Congress OKs bill averting Saturday gov't shutdown

They had been hoping to pass the bill by or on Saturday to give President Trump a victory for his first 100 days in office. He's tested conventional political wisdom by eschewing travel, church, transparency, discipline, consistency and decorum.

The White House is eager to move forward on legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act to make good on a key campaign promise.

On Monday's broadcast of CNN's "New Day", House Freedom Caucus Chairman Emeritus Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) argued that the latest Obamacare bill isn't a repeal of Obamacare, but is "a pretty darn good bill" and "the best bill we can get out of the House".

Even if a plan did pass the Republican-controlled House, it would face a tough fight in the Senate, where Republicans have a narrower majority and where some party senators have expressed misgivings about the House bill. But there was still one problem: making AHCA even worse for the poor, sick, and elderly alienated many moderate Republicans. As they count votes, GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who was expected to be out for three to four weeks after surgery, is returning Monday from Utah and will back the bill, his office said. "We want to make sure they are protected".

"Talks on government funding legislation have continued throughout the week on a bipartisan, bicameral basis", said McConnell, R-Ky.

"What we're seeing here is not an effort by Congressional Republicans to actually improve health care. That, as we would say, trumps trade".

Supporters of the legislation hoped an amendment brokered between Tuesday Group Co-Chairman Tom MacArthur and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows would persuade enough hesitant members to get behind the bill.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of N.Y. speaks to reporters during a news conference Thursday on Capitol Hill.

"No poison pill riders", he said.

Last week lawmakers sent the president a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open through Friday.

Trump, who failed to get his health care vote and watched as Republicans declined his demand for money to build his border wall because of widespread agreement that it should not be tied to the spending deal, went after Democrats on Twitter.

Republicans have recast it to let states escape a requirement under President Barack Obama's 2010 law that insurers charge healthy and seriously ill customers the same rates.

If a state maintains safeguards such as a high-risk pool, it can allow insurers to use health status as a factor in setting premiums for people who have had a break in coverage and are trying to get a new individual policy.

Various sources calculate Republicans are now about a half-dozen votes short of the 216 they need for passage, and the leadership is unlikely to call a vote if there is any risk of support collapsing on the House floor, which is more likely when margins are close.

Many moderates say they oppose the revised bill. "We've seen more and more members on board".

But a number of centrist Republicans still opposed the measure.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., wants to avoid an encore of last month's embarrassment.

"AARP believes that Congress should be addressing the skyrocketing costs of health care, and especially prescription drugs, instead of boosting profits for drug companies and insurance companies", she adds.

Ed Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski, fellows at the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, on Wednesday applauded efforts to free states from "costly Obamacare mandates". That reversed the conservatives' opposition to the earlier edition of the legislation.

  • Salvatore Jensen