The Senate Republican healthcare bill ran into serious trouble late Monday when key GOP senators indicated they may block the Obamacare overhaul from proceeding to a vote this week.
Political turmoil has been building over the bill for days. But GOP tension burst open after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that 22 million more Americans would lose insurance coverage under the plan and that out-of-pocket costs for many of those buying policies on the Affordable Care Act marketplace would rise.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hoped to start procedural votes by Wednesday, and President Trump called key senators over the weekend as support splintered.
Amid its flurry of decisions Monday about Trump's travel ban and cases involving religious liberties and guns, the Supreme Court put off final rulings on three pending cases involving immigration and the U.S. border.
In Hernandez vs. Mesa, the court in an unsigned opinion told the U.S. appeals court in New Orleans to take a second look at a border shooting case. The parents of a 15-year-old Mexican boy sued a U.S. border patrol agent who shot and killed the teenager when he was standing a few feet from the border on the Mexican side. The 5th Circuit had thrown out the parents’ suit.
“The facts alleged in the complaint depict a disturbing incident resulting in a heartbreaking loss of life,” the court said in sending the case back for a further hearing.
Immigration and refugee advocates expressed disappointment Monday with the Supreme Court’s partial reinstatement of President Trump’s travel ban, saying even limited implementation could cause hardship to refugees and others seeking to travel to the United States from six affected Muslim-majority countries.
However, organizations taking part in the months-long legal fight against the revised travel ban expressed hopes that the high court ultimately will reject the restrictions after arguments are heard in October.
And they welcomed what they described as an implicit rebuke of the White House’s assertion that Trump has unfettered powers to exclude arrivals based on purported national security concerns.
President Trump celebrated the Supreme Court's decision Monday to allow a curtailed version of his travel ban to take effect, calling it a "clear victory for our national security."
In an official White House statement, the president said he was "particularly gratified" that at least part of the ruling was 9-0; three conservative justices said they would have let the president's revised executive order take effect completely.
"My number one responsibility as Commander in Chief is to keep the American people safe. Today's ruling allows me to use an important tool for protecting our Nation's homeland," he said.
Heading into a week of intense jockeying and arm-twisting over the Senate’s polarizing healthcare plan, the rift appeared to widen Sunday between moderates who consider the measure too punitive and conservatives who want to see the sweeping bill toughened up before agreeing to back it.
President Trump, who made the repeal of his predecessor’s signature Affordable Care Act a campaign centerpiece, expressed optimism about chances for Senate passage, but declared again that he wanted to see a plan with “heart” — suggesting he might undercut Republican efforts to bring recalcitrant conservatives on board.
With Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) seeking to push ahead with a vote this week, the bill’s prospects hung in the balance. Five GOP senators have said publicly they oppose the measure as written; the defection of only three Republicans would be enough to sink it.
Both are political outsiders who champion a muscular, country-first nationalism. They enjoy feverish support from their voter bases while their governments assail critics and ignore — or encourage — hostility toward minority groups.
A senior White House official briefing reporters ahead of the visit on Friday said that Trump has visited Mumbai, India, in his business career and noted that the two men have more social media followers than any other world leaders, making sure to point out that Trump is slightly ahead of Modi.
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider a case next fall about the rights of people who oppose same-sex marriage — a group that has steadily shrunk in recent years.
Public opinion on same-sex marriage appears to be following the same pattern as views of marriage between people of different races — something that was illegal in many states, controversial when the Supreme Court ruled in its favor in 1967 and now accepted by all but a fairly small minority.
As recently as a decade ago, more than half of Americans said they opposed allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally. Today, two years after the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution requires states to allow same-sex marriages, opposition has fallen to about one-third of the population, according to a new survey released Monday by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.
Democrats have hoped that President Trump’s deep unpopularity would propel them to gains in next year’s midterm election as they fight to take control of the House and improve their position in the Senate.
But last year’s contests and this year’s special elections suggest a complication: Trump is so distinctive a politician that it’s hard to persuade voters that other Republican candidates are carbon copies of the president. Trump’s outsized persona makes even those Republicans who share his views seem more moderate, an important attribute to swing voters.
That presents a problem for the party out of power.
Conservatives floated two amendments for toughening up the Senate's Obamacare overhaul this weekend at the influential Koch network's confab of wealthy donors, as Republicans seek ways to win over detractors and tip enough GOP votes for passage.
That the Koch network quickly panned the Senate bill is no surprise. The organization of deep-pocketed conservative advocacy groups similarly rejected the House GOP bill this spring until party leaders tacked on tough amendments to appease right-leaning Republicans.
"We've been disappointed that movement's not been more dramatic toward a full repeal or a broader rollback of this onerous law Obamacare," said Tim Phillips, who heads Americans for Prosperity, the largest of the Koch network's advocacy groups.