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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"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."
"The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter. Rob Goldstone has been living in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been communicating with Mueller's office through his lawyer, said a source close to Goldstone."
"Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak said on Wednesday that it would take him more than 20 minutes to name all of the Trump officials he's met with or spoken to on the phone. ... Kislyak made the remarks in a sprawling interview with Russia-1, a popular state-owned Russian television channel."