Executive Branch

Heller ‘Will Not Support’ Draft Senate GOP Health Bill
Nevada Republican joins chorus of senators raising concerns over proposal

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., listens as Secretary of Commerce nominee Wilbur Ross Senate testifies during his confirmation hearing in the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By JOE WILLIAMS and BRIDGET BOWMAN, Roll Call

Sen. Dean Heller came out in opposition Friday to draft legislation released Thursday that would overhaul the U.S. health insurance system, teeing up a major battle for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Coons: Senate Can Reassert Foreign Policy Clout
Chance to ‘make the Senate great again’

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., suggests that the Trump Administration’s conflicting statements provide the Senate with an opportunity to reassert its clout on foreign policy matters.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Trump administration’s often conflicting statements regarding foreign affairs have provided the Senate an opportunity to reassert its clout in directing U.S. foreign policy, Sen. Chris Coons suggests. 

In a public sit-down conversation with former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright on U.S. global leadership this week, the Delaware Democrat said that “one unexpected outcome of the Trump administration may be to make the Senate great again” by forcing the chamber to draft bipartisan legislation to fill the gaps the Trump administration leaves.

Opponents, Led by Sanders, Mobilize to Fight Health Care Bill
With days before a possible vote in the Senate, activists hit the streets

Sen. Bernie Sanders at a June 2016 rally. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Bernie Sanders will spend his weekend pressuring Republican colleagues in the Senate to vote against the Republican health care bill as Republicans hope to bring it to a vote next week.

That’s one tactic of many that Democrats and aligned groups are using to prevent the bill from clearing the Senate and replacing the 2010 health care law.

In the House, Full Speed Ahead on Defense Spending

House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, wants to increase defense spending. It might not be that simple. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry says he is “moving forward” to mark up a fiscal 2018 defense authorization bill the week before the Independence Day recess at about $705 billion.

But, the Texas Republican said, talks are ongoing among senior lawmakers and it is “possible” there could be “some adjustment” to that amount.

Mullin Plays Fitness Instructor for No-Politics, Bipartisan Workout
Men's Health Month hourlong workout kicked off Friday on Capitol Hill

Members prepare before the Friday morning workout, lead by Rep. Markwayne Mullin, pointing at right. (Alex Gangitano/ CQ Roll Call)

Because bipartisan athletic competitions are the theme of this summer, the annual Men’s Health Month congressional workout attracted a very diverse crowd of fit members.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin played fitness instructor and led the workout on Friday morning, which was attended by more than 60 people at the park behind the Longworth House Office building.

Trump Boasts Tapes Bluff Forced Comey’s Truthful Testimony
President calls Comey-Mueller friendship ‘very bothersome,’ special counsel probe ‘ridiculous’

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies durilast week. On Friday, President Donald Trump declared feeling “total and complete vindication.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Attempting to cast doubt over the Justice Department investigation of Russia’s election meddling and whether he obstructed justice, Donald Trump is calling the probe “ridiculous” and the close friendship of two men at its core “troublesome.”

What’s more, the president boasted that his May 12 tweet that raised the possibility he possessed recordings of his private talks with former FBI Director James Comey forced the onetime top cop to tell the truth earlier this month when he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. (Trump had fired Comey three days earlier.)

Trump Says Senate GOP Health Care Holdouts Are ‘Four Good Guys’
President appears eager to avoid offending conservative senators in quest for 50 votes

President Donald Trump told Fox News four Senate Republican holdouts on the health care bill want to see some changes, “and we’ll see if we can take care of that.” (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump called four conservative holdouts who could wreck Senate Republican leaders’ health care bill “good guys,” saying there is a “narrow path” to win their support and pass the measure.

Hours after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other GOP leaders briefed senators on then released a “discussion draft” of a bill that would repeal and replace the 2010 health law, GOP Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah announced they could not support the bill as-is.

Meet the Man Behind the Ossoff Campaign — He’s Just Getting Started
Keenan Pontoni’s a rising star in a party desperate for fresh blood

Keenan Pontoni, campaign manager for Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s 6th District, conducts one final tele-town hall session in his Sandy Springs office on the final day of the runoff campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Just 45 minutes after polls closed Tuesday in Georgia’s 6th District, Keenan Pontoni knew Jon Ossoff was in trouble.

The Democratic candidate’s advantage in early voting didn’t look like it was going to be enough to make up for Republican turnout on Election Day.

The ‘Wait and See’ Caucus vs. the ‘Not Yet’ Quartet
Republicans show wide range of reaction to health care draft

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was one of four Republican senators who said he wouldn’t support the current Senate health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The divisions among Senate Republicans on their health care bill to change the U.S. health insurance system can be summed up as the interests of the “Wait and See” caucus versus the “Not Yet” quartet.

Four members on Thursday, just hours after the text of the draft was posted online, said they are “not yet ready” to vote for the proposal that would make significant changes to the Medicaid program and alter some aspects of the current health care law.

Draft Drug Price Order Focuses on Regulations, Trade
Administration seeks faster drug approvals, promoting drug competition

The Trump administration is readying an executive order on drug regulations. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

BY ANDREW SIDDONS AND JOE WILLIAMS

The Trump administration might seek to roll back regulations in pursuit of faster drug approvals, promoting drug competition and new payment models for federal health insurance programs, according to a draft executive order obtained by CQ Roll Call.