Barbara Comstock

GOP Moderates Still Holding Out on Health Care
18 members confirmed opposition while leadership remains optimistic

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., leaves Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s office in the Capitol on Thursday, March 23, 2017. In the background, Capitol workers set up stanchions to keep the media from blocking the hallway. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By LINDSEY McPHERSON and ERIN MERSHON

Mixed messages about securing needed “yes” votes on the health care bill flew around the House Thursday as a flood of moderates confirmed they remain unswayed by the latest changes.

Conservatives Begin to Accept Health Care Bill, Moderate Votes Unclear
‘Whether it’s this vehicle or another vehicle, it will be addressed.’

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., arrives for a hastily called House Republican caucus meeting after Speaker Ryan canceled the vote on the American Health Care Act of 2017 on Friday, March 24, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By LINDSEY McPHERSON and ERIN MERSHON

UPDATED 1:50 p.m. 04/26/17

Comstock Gets Third Challenger
Virginia state Sen. Jennifer Wexton announced Thursday

Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., has three Democrats vying to challenge her. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock received a third Democratic challenger on Thursday when state Sen. Jennifer Wexton announced her candidacy.

Wexton joins two other Democratic challengers: Dan Helmer, an Army veteran and Rhodes Scholar, and Fairfax County teacher Kimberly Adams.

Comstock Gets Second Challenger
Dan Helmer is West Point grad, Rhodes Scholar and decorated vet

Dan Helmer is a West Point graduate and a Rhodes Scholar who served in the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Screenshot: DanHemner.com)

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock received a second Democratic challenger on Tuesday.

Dan Helmer, a 35-year U.S. Army veteran, entered the race but didn’t mention the incumbent in his campaign announcement.

D.C. Area Lawmakers to Colleagues: Leave Our Airport Alone
Warn against easing restrictions on long-haul flights into Reagan National Airport

Lawmakers from the D.C. area are concerned about sending more air traffic to Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers from in and around Washington are warning their congressional colleagues against changing local airport rules in a bid to make it easier for them to get back to their home states.

A group of 15 members of Congress, led by Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia and Benjamin L. Cardin and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, along with Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., do not want to see any easing of restrictions on long-haul flights from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport — whose Arlington, Virginia, location is significantly closer to the Capitol building than either of the other major airports in the area.

Lawmakers Predict GOP Bill Will Be 2018 Campaign Issue
Republicans may still be tethered to a bill that was never put to a vote

Former National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference where Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced the vote for leadership’s health care plan had been canceled. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated March 25

Republicans won’t have a recorded vote on leadership’s health care plan but that doesn’t mean their position on it won’t be used against them in campaign ads in 2018. 

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.

The Latest on Republican Health Care Bill Vote
With Republicans unable to corral enough votes, bill is pulled from the floor

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 pulled their health care bill from the floor on Friday when it became clear they didn’t have the votes to pass the measure, dealing a major setback to their efforts to repeal the 2010 health care law that was the centerpiece achievement of President Donald Trump’s predecessor.

The announcement came after a frenzied two days of lobbying when major divisions emerged between leadership and its conservative and moderate blocs.

Advocacy Group Targets 29 Republicans Ahead of Health Care Vote
American Action Network is making a final six-figure push in support of AHCA

American Action Network’s latest digital campaign targets Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who has come out against leadership’s health care plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An advocacy group with close ties to House leadership is launching a final push to pressure 29 Republicans to support the GOP health care plan ahead of an expected vote later this week.

Some of those lawmakers have indicated they won’s support the bill.

Rising Waters at Home Cause Republicans to Buck Party in D.C.
Moderate Republicans are out front on climate change threat

New York Rep. John J. Faso is one of several GOP freshmen concerned about climate change. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Whipping out his iPhone, New York Rep. John J. Faso scrolled through text messages from his wife until he found the photo he sought. 

“There’s my wife’s car in the driveway,” he said, pointing to a lump covered in snow. “So there was no climate change that we were worried about in the last couple of days.”