Senate Republicans share their health care draft this morning.
By VERONICA STRACQUALURSI
June 22, 2017, 10:46 AM
• 5 min read
-- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
Time to show their work: Senate Republicans share their health care draft this morning after negotiating it behind closed doors. The bill is expected to roll back Medicaid expansions but more gradually than the House bill, and establish tax credits to help consumers buy insurance.
President Trump is calling it a "plan with heart" and claims he told senators to "add some money to it," as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell aims for a vote on the bill next week.
Tapes are on a faster timeline: The White House says "there will be something this week" on whether recordings exist of Trump's conversations with James Comey.
Licking their wounds from the loss in the Georgia special election, Democrats' blame is falling on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, with some in the party flat-out calling for her to step down.
It's a discussion draft that will leave much to discuss, and it's unlikely to get prettier from here. The history of health care bills in Congress provides a clear lesson: process matters. On that count, the Senate's health care effort is off to a distinctly unhealthy start, with members of the GOP's conservative and moderate wings sounding similar only in their skepticism around a bill that's been kept from even most of them until today. The secrecy has built anticipation and trepidation around the details, and now people will be able to judge the impact on their lives. Medicaid cuts, pre-existing conditions, abortion and Planned Parenthood; there's enough cobbled together to convince senators that they'll want to hear from constituents, or at least stakeholder groups, before taking votes that leadership insists need to happen before the Fourth of July. "I've been talking about a plan with heart," President Trump said Wednesday night in Iowa, in another implicit dig at the House bill he once celebrated, adding that he told senators to "add some money to it." Nobody is against "heart." But the details are not even an easy sell at campaign-style rallies, much less congressional hearings and voter gatherings, with an effort that starts out as unpopular as this does.
DEMOCRATS 0-4 NOW PLAY THE BLAME GAME
A next generation of Democrats shook their heads and threw up their hands at the party bosses Wednesday, accusing them of deaf ears and zero introspection after another embarrassing defeat in Georgia's special election. A handful of those in the House went as far as to say that the entire Democratic leadership team needed to go. Republicans successfully ran against the image of Nancy Pelosi specifically in the race outside Atlanta, a fact that did not go unnoticed by folks in her ranks. Adding insult to injury, internal letters to the team Wednesday failed to mention any strategic changes the party may make to win races and only gave lip service to the idea of developing an economic agenda while still failing to hammer out concrete details. "There's a level of depression," Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who challenged Pelosi in the House Democratic leadership elections last fall, said. "Our brand is worse than Trump," he told The New York Times. The president wasted no time taking a victory lap, tweeting about the win and touting it at a stop in Iowa Wednesday night. He said people had hoped for a "great humiliation" to the president but he came out on top instead, ABC News' MaryAlice Parks writes.
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@jdawsey1: No camera or recording allowed tomorrow at White House briefing with spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, per advisory.
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