AHCA, Budget Plans, and Georgia: This Week in Congress

Photo via the NY Times

The Senate stagnates in debates over health care and budget plans, controversial House elections come to a close in Georgia and South Carolina, and the Supreme Court decides to take on gerrymandering.

Senate Health Care Bill Includes Deep Cuts to Medicaid
After much ado, Senate Republicans revealed their revised health care bill on Thursday morning. The bill entails large cuts to Medicaid and will largely undo the state marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act.

Senate Democrats Try to Gum Up Works Over Affordable Care Act Repeal
As Republican leaders work on finishing touches to the American Health Care Act, Senate Democrats aim to slow down a possible vote on the bill until after the Senate’s Fourth of July recess, hoping that constituent pressure during the recess will thwart the bill’s passage.

Handel Defeats Ossoff in Georgia Special Election
Republican Karen Handel defeated Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff Tuesday in a special Congressional election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. The matchup, which sought to fill the seat of now-Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, was widely viewed as a referendum on the Trump administration.

Republican Aligned with Trump Wins South Carolina House Seat
Republican Ralph Norman also defeated Democrat Archie Parnell Tuesday in a special election to fill the seat vacated by now-budget director Mick Mulvaney in South Carolina’s 5th Congressional district. As in Georgia, this election also attracted wide national attention as the first Trump-era Congressional election to take place in a district with a large bloc of black voters.

The GOP’s Budget Deadlock Could Derail President Trump’s Planned Tax Code Overhaul
The clock is ticking for the 115th Congress. With the August recess looming, Republicans in the House are seeking to make headway in debates about the Trump’s 2018 budget, a process they had hoped to finalize nearly two months ago.

Help Wanted: Why Republicans Won’t Work for the Trump Administration
Five months into the Trump administration, numerous top posts across the government remain conspicuously unfilled, a phenomenon that may be tied to the continuing legal and political challenges pervading the administration. The setback hinders the power and reach of the Trump White House.

Supreme Court to Hear Case on Partisan Redistricting
The Supreme Court has announced its decision to hear arguments from a Wisconsin case about partisan redistricting and gerrymandering. The case could have wide-reaching effects that would upend the way in which Congressional and legislative districts are drawn in the United States.

Ryan Takes on Allies Over Permanent Tax Reform
Facing complaints from colleagues about the efficacy of passing tax cuts, Congressman Paul Ryan urged top government leaders on Tuesday to get behind tax reform, insisting it is doable. Republicans are hoping that tax cuts will help to prevent major companies from leaving the United States.

And over on IssueVoter, two bills entered Congress this week:

H.R. 1873 would reduce regulation around power line management on federally managed lands.

H.R. 1654 would establish the Bureau of Reclamation as the coordinating agency for the approval of surface water storage projects.

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