leadership

Trump Is ‘Very Supportive’ of Senate Health Care Bill
President breaks silence after spokeswoman signaled hands-off approach

President Donald Trump threw his support behind the Senate GOP’s health care bill on Thursday evening. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday evening that he is “very supportive” of the health care bill crafted by Senate Republican leadership, departing from an earlier more cautious approach by his White House communications team.

The president’s support for the bill — which proposes Medicaid cuts, and an end to the 2010 health care law’s individual mandate — comes as Senate leaders must win over several conservative senators who on Thursday announced they have concerns with the measure. It is unclear whether Trump’s support will help bring those conservatives on board.

Pelosi Blows Off Calls to Step Down
‘It's not up to them,’ she says of Democrats calling for new leadership

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed calls on Thursday for her to step down. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Describing herself as “worth the trouble,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday blew off calls from some chamber Democrats for her to step down from leadership in the wake of special election losses this year and a failure to win a House majority in four straight national elections. 

“It’s not up to them,” the California Democrat said of members calling for her to let someone else give it a try, before calling herself a “master legislator.”

Senate Obamacare Repeal Bill Largely an Entitlement Overhaul
Proposal would maintain key aspects of the 2010 health care law

From left, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso conduct a news conference after the Senate policy luncheons in the Capitol last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A draft of the Senate counterpart legislation to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system unveiled Thursday would make drastic changes to the Medicaid program, but largely retain the existing federal tax credit structure from the 2010 health care law that helps individuals afford insurance, among other provisions. 

The proposal is part of the Republicans’ seven-year effort to gut former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement. Senate GOP leadership, which has crafted the bill largely behind closed doors with virtually no public input, has faced difficulty in bridging the gap between moderate and conservative demands.

Trump Says He Hopes Dems Don’t Force Pelosi Out
‘That would be very bad for the Republican Party,’ president tweets

President Donald Trump wants Nancy Pelosi to stay on as House Democratic leader. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that he hopes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stays as leader of the Democrats.

But the presidential tweet was not well-wishing. Rather, Trump said, “That would be very bad for the Republican Party” if Pelosi were forced out.

Health Care Politics Serve as Senate Bill Text Prelude
Wednesday’s campaign fodder a preview of Thursday’s discussion draft

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is preparing to release a draft bill to rework the U.S. health insurance system he has assembled in secret. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate procedural wonks huddled Wednesday with the parliamentarian’s office, making their case for whether Republican legislation to rework the health insurance system complies with the chamber’s rules, even as Washington braced for the release of the draft GOP measure. 

Over the next week, though, the debate will play out on both the procedural and political fields.

Activists Applaud Senate Democrats’ Harder Line on GOP Health Care Bill
In the days before the bill's expected unveiling, Senate Democrats seem to be listening

Senate Democrats rally against Medicaid cuts in front of the Capitol two weeks ago. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Senate Republicans prepare to release a draft of their health care bill and attempt to pass it before the July 4 recess, activists are applauding Senate Democrats for pulling out all the stops to derail it.

At a Wednesday rally against the bill hosted by Senate Democrats, activist groups and unions including Ultraviolet, Moms Rising, MoveOn, the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of Teachers, Sen. Debbie Stabenow said, “We have a very simple message: ‘No hearing, no vote.’”

McHenry, Scalise’s Deputy, Steps Up to Run GOP Whip Operation
A temporary but open-ended promotion

Megan Bel Miller, chief of staff for the personal office of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., takes a selfie with Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., during a blood drive in the foyer of Rayburn Building on June 20, 2017. The drive was held to honor those injured in last week's shooting at the Republican team practice in Alexandria. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As members flew back to town for the first time since the baseball practice shooting, the House’s No. 3 Republican remained absent indefinitely, and his leadership post was already being occupied temporarily.

The trauma to the Capitol from the grievous wounding of Steve Scalise, who’s set to remain hospitalized into the July Fourth recess and may not return to work before Labor Day, was not reaching in any visible way into the workings of his majority whip operation.

Russia and Iran Sanctions Effort Hits Constitutional Snag
House will not take up Senate bill as written

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady says there is a procedural issue with the Senate’s sanctions bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BY NIELS LESNIEWSKI and LINDSEY McPHERSON, CQ ROLL CALL

What may be a small procedural obstacle has some senior Democrats crying foul over the House’s plans for new sanctions against Iran and Russia.

Ryan, Pence Promise Tax Overhaul but Offer Few Details
Speaker, vice president ramp up rhetoric on taxes

Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Paul D. Ryan, pictured together before President Donald Trump’s address to Congress in February, spoke about overhauling the tax code during a National Association of Manufacturers summit Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday reiterated a commitment to overhauling the tax code this year but offered no new details on how they plan to do so. 

In separate addresses to a National Association of Manufacturers summit, Ryan and Pence said 2017 is the year Congress will rework the tax system. 

Scalise’s Team Tweets Support for Handel
Joins Trump in Election Day boost in Georgia House race

Republican candidate for Georgia's 6th Congressional district Karen Handel received support from House Majority Whip Steve Scalise's political team. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As House Majority Whip Steve Scalise continues to recover from the shooting at the Republican baseball practice last week, his campaign team sent its support to the Republican candidate in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District race.

Scalise’s political team’s Twitter account tweeted Karen Handel is “a great candidate” and that “#TeamScalise is pulling for her.”