House Speaker Paul Ryan sensationally pulled his Obamacare repeal bill from the floor Friday, a day after President Donald Trump had threatened to walk away from health care reform if he didn't get a vote. After a dramatic day on Capitol Hill, Ryan rushed from the White House to Capitol Hill to tell Trump he did not have the votes to pass the measure, the culmination of seven years of Republican efforts to eradicate President Barack Obama's proudest domestic achievement. ... "We came up short," Ryan told reporters. "We are going to be living with Obamacare for the forseeable future."
Former Vice President Joe Biden late Friday night said he regretted not running for the presidency, predicting if he had secured the Democratic nomination he could have won against Donald Trump. "I had planned on running for president and although it would have been a very difficult primary, I think I could have won," he said. "Maybe not, I don't know." "Do I regret not being president? Yes," Biden said. "I was the best qualified." read more
The House of Representatives delayed its vote on repealing and replacing parts of the Affordable Care Act after Republican leaders failed to rally enough support to pass the bill, sources told CNBC. The GOP House caucus will meet at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday to discuss its path forward, NBC News reported. Debate on the plan will start in the House on Thursday night and Republicans expect to have the votes to pass it on Friday, a White House spokeswoman said. The postponement is a sobering setback for Republicans, who aimed to pass health-care legislation before moving to other parts of their agenda, particularly tax reform. The GOP had timed Thursday's now-aborted vote to the seventh anniversary of the passage of the ACA, popularly known as Obamacare. read more
American voters disapprove the Republican health-care bill 56% to 17%, with 26% undecided, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released Thursday. The bill may be voted on as early as Thursday as a group of conservatives negotiate with Speaker Paul Ryan and others. The bill is unpopular enough that 46% of voters say they will be less likely to vote for a senator or representative that votes for the bill. One out of every seven Americans, 14%, think they will lose their health insurance under the Republican plan, the poll finds.
Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney made clear Thursday evening that President Donald Trump is done negotiating on the hotly-debated health care bill and wants a vote on Friday. And, if the president doesn't get a vote to repeal and replace Obamacare, he will move on to other priorities, Mulvaney said according to a source in the room during the tense talks with GOP members. ... There are currently 30 Republicans who say they will not vote for the Trump-backed legislation. Among the latest is Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Washington. "While I appreciate this week's effort by Speaker Ryan and his leadership team to better protect older Americans from health-care cost increases, the difficulties this bill would create for millions of children were left unaddressed," Herrera Beutler said in a statement Thursday.
The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign, US officials told CNN. This is partly what FBI Director James Comey was referring to when he made a bombshell announcement Monday before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, according to one source. read more
The House intelligence committee investigation of the Trump campaign's alleged links with Moscow looks in danger of unraveling as a result of the unexplained behavior of its chairman, Devin Nunes, a former Trump adviser. Such behavior reportedly includes an unexplained disappearance from an Uber ride with a staffer on Tuesday night, described by his Democratic counterpart as a "peculiar midnight run." The investigation subsequently appeared to stall, with Nunes calling off a critical hearing scheduled for Tuesday at a time when his Democratic counterpart on the committee, Adam Schiff, said he had seen more than circumstantial evidence of collusion between the Trump camp and Russia. At an extraordinary committee hearing last Monday, the FBI director, James Comey, confirmed for the first time that the bureau was investigating Trump associates for possible collusion with Moscow. read more
An increased number of immigrants in the U.S. might have contributed to an historic drop in crime rates, according to a new study. Research also shows that immigrants are less likely than U.S.-born citizens to commit crimes and be imprisoned. Both reports cast doubt on President Donald Trump's and his administration's populist rhetoric that immigrants and particularly undocumented immigrants are more likely to commit violent crimes. read more
This week, GOP leaders dubbed President Donald Trump "the Closer" and insisted he could win over dissenting Republicans and ensure the passage of the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But the Closer didn't close. A half an hour before the bill was set to go to the floor on Friday, it was pulled, in a mercy-killing ensured by revolts in both the moderate and conservative wings of the party. Now, in the wake of an embarrassing defeat, the White House and Republicans are pointing fingers at one another and scrambling to avoid blame.
Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch's path to 60 votes is rapidly closing -- setting the stage for a nuclear showdown in the Senate as soon as next week. Senior Democratic sources are now increasingly confident that Gorsuch can't clear a filibuster, saying his ceiling is likely mid- to upper-50s on the key procedural vote. That would mark the first successful filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee since Abe Fortas for chief justice in the 1960s. ... If Democrats successfully filibuster Gorsuch, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has heavily telegraphed that he will invoke the so-called nuclear option to unilaterally change Senate rules with a simple majority vote.