As Senate Republicans prepare to unveil their version of an Obamacare alternative, President Trump expressed his hope for a final plan “with heart.”
“I can’t guarantee anything, but I hope we’re going to surprise you with a really good plan,” Trump said at a campaign-style rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday night.
The White House said administration officials have been fully briefed on the details of a Senate healthcare bill that has been drafted with unprecedented secrecy, in advance of its planned release early Thursday. The Republican leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell, has been struggling behind closed doors to find a compromise that can get near-unanimous support from the Republican caucus, given that Democrats are united in opposition to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
But not all GOP senators like the emerging legislation — which will be unveiled Thursday — and Senate leaders can’t afford to lose more than a couple when they vote, probably next week.
The most conservative senators want a quicker, more decisive end to the Affordable Care Act. Those from centrist states prefer a slower unraveling — preferring to keep Obamacare’s federal funding that allowed them to expand Medicaid to more residents.
President Trump's lawyers made a final appeal to the Supreme Court on Wednesday in the pending dispute over his travel ban and quoted Justice Anthony Kennedy — likely a key swing vote — on the need to defer to the chief executive on matters of national security.
The justices are set to meet Thursday morning in their last scheduled conference before the summer recess, and they face a potentially momentous decision on the president's power to control national borders.
The justices will vote on what to do about Trump's plan to temporarily "suspend" the entry of foreign travelers from six Muslim-majority nations.
Thomas Shannon, a career U.S. diplomat who is the third-ranking official at the State Department, thought he was headed this week to meetings in St. Petersburg, Russia.
He planned to discuss U.S. sanctions imposed against Russia over the last three years, including the order last December to close two Russian-owned compounds in New York and Maryland in response to Russia meddling in the 2016 election.
Some members of the Trump administration had suggested it was time to return the properties, which Moscow said were used for recreation by its diplomats.
(Fact check: Republicans won special elections for House seats in Georgia, South Carolina, Montana and Kansas this year. A fifth special election in California featured two Democratic candidates.)
For Trump, who made social media pleas of support for Ralph Norman and Karen Handel – both are Republicans who won in South Carolina and Georgia, respectively, on Tuesday – the special election season has seemingly been a success.