House of Representatives

House committee will investigate matters relating to Iran deal

Featured image Politico reports that the House oversight committee has launched an investigation into whether the Obama administration, in trying to win support for a nuclear deal and prisoner swap with Tehran last year, undermined an ambitious U.S. counter-proliferation effort to thwart Iranian weapons trafficking networks. In addition, 13 Republican senators have demanded answers about whether the Obama administration jeopardized U.S. national security as a result of its protracted top-secret negotiations with »

New poll shows Handel leading Ossoff in tight Georgia race

Featured image In the first round of voting in the Georgia Sixth congressional race, Jon Ossoff, boy Democrat, declared that he had won a “victory for the ages.” In reality, he had captured around 48 percent of the vote, short of what he needed for actual victory. Ossoff’s nearest rival, Karen Handel, ran far behind Ossoff, with only around 20 percent of the vote. However, her count was depressed by the fact »

House likely to pass Obamacare improvement legislation, maybe as soon as tomorrow [UPDATED — looks like tomorrow]

Featured image Two key moderate Republicans say they will support a Republican plan to “replace” Obamacare. I put the word replace in quotation marks because I think the word improve better describes what the proposal does. The two Republicans are Reps. Fred Upton (Michigan) and Billy Long (Missouri). They were won over after a visit to the White House by the addition to the existing proposal of $8 billion in funds over »

House approves spending bill

Featured image The House today voted to approve a spending bill that, if approved by the Senate, will keep the federal government up and running through September. The vote was 309-118 (NOTE: or 310-117, according to other reports I’ve seen). It had majority support from both Democrats and Republicans. More than 90 percent of Democrats supported it. Republicans were much more closely divided, with only about 55 percent of the caucus backing »

The GOP’s Current Obamacare Bill, Coherently Explained

Featured image Pretty much all conservatives have been frustrated by the House’s inability to pass Obamacare repeal and replacement. Something that seemed simple on the campaign trail has turned out not to be simple in practice. House Republicans now have produced a second version of the bill, which has been improved so as to draw support from the Freedom Caucus. But what exactly is going on? What would the new House bill »

Freedom Caucus endorses revised Obamacare replacement proposal

Featured image The House Freedom Caucus, which helped block Paul Ryan’s original Obamacare repeal and replacement legislation, has agreed to support a revised bill. The Washington Post describes, in general terms, the new approach. If the new incarnation gains sufficient support from moderate House Republicans, it will pass. This might happen quickly. For me, the key question in evaluating Obamacare replacement legislation is the impact on premiums. Not having studied the new »

The Obamacare replacement blame game

Featured image From the Washington Post: President Trump cast blame Sunday for the collapse of his effort to overhaul the health-care system on conservative interest groups and far-right Republican lawmakers, shifting culpability to his own party after initially faulting Democratic intransigence. His attack — starting with a tweet that singled out the House Freedom Caucus as well as the influential Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America — marked a new »

Perception is reality. . .

Featured image for a few weeks. Then, something happens and perception changes. I agree with John that the failure of the House to pass Obamacare replacement legislation this week doesn’t necessarily mean GOP House members won’t be able to pass important legislation on other fronts. Health care legislation represents a special challenge because it is so complex, because the stakes are so high, and because Obamacare screwed things up so badly. However, »

Trump demands Friday vote on Obamacare

Featured image My mantra on health care reform has been that it’s more important to do it right than to do it fast. President Trump disagrees. He insists that the House vote on Speaker Ryan’s (and his) flawed legislation tomorrow. After negotiations broke down today, Trump delivered an ultimatum: Pass the bill tomorrow or I’m moving on from Obamacare repeal. Congress can repeal and replace Obamacare even if the president moves on. »

Trump and Ryan still coming up short on AHCA [UPDATE — vote canceled]

Featured image Normally, when a new president and a House Speaker engage in heavy-duty arm-twisting over a piece of legislation, and they have a big enough majority to withstand 21 or 22 defections, the legislation passes the House. That’s all the more true if the legislation pertains to a vital issue and the president and the Speaker reasonably perceive that its defeat will have major adverse political consequences for them and their »

Ryan ready to alter repeal plan, but in which direction?

Featured image Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledged today that his health-care proposal must change to pass the House, and said he is prepared to change it. As the Washington Post points out, this seems like a departure from Ryan’s earlier position that his proposal presented lawmakers with a “binary choice” and could not be altered significantly. According to the Post, Ryan did not say what changes to his plan are under consideration. Nor »

The future of Paul Ryan’s speakership

Featured image The Washington Post claims that Speaker Paul Ryan “is on the verge of a reckoning with House conservatives that threatens to end his speakership and extinguish his future as a national political leader.” Post reporters Kelsey Snell and Mike DeBonis say that, given the likelihood of an enhanced presence of Democrats in the new House, it might take less than one-third of the 40-member House Freedom Caucus to end Ryan’s »

Paul Ryan easily wins his primary

Featured image Speaker Paul Ryan crushed his Republican primary opponent Paul Nehlenn today. Ryan received around 85 percent of the vote, according to Politico. Ryan, of course, had all the advantages. His opponent was an unknown whom Ryan (gutlessly, it seems to me) refused to debate. In addition, Ryan was able to pour more than $600,000 into television advertising in the past month. He even obtained Donald Trump’s endorsement in the end. »

Documents confirm Eric Holder’s role in Fast and Furious cover-up

Featured image “Fast and Furious” is back in the news. The reason? In January, Judge Amy Berman, an Obama appointee, ordered the Department of Justice to produce documents relating to the “gun walking” scandal that Congress had been seeking for four years. DOJ finally produced them, some 20,000 pages worth, this month. For anyone who, thanks to the Obama administration’s years of stonewalling, has forgotten about Fast and Furious, here’s the short »

Congress Passes Obamacare Repeal and Planned Parenthood Defunding: Finally!

Featured image Today the House of Representatives passed a bill that would repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. This is the same bill that passed the Senate last month on a 52-47, with the Republicans avoiding a filibuster with the same reconciliation process that enabled passage of Obamacare in the first place. The vote in the House was 240-181, nearly along party lines. So for the first time, President Obama will be »

The problem with Speaker Ryan in one headline

Featured image Yesterday’s Washington Post featured an article by Amber Phillips called (in the paper edition) “A dismal congressional session, but a flicker of hope.” According to Phillips, the “hope” lies in the “fresh face” of Speaker Paul Ryan and the bipartisanship he has already demonstrated. That the Washington Post sees hope in Ryan’s emergence tells conservatives everything they need to know about the new Speaker. Moreover, an article like Phillips’ is »

Paul Ryan should stay away from entitlement reform next year

Featured image I have heard several Republican presidential candidates, including Ted Cruz, publicly wish that the GOP would fight as hard for conservative principles as President Obama fights for radical leftist ones. It’s a good thought, but I wonder whether those expressing it realize the full implications. One crucial way that Obama fought for his radical leftist principles was to conceal them when running for president. For example, he didn’t support gay »