March 23, 2017

Top Stories

Today's The Day The House Repeals Obamacare ... Or Not!

The Gist: The desire to quickly patch up the deep divisions that emerged within the House GOP conference over the legislation was driven by Republicans' desire to hold their vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act on the seventh anniversary of its passage. To do so, leadership Wednesday threw a Hail Mary pass—holding a round of late night negotiations where major changes to the legislation were floated.

Ahead Of Vote, Obama Urges GOP Not To Make Health Care System ‘Worse’

The Gist: Just hours ahead of the House’s Thursday vote to gut and replace the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama marked his signature health care law's 7th anniversary by urging Republicans not to make our health care system “worse for hardworking Americans.”

GOP Rep: Health Bill Is 'Probably A Little Short' On Votes In The House

The Gist: A Republican congressman expressed some dismay at the state of the White House’s preferred bill to replace Obamacare Thursday, saying his “head is going to explode” if one more senator tells him it’s “dead on arrival.”

From The Reporter's Notebook

Ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn came under even more scrutiny Wednesday, TPM's Matt Shuham reported, when the House Oversight Committee requested records related to potential foreign influence on his government service from various offices. Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) wrote to the White House, Department of Defense, FBI and the Director of National Intelligence seeking, according to their statement, “documents relating to Flynn’s foreign contacts and payments, security clearance applications, and other related documents between the time of his retirement in 2014 to present day.”

Agree or Disagree?

David Kurtz: "It would appear that Paul Ryan still lacks the votes to pass the Obamacare repeal and replace bill (that also ends Medicaid as we know it). Reports are he will be putting the squeeze on individual members this evening, but in the meantime a deal of sorts is apparently being worked out to win over recalcitrant conservatives by promising to gut Obamacare's 10 essential health benefits, the bare minimums insurance plans must cover – not now, but later in the Senate."

Say What?!

"I somewhat do. I must tell you, I somewhat do. I very much appreciated the fact that they found what they found, but I somewhat do."

- President Donald Trump said that he felt “somewhat” vindicated in his unsubstantiated wiretapping claims after hearing from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), who claimed Wednesday that Trump and members of his transition team had been “incidentally” surveilled.

BUZZING: Today in the Hive

From a TPM Prime member: "The real risk is the court will overrule older decisions. However, since the Court has been dominated by the right wing for a generation, must of the decisions the right wingers really object to are old decisions. The biggest decision the right wingers want to target is Roe v. Wade. However, this decision affects a limited population: pregnant women who don't want to be pregnant women. If Roe is struck down, the issue returns to the states. Many states will continue to allow abortions. It also becomes a big political football -- one which most likely will benefit the Democrats. Ultimately, some day the Democrats will take control of the Federal Government. Maybe sooner, maybe later. They can always increase the size of the Court, to say 15. Given how the Republicans have packed the Court, they really will not be in a position to complain. Ultimately, the Court's power derives from the view that it is a body which impartially determines the law. Shenanigans like we saw with Garland ultimately undermines this respect. It has happened before; after Dred Scott, the Court was largely ignored for the next 50 years. This easily could happen again, if the Court is viewed as a partisan super legislature."

Related: So Long And Thanks For All The Fishing! 3 Days With Neil Gorsuch

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