Ryan Can’t Corral His Far-Right Members So He Cancels the Vote on Obamacare Repeal
No deal. Trump couldn’t close the deal. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told Republicans in a five-minute, closed-door meeting that no vote would be taken on the American Health Care Act. Earlier in the day, Ryan went to the White House to tell Trump he didn’t have enough votes to repeal former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and replace it with watered down Republican insurance that could leave pregnant women without health care coverage to deliver their babies. The vote, which Trump had demanded with a my-way-or-the-highway ultimatum, was scheduled to begin about 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) and other Republicans with significant Democratic constituencies opposed the American Health Care Act. The latest analysis of the bill by the Congressional Budget Office said Trumpcare would cut the deficit by less than the original version but still leave 24 million without health insurance.
Filibuster. Democrats plan to filibuster Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, said Gorsuch is not “a neutral legal mind.” Gorsuch needs 60 votes to move forward in the confirmation process. Republicans could change the Senate rules to require only a simple majority. The Senate recess for Passover and Easter begins April 8
Zombie government. Trump wants to make the Chemical Safety Board, the agency that investigates chemical accidents, into a zombie agency with a functioning board but no money to carry out investigations, The Nation reports. The board, which is modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board, often unearths problems regulators don’t know about. The board’s annual budget is about $12 million. Current investigations include an accident at a DuPont insecticide plant that killed four workers in LaPorte, Texas.