Budget

Senate Republicans Delay Vote on Health Care Bill
GOP leaders say more time needed to negotiate the proposal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., right, and Vice President Mike Pence are still looking for the GOP votes to advance their legislation to redo the U.S. health insurance system. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JOE WILLIAMS and NIELS LESNIEWSKI, Roll Call

The Senate will not vote this week on a Republican bill to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system despite continued pressure from conservative activists and the Trump administration to act.

Budget Disagreements Bedevil House GOP

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black, R-Tenn., continues to look for agreement amid GOP factions on the spending blueprint. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Budget Committee is unlikely to unveil a fiscal 2018 budget resolution until after the Independence Day recess as Chairwoman Diane Black continues to struggle to marry competing interests on using the reconciliation process to cut mandatory spending.

Conservatives are pushing for several hundred billion dollars in mandatory savings cuts through reconciliation, with House Freedom Caucus members saying the Budget Committee’s latest offer of $200 billion in cuts over 10 years is not enough to win their support. Meanwhile, committee chairmen are pushing back on a continually increasing target, saying they need to preserve some of those savings for other legislative negotiations.

Kasich on Health Care Bill: ‘Not Acceptable’
Ohio governor says he’s worried about bill’s effects on mentally and chronically ill, and working poor

Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich, right, and Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper discuss the Senate health care reform bill at the National Press Club on Tuesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich didn’t want to talk about how Ohio Sen. Rob Portman might vote on the Republican health care bill.

“I’ve told him how important I think all this is,” Kasich cut off a reporter in mid-question when asked at a National Press Club event Tuesday about his discussions with Portman on the bill. “I don’t cast his vote. … We’ll see what happens when the card goes in the box — or however they vote in the Senate.”

Paul Ryan Defends CBO Role as Referee
Speaker makes comments one day after White House swipe

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan is defending CBO Director Keith Hall and his office amid White House criticism of the nonpartisan agency. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One day after the White House criticized the Congressional Budget Office as an inaccurate arbiter, amid a heated debate over the effects of the Republicans’ plans to change the health insurance system, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan is defending the nonpartisan office. 

“Yeah, he’s actually a Republican appointee. If I’m not mistaken, Tom Price appointed him,” Ryan said Tuesday morning when asked whether he had full confidence in CBO Director Keith Hall. Price, the secretary of Health and Human Services and a key advocate of GOP efforts to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, was previously the House Budget Committee chairman. 

Opinion: Wanted — Three Senate Republicans to End the Mean Season for Health Care
GOP plan is a cure worse than the disease

The health care bill that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to push through the Senate needs a response — from three Senate Republicans willing to say no, Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

In a January 2010 speech at Hillsdale College, Paul Ryan decried Barack Obama’s efforts to expand access to health care. The future House speaker declared in apocalyptic tones, “The national health care exchange created by this legislation, together with its massive subsidies for middle income earners, will be the greatest expansion of the welfare state in a generation and possibly in history.”

Then Ryan uttered the fateful words: “Our message must be, ‘We will repeal and replace this government takeover, masked as health care reform.’”

CBO Score Makes GOP Health Care Slog Harder
Growing number of senators oppose bringing current bill to floor

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan to vote on a health care measure by the end of the week has been complicated by a Congressional Budget Office score that estimated millions would lose their health insurance under the measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to pass a massive overhaul of the U.S. health insurance system that has virtually no support outside of Congress and the White House became even more difficult after the release of a damaging analysis of the legislation from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

And now, with several Republican members voicing opposition to the current proposal, even a vote on a procedural motion to start consideration of the legislation appears destined to fail.

22 Million More Uninsured Under Senate Health Care Bill, CBO Says
$321 billion would be saved over 10 years

The draft health care bill written by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, would result in 22 million more Americans without health insurance by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Republican health care bill would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 22 million over a decade to 49 million, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday. This estimate likely will increase the challenges for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky in trying to pass the bill before the July Fourth recess.

In comparison, the version the House passed May 4 would increase the uninsured population by 23 million over a decade, the CBO said last month. The Senate bill would save $321 billion over a decade, more than the House bill’s $119 billion reported by the CBO last month.

Podcast: House Republicans Ignore Trump on Budget
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 23

Eric Ueland, Republican Staff Director for the Senate Budget Committee, hands out copies of President Trump's FY2018 Budget in Dirksen Building on May 23, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Even as a budget agreement remains elusive for Congress, House lawmakers have reached a couple of decisions: a significant funding boost for defense and around $511 billion for all else—largely ignoring President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget request, say’s CQ’s Budget Tracker editor David Lerman.

Show Notes:

GOP Senators Express Doubt About Health Care Vote

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., says there is simply not enough time for his constituents to weigh in on the health care measure under the current schedule. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Several Senate Republicans spent the weekend highlighting their objections to a sweeping draft health care bill and the rapid pace at which it’s moving in the chamber, even as GOP leaders would like to pass the measure before the July Fourth recess.

“I would like to delay this thing. There’s no way we should be voting on this next week,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “No way.”

The Senate at a Deliberative Crossroads
Health care debacle challenges unique traditions, process

Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune highlighted bipartisan work ongoing at the Commerce Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The release of the Senate Republicans’ draft health care measure, coming on the heels of the demise of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, provoked a spasm of hard feelings in the chamber and questions about whether senators could restore its now-quaint reputation as the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body. 

“This is not the role model in my world, but I also understand that when the Democrats say, ‘We’re not going to vote for anything,’ that limits the options,” said Sen. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican. “But, I would love to see a Senate that functions, in which all hundred senators have the opportunity to present ideas, amendments and take votes.”