politics

Whip List: Obamacare Rollback Vote Nears Breaking Point
A handful more GOP opponents would doom measure

House Freedom Caucus members, from left, Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho, Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Jim Jordan of Ohio make their way to a procedural vote in the Capitol on Friday before the vote on the Republican health care bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Enough Republicans appeared on the verge of voting against the House health care overhaul to require frantic lobbying and send House Speaker Paul D. Ryan to the White House as floor debate got underway Friday.

At least 20 House Republicans had already signaled opposition since the end of a Thursday evening huddle with top Trump administration officials in which Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney delivered an ultimatum, saying President Donald Trump was done negotiating on partially repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law.

Announcing Keystone, Trump Declares ‘New Era of American Energy Policy’
President tells TransCanada boss his lobbyists did not do ‘a damn thing’ to get his OK

Pipes like these will be used to build the Keystone Pipeline in the United States, which President Trump formally approved on Friday. (Courtesy shannonpatrick17/Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

President Donald Trump announced Friday he has formally approved a Canadian firm’s application to construct the Keystone XL pipeline, a project long blocked by his predecessor and demanded by Republican lawmakers.

“It’s a great day for American jobs, a historic day for North America and energy independence,” Trump said at his desk in the Oval Office. “This announcement is part of a new era of American energy policy that will lower costs for American families, and very significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

The Latest on Republican Health Care Bill Vote
With Republicans unable to coral enough votes, the bill was pulled Friday afternoon

Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., center, and other members and staff make their way to a procedural vote in the Capitol before the vote on the American Health Care Act later in the day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans on Friday backed off on their attempt to push through a plan to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, a major blow to one of Donald Trump's biggest campaign promises.

The announcement that GOP leaders would pull the vote on their alternative to the 2010 Affordable health care act came after a frenzied two days of lobbying.

Trump Cites Planned Parenthood to Exert Late Pressure on Conservatives
In need of perhaps 40 votes, president turns to his Twitter bully pulpit

President Donald Trump invoked one of the scourges of conservatives — Planned Parenthood — to try to sway holdouts to vote for the Republican health care bill. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump, hours from perhaps his first legislative defeat, used his favorite bully pulpit — Twitter — to pressure a conservative House group into supporting a GOP-crafted health overhaul bill.

Trump huddled at the White House on Thursday with more than 30 members of the House Freedom Caucus, trying to convince them to back the American Health Care Act. He failed to win over the entire group — and later moderates in the Tuesday Group — and eventually dispatched top aides to the Capitol with a message: It’s time to vote.

House GOP Heads Into Health Care Vote ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place’
Regardless of outcome, Republicans will walk away with losses

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., has been trying to woo undecided Republicans to support the health care bill as a do-or-die vote approaches on Friday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The outcome of Friday’s House vote to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law is not certain, but one thing is: All parties to the Republican negotiations will walk away with some losses.

After a marathon few weeks of debate over the health care measure, President Donald Trump decided he was done dealing and urged the House to vote on the measure and let the chips fall where they may.

House Heads to Do or Die Vote on Health Care
White House threatens to walk if health bill fails

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, is interviewed in Rayburn Building after he and other members of the HFC met at the White House with President Trump, March 23, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Regardless of whether the votes are sewn up, the House will likely vote Friday on Republican leaders’ plan to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law — and President Donald Trump is willing to walk away from the effort if the measure fails in the chamber. 

In a closed-door meeting of the Republican conference attended by Trump’s senior aides, including Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Senior Adviser Steve Bannon, Counselor Kellyanne Conaway and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, the president’s aides delivered the message that they were done negotiating and the time was now to vote, win or lose.

Despite Lack of Deal, White House Promises Health Bill Passage
Before delay, Trump spokesman: 'It’s going to pass. So that’s it.'

President Donald Trump is confident the GOP health measure will pass, according to his top spokesman, despite negotiations having produced no path there yet. A planned Thursday evening vote has been postponed. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The White House on Thursday laid down several markers on the contents of a still-under-negotiation GOP health overhaul bill, and insisted the measure would eventually pass.

But just when remains unclear. A House leadership aide confirmed to CQ Roll Call that there will be no vote on final passage of the American Health Care Act on Thursday; an evening vote had been planned.

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.

Indiana Headed for Another Member-on-Member Senate Primary
Messer close to announcing a bid and Rokita expected to follow

Indiana Rep. Luke Messer is assumed to be running for Senate, but he could be joined by another member of the Indiana delegation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hoosier politicos call it the “Wabash mafia.” And now two graduates of the tiny, all-male college in Indiana are likely to face off in the Republican primary to take on Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in 2018.

GOP Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita graduated from Wabash College just one year apart. And while neither has officially entered the race, they’re both making moves that suggest this cycle’s primary could again feature member-on-member theatrics.