Mark Walker

Congress, Industry Hit Reset After Obamacare Repeal Fails

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol on July 28, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By LAUREN CLASON and ANDREW SIDDONS

House Republicans appeared divided and frustrated Friday morning about their next steps on health care legislation, hours after their Senate colleagues fell short of passing a scaled-back repeal.

House Republicans Not Ready to Abandon Obamacare Repeal
Hope springs eternal in chamber that Senate GOP can still get something done

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy want the Senate to keep alive the effort to repeal the 2010 health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By LINDSEY MCPHERSON and REMA RAHMAN

House Republicans on Friday said they’re not planning to abandon their effort to repeal the 2010 health care law, but their current plan for how to achieve that goal is to simply hope the Senate gets its act together.

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.

House GOP Disgruntled Over Path on Spending Bill
Divisions over latest plan to break omnibus into chunks

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., thinks Republicans will end up where they usually do: with a continuing resolution for the appropriations process until they can strike a deal after the start of the fiscal year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Much of the congressional focus lately has been on Senate Republicans’ intraparty divisions on health care, but House Republicans are having struggles of their own on other issues. And the frustration is mounting.

The House GOP Conference faced its latest setback Wednesday after their leadership announced the previous evening that they would move a four-bill, security-related appropriations package on the floor next week instead of a measure combining all 12 appropriations bills.

House GOP to Stick With Partisan Strategy on Taxes
Rep. Mark Walker: ‘I feel like it’s our only option’

North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker thinks a partisan approach on a tax overhaul is the only way forward for the GOP. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans’ partisan push to overhaul the health care system failed in the Senate, but House GOP lawmakers say they plan to stick to that approach in rewriting the tax code.

Since the start of the year, Republicans have said the health care and tax overhauls, the top two items on their legislative agenda, would likely be partisan efforts given wide policy gaps with Democrats on both issues.

Rare Bipartisan Internship Exists for North Carolina HBCU Students
Alma Adams and Mark Walker run a paid summer internship program

From left: North Carolina Rep. Alma Adams, Nasya Blackwell, Dariana Reid and North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker. (Courtesy Adams’ office)

Twenty-year-old political science majors Dariana Reid, a rising senior at Johnson C. Smith University, and Nasya Blackwell, a rising junior at North Carolina A&T State University, are interning in both a Democratic and a Republican office on the Hill this summer.

They are interns in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship Program, which was established last year. The universities are located in the districts of two North Carolina lawmakers, Democrat Alma Adams and Republican Mark Walker, who teamed up to create the experience.

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.

House GOP Still Bickering Over Budget
Defense increase, mandatory spending cuts primary areas of disagreement

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent says Republicans should not waste time arguing over topline levels for nondefense discretionary spending since those will likely be raised in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican squabbling over a defense spending increase and mandatory spending cuts continues to put in danger a fiscal 2018 budget resolution, and subsequently, plans to overhaul the tax code.

After a Friday conference meeting to discuss the budget and appropriations process, their second “family conversation” of the week on the topic, the House GOP appeared no closer to consensus on a budget resolution that could get the 218 needed votes on the floor.

GOP Frets About Fiscal Restraint Progress
Conservatives pushing cuts to mandatory spending

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan says Republicans are still discussing options for the budget and appropriations process, even as conservatives are pushing for steep cuts to mandatory spending. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Fiscal restraint has long been part of the Republican Party’s brand, but GOP lawmakers have made little progress on reducing the amount of money the federal government spends. And frankly, they’re sick of it.

That’s the impetus for what has become a serious push by rank-and-file House Republicans to use the budget reconciliation process to enact mandatory spending cuts.

By the Numbers: Richmond, DeSantis, Others Pad Their Baseball Resumes
Both sides had standout performers at the Congressional Baseball Game

Louisiana Democratic Rep. Cedric L. Richmond pitches during the 56th annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When the usually lighthearted run-up to the annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game was marred by a horrific shooting at the Republican practice session last week, Capitol Hill came together for an emotional night of bipartisanship and baseball. But one thing it did not do was make the players go easy on one another.

“I did tell [Republican manager Texas Rep. Joe L. Barton] that I love him before the game, and I love him after the game, but during the game, we’re going to play to win,” Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle, the Democratic manager, quipped at a pre-game press conference. With the coveted Roll Call Trophy on the line, that was exactly what they did, defeating the Republican squad, 11-2. Despite the lopsided score, though, there were standout individual performances on both sides.