The Senate Republican healthcare bill is facing stiff new headwinds after the release of Monday’s Congressional Budget Office “score” estimated it would result in 22 million more uninsured by 2026, with insurance coverage for those that would still have it more expensive for less coverage. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell touted the deficit reduction from the bill, as he works feverishly to win over his GOP colleagues to support the bill in preparation for a vote this week. But already more than two Republican lawmakers say they will not support the bill or even approve bringing it up for debate, meaning McConnell’s chances of passing anything this week are exceedingly slim. There is still room for tweaks to the bill designed to win over those lawmakers, but any move to appease moderates is likely to upset conservatives, and vice versa. Should he fail this week, McConnell is signaling to President Trump and other Republicans that it would mark the end of the unilateral GOP push to undo the Affordable Care Act, and that instead the party will work to fix the bill in a more bipartisan fashion. Such an eventuality would mark a dramatic reversal on the Republican Party’s core promise to its voters over the last seven years, made all the more striking by the party’s inability to pass such legislation with unified control of the federal government.
The White House issued an unusual and strongly-worded statement late Monday warning the Syrian government against additional chemical weapons strikes, as the president laid down his own “red line” with a threat of the use of military force. Pentagon officials said they’ve seen indications of preparations for a strike at the same base from which the March attack was launched. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say they are still awaiting the articulation of a strategy from the White House for Syria.
The travel ban ruling’s unanswered questions. EPA tries to alter a scientist’s congressional testimony. And Jared Kushner hires another lawyer.
Here are your must reads:
Senate Health Care Bill Would Result in 22 Million Uninsured By 2026
Further complicates path to passage [TIME]
Senate Obamacare Repeal on Brink of Defeat
At least four Republicans could oppose a key procedural vote to call up the bill [Politico]
A Few Bright Spots for Republicans
The rest can be scored as grim [New York Times]
Ruling in Travel Ban Leaves Myriad Questions Unanswered
More lawsuits possible [Associated Press]
White House Says Syria’s Assad Preparing Another Chemical Attack
Warns of ‘heavy’ penalty [Washington Post]
Trump Party Planner Promoted at HUD After Carson’s Troubled Tour
Lynne Patton fumbled her first job at the agency, only to be vaulted upward [Politico]
House Republicans Close to Deal Significantly Boosting Defense Spending
The budget resolution is unusually important this year because the GOP plans to use it to try to pass a tax overhaul without Democratic support [Wall Street Journal]
“I don’t know.” — White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer asked Monday why the White House did not mark Ramadan with an Iftar dinner as did his three immediate predecessors
“I’m proud to announce to the media, to the American people, and to the Indian people, that Prime Minister Modi and I are world leaders in social media. We’re believers — giving the citizens of our countries the opportunity to hear directly from their elected officials, and for us to hear directly from them. I guess it’s worked very well in both cases.” — President Trump hosting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rose Garden
Bits and Bites
U.S. Arms for Syrian Kurds Will Continue After Raqqa, James Mattis Says [Associated Press]
The White House Says Assad May Be Preparing Another Chemical Attack [Associated Press]
Five Findings of the CBO on Senate Health Plan [Wall Street Journal]