Two more moderate Republicans have abandoned the American Health Care Act. Reps. John Katko (R-NY 24) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA 08) announced this weekend they couldn’t support the bill when it comes to a vote this week because of the adverse effect it would have on their respective districts.
Katko said he doesn’t believe “this proposal provides an adequate market-based option for insurance access, nor does it address out-of-control costs,” and that it would hurt hospitals throughout his district. (Syracuse Post Standard)
Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick said in a Facebook post he worries about the bill’s “impact on the single most important issue plaguing Bucks and Montgomery Counties, and the issue that I have made my priority in Congress: opioid abuse prevention, treatment and recovery.” (Allentown Morning Call)
“Republicans on the Ways and Means and on the Energy and Commerce committees already have cast votes for the America Health Care Act. … Strangely, those who supported it don’t seem all that keen about their votes.” Reps. Leonard Lance (R-NJ 07), Pat Meehan (R-PA-07) and Peter Roskam (R-IL 06) have all expressed hesitation about the bill despite sending it to the House floor. (Washington Post)
Other Republicans are still on the fence ahead of the vote, which will likely take place Thursday.
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), “one of the few Florida Republicans not to comment on the Obamacare replacement plan this week, said Friday that it raises ‘serious concerns.’” He said he’s “been working with colleagues in both chambers to strengthen and improve this legislation.” (Miami Herald)
Rep. Rod Blum (IA-01) also weighed in: “I didn’t have a preconceived idea if I’m voting yes or no. … I’m keeping an open mind about the bill, and we’ll see what it ends up being.” (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)
Meanwhile, Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN 02) wrote an op-ed in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune defending his committee vote to send the AHCA to the House floor.
IN THE FIELD. The Congressional Leadership Fund launched Friday a “national field operation that will run in key competitive Republican and Democratic congressional districts from now until 2018. CLF’s field operation will encompass 20 districts in over a dozen states by the end of the year, and add 10 more districts by November 2018. … The program will focus on identifying and engaging low propensity Republican and Independent voters early to build relationships and have ongoing, meaningful conversations during a midterm cycle when voter turnout is generally low.” (release)
CLIMATE MATTERS. “Eleven of the 17 Republicans who joined” a resolution urging Congress to address climate change “are targets of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee next year — and two others were targets last cycle. Two other Democratic targets in 2016 and 2018,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (NY-01) and Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49), “didn’t sign onto the resolution but are part of the caucus.” (Roll Call)
Meanwhile, 18 members of the Florida delegation, led by Reps. Brian Mast (R-FL 18) and Charlie Crist (D-FL 13) sent a bipartisan letter “urging President Donald Trump to ‘join our efforts to expedite and energize the federal government’s role’ in restoring the Everglades. (release)
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Faced with a choice of Trump's way or the highway, the GOP chose the highway. In the worst possible development for the GOP, Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the healthcare bill from the floor for the second day in a row—even after President Trump demanded an up-or-down vote last night. According to multiple reports, Trump himself called Ryan at about 3 p.m. to tell him to cancel the vote. Trump has since blamed Democrats for the defeat. It's unclear when the legislation will be revisited.
"House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) said he and ranking Democrat Adam Schiff of California have asked FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers to testify behind closed doors about the committee's ongoing investigation into alleged ties between the Trump administration and Russia." He also said former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort will also testify.