump at 11:30 a.m., so progress on the bill may not be made until midday Thursday or later.

Senators Working the Ref Already on Health Care Bill
Parliamentarian rulings could make or break GOP legislation

Sen. Bill Cassidy is among the senators looking to make sure any health legislation or amendments will comply with the Senate’s procedural rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As House Republicans struggle to cobble together the votes to pass legislation to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, members are already looking to navigate the Senate’s labyrinth of procedural rules that could make or break the measure. 

Senate Democrats are already setting up for the battle with the parliamentarian about which provisions could run up against the Byrd Rule, which requires budget reconciliation bills that can pass with a simple-majority vote to be primarily about spending and revenues, without extraneous matter.

The Supreme Court Confirmation Battle That Began 30 Years Ago
Three senators on Judiciary panel weathered watershed 1987 fight

Judge Robert Bork, nominated by President Ronald Reagan to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, is sworn before the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearing in September 1987. (John Duricka/AP File Photo)

In one of the more striking moments from the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch this week, Sen. Charles E. Grassley offered this advice:

Don’t answer every question.

Ep. 46: As Kentucky and Mitch McConnell Go, So Goes the Nation?
The Big Story

CQ Roll Call's senior Senate reporter Niels Lesniewski leads us through a fascinating conversation on how the Senate leader's political machine wields power in ways that could have an impact on issues from health care to the Supreme Court.

Show Notes:

Chris Collins Advocates Retribution for Recalcitrant Republicans
Trump ally says those voting against health plan should lose plum assignments, cash

Rep. Chris Collins has revenge on his mind if the House Freedom Caucus sinks the GOP health plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If House Freedom Caucus members sink the GOP leadership’s health care bill Thursday, they should be stripped of plum committee assignments and denied access to campaign committee resources, Rep. Chris Collins told reporters Wednesday.

“If this goes down, they’re not on our team,” the New York Republican said.

Conservatives Ask to Start Over on GOP Health Plan
Leadership-crafted legislation remains short of majority

From left, Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., looks on as Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, speaks with staff during the House Rules Committee meeting to formulate a rule on the American Health Care Act of 2017 on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By Rema Rahman and Lindsey McPherson, CQ Roll Call

Conservatives are flexing their muscles in Congress as they get closer to securing the “no” votes that would sink the GOP leadership-crafted bill to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law.

John Dingell Tweets a First-Person History of Health Care Reform
Disagrees with Trump’s ‘nobody knew health care reform was so complicated’ line

Former Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., was one of the leading voices on health care reform. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Dingell started his tweetstorm by paraphrasing Trump, who was derided when he told a gathering of governors earlier this month that “nobody knew health care could be so complicated” before telling the story of how his father, former Rep. John Dingell Sr., proposed the first attempt to increase health care coverage for Americans in the 1940s.

GOP Bill Takes Aim at Long-Shot Medicaid Expansion Hopes
Provision is a blow to efforts in North Carolina and Kansas

North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson said the GOP provision was partially put in to benefit Republican governors who wanted to avoid political pressure to expand their own states’ entitlement programs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans in North Carolina and Kansas who hope to scale back Medicaid can claim a victory in the updated GOP plan to overhaul the 2010 health care law. The package takes aim at those two states, which had the highest — albeit long-shot — hopes of expanding their Medicaid programs this year.

The provision, included in a manager’s amendment to the bill released by House leaders on Monday, would prevent states from expanding their Medicaid programs if they didn’t already do so by March 1.

Joe Biden Returns to Defend His BFD
Former vice president rallies with fellow Democrats at Capitol to preserve 2010 health law

Biden rallied with fellow Democrats at the Capitol to oppose GOP leaders’ health care plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. returned to the Capitol Wednesday to save what once he famously described as a “big f***ing deal.”

Appearing with fellow Democrats and supporters of the 2010 health care law on the Capitol steps, the man from Delaware who spent virtually his entire adult life in the Senate or White House said “I ain’t going anywhere. This is not going to pass,” Biden said of the House Republican legislation to gut his former boss Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.