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Repeal and Replace Efforts

  • White House to Pressure McConnell on Obamacare The Hill by Alexander Bolton —  White House officials are exploring ways to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to return to the controversial issue of Obamacare repeal when the Senate returns to work in September. President Trump, who has repeatedly criticized McConnell in public, wants to hold the leader's feet to the fire on the issue, say White House sources. "I have not heard a single voice in the White House say give up on health care. Everyone keeps saying 'let's keep trying and let's keep pushing,' " said one White House source. "We're definitely not ready to move on and feel members should keep looking for a way to pass the bill. It would be one thing if it had fallen 30 votes short but they were just one vote shy of passing a bill in the Senate," the source added.

  • One More Try? Why Obamacare Repeal Is on the Horizon Again The Fiscal Times by Rob Garver — The effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which many assumed was dead or at least in a state of suspended animation for the foreseeable future, may be showing some stirring of life after all. After the Senate's attempt to pass a bill that few members of the body wanted to become law failed by a single vote in July, top leaders in the chamber have been signaling that it is time to move on to tax reform and other priorities. However, given the way the Congress is currently divided, with Republicans holding both houses but boasting only a 52–48 majority in the Senate, the opportunities for the GOP to pass controversial legislation that can't garner any Democratic support are limited. Because the Democrats have enough seats in the Senate to filibuster most legislation, Republicans face a choice between trying to pass bills that have bipartisan support or cramming their most important priorities into budget reconciliation bills -- legislation that, for all intents and purposes, is available only once a year.

  • At Senator Menendez's Trial, Stakes Are High for Democrats New York Times by Shane Goldmacher —  When Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey goes on trial on federal corruption charges in less than three weeks, far more than his own fate hinges on the outcome. If Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, is convicted and then expelled from the United States Senate by early January, his replacement would be picked by Gov. Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey and an ally of President Trump. That scenario — where Mr. Menendez's interim replacement would more than likely be a Republican — would have immediate and far-reaching implications: The Republicans would be gifted a crucial extra vote just as the party remains a single vote shy in the Senate of advancing its bill to dismantle President Obama's signature health care law. Those potential consequences only heighten the drama around the first federal bribery charges leveled against a sitting senator in a generation.

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