COMPANY TOWN
Russell Simmons and Brett Ratner face new allegations of sexual misconduct
Politics ESSENTIAL WASHINGTON

Here's our look at the Trump administration and the rest of Washington:

After healthcare failures, senior GOP senators serve notice: 'It's time to move on'

Republican Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah. (Associated Press)
Republican Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah. (Associated Press)

Trump administration officials continue to push the Senate to take another run at healthcare legislation, but senior Republican senators have pushed back, making clear that they're done with the topic for now.

"There's just too much animosity and we're too divided on healthcare," Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), the head of the Senate Finance Committee, said in an interview Monday with Reuters.

"I think we ought to acknowledge that we can come back to healthcare afterward, but we need to move ahead on tax reform," Hatch said.

His remarks were quickly followed by others in GOP leadership positions.

"I think it's time to move on to something else," Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri told CNN. "If the question is do I think we should stay on healthcare until we get it done, I think it's time to move on to something else."

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota also chimed in. "Until someone shows us how to get that elusive 50th vote, I think it's over," he told reporters.

The remarks seemed a coordinated effort to respond to administration officials, including budget director Mick Mulvaney and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who said over the weekend that they wanted the Senate to keep working on healthcare.

Tuesday morning, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky completed the list of top Republicans shutting the door for now on the healthcare issue.

In a statement and a series of messages on Twitter, McConnell set out the schedule for the Senate for the rest of August: confirming nominees, veterans legislation and reauthorization of user fees that pay for a large chunk of the Food and Drug Administration.

Healthcare was notably missing from the list.

Last week, the Senate defeated several different Republican plans to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act. The votes made it clear to many that with unified Democratic opposition to repeal, and divisions among Republicans, the campaign to overturn the law has stalled out, at least for now.

Congress faces several other pressing issues that will be demanding attention, including deadlines at the end of September to raise the federal debt ceiling and fund government agencies for the coming fiscal year. And the administration is eager to move on tax proposals, with officials rather optimistically saying they hope to see votes by November on a tax package that is not yet written.

9:15 a.m.: This post was updated with McConnell's statement.

Latest updates

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
62°