It’s coming down to the wire for President Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, as they seek to whip the required votes for their bill to replace Obamacare. Leadership is an untold number of votes short, but both the Speaker and Trump are making the hard sell to members. Trump is casting the bill as a prerequisite to passing all manner of other legislation that Republicans want, including tax reform. But conservatives want a faster and more complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act, while some moderates are not on board with provisions that would end Medicaid expansion. Thursday’s vote will be a key test of the uneasy alliance between Trump and Ryan, and will set the course for the president’s legislative agenda for the next four years.
Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, is sailing through the Senate Judiciary Committee, with folksy humor and deliberative answers. Some of the hottest flash points have been over his view of the role of the federal government and Trump’s attacks on federal judges. In both cases, Gorsuch avoided the political minefield—and in the case of Trump’s comments, felt free to criticize Trump. Senate Democrats have been trying to trip him up, with little success, as they use the hearing to try to score political points. But Democrats will soon have to decide where they stand on his nomination. It won’t be easy for many, who are torn between a base that wants to penalize Trump at every turn and the danger of forcing Republicans to use the “nuclear option” which would remove their leverage over Trump’s next Supreme Court pick.
All eyes on McConnell in the Senate. More questions about Manafort and Russia. And Gorsuch gets the Reddit question.
Here are your must reads:
President Trump to Republicans: Repeal Obamacare or Lose Your Jobs
Trump’s sales pitch to the GOP [TIME]
Neil Gorsuch Safely Avoided Drama During the Second Day of His Confirmation Hearings
TIME’s Tessa Berenson on a day of dad jokes and Democratic prodding
Manafort’s Plan to ‘Greatly Benefit the Putin Government’
Trump’s former campaign chairman’s ties to Russia under scrutiny [Associated Press]
The 7 Big Revisions Republicans Made to Their Health Care Bill, and Why They Made Them
Who got what, and why [New York Times]
House Obamacare Repeal DOA in the Senate
Salvaging it will be the rescue mission of Mitch McConnell’s career [Politico]
“We’re also taking decisive action to improve our vetting procedures. The courts are not helping us. I have to be honest with you. It’s ridiculous. Somebody said I should not criticize judges. OK. I’ll criticize judges to keep criminals and terrorists the hell out of our country.” — Trump at a dinner for the National Republican Congressional Committee Tuesday night
“I know these people, and how decent they are, and when anyone criticizes the honesty or integrity or motives of a federal judge, I find that disheartening and I find that demoralizing.” — Gorsuch on Trump’s tweets attacking judges
Bits and Bites
Justice Department Takes Rare Step to Revoke Terrorist’s U.S. Citizenship [Associated Press]
Labor nominee Acosta cut deal with billionaire guilty in sex abuse case [Washington Post]
- Exclusive: The Making of the U.S. Military's New Stealth Bomber
- Your Next House Could Be Made on an Assembly Line
- The Legal Implications of the Debate Over Whether 'Extreme Racism' Is a Mental Illness
- Why European Countries Are Giving Teens Free Money To Spend on Books, Music, and Theater
- Republican Skepticism of Trump Has Never Been Higher
- Column: The U.S. Prison System Doesn't Value True Justice
- How Green Is the Qatar World Cup’s Outdoor AC?
- 16 Funny and Whimsical White Elephant Gifts Under $25
- The 5 Best New TV Shows Our Critic Watched in November 2022