News or views or issues from the USA.
- Trump Delivers Ultimatum: Pass Health Care Friday, Or I Move On
A senior administration source confirms to NBC News the “very definitive, very clarifying” message from the president and the administration’s intention to move on — should the health care bill fail to move forward — to other matters such as tax reform, trade and border security.
- Freedom Caucus Holds the Votes, Will Decide Obamacare’s Fate
- Rpt: Intel Said to Show Obama Admin Spying on Trump Transition
- Trump Administration Orders Tougher Screening of Visa Applicants
- Battle Over Trump Travel Ban Goes to Appeals Court Arguments in May
“Yesterday, the counsel for Paul Manafort contacted the committee yesterday to offer the committee the opportunity to interview his client,” committee chairman Devin Nunes announced during a news conference.
Nunes also announced that the committee is bringing in FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers for a second briefing, this time behind closed doors so that they can provide more information. The committee is also delaying its March 28 hearing, a decision infuriating Democrats on the committee.
“Chairman just cancelled open Intelligence Committee hearing with (former Director of National Intelligence James) Clapper, (former CIA Director John) Brennan and (former deputy Attorney General Sally) Yates in attempt to choke off public info,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee tweeted moment before going to speak to the press Friday morning.
Schiff refused to say whether he thought Nunes should step down from his position, telling reporters, “What’s really involved here is the cancellation of this open hearing and the rest is designed to distract.”
It seems odd that Nunes is heading a committee investigating a campaign that he has been involved with.
House tees up repeal vote, 11:30 a.m. The House took a procedural step to set up final vote on Obamacare repeal. The chamber voted 230-194 to let debate move forward on the bill. Six Republicans voted no, but that doesn’t indicate how the vote on final passage will turn out.
New amendments can’t be offered on the floor, and debate will last four hours. That sets up a late afternoon vote on final passage.
This is only step one. One of the reasons some Republicans are reluctant to support the Bill is that they think the Senate will reject it.
Spicer doesn’t sound confident.
Spicer: Trump has given his all. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the White House still wants a vote Friday, as he defended Trump’s role in pushing the bill. Trump “has left everything on the field when it comes to this bill,” Spicer said. “The president and his team have committed everything they can to making this thing happen. And the speaker is going to continue to update him on the way forward.”
Spicer reiterated that negotiations on the bill are done and Republicans now have to decide whether to make good on their years-long pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“I think at the end of the day — you know, I said this yesterday — you can’t force people to vote,” he said. “But I think we’ve given them every single reason to fulfill every pledge that they’ve made, and I think this is the right thing to do.”
GOP lawmakers: The bill is dead, 4:15 p.m. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), who chairs the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee, is ready to move on. “We tried. We tried our hardest. There were people who were not interested in solving the problem. They win today.”
Greg Walden, who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee, also seems to be looking forward. “We have a lot of health care issues to deal with. We tried our best on this one.”