Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

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Elaine Chao: ‘I Stand By My Man. Both of Them.’
Transportation secretary stays neutral in boss-husband feud

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao gives her “man” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a kiss after he introduced her during her confirmation hearing in January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao weighed in Tuesday on President Donald Trump’s feud with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell using unexpected choice words:

“I stand by my man. Both of them,” she said.

Senate Health Care Failure Prompts Republican Soul Searching
Onus falls to Mitch McConnell to unite GOP conference

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, seen here Tuesday with Majority Whip John Cornyn, is facing questions over his strategy used in crafting the health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell employed an iron fist over the Republican health care effort, keeping top lieutenants in the dark about key decisions and withholding detailed policy information from the conference as a whole until just before it was released publicly.

Now with the seven-year effort to gut the 2010 health care law in tatters, it falls on the Kentucky Republican to deal with the aftermath, and quell concerns about whether he can continue to lead effectively. 

Critics From All Sides Hammer McConnell
Politicians and pundits criticize majority leader’s legislative tactics

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellhas come under criticism from all sides after he was forced to scuttle the GOP repeal-and-replace bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing mounting criticism from politicians and pundits on both sides of the aisle after the collapse of his chamber’s Republican health care legislation.

Before the bill was pulled Monday night, Sen. Ron Johnson told a local newspaper that McConnell’s conflicting statements to different members of his caucus were a “significant breach of trust.”

Medicaid Still Key Sticking Point in GOP Health Debate
Additional changes impacting the entitlement program are under consideration

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is one of several GOP members who have not yet publicized their position on the revised bill to repeal and replace the 2010 health law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Just hours after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellunveiled an updated bill to overhaul the U.S. insurance system, lawmakers hesitant about the proposed changes to Medicaid huddled in the Kentucky Republican’s office in search of a solution.

The members, which included Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Rob Portman of Ohio, were also joined by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma.

New GOP Health Care Draft Keeps Major Medicaid Changes
Includes a few small revisions in an effort to bring on hesitant lawmakers

Senate Republican leadership on Thursday released updated language for their legislation to repeal and replace large portions of the 2010 health care law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:43 p.m. | The updated Senate Republican health care bill to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system makes a number of tweaks designed to win the support of GOP holdouts, but maintains the significant changes to the Medicaid program that continues to be the foundation of the entire legislation.

An analysis of the new draft unveiled Thursday — which would pour billions more into a state fund intended to help lower premiums — from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is expected to be released Monday, with a procedural vote on the measure occurring early next week.

GOP Wheeling and Dealing Takes Center Stage in Senate
A bonanza of options could signal a breaking point on health care negotiations

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says Republicans are making "steady progress" toward bring their conference to agreement on their health care proposal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Deal-making was the name of the game Thursday as Senate Republican leaders met with skeptical lawmakers in an attempt to bridge deep policy divides among the GOP conference on their legislation to overhaul the U.S. health care system.

Vice President Mike Pence and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma were also on Capitol Hill, joining in the effort to rework a bill that would tighten the cap on federal funding for Medicaid over several years and alter the 2010 health care law’s subsidies that help individuals afford insurance.