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Moderates Hedge On New Obamacare Repeal Amendment

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., makes his way to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's office in the Capitol on Thursday, March 23, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By ERIN MERSHON and LINDSEY McPHERSON, CQ ROLL CALL

Moderate Republicans are not embracing the latest Republican amendment to the party’s GOP health care overhaul.

Senior WH Official: ‘Military Preparations’ Are Underway for N. Korea
U.S. soon will attempt to influence Kim via ‘economic dimension of national power’

A North Korean ballistic missile during a “Victory Day” parade in 2013. A senior Trump administration official on Wednesday alluded to “military preparations” underway to possibly confront the North. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

The Trump administration is preparing a range of options — including plans for military operations — to deal with North Korea and its nuclear arms and missile programs.

National security officials are crafting possible diplomatic, economic and military responses to deal with the Hermit Kingdom, a senior administration official told reporters Wednesday at the White House.

Gardner Sees ‘Refreshing’ New Focus on North Korea
Senators will be briefed on North Korea threat at the White House Wednesday

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner has been a leading voice in the Republican caucus on North Korea since he entered the Senate in 2015 after serving two terms in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senators will be bused to the White House on Wednesday for a briefing on North Korea, and one Republican senator says attention on the threat is long overdue.

Sen. Cory Gardner has been among the lawmakers calling on the Trump administration to prioritize addressing the threat of North Korea launching nuclear weapons, and the Colorado Republican said it is “refreshing” to see some action.

Clerks for New Supreme Court Justice Know Capitol Hill
Gorsuch picks also have White House and justice department experience

Clerks for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch have experience in the White House, the justice department and on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The clerks Justice Neil Gorsuch hired to help launch his Supreme Court career bring a wealth of experience from the political branches of government, including work on Capitol Hill, at the Justice Department and the White House.

That, in turn, could help guide Gorsuch on legal issues this term dealing with cases about the inner workings of Congress or politics. While Gorsuch worked for the Justice Department before becoming a federal judge, Justice Stephen G. Breyer is the only justice with experience working for the legislative branch  — as Senate Judiciary Committee counsel in 1979-80 for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.

Polis Mulling Gubernatorial Run in Colorado
The 2nd District congressman says he'll decide in 'next month or two'

Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., said he is considering a run for governor. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Colorado Rep. Jared Polis said he is considering a run for governor, in an interview with Coloradopolitics.com 

“I’m going to be deciding in the next month or two whether or not to launch a statewide race for governor,” Polis said in an interview with the site that ran Monday morning. 

Coffman Gets Second Democratic Challenger
Aurora attorney said incumbent’s support of health care repeal motivated him

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., received a second Democratic challenger. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Freedom Caucus Member’s Book Slams Money-Obsessed Politicians
In ‘Drain the Swamp,’ Ken Buck also takes aim at NRCC’s ‘pay-to-play’ culture

Colorado Rep. Ken Buck attributes criticism of the House Freedom Caucus to “just plain jealousy.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Freedom Caucus member Ken Buck describes a money-hungry, lobbyist-influenced Republican leadership in his first book “Drain the Swamp” but he told CQ Roll Call that life is better for the hard-line conservative faction under Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

The Colorado Republican, now in his second term, has few kind words in his book released this week for Ryan’s predecessor, Ohio’s John A. Boehner, whom conservative lawmakers worked to oust. Boehner has since set up a practice at the K Street firm Squire Patton Boggs, and his spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Coffman Says Spicer ‘Needs to Go’
Colorado Republican holds first town hall since he had to escape January event

Rep. Mike Coffman told a town hall crowd in his Colorado district “We have to be realistic” on the approach to immigration policy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman told a town hall audience in his district that White House press secretary Sean Spicer needs to leave.

“He needs to go,” Coffman said in response to a question about Spicer’s recent comments saying Adolf Hitler did not use chemical weapons like Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad, the Denver Post reported.

Three Veterans Announce They’re Running for House as Democrats
Two of them are running in GOP-held districts that Hillary Clinton won

Air Force veteran Chrissy Houlahan, left, who served as cheif operating officer and chief financial officer for Springboard Collaborative, announced she's running against Rep. Ryan Costello in Pennsylvania (Courtesy Chrissy Houlahan for Congress)

Three military veterans are announcing Tuesday they’re running as Democrats against Republican incumbents.

In California's 50th Congressional District, retired Navy SEAL Josh Butner will challenge Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter.

After Syria Strike, Trump Administration Talks Tough
White House’s domestic focus pivots to warning foes president will ‘act’

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross fires a Tomahawk missile as part of strikes on Syria ordered by President Trump on Thursday evening. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert S. Price/U.S. Navy)

The Trump administration is suddenly warning would-be foes and touting its leader as a no-nonsense commander in chief, after focusing mostly on domestic policy for its first 77 days.

Last week, the White House was still very much concentrated on health care, a tax overhaul and other domestic agenda items. It held special advance briefings on Trump’s summit with his Chinese counterpart, addressing trade and his use of the Congressional Review Act. It centered on U.S. jobs and on rolling back Obama-era regulations to give a boost — as the administration contends — to the American economy. Trump’s aides were very much in a mode to enact his “America First” agenda, pushing his efforts to “rebuild our country,” as the president himself often puts it.