Feb 14, 2017

House GOP leaders insist Obamacare repeal is moving ahead

AP file photo

House GOP leaders tried to assure everyone Obamacare repeal is in fine shape at their press conference Tuesday morning. This followed a House Freedom Caucus vote the night before to oppose anything less aggressive than the 2015 Obamacare repeal bill, setting up a possible clash with other Republicans who don't want to repeal the law without a replacement.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden hinted the leadership might be willing to cave to conservatives' repeal-first demands: "I think you're going to see us come forward with a replacement bill after we repeal that makes sure that people have access to affordable health care for the first time." But a senior GOP aide told me late Monday night that the leadership is moving "full steam" ahead on including replacement in the repeal bill.

"We're on track. Our committees are going to work," Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers said, a line echoed in one form or another by the committee chairs and other members of leadership at the press conference.

GOP leaders announced at the conference meeting Tuesday morning that House Republicans will hold a policy planning meeting Thursday to continue the the discussion about the repeal and replacement plans, according to a source in the room. Majority Whip Steve Scalise will also be holding member meetings on progress throughout the week.

Go deeper

Scoop: Census Bureau is paying Chinese state media to reach Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign, which sends U.S. taxpayer dollars to community media outlets to run ads about the upcoming census, is including a Chinese state-run broadcaster as one of its media vendors.

Why it matters: After China's yearslong campaign to co-opt independent Chinese-language media in the U.S., Washington is now paying Beijing-linked media outlets in order to reach Chinese Americans.

Go deeperArrow27 mins ago - World

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

GOP congressman accuses California pension official of working for China

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The latest season of Red Scare has come to Sacramento.

Driving the news: Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) has repeatedly accused Ben Meng, chief investment officer of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), of tacitly working on behalf of the Chinese government. Banks also says that, were it up to him, Meng would be fired — and has questioned the patriotism of California Gov. Gavin Newsom for not at least investigating Meng.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - World