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A4   U.S. NEWS
                    Saturday 1 July 2017
            Summer looms with GOP stuck on health care, budget, taxes

                Continued from Front                                                                                            rowing  authority,  prevent-
                                                                                                                                ing  a  government  shut-
            “It  would  be  hard  to  fault                                                                                     down,  and  lifting  budget
            the  average  American  for                                                                                         “caps”  that  are  hobbling
            thinking all that’s going on                                                                                        efforts  to  beef  up  the  mili-
            in Washington these days is                                                                                         tary.
            high-drama  hearings  and                                                                                           Unlike  health  care,  the
            partisan   sniping,”   Ryan                                                                                         debt  limit  and  a  deal  to
            said. “But amid the count-                                                                                          fix the spending caps — a
            down  clocks  and  cable                                                                                            leftover  from  a  failed  2011
            news  chatter,  something                                                                                           budget deal — can only be
            important  is  happening:                                                                                           resolved  with  Democratic
            Congress  is  getting  things                                                                                       help. However, they prom-
            done to help improve peo-                                                                                           ise  to  consume  political
            ple’s lives.”                                                                                                       capital  and  valuable  time
            In  the  first  year  of  a  presi-                                                                                 and energy, and there’s no
            dency,  the  annual  August                                                                                         political pay-off, other than
            congressional  recess  is  a                                                                                        forestalling disaster.
            traditional  point  to  take                                                                                        First,  Congress  is  off  on
            stock.                                                                                                              vacation  to  return  in  July
            By that point, Obama had                                                                                            for  a  three-week  session.
            signed  an  economic  re-    Congressional aides and interns wait for a tram as corridors around the Senate are quiet after   Then comes the traditional
            covery  bill  and  President   lawmakers departed Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, June 30, 2017, for the Independence   monthlong August recess.
            George  W.  Bush  had  won   Day recess. The Republican leadership in the Senate decided this week to delay a vote on their   After  Labor  Day  comes  a
            his landmark tax cuts, while   long-awaited health care bill in following opposition in the GOP ranks.              four-week sprint to October
            President  Bill  Clinton  was                                                          (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)  and  the  deadline  to  avert
            celebrating  a  hard-fought  “We laid out an agenda in  can  effectively  get  there.  stalled on health care, the  a  government  shutdown
            budget package.              November and December,  The  questions  that  con-        budget  and  infrastructure,  with a temporary spending
            Trump has no comparable  and  we’re  needing  to  get  found us are those that we  there  are  several  other  bill — and to forestall a di-
            successes to trumpet — but  there,”  said  House  Rules  can answer ourselves. And  problems  that  need  to  be  sastrous default on U.S. ob-
            his  allies  in  Congress  say  Committee Chairman Pete  we will.”                     taken  care  of,  including  ligations by lifting the debt
            they’re not worried.         Sessions,  R-Texas.  “And  we  And  as  Republicans  are  increasing the nation’s bor-  limit. q

            Trump suggests just repeal Obamacare, then try to replace it

            WASHINGTON (AP) — Presi-     into  Senate  Republicans’  gotiations  Friday,  declar-  reach  a  deal  they  should  former  President  Barack
            dent Donald Trump barged  delicate  health  care  ne-     ing that if lawmakers can’t   simply   repeal   “Obam-    Obama’s  health  law  fol-
                                                                                                   acare”  right  away  and  lowed  by  a  new  effort  at
                                                                                                   then replace it later on.    a  working  out  a  replace-
                                                                                                   Trump’s  tweet  revives  an  ment.  Trump  is  a  known
                                                                                                   approach  that  GOP  lead-   “Fox & Friends” viewer, but
                                                                                                   ers  and  the  president  Republican Sen. Rand Paul
                                                                                                   himself   considered   but  of  Kentucky  also  claimed
                                                                                                   dismissed  months  ago  as  credit  for  recommending
                                                                                                   impractical  and  politically  the tactic to the president
                                                                                                   unwise.  And  it’s  likely  to  in a conversation earlier in
                                                                                                   further  complicate  Major-  the week.
                                                                                                   ity  Leader  Mitch  McCon-   “Senator  Rand  Paul  sug-
                                                                                                   nell’s task as he struggles to  gested  this  very  idea  to
                                                                                                   bridge the divide between  the  president,”  said  Paul
                                                                                                   GOP  moderates  and  con-    spokesman    Sergio   Gor.
                                                                                                   servatives as senators leave  “The  senator  fully  agrees
                                                                                                   Washington  for  the  Fourth  that  we  must  immediately
                                                                                                   of  July  break  without  hav-  repeal  Obamacare  and
                                                                                                   ing voted on a health care  then  work  on  replacing  it
                                                                                                   bill as planned.             right away.”
                                                                                                   “If Republican Senators are  McConnell, R-Ky., has been
                                                                                                   unable  to  pass  what  they  trying  to  strike  deals  with
                                                                                                   are  working  on  now,  they  members  of  both  factions
                                                                                                   should  immediately  RE-     in  order  to  finalize  a  re-
                                                                                                   PEAL, and then REPLACE at  written  bill  lawmakers  can
                                                                                                   a later date!” Trump wrote.  vote  on  when  they  return
                                                                                                   The president sent his early-  to  the  Capitol  the  second
                                                                                                   morning tweet shortly after  week  of  July.  Even  before
                                                                                                   Nebraska  Republican  Sen.  Trump weighed in, though,
                                                                                                   Ben  Sasse  appeared  on  it  wasn’t  clear  how  far  he
                                                                                                   Fox  News  Channel’s  “Fox  was  getting,  and  Trump’s
                                                                                                   &  Friends”  to  talk  about  a  tweet  did  not  appear
                                                                                                   letter he had sent to Trump  to  suggest  a  lot  of  White
                                                                                                   making that exact sugges-    House  confidence  in  the
                                                                                                   tion:  a  vote  on  repealing  outcome.q
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