outside-groups

States Alarmed by Delay in HHS Family Planning Money
Title X grant recipients play the waiting game, fearing revival of abortion gag rule

The Department of Health and Human Services has yet to announce a new round of Title X funding for family planning, leaving advocacy groups fearing for the future. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

State officials are dismayed that the Trump administration has stalled the process for applying for new family planning money the states are counting on. Abortion advocacy groups worry that the delay may mean the administration is planning to target abortion providers or rewrite family planning policies. 

The funding announcement was expected by November, with states’ applications for 2018-19 due Jan. 3. But the announcement still isn’t out. The funding is provided by the Title X program, through the only federal grants focused on family planning.

Experts, Industry Push Back on Health Insurance Proposal
Trump administation wants to loosen ERISA regulations

Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said a proposed rule change would help Americans who don’t have access employee-sponsored health insurance. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Industry groups and policy experts are questioning a Trump administration proposal on health insurance even as it garners accolades from congressional Republicans. 

The proposed rule, announced on Thursday, would loosen regulations under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, that govern association health plans. Such plans allow businesses to band together in purchasing health insurance. Supporters say the rule is intended to help consumers hit the hardest by rising premiums under the 2010 health care law.

CBO: Cost of CHIP Renewal Smaller Than Projected
News should ease Congress’ task to pass legislation

The Congressional Budget Office now estimates the Senate CHIP bill would cost $0.8 billion over 10 years. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers will have to come up with only less than $1 billion to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to a new Congressional Budget Office analysis released Friday. That estimate, far lower than previous projections, should ease lawmakers’ task of passing legislation this month.

In a four-page letter to Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, CBO Director Keith Hall said the Senate CHIP bill would cost $800 million over 10 years. Prior to this, the CHIP bill needed to be offset by about $8 billion over 10 years. The total cost of CHIP over 10 years would be $48.4 billion, but decreases in Medicaid and health care marketplace spending would offset much of that amount.

Love ‘Outraged’ Pro-Moore Group Using Her to Raise Funds
The Solution Fund pushing Utah congresswoman as an alternative to Mitt Romney

Reps. Mia Love, R-Utah, left, rejected calls from a conservative PAC to challenge Mitt Romney for Utah's open Senate seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Mia Love has  rejected a push to run for Utah’s Senate seat by a PAC that supported Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

The Solution Fund, which backed Moore during his Senate race, spent $11,000 to support Love in a fundraising email that slammed Mitt Romney, who is considered the likely Republican favorite to run for the seat after Sen. Orrin Hatch announced his retirement, the Daily Beast reported.

EMILY’s List Endorses Minnesota’s Tina Smith
Democratic PAC will connect her with national donor network

Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith, seen here with family members at her mock swearing-in ceremony Wednesday, has earned the endorsement of EMILY’s List. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A day after being sworn into the Senate, Minnesota’s Tina Smith picked up the endorsement of EMILY’s List on Thursday for the November special election.

The political action committee, which backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, will work with Smith’s campaign in an advisory role and introduce her to its national donor network.

Poll: Dianne Feinstein Vulnerable to Insurgent Democrats in 2018
Less than half of California voters back longtime senator

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., could face a tough challenge from the left in her bid for a sixth term in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein could face a stiff series of obstacles as she vies for re-election in California in 2018.

Six years after receiving the most popular votes in any senatorial election in U.S. history, the five-term Democrat has seen sliding favorability ratings as liberals in the Golden State hammer her for not being tough enough standing up to President Donald Trump.

No Sign of Punishment for ‘No’ Votes on Tax Overhaul — Yet
Ryan had previously canceled fundraiser for vulnerable opponent of tax bill

Speaker Paul D. Ryan canceled a fundraiser for New York Rep. Lee Zeldin, above, after he voted against the tax bill last month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Among the 12 Republicans who voted against the tax bill on Tuesday are some of the party’s most vulnerable incumbents in 2018.

Democrats wasted no time attacking many of them after the vote. But there’s been a fear Republicans who voted “no” could take a hit from their own party, too.

Analysis: Bannon Isn’t the Only One to Blame for Moore’s Loss
McConnell’s support for Strange, governor’s sex scandal, and moving election date all played a part

Steve Bannon arrives for Roy Moore’s “Drain the Swamp” campaign rally in Midland City, Ala., on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore’s shocking loss to Sen.-elect Doug Jones led multiple Republicans to blame former White House political adviser Steve Bannon. 

Drudge Report publisher Matt Drudge tweeted on Wednesday that “Luther Strange would have won in a landslide,” referring to the former Alabama attorney general who was appointed to fill the seat that Jeff Sessions vacated to become President Donald Trump’s attorney general.

Analysis: 2017 Has Been Nutty for K Street, but 2018 Could Be Insane
Campaign season is soon to kick into high gear

As 2017 draws to a close, the unpredictable nature of the first year of the Trump administration could very well bleed into next year as the midterm elections heat up. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lobbyists have — almost — survived a genuinely bonkers year.

The Trump era ushered in a maelstrom of unpredictable policy fights along with scandals that have ripped into K Street. Think it can’t get any stranger? Just wait until campaign season kicks into high gear in 2018.

Democrats Making Push for Millennial Voters Ahead of 2018
Recent elections in Virginia give party a blueprint, operatives say

California Rep. Eric Swalwell says while young voters don’t like labels, they do see eye to eye with Democrats on issues such as women’s rights, gay rights, universal health care and protection for undocumented immigrants. (Griffin Connolly/CQ Roll Call)

Some people in Washington might scoff at millennials’ overpriced artisanal toasts or fancy-schmancy watches-that-are-actually-phones, but there’s at least one thing they want from them: their votes.

A year out from the 2018 midterms, young adults aged 18 to 29 who are likely to vote prefer Democratic control of Congress by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, 65 percent to 33 percent, a recent survey by Harvard’s Institute of Politics found.