Chris Collins

Chris Collins Advocates Retribution for Recalcitrant Republicans
Trump ally says those voting against health plan should lose plum assignments, cash

Rep. Chris Collins has revenge on his mind if the House Freedom Caucus sinks the GOP health plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If House Freedom Caucus members sink the GOP leadership’s health care bill Thursday, they should be stripped of plum committee assignments and denied access to campaign committee resources, Rep. Chris Collins told reporters Wednesday.

“If this goes down, they’re not on our team,” the New York Republican said.

Cuomo: Health Care Amendment ‘Declared War on New York’
Collins-Faso amendment would prevent counties from shouldering Medicaid costs

A new amendment by Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., said the amendment that he and Rep. John Faso offered is meant to take the burden off property tax payers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An amendment by New York Reps. Chris Collins and John Faso to the health care bill the House is to vote on Thursday is a declaration of war against the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

The proposal by upstate Republicans Collins and Faso would prevent New York counties from shouldering the cost of Medicaid, leaving the responsibility to the state alone, New York media outlets reported.

Battle of Wills Over Health Care Bill
Absent a deal, Trump and GOP leaders or Freedom Caucus will lose face in Thursday’s vote

President Donald Trump and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price met with the House Republican Conference on Tuesday in the Capitol, where Trump called on Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows and his group to get on board with the GOP health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The GOP health care debate has quickly become a battle of wills between the House Freedom Caucus and Republican leadership in the House and White House. And if the vote proceeds as planned on Thursday without changes to the bill, it will be a battle over reputations.

Absent a compromise between the conservative caucus and House leadership and/or the President Donald Trump and his administration, one of the two sides will emerge from Thursday’s vote significantly scathed.

Trump Warns GOP Members of Political, Policy Pitfalls of Killing Health Bill
President calls out Freedom Caucus Chairman Meadows in closed-door meeting

President Donald Trump and HHS Secretary Tom Price arrive in the Capitol to meet with the House Republican Conference on Tuesday morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By LINDSEY MCPHERSON, JOHN T. BENNETT AND REMA RAHMAN, CQ ROLL CALL

President Donald Trump came to the Capitol Tuesday morning to make a closing pitch to House Republicans preparing to vote on health care legislation that will define the beginning of his presidency. And he did it with the confidence, jest and bravado that only he can deliver.

Calm and Steady Opposition From Freedom Caucus
No formal position, but plenty of expected no votes on GOP health plan

Mark Meadows predicts enough opposition from his Freedom Caucus to sink the GOP health care plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Freedom Caucus will not take a formal position against the House GOP health care bill before the chamber votes on it Thursday, but the group’s chairman said he believes enough conservatives will vote “no” to sink it.

“I’ve been on the record that we have had enough votes to make sure that this does not pass, and nothing has changed,” Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said Monday. “And so to take just another formal position, I’m not wanting to poke someone in the eye. Our positions haven’t changed.” 

Yesterday’s US Attorneys May Be Tomorrow’s Congressional Candidates
Abrupt ouster by Trump administration provides incentive

Dana Boente could be a plausible challenger to Republican Scott Taylor in Virginia’s 2nd District. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump’s abrupt ouster of almost half the country’s U.S. attorneys has done more than create yet another tempest for his nascent administration. It’s also created a new and potentially potent Democratic political class.

Campaign consultants in both parties have long identified prosecutors — especially those confirmed by the Senate to act as the chief federal law enforcement officers in the nation’s 93 judicial districts — as top-flight congressional recruiting opportunities. But, for reasons that aren’t all that obvious, the Republicans have propelled many more crime busters onto Capitol Hill than the Democrats in recent years.

Lawmakers Hunt Around the Capitol for Obamacare Repeal Bill
Several members searched the building Thursday for legislation they say is being kept out of public eye

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., stands with his copier on a cart as he speaks to reporters after trying to gain access to the room housing the House Republicans' so-called secret health care plan on Thursday. Paul hoped to make copies of the plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle went on an unsuccessful hunt around the Capitol on Thursday to find a bill that aims to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, with one congressman calling the need for such a probe "extremely bizarre."

Sen. Rand Paul, armed with a copy machine, crisscrossed chambers to a Capitol office room in the House guarded by an armed police officer asking to see the bill. After he was denied entry, Paul criticized House leaders for not being more transparent.

House GOP Moving Toward Health Care Markup Despite Unresolved Concerns
Republicans say it’s a way to break through the impasse

House Republicans plan to begin moving a health care bill through the legislative process despite lingering concerns among many members. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans hope to start marking up a bill to repeal and partially replace the 2010 health care law next week, despite a litany of concerns about the plan. But proceeding with the legislative process is one way members say they can break through the impasse. 

Lawmakers with concerns about the plan range from conservatives, who view the refundable tax credits that are designed to help people purchase coverage in the private market as the creation of a new entitlement program, to moderates from states that have expanded Medicaid, who worry the plan won’t provide enough funding needed to sustain coverage provided through that program.

Sessions Recuses Himself From Russia Investigation
AG’s move follows Republican recusal calls, Democrats say he should resign

Attorney General Jeff Sessions takes questions during a news conference on Thursday after he announced he would recuse himself from investigations into ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian entities. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Updated 5:03 p.m. | Attorney General Jeff Sessions will recuse himself from any investigation into ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian officials, he said Thursday.

The attorney general had been dogged all day by calls from some Republicans to step aside from any inquiry — and from Democrats for him to resign — following reports that he had met with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. last year, despite saying he had not in his confirmation hearings.

Town Hall Winners and Losers So Far
If lawmakers can’t meet with constituents, why do they have a job?

Voters don’t always need to be agreed with, but they always want to be heard — and Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., delivered on that, Patricia Murphy writes. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re halfway through the Presidents Day recess, the first during President Donald Trump’s first term in office. Coming after early stumbles from Trump, and with major legislative changes looming for health care and immigration, and the ascendance of a national effort to protest the president’s agenda, it’s no surprise that town halls would become a focal point for the anger swirling on the left. 

[It’s Not “AstroTurf” if the anger is real]