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Opinion: Are Republicans Storming the Castle or Walking the Plank on Health Care?
Upcoming health care vote could have consequences for 2018

Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, was singled out by President Donald Trump at Tuesday’s House GOP conference meeting for not yet voicing his support for the Republican health care plan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans are getting leaned on, hard, to vote for the GOP health care bill. First came the invitations to the White House Bowling Alley. Then the lunch dates. Still hunting for votes over the weekend, President Donald Trump flew members to Mar-a-Lago. But by Tuesday, with a floor vote looming, President Trump was naming names at the GOP caucus meeting. “Mark Meadows?” the president said, looking for the leader of the Freedom Caucus, who has still not said he’ll vote for the bill. “Stand up, Mark. … Mark, I’m going to come after you.”

The White House later said that the president was “just having fun” at the caucus meeting. But when a White House goes into full whip mode, which this White House obviously has, it’s time for the members on the sharp side of the whip to ask themselves whether they’re being asked to storm the castle or walk the plank. In other words, will their vote on health care this week help deliver a successful, necessary legislative victory, or are they being asked to support a bill that may not pass, may not work, or may cost them and their party their seats in two years’ time.

Looking for Clues From a 2005 Special Election in Ohio
Instead of comparing Democratic enthusiasm to tea party, go further back in time

Democrat Paul Hackett narrowly lost a special election in a heavily Republican district in Ohio in 2005. (Mike Simons/Getty Images file photo)

Are Democrats in the early stages of their own tea party movement? It’s one of the biggest outstanding questions at this point in the cycle. But as we collectively look at the past for prologue, I don’t understand why our memories only go back eight years.

There was a time, not too long ago, when Democrats were out of the White House and in the minority in both chambers of Congress, and a demoralizing presidential election loss helped jump-start a movement back to the majority.

Opinion: Trump, Yul Brynner and a Results-Free Presidency
Like the King of Siam, Trump is lionized by his fans as ‘a man who tries’

In President Donald Trump’s world, talking a good game matters more than tangible accomplishments, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At the core of Donald Trump’s Friday press conference with Angela Merkel was a theme that he has been harping on since he became a candidate — America is being played for a patsy on the global stage.

Sure, now that he is president, Trump feels compelled to ritualistically affirm his “strong support for NATO.” But at the press conference, a German reporter challenged Trump over his “isolationist policy.” The president pointedly responded, “The United States has been treated very, very unfairly by many countries over the years. And that’s going to stop. But I’m not an isolationist.”

Trump Defiant on Alleged Phone Tapping, Upbeat on Health Bill
POTUS: Efforts to get House GOP health care votes going beautifully

Trump holds a joint press conference with Merkel in the East Room of the White House on Friday. He appeared to repeat his claim that for President Obama tapped his phones, and said Republicans are coming together around a health care overhaul bill. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

An ever-defiant President Donald Trump on Friday doubled down on his claim that Barack Obama’s administration tapped his phones, telling German Chancellor Angela Merkel the duo might both be victims of Obama-led spying.

“As far as wiretapping, at least we have something in common, perhaps,” Trump quipped in the ornate East Room. The U.S. and German journalists, staff members and dignitaries responded with laughter — and some gasps.

Word on the Hill: Cortez Masto and Latina Staffers
Tea party rally and award for Biden

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, center, front row, and the staffers. (Courtesy Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto's office)

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., met with Latina Senate staffers on Monday for a roundtable discussion on the importance of women and students of color getting access to internships and employment opportunities on Capitol Hill.

They also discussed obstacles women face in a Senate office and brainstormed other ways to address issues pertaining to a lack of diversity.

Former Rep. Eligio ‘Kika’ de la Garza Dies at 89
Texas Democrat served 16 terms in the House

Rep. Eligio “Kika” de la Garza, D-Texas, second from right, claps as Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, throws a football in a House conference room in this undated photo. De la Garza passed away Monday. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

In 1978, Texas Democratic Rep. Eligio “Kika” de la Garza was invited to accompany his colleague Rep. Leo J. Ryan to Guyana on a fact-finding mission and escort people being held at the People’s Temple colony to safety.

De la Garza, like several colleagues in the House, turned down the invitation due to the House’s “hectic” schedule. Ryan and four other members of his delegation were murdered as they were getting on a plane to leave the country before more than 900 people committed mass suicide in the jungle.

Opinion: Paul Ryan and the Danger of Keeping Unworkable Promises
GOP could pay a political price in 2018 with repeal and replace push

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s rationale for a health care overhaul conflicts with where most Americans stand on the issue, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Paul Ryan quote from “Face the Nation” on Sunday so appealed to the speaker’s press office that it became the headline of a Monday morning press release. Referring to Obamacare, Ryan said, “We made a promise to the people who elected us, we would repeal and replace this law. … And now we are keeping our word.”

Promises made, promises kept. It sounds so inspiring. But for all the political pride in adhering to campaign promises, what usually matters far more to the voters are their personal priorities rather than those of politicians.

Agriculture Nominee Moves Closer to Confirmation Hearing
OGE releases Sonny Perdue’s ethics agreement and financial disclosures

Sonny Perdue served two terms as governor of Georgia. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue agreed to extricate himself from a web of interests and restructure two family trusts to remove himself and his wife from active involvement if he wins confirmation as Agriculture secretary, according his disclosure documents at the Office of Government Ethics.

The release of Perdue’s financial disclosure and ethics agreement sets the stage for the Senate Agriculture Committee to schedule a confirmation hearing. The committee said last Friday it had received Perdue’s long awaited official nomination papers, nearly two months after President Donald Trump announced he planned to nominate him. It’s unclear if Perdue has completed a committee questionnaire that is typically part of the confirmation process. 

McCaul Worries Immigration Rhetoric Hurting Border Economies
Represents a district along the U.S.-Mexico border

House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said he wants to make sure trade policies doesn't hurt local economies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul wants to make sure that rhetoric surrounding Mexico and immigration does not hurt border region economies.

McCaul, who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, spoke with NPR about concerns from local elected officials and businesspeople that President Donald Trump’s talk about the border has reduced tax revenue in McAllen.

Trump Travel Ban Part II Could Put GOP in Tough Spot
Defying polls, president signs second executive order

Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., speaks with an ACLU legal observer during the protest at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on Jan. 29. Protests erupted at airports around the country following President Trump’s since-frozen executive order restricting travel from several Islamic countries; on Monday, he signed a revised version. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump’s second generation travel ban on individuals from several Muslim-majority countries could put his fellow Republicans in a tough spot.

The new order, signed Monday, comes after federal courts blocked an earlier version and despite polls showing most Americans oppose it.