On June 30, Congress gaveled out for the July 4 recess after postponing a critical vote to begin debate on an Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal-and-replace bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the GOP caucus have worked for the last two months in countless hours of behind-the-scenes meetings on what many believe to be a long-shot effort to unite 50 of the 52 Republican senators.Senators from both sides of the aisle have taken issue with the manner in which the bill has been written and the lack of opportunities to voice concerns and offer amendments through the traditional committee markup process. GOP leadership has countered by noting that the upcoming Senate floor debate will allow several dozen bipartisan amendments to be offered and voted upon.
Substantive concerns have been expressed by a handful of moderate Republican senators over cuts to Medicaid, while more conservative Republican senators have voiced their concern that the legislation does not go far enough in the direction of a complete repeal. The debate on this issue will continue when the Senate gavels back in on July 10, and it awaits a new score from the Congressional Budget Office on a revised bill. In the meantime, calls to cancel or shorten Congress’ annual August recess have begun to grow louder. After celebrating the Independence Day holiday in Washington, D.C., President Trump headed to Poland and then Germany for the G-20 summit. Mr. Trump is expected to meet some critics who are concerned with his administration’s maneuvering on the international stage so early into his presidency. A topic of conversation among the world leaders: steel and aluminum trade.
Here are some things that we believe are worth focusing on since our last article: