Senate

White House Signals Own Path on Health Care
Reference to president’s own plan signals dual tracks for GOP

That President Donald Trump could roll out his own health care overhaul plan was something his top spokesman would not rule out on Wednesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The White House declined Wednesday to rule out that President Donald Trump will push his own plan to replace the 2010 health care law rather than pursue one course with congressional Republicans.

When asked if there will be a single White House-congressional GOP plan, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer left the door open for the president to roll out his own plan — no matter what lawmakers do. Minutes later, Spicer referred to “the president’s plan” when discussing how the administration intends to achieve one of its top campaign goals.

Intelligence Committee Could Subpoena Trump Tax Returns
Susan Collins says panel will go where Russia inquiry leads it

Maine Sen. Susan Collins is confident the Intelligence Committee will be able to conduct a thorough investigation into alleged Russian hacking. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Susan Collins said she thinks the Intelligence Committee could subpoena President Donald Trump’s tax records as part of its investigation into Russian interference in last year’s election if that’s where the evidence leads.

“I don’t know whether we will need to do that,” the Maine Republican said Wednesday. “If it’s necessary to get to the answers, then I suspect that we would.”

Club for Growth Singles Out Noem in Border Tax Fight

Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., center, leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol, May 17, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Club for Growth has begun an advertising campaign aimed at pressuring Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., a tax writer, to oppose a contentious House GOP proposal to tax imports and exempt exports, the latest salvo in the battle to shape lawmakers’ attempts to overhaul the tax code.

David McIntosh, a former Republican representative from Indiana and now president of the conservative advocacy group, said he strongly opposed the plan’s call for border adjustments to taxes. The group still supports parts of the House GOP tax blueprint, issued by Speaker Paul D. Ryan last year, that would lower rates and end the estate tax.

Georgia Democrat Picks Up Progressive Endorsement
End Citizens United backs Jon Ossoff in special election

Democrat Jon Ossoff is one of 18 candidates vying for Georgia’s 6th District seat. (Courtesy Jon Ossoff for Congress Facebook page)

End Citizens United, a liberal political action committee, is throwing its weight behind Democrat Jon Ossoff in the race to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in Georgia’s 6th District. 

The endorsement is the latest sign that Democrats want to make a play for the district, which President Donald Trump carried by less than 2 points last fall, and that Ossoff is their top candidate. 

Ellison Gets Unlikely Boost From Trump in DNC Chairman Race
President touts Minnesota Democrat as soothsayer

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison could become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison picked up a semi-endorsement from an expected — and potentially unwelcome — source Wednesday morning in his bid to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee: Donald Trump.

With DNC members set to vote on a new leader in just three days, the Republican president, apparently while watching morning cable news talk shows, felt the need to weigh in. He did so in a tweet pointing out that Ellison predicted Trump would become the 45th chief executive.

House Democrats Look Beyond DNC Chairman Race
They have no say in the election but hold high hopes for the winner

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison is the only member of Congress running for the Democratic National Committee chairmanship. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congressional Democrats have little sway over who the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee will be. But the eventual winner — to be elected by DNC members this weekend in Atlanta — may play an important role in shaping the direction of a party that desperately needs help articulating its message and organizing ahead of the 2018 midterms.

“Right about now, they do nothing with the Congress. So anything would be an improvement,” Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell, a former DNC member, said of the committee last week, outside the House chamber. 

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]

With No Vote in Congress, D.C. Residents Find Power in Cash
District voters are supporting Jason Chaffetz’s challenger in Utah

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz is fast becoming a target of Washington, D.C., residents, upset about his efforts to overturn local laws. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It was only the second political contribution Sarah Carr had made in her life. A $100 gift to an obscure politician from a distant state whose values hardly align with her own.

But Carr, a 41-year-old marine scientist who lives on Capitol Hill, had a clear goal: she wanted to support anyone who might oust Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Take Five: John Kennedy
Louisiana Republican senator misses his law school gig

Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy has researched bus tours around D.C. and hopes to take one soon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, 65, shares his thoughts on Congress so far, why he chose not to continue teaching law school, and what he eats when his wife isn’t in D.C.

Q: In your first couple of months here, what have you discovered about the Senate that you didn’t know before?

Health Coverage Questions Persist for Republicans
Chances of House GOP blueprint passing the Senate remain unclear

Speaker Paul D. Ryan told reporters the House GOP health care measure will be introduced after the Presidents Day recess but it might face opposition from Republicans in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Republican lawmakers face questions from constituents and colleagues about their plans to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, there are few answers available, starting with what kind of legislation can pass the Senate. 

Republicans do not need Democratic support to undo much of the law, since they will move the legislation through the budget reconciliation process that only requires majority support in the Senate. But with only 52 Republican senators, the GOP plan will have to get support from both their conservatives and moderates, and it’s not clear what can get everyone onboard.