Bill Cassidy

Lobbyists Push GOP to Repeal Obamacare Fees in Tax Overhaul
Trade group is launching digital ad buys in key states

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, seen here with Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow wants to look at a possible repeal of the 2010 health care law's taxes as part of a larger tax package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Republican effort to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law may have stalled, but lobbyists are pushing the GOP to continue to target the provisions the industry most despises: the law’s taxes.

House and Senate Republicans hope to push forward on a tax overhaul when Congress returns in September, an item they previously delayed in favor of health care. Repealing the 2010 health care law and its corresponding taxes would have helped simplify the GOP’s upcoming work, but those hopes were deflated when the Senate did not pass a repeal bill last month.

Tax Overhaul ‘Ain’t Going to Happen’ If Not by Thanksgiving, Meadows Says
Freedom Caucus chairman says it would be difficult to support corporate rate above 20 percent

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., says a tax overhaul needs to complete by Thanksgiving or it will not happen. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows endorsed Wednesday the White House’s aggressive timetable for overhauling the tax code, saying the effort will die if a bill doesn’t pass before Thanksgiving.

“If we do not have a bill that we’re actually debating in September [that] hopefully gets a vote in October, it will not get to the president’s desk by Thanksgiving. … If it doesn’t get there by Thanksgiving guys, it ain’t going to happen,” the North Carolina Republican said to a crowd of conservative activists at an Americans for Prosperity rally at the Newseum. 

White House Pushes ‘Implode’ Plan Amid Talk of Bipartisan Health Bill
WH official: Trump’s tweet endorsing deal after Obamacare failure is preferred path

President Donald Trump waves from the top of the stairs before boarding Air Force One Friday on his way to  Ronkonkoma, N.Y. to speak to law enforcement officers. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By JOHN T. BENNETT And NIELS LESNIEWSKIUpdated at 4:47 p.m. Amid pleas from Republicans and Democrats for the parties to begin work on a bipartisan health care bill, President Donald Trump and White House officials on Friday doubled down on his call to put off any action until Barack Obama’s 2010 law fails.

Ailing Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain shocked senators from both parties early Friday morning when he voted against a GOP leadership-crafted measure that amounted only to a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Back in Washington after a brain tumor diagnosis, McCain made clear his vote was a shove for the entire Senate to get back to “regular order” — meaning hearings and floor debate — on health care and every other issue.

Chaos Consumes Future of Obamacare Repeal Effort
Senate Republicans have “assurances” the House would go to conference with the chamber

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said Thursday he would support a slimmed-down bill to repeal the 2010 health care law in order to get to a conference with the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JOE WILLIAMS, REMA RAHMAN and LINDSEY McPHERSON

Senate Republicans are hinging their support on a “skinny” bill to repeal the 2010 health care law on assurances that the chamber would go to conference with the House on a broader bill with replacement measures.

GOP Hopes for Obamacare Repeal Rest on ‘Skinny’ Bill
Several other Republican proposals expected to fail

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., can now bring up several GOP health care proposals for a vote after corralling the support necessary on Tuesday to bypass a key procedural hurdle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republican hopes to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system appear to hinge on the passage of a “skinny” bill that would only repeal a select few provisions in the 2010 health care law.

GOP senators and aides anticipate that several of the other Republican health care proposals expected to be considered by the chamber in the coming days will fail, clearing the way for a package that would likely just repeal the employer and individual mandates and an excise tax on medical device manufacturers.

Health Care: Four Make or Break Senators We’re Watching
Capito, Collins, Murkowski and Heller

Left to right: Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Susan Collins, R-Maine, Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. (Photos by Tom Williams and Bill Clark, composite by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

UPDATE 2:28 p.m., July 25 | Sens. Shelly Moore Capito, R-W.Va. and Dean Heller, R-Nev., have both announced they plan to vote to proceed with the health care bill. Their ayes clear the 50 vote threshold required to proceed, but questions about the package as a whole remain with Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough’s Friday ruling that budget reconciliation rules would be violated in the bill’s current state.

With Sen. John McCain en route to cast a critical health care vote just one week after announcing a brain cancer diagnosis, here are four senators to watch and what they’ve said leading up to Tuesday’s vote:

Senate GOP: Knowing Health Care Plan Is ‘Luxury We Don’t Have’
Uncertainty surrounds floor strategy for Republicans’ health care effort

Many members in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s conference do not know what they would be considering days before a key vote . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JOE WILLIAMS and LAUREN CLASON

Republican senators left Washington no closer to a deal on their health care effort, with no idea what measure might be brought up for a vote early next week or whether the chamber could even clear a key procedural hurdle needed to begin consideration of any legislation.

McCain Diagnosis Puts Health Care Effort in More Jeopardy
Corker: ‘Obviously, it makes things difficult’

Arizona Sen. John McCain’s brain tumor diagnosis puts greater stress on the Senate’s already strained health care efforts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By MARY ELLEN McINTIRE and JOE WILLIAMS

Abrupt news that Arizona Sen. John McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer sent shock waves through an all-Republican meeting late Wednesday on the health care effort. Amid words of concern and encouragement for their GOP colleague, lawmakers acknowledged the difficulty his extended absence would place on the effort to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system.

The GOP Full-Court, Post-Lunch Press on Health Care
After White House lunch, an effort to turn nays into ayes

Sen. Tim Scott and other Republican senators went to the White House for lunch on Wednesday to discuss their health care efforts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By John T. Bennett and Joe Williams

Senate Republicans are planning a last-ditch effort to revive their legislation to overhaul the U.S. insurance system after a lunch-time meeting on Wednesday afternoon with President Donald Trump.

Senate Health Care Failure Prompts Republican Soul Searching
Onus falls to Mitch McConnell to unite GOP conference

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, seen here Tuesday with Majority Whip John Cornyn, is facing questions over his strategy used in crafting the health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell employed an iron fist over the Republican health care effort, keeping top lieutenants in the dark about key decisions and withholding detailed policy information from the conference as a whole until just before it was released publicly.

Now with the seven-year effort to gut the 2010 health care law in tatters, it falls on the Kentucky Republican to deal with the aftermath, and quell concerns about whether he can continue to lead effectively.