senate

Hill Flounders on Kids’ Care
Congress’ failure to extend a popular insurance program leaves millions of children at risk of losing health care

A girl is examined by a physician’s assistant in Aurora, Colo. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Minnesota officials knew they would exhaust Children’s Health Insurance Program money by the end of this year. Then they discovered the news was worse: The state would likely be out of money for coverage of low-income children and pregnant women by the end of September. And it became increasingly clear that Congress was probably not going to meet a deadline to help.

The state will have “to take extraordinary measures to ensure that coverage continues beyond October 1, 2017, if Congress does not act,” warned Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper in a Sept. 13 letter pleading with lawmakers for “urgent” action.

Candidates to Rally Supporters Ahead of Alabama Senate Race
Each campaign will host a rally ahead Tuesday's election

Vice President Mike Pence will head to Alabama on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Both Republican candidates in the Alabama Senate race are bringing in heavy hitters to rally their supporters on the eve of the GOP runoff.

Republican voters head to the polls Tuesday to choose between former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to the seat after former Sen. Jeff Sessions became attorney general. Both candidates will hold rallies on the eve of the election, highlighting outside forces that are backing their campaigns.

Gohmert Calls for McCain’s Recall
Texas Republican suggests way to support senator and get health care repeal

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert says Arizona Sen. John McCain should be recalled while he undergoes cancer treatment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert believes Arizona Sen. John McCain should be recalled while he undergoes treatment for cancer so that Republicans can replace him with someone who will support the party’s latest effort to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law.

“He’s got cancer, it’s a tough battle,” the GOP congressman told “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning. “But stress is a real inhibitor to getting over cancer.”

Updated Senate Health Bill Seeks to Sway Holdout Republicans

From left, Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Cornyn, R-Texas, John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and John Thune, R-S.D., are pushing on the latest iteration of a far-reaching health care bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans are circulating an updated version of their latest proposal to overhaul the 2010 health care law. The new draft bill was obtained by CQ Roll Call.

The updated bill, from Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-.S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., would overhaul the 2010 health care law. It appears to seek to address concerns of senators who haven’t supported the plan.

McConnell Avoided Making a Promise He Couldn’t Keep
McCain’s health care announcement showed value of majority leader’s caution

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had intended to turn back to health care this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell never quite guaranteed a floor vote on the latest Republican effort to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law as the clock ticked toward an end-of-September deadline.

The Kentucky Republican’s office was measured last week when asked about the prospects for floor action, with the majority leader saying through multiple spokespersons that it was “the Leader’s intention to consider” the legislation drafted by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

CHIP, FAA Face Deadlines This Week
Even with typical drama absent, funding cliffs still loom

South Dakota Sen. John Thune chairs the Commerce Committee, which approved an FAA authorization bill earlier this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is spared the usual end-of-the-fiscal-year drama this month, with normal fights over government spending punted until December, but lawmakers still face several deadlines before the Sept. 30 cutoff for fiscal 2017.

With the Republicans’ last-gasp effort to undo the 2010 health care law fizzling, Congress may now try to pass short-term extensions to avoid running aground on the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Federal Aviation Administration and community health centers, authorizations for which expire at the end of the month. 

On North Korea, Some Lawmakers See Scattershot Trump Approach
‘It’s hard to figure out what the consistent message or the priority is’

People at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, watch a television showing President Donald Trump on Aug. 9. (JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images File Photo)

One day, aggressively enforcing sanctions is the key to solving the North Korea issue. The next, President Donald Trump threatens to “totally destroy” the country. And some senior lawmakers are troubled by what they see as a lack of consistency from the commander in chief.

As the president vacillates between a sanctions-based approach that presses North Korea’s allies to do more and threats to take down the Kim Jong Un government along with its nuclear and missile programs, some top Democrats want Trump and his team to settle on a consistent strategy. But it appears there is little they can do to bring that about.

Opinion: Another Health Care Bill, Another Health Care Cliff
Major rewrites of policy deserve more than partisan signoff

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer conducts a news conference in the Capitol on Sept. 18 to oppose the Graham-Cassidy legislation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Maybe we have finally established a lasting legislative principle for both parties: Don’t ever again try to pass major health care legislation using parliamentary gimmicks to avoid a filibuster.

The Democrats, under Barack Obama, followed this route in 2010 after they lost their filibuster-proof Senate majority when Republican Scott Brown unexpectedly won the special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. As a result, final tinkering and technical improvements could not be made in the Obamacare legislation using a House-Senate conference.

Proposed Changes to D.C. Circulator Would End Route Around Capitol Hill
Library of Congress encouraging people to take action against changes

A D.C. Circulator bus makes its way east on Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The cheapest form of public transportation in Washington is the D.C. Circulator, at just $1 a ride. For Capitol Hill staffers and visitors, one Circulator route goes to Union Station, the Capitol, the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress.

But the District Department of Transportation’s 2017 Transit Development Plan Update includes a proposed modification of that route that would eliminate the Capitol Hill stops.

Word on the Hill: Busy Week
Your social calendar for the week

Events all over D.C. to explore this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Happy Monday and welcome back.

This week is packed with things to do around the D.C. area.