Apr 5, 2017

GOP leaders and conservatives agree: Time for a Trumpcare break

AP file photo

The Trumpcare blame game is getting worse, with Heritage Action blaming the moderate Tuesday Group for the lack of progress in last night's talks and House GOP leadership blaming the conservative Freedom Caucus. But everyone seems to agree on one thing: Congress should give the talks a break and go on recess rather than meeting again today.

  • The "blame the moderates" group: Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham says the proposal to jump-start Trumpcare narrowed significantly last night in an unsuccessful attempt to appease moderates. It now calls only for state waivers from Obamacare's "essential health benefit" rules and the restrictions on how much older customers can be charged, Needham said, rather than the broader range of insurance regulations conservatives wanted.
  • Needham also blamed House Speaker Paul Ryan for not trying harder to twist moderates' arms and force them to back up their repeal promises, "rather than caving in less than 24 hours."
  • "There's not momentum at this point, and it's because of the intransigence of the Tuesday Group," Needham said on a conference call with reporters.
  • The "blame the conservatives" group: A GOP leadership aide said the real problem is that the Freedom Caucus wants President Trump and congressional Republicans to break their promises to protect people with pre-existing conditions — and conservatives are feeling pressure over it, so they're trying to deflect blame to the moderates.
  • The "don't blame anybody" group: Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney told anti-tax activist Grover Norquist's weekly meeting that neither the Freedom Caucus nor the Tuesday Group is to blame for the impasse, per a source in the room. He said there are legitimate policy points being made from all corners of the GOP conference, and that is what accounts for the delays.

Bottom line: There had been tentative plans for more talks today between Vice President Mike Pence and Hill Republicans, but there's now a growing sense that another meeting before recess would be a waste of time.

Go deeper

Trump forces fateful choices on Twitter and Facebook

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's war with Twitter is confronting social media platforms with a hard dilemma: whether to take fuller responsibility for what people say on their services, or to step back and assume a more quasi-governmental role.

The big picture: Facebook is trying to be more like a government committing to impartiality and protecting free speech and building mechanisms for arbitration. Twitter, pushed by Trump's inflammatory messages, is opting to more aggressively enforce conduct rules on its private property, like a mall owner enforcing rules inside the gates.

Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 5,851,494 — Total deaths: 362,238 — Total recoveries — 2,445,181Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,729,185 — Total deaths: 101,706 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  4. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  5. Transportation: National mobility keeps rising as more states reopen economies.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Saying goodbye to U.S. megacities.

Obama on George Floyd's death: "This shouldn't be 'normal'"

Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images for EIF & XQ

Former President Obama said in a statement Friday that the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, "shouldn't be 'normal' in 2020 America."

What he's saying: "[W]e have to remember that for millions of Americans being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly 'normal' — whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or watching birds in a park."