McCain, R-Ariz., announced he could not “in good conscience” vote for Graham’s bill, which would send Obamacare money back to the states as block grants. McCain was concerned about a process that had not allowed for hearings, amendments or a full analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Despite a handful of Senate GOP co-sponsors and high-profile endorsements from governors and conservative thought leaders around the country, the South Carolina Republican still lacks the 51 votes needed to pass his bill to reshape the American health care system. Graham has just 12 calendar days to seal the deal. Republican lawmakers have been seeking to repeal and replace Obamacare through a procedural maneuver known as reconciliation, which allows the Senate to limit debate with 51 votes. Republicans control 52 of the Senate’s 100 seats.
Joel Myers, president of AccuWeather, predicted Monday the cost of Irma and Harvey combined could reach a total of $290 billion. However, that includes costs for which the federal government is not responsible, such as lost personal valuables or destruction of homes that ought to be protected by insurance.
Every December brings anxieties about Congress finishing its work in time to avert a government shutdown. Christmas cheer is overshadowed by partisan finger pointing; lawmakers have months to come to an agreement on spending priorities and policy riders, but don’t.
Congress returns this week for a pivotal work period with multiple deadlines, a busy schedule for an institution that tends to wait until the very minute to get things done.
In the race for the next ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, what’s really at stake is the status quo for Democrats.