West Virginia

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.

Senate Republicans Raise Questions About Health Care Bill
‘My concern is this doesn’t repeal Obamacare,’ Rand Paul says

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy talks with reporters Thursday after a meeting in the Capitol on the Senate Republicans’ health care draft. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A few key Senate Republicans are already raising concerns with the discussion draft of a health care bill unveiled Thursday, which could threaten its passage if the measure comes up for a vote next week.

Multiple senators raised concerns with the draft they were briefed on Thursday morning, although many said they needed to review the proposal in full. Senate GOP leaders can only lose two Republican votes on the measure for it to pass with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote as no Democrats are expected to vote for the measure. GOP leaders hope to bring the legislation to the floor for a vote next week.

Senate Obamacare Repeal Bill Largely an Entitlement Overhaul
Proposal would maintain key aspects of the 2010 health care law

From left, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso conduct a news conference after the Senate policy luncheons in the Capitol last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A draft of the Senate counterpart legislation to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system unveiled Thursday would make drastic changes to the Medicaid program, but largely retain the existing federal tax credit structure from the 2010 health care law that helps individuals afford insurance, among other provisions. 

The proposal is part of the Republicans’ seven-year effort to gut former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement. Senate GOP leadership, which has crafted the bill largely behind closed doors with virtually no public input, has faced difficulty in bridging the gap between moderate and conservative demands.

Batter Up! The 9th Congressional Women's Softball Game in Photos
The June 21 event as captured by Roll Call's photographer

Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., bats in the Congressional Women’s Softball Game on Wednesday that pits members of Congress against female journalists at Watkins Recreation Center on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The press team prevailed 2-1 in this year’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game that pits journalists against members of Congress. It’s the ninth annual such event. Bipartisanship was on full display more than ever this year, Alex Gangitano reports, at an event where members from both sides of the aisle have traditionally played on the same team.

The game benefits the Young Survival Coalition that helps young women with breast cancer.

Health Care Politics Serve as Senate Bill Text Prelude
Wednesday’s campaign fodder a preview of Thursday’s discussion draft

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is preparing to release a draft bill to rework the U.S. health insurance system he has assembled in secret. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate procedural wonks huddled Wednesday with the parliamentarian’s office, making their case for whether Republican legislation to rework the health insurance system complies with the chamber’s rules, even as Washington braced for the release of the draft GOP measure. 

Over the next week, though, the debate will play out on both the procedural and political fields.

Who’s Playing in Tonight’s Congressional Softball Game
The ninth annual game pits members of Congress against the media to raise money

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., celebrates with teammates after members defeated the media team, 10-5, in the 2014 Congressional Softball Game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress team up with the Washington press corps in the annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game Wednesday night to raise money for breast cancer.

This year’s game has seen interest and ticket sales soar after the shooting at last week’s Republican team practice before the Congressional Baseball Game, which set a record for attendance.

Word on the Hill: The Week Ahead
Annual softball game is Wednesday

From left, Alabama Rep. Martha Roby, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito check out the media team as they prepare to play in the Congressional Women's Softball Game last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Last week closed on a positive and inspirational bipartisan note at the 56th annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

This week’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game, which pits female lawmakers against female members of the D.C. press corps, is expected to have the same sense of esprit de corps.

Republicans Weigh Higher Medicaid Growth Rate for Some States

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, right, says Medicaid is among the big outstanding issues for the health care talks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By Joe Williams and Kerry Young, CQ Roll Call

Senate Republicans may provide higher federal funding to states with low Medicaid costs in their health care bill. The proposal under consideration gets to the heart of a key sticking point in the ongoing GOP discussions to overhaul the U.S. health care system: how to equitably treat states with drastically different Medicaid spending levels.

Opinion: What Exactly Do Republicans Believe in Besides Trump?
Power may be valued more than patriotism

President Donald Trump changes positions and contradicts himself while Republicans scramble to defend him, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

When my parents were good Republicans — my mother a party activist, in fact — the label meant something entirely different than it does today.

It was the party of Lincoln, imagine that, and the GOP tolerated differences with a tent that was indeed big. You could be pro-civil rights and fiscally conservative, a working-class African-American family in Maryland, then, as now, a mostly blue state, and there was someone such as Republican Sen. Charles Mathias. With his streak of independence and loyalty to principle, he could represent you, your party and even those who didn’t vote for him.

It’s Seersucker Time
National Seersucker Day kicks off summer Thursday tradition in the Capitol

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., celebrates National Seersucker Day during a group photograph in the U.S. Capitol in 2015. Along with McConnell are from left, Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Thad Cochran, R-Miss., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Summer in Washington means Seersucker Thursdays in the Capitol.

The longstanding tradition started as a way to keep cool in the D.C. swamp in the summer but has turned into a time for bipartisanship and camaraderie.