During a 10-hour grilling from senators Tuesday, Judge Neil Gorsuch offered few hints as to his judicial philosophy, frustrating the Judiciary Committee’s Democrats in a polished and calm performance. Gorsuch — sprinkling his answers to the committee’s questions with “gosh” and “golly” and “goodness” — deftly dodged Democratic senators’ attempts to pin him down on abortion, the scope of the Second Amendment and the Citizens United campaign finance decision. The 49-year-old Colorado judge also repeatedly insisted he would maintain his independence from President Trump and said no one in the administration had asked him to promise to rule a certain way on cases once he got to the court–neutralizing one of Democrats’ main lines of attack against him.
House Speaker Paul Ryan admitted in a surprisingly candid Friday press conference that his caucus was experiencing “growing pains” that caused him to fall short of delivering long-promised votes to repeal and replace Obamacare. “Yeah, we’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future,” Ryan told reporters. It was a stunning admission from the leader of a party that has been promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act for seven years and now controls the White House and both houses of Congress.
An outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin was shot dead in broad daylight in Kiev Thursday, just two days after a lawyer for the family of a slain Russian whistleblower was injured in a mysterious fall from his fourth-story apartment near Moscow. Denis Voronenkov was a former Russian Communist Party member who’d become increasingly critical of Putin’s policies after fleeing to Ukraine in 2016. As it has after similar incidents, the Kremlin swiftly rejected any suggestion it was involved in Voronenkov’s murder.
Hillary Clinton praised the efforts of “people in every corner of our country” and then posted tweets about people who have benefited from the ACA.
After the GOP replacement for Obamacare was dramatically pulled at the last minute, Democrats took a victory lap, mocking President Trump and claiming a win for their party and the American public.
WASHINGTON — A surprise offer by Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, to “provide information” to congressional committees investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russia may be far more limited than it first appeared, according to congressional sources and others familiar with the matter. “Paul Manafort to Testify Before House Intelligence Panel,” read the headline in the New York Times.
House Speaker Paul Ryan suddenly pulled the President Trump-backed bill to repeal and replace Obamacare in a last-minute admission he was not able to marshal the required 216 votes Friday afternoon. “We were very close,” Trump said from the Oval Office late Friday afternoon. Trump had thrown his full endorsement to the health care bill in recent weeks and has long staked his reputation on being a master negotiator.
Bracing for the possible defeat of the Republican plan to repeal and replace parts of Obamacare, the White House emphasized Friday that President Trump had done everything he could to muscle the controversial bill to passage. Hours before a scheduled House of Representatives vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), Spicer told reporters that “you can’t force someone to vote a certain way” but described Trump as having led an aggressive campaign on the measure’s behalf.
Defending a controversial bill that would put extreme limitations on access to abortion, an Oklahoma state lawmaker reluctantly admitted he believes that rape and incest may represent the will of God. Rep. George Faught, a Republican from Oklahoma’s 14th District, is the author of House Bill 1549, or the “Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2017.” The bill proposes to prohibit abortions on the basis of genetic anomalies, such as Down syndrome. The debate over the bill Tuesday got sidetracked into a discussion of the morality of abortion in cases of rape and incest.
House Republicans on Friday appeared to be short of the votes they need to pass a Donald Trump-pushed bill to overhaul the nation’s health care system mere hours before they were scheduled to vote on the package. The Associated Press reported early Friday afternoon that the bill had yet to obtain enough votes to pass, according to House lawmakers and staffers, with a vote scheduled for 3:30 p.m. that afternoon. Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., left the Capitol for the White House to brief Trump on his progress whipping votes for the American Health Care Act, which would repeal Obamacare and replace it with a Republican alternative that the House caucus’ conservative and moderate wings have objected to.
With the vote on the American Health Care Act looming, conservative media personalities and outlets that were backers of President Trump throughout the campaign are attacking the Obamacare replacement bill the White House supports. Ann Coulter, right-wing provocateur and an avid supporter of the Trump campaign, has been attacking the bill as “Obamacare Lite” since its text became public, hammering House Speaker Paul Ryan along the way. “Could some investigative reporter write a piece explaining why Ryan is so hellbent on this deeply unpopular healthcare bill?” she wrote earlier this week, before criticizing Trump and Ryan for making tax cuts next on their legislative agenda instead of trade and immigration.
President Trump put pressure on the House of Representatives to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) Friday morning as its prospects looked bleaker. As expected, Trump bemoaned the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, claiming it sent premiums and deductibles skyrocketing and provided overall poor health care.
As President Trump was testing out a big rig’s horn on the White House South Lawn Thursday afternoon, the Republicans’ proposed Obamacare replacement bill was stalling out in the House.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., the head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, went out of his way to praise President Trump’s negotiating skills when announcing to reporters Thursday that there were still “30 to 40” House members whom the White House had failed to woo in time for the planned health care vote that evening. “We would not be where we are today even considering this if it were not for President Trump’s personal involvement,” Meadows said, minutes after House leaders announced they were scrapping their much-touted plan to vote Thursday on the repeal-and-replace measure.
The White House said a House floor vote on the GOP health care bill was postponed simply for scheduling reasons on Thursday and officials remain “confident” it will pass. Shortly after news of the delay broke, White House principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters the vote was put off to avoid holding it in the wee hours of Friday morning. “We are going to start the debate tonight on the vote as planned,” Sanders said.
Shortly before Republican leaders postponed a vote on repealing and replacing Obamacare, the White House on Thursday scolded Republicans who took “free votes” to roll back the law while President Barack Obama was in office, but who now balk at supporting President Trump’s health care plan. “You’ve taken a bunch of these free votes when it didn’t matter, because you didn’t have a Republican president. “Well, this is a live ball now, and this is for real, and we’re going to do what we pledged to the American people — and keep our word,” Spicer told reporters at his daily briefing.
As a popular Indiana restaurant owner faces deportation under President Trump’s immigration directives, his family becomes the latest in a series of Trump supporters to find campaign promises affecting their lives. According to a report from Indiana Public Radio, Roberto Beristain’s family said he’s expected to be deported on Friday and has already been moved from the detention facility in Wisconsin where they had been visiting him. Beristain is the owner of Eddie’s Steak Shed in Granger, Ind., which he purchased from his sister-in-law earlier this month after eight years of working at the restaurant.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., speaks at Secretary of Agriculture nominee Sonny Perdue’s confirmation hearing. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., expressed remorse Thursday for making a sarcastic comment implying that coverage for mammograms shouldn’t be a requirement for the GOP’s insurance plan. Mammograms are essential to women’s health & I never intended to indicate otherwise,” he tweeted.
House intelligence committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., apologized to members of the panel today for his public claims about intelligence community surveillance of President Trump’s transition team amid charges from Democrats that his unilateral announcement on the White House lawn had “betrayed” the panel’s bipartisan investigation of Russian cyberattacks on the 2016 election. “At this point, the committee’s independence is on life support,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., told Yahoo News after a closed-door meeting of the committee Thursday. “Not since Sept. 11 has this committee been charged with such an important responsibility,” Swalwell added, referring to the panel’s Russia probe.
Nunes, the California Republican who heads the House intelligence committee, called a press conference Wednesday to announce that he had informed the White House that Trump transition communications may have been subject to “incidental collection” in the course of surveillance of other targets, possibly foreign. Nunes faced severe criticism from both sides of the aisle for making the information available to the press and the White House before briefing other members of his own committee, which is currently investigating suspicions of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.