health care

Pelosi, Mnuchin appear close to spending caps, debt limit deal
Agreement would likely include a two-year extension of the debt limit and spending levels

Pelosi reiterated Tuesday her view that in addition to "parity" for nondefense and defense spending increases, funding should be added for Department of Veterans Affairs health care. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are close to making an announcement about spending caps and the debt limit.

“We have a clear understanding of what we want to agree to, and I think that's progress,” Pelosi said Tuesday afternoon after speaking with Mnuchin, who was preparing to leave Wednesday for the G-7 meeting in France. “We'll have an announcement about something soon, one way or the other.”

It’s time for a cease-fire in the latest war of words
President, Democrats would be wise to focus on what really matters to voters — the economy

From left, Reps. Ayanna S. Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib at a Monday news conference. The latest firestorm involving President Donald Trump and the four House progressives is all about politics and positioning, and voters know it, Winston writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — It’s been a rough week in Washington, and it’s only Wednesday. The president created a firestorm over the weekend, lobbing rhetorical bombs at “the squad,” the four House Democratic freshmen whose heated comments and extreme policy proposals have created one fire storm of controversy after another.

Now, the president’s getting return fire from Democrats and the media and some Republicans for his tweets, while the House floor Tuesday devolved into a war of words. I suspect most people would be grateful for a cease-fire from the increasingly personal attacks and almost hand-to-hand combat over everything from impeachment to immigration to congressional investigations.

U.S. health care would collapse without foreign-trained nurses like me, so why did the House vote to ban us?
Fairness Act is anything but fair for immigrant nurses and their patients

The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act would only exacerbate America’s nurse deficit, Roy writes.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — America’s population is growing, its workforce is aging and its health care system is straining under the weight of both. At the intersection of these trends is the very practical question of just who’s going to care for all these new patients.

Increasingly, the nurse answering that bedside call looks and sounds a lot like me, a first-generation immigrant.

With racist tweets and comments, Trump signals bare-knuckle reelection fight
“He’s willing to go as far as he wants and needs,” GOP strategist says

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media over the roar of Marine One's engines on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

“Quiet! Quiet! Quiet! Quiet!” With those four words, President Donald Trump threw onto the 2020 canvas the political boxing gloves he ripped off Sunday with two racist tweets.

An animated-then-aggressive Trump was demanding silence of a reporter, under an intense July sun during an impromptu Monday press conference. The reporter had agitated the president by asking if he was “OK” with people viewing his tweets about four Democratic freshmen — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts — as “racist.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar lays out 100 actions for first 100 days if she wins White House
Minnesota Democrat would undo Trump actions on environment, go further than Obama on wages

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota used an appearance at the National Press Club to  outline both “sprints” and marathon efforts her administration would undertake if she won the presidency. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Laying out 100 actions she would take in the first 100 days if she were elected president, Sen. Amy Klobuchar pledged Tuesday to reverse President Donald Trump’s rollback of environmental agreements and regulations and go further than former President Barack Obama in battling high drug prices and raising federal contractors’ wages.

“On day one, we will get back into the International Climate Change Agreement and restore the Clean Power Plan and work to bring back the gas mileage standards. Those are things you can do without passing a law,” Klobuchar said at the National Press Club.

Grassley: ‘Cadillac’ tax repeal points way to extenders deal
PAYGO rules may no longer be a hindrance, Iowa Republican hints

Senate Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley sees a way forward on a tax extenders deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley sees a “little bit of progress” on the tax extenders front in House Democrats’ decision to push repeal of the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health insurance plans, without offsets for the lost revenue.

The House’s pay-as-you-go rules have been a hindrance for much of the year on moving legislation to extend tax breaks that expired at the end of 2017 and 2018. The most expensive of those is a provision originally authored by Grassley in 2004 to provide a $1 per gallon biodiesel blenders tax credit, which costs about $3 billion a year.

McCarthy pitches monthlong debt ceiling stopgap, if deal can’t be reached
He suggested a 30-day extension to avoid default in early September, if a compromise on discretionary spending caps can’t be reached

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is floating a fallback plan to pass a 30-day extension of the debt limit in the absence of a broader deal before the August recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House’s top Republican suggested that lawmakers pass a 30-day extension of the debt ceiling to avoid default in early September, if Democrats and the White House can’t agree on compromise discretionary spending caps before leaving for the summer break.

“We should not leave for August without dealing with that. And I would say if we can’t get this done, we should do a 30-day [stopgap],” McCarthy told reporters Tuesday. He also said lawmakers ought to stay in town a few days past July 26, when House lawmakers are currently scheduled to leave town, if necessary. The Senate is slated to be in session for an extra week.

Congress is Trump’s best hope for drug pricing action
But divisions remain between Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate

The administration will need congressional help to take action this year on drug prices. (File photo)

An upcoming Senate bill is the Trump administration’s best hope for a significant achievement before next year’s election to lower prescription drug prices, but a lot still needs to go right for anything to become law.

Despite the overwhelming desire for action, there are still policy gulfs between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, and another gap between the Senate and the House. And the politics of the moment might derail potential policy agreements. Some Democrats might balk at settling for a drug pricing compromise that President Donald Trump endorsed.

Seth Moulton makes case that good foreign policy will beat Trump
Massachusetts Democrat and presidential long shot highlights his combat experience, alliance

Presidential hopeful Seth Moulton, here at a July Fourth parade in Boulder City, Nev., says he gets more questions about foreign policy than health care on the campaign trail. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton ranks among the lower tier of 2020 Democratic White House hopefuls, but as a Marine Corps combat veteran, he argues that a foreign policy focus will be needed to lure moderates and Republicans to vote against President Donald Trump.

Moulton grabbed some attention in Iowa over the weekend with a full push for the president’s impeachment and removal.

‘His plan to pit us against one another:’ Progressive ‘squad’ responds to Trump attacks
Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, Omar and Tlaib say they won’t let president distract from Democrats’ agenda

From left, Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., conduct a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center responding to negative comments by President Donald Trump that were directed at them. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The “squad,” as four progressive Democratic freshman minority women call themselves, responded Monday to President Donald Trump’s repeated calls for them to leave the country by calling it a “distraction” — even as they said the House should impeach him. 

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York,  Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and  Rashida Tlaib of Michigan said they will not let Trump’s attacks — “a continuation of his racist, xenophobic playbook” as Omar called it — distract them from Democrats’ agenda.