Politics

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.”

Ryan-Aligned Group Drops $2.2 Million on Ads to Oppose Obamacare
Will be featured in multiple swing congressional districts

American Action Network, which supports Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., is spending big on anti-Obamacare ads in swing districts across the country. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A conservative outside spending group is dropping $2.2 million in multiple districts that Democrats are targeting in efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The ads from American Action Network, a 501(c)(4) sister organization of the Congressional Leadership Fund, feature a pregnant woman named Elizabeth Jacinto talking about how her health care plan was canceled.

Emmer Promises to Leave Town Hall if it Gets Rowdy
This is why we can’t have nice things

Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., said he’ll leave his town hall on Wednesday if things get too rowdy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., warned that he will leave a town hall event on Wednesday if it gets too raucous.

According to the Star Tribune, Emmer made the warning in light of a recent outburst of protesters at town hall events for other Republican members of Congress, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported.

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. 

Washington Governor Inslee’s Profile Rises With Trump-Thumping
Ex-congressman downplays inclusion in 2020 presidential conversation

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington has gained national exposure after the state's legal wins in a lawsuit against President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s national profile is on the rise as an outspoken advocate for the state’s legal battle against President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.

Inslee, along with state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, has done a few victory laps after the state’s wins earlier this month in a lawsuit to block Trump’s order temporarily halting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Brat Gets an Earful at Virginia Town Hall
Congressman was booed when he defended Trump

Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., heard constituents’ concerns about health care and immigration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Judging by the reaction of the crown, Rep. David Brat, R-Va., might not have accomplished his mission in a town hall meeting on Tuesday.

Brat was heckled and booed in a restaurant conference room in Blackstone when he defended President Donald Trump and his stances on health care and immigration, The Associated Press reported.

McClintock Goes Into Overtime in Town Hall Meeting
California Republican congressman needed police escort to leave hall last time out

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., heard some anger on Tuesday, but didn’t need a police escort this time. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo).

After being escorted by police from a rambunctious town hall meeting a couple weeks ago, California Republican Rep. Tom McClintock stayed late at another on Tuesday.

An estimated 900 people showed up for Tuesday’s meeting in the small town of Mariposa. McClintock’s stops in Mariposa usually see 60 to 80 people, the San Francisco Chronicle noted.

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.

Black History Month: Librarian of Congress on her Trailblazing Role
Roll Call’s series with lawmakers and Capitol Hill figures continues

Carla Hayden speaks during her swearing-in ceremony in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress last September. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The first African-American and first woman to hold the position of librarian of Congress says she is partly in her role thanks to the inspiration of Frederick Douglass. Carla Hayden, who was sworn in last year, discusses with Roll Call the significance of Black History Month, her own place in it and how African-American culture and history is integral to American culture and history. 

Watch more interviews and the video, “Black History and America’s Capitol,” which combines all these talks, at rollcall.com/black-history-month

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. 

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.

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.

McMaster Needs Senate Confirmation to Keep All Three Stars
New job would entail demotion unless Senate signs off

McMaster, left, was announced as the new national security adviser by President Donald Trump on Monday at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. (Jenna Johnson/Washington Post/Print Pool)

National security advisers don’t need the consent of the Senate, but the decision by President Donald Trump to tap Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster for the assignment brings up an unusual question of military rank. Why? Without the Senate confirmation, McMaster would effectively be demoted as result of the new responsibilities, since three star generals generally have their rank tied to a particular function.

A National Security Council spokesman confirmed to Roll Call that McMaster is expected to face a Senate confirmation vote to maintain his three stars as a result of his new job, with the process already getting under way.

White House Not Dropping Travel Ban Court Fight
Justice Department had indicated otherwise, though Trump was murky

Passengers from a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight from Jeddah are greeted by protesters as they arrive at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on Jan. 29. Protests erupted at airports around the country following President Trump’s since-blocked executive order restricting travel from several Islamic countries. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Pool)

The Trump administration says it is keeping up its court fight to revive an executive order banning entry in the United States by people from Syria and six other Muslim-majority countries, despite Justice Department lawyers stating the opposite.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday the administration is moving ahead on dual paths: a new executive order that should be issued in a few days, and a continued legal fight over the initial order.