With the passage of a stopgap funding bill Friday, lawmakers gave themselves another week to agree to the terms of an omnibus spending package to fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year. And as Washington works to hammer out a final plan, other matters of domestic importance to the Trump administration could also be on the agenda, including another attempt at an Obamacare overhaul. Here are the top stories to keep an eye on.
Lawmakers have reached agreement on a spending bill to fund the federal government through September. This should free up the Trump administration to turn its attention to its ambitious domestic agenda.
POLITICO has some details on the agreement:
Congressional leaders have reached a government funding agreement through the end of September, according to two congressional aides familiar with the matter.
The deal delivers new defense spending, a $1.5 billion border security infusion, extends expiring health insurance benefits for coal miners and includes $2 billion in new spending for the National Institutes of Health. It does not allocate any money to a southern border wall with Mexico.
Next up for the president’s domestic agenda, it appears, is a renewed effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. But the White House faces an uphill battle in its efforts to satisfy congressional conservatives.
The White House and top congressional Republicans are trying to build momentum for a new health-care vote this week, but skepticism among centrist members of the party remains a stumbling block in the effort to undo the Affordable Care Act.
Both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in television interviews suggested confidence that they could win enough votes to pass a bill. But it is unclear that congressional leaders have made enough progress to call a roll, as they grapple with Republicans who have expressed concern that recent changes to satisfy more conservative lawmakers may push coverage costs higher.
Adding to the difficulties for passing any major piece of legislation is the fact that the administration is also pressing lawmakers to flesh out a massive tax cut that the Trump administration unveiled last week, while congressional leaders struggle to reconcile his principles with very different views they have on how to rewrite the tax code.
At a Trumpless Washington Correspondents Association dinner on Saturday, the heads of some of nation’s leading media outlets pushed back against notions that national media is an enemy to the people.
As reported by The New York Times:
Promoting the First Amendment was, in the end, the safest possible angle for the Correspondents’ Association, which liaises with the White House on behalf of its members and was wary of blasting the president in absentia. At one point, Mr. Mason recited the text of the amendment onstage, and an introductory video took pains to showcase clashes between previous presidents and the press, demonstrating that the news media’s adversarial relationship with the presidency … did not start with Mr. Trump.
Nancy Pelosi has no idea what decade it is. During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” the aging House Minority Leader referred to President Trump as former President George W. Bush.
“I’m so sorry, President Bush,” Pelosi said. “I never thought I would pray for the day that you were president again.”