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Congress leaves for recess without accomplishing Trump initiatives

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Rick Bowmer  AP

Mueller, of course, has been under fire from the West Wing and from administration allies, in preemptive strikes against any allegations that might arise in the probe that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian operatives.

But what are the electoral implications? President Trump staged a photo-op celebration in the Rose Garden, even as Senate Republicans declared the zombie to be DOA at their doorstep.The senators wanted to pass their own version even before the president, in one of his freaky flip-flops, described the House bill as too "mean."But, alas, Senate Republicans came up with their own clunker of a bill that the CBO estimated would grow the uninsured by 22 million and cut Medicaid by $772 billion".

In the Senate, however, things are more complicated. The president has staunchly promoted a full repeal of the law and recently suggested he would let the law "implode".

His job-approval polls aren't good. "We can't give up on this".

So what do we find?

If it had been McCain/Lieberman that year the Arizona senator would have lost even worse to Obama and it would have provided Lieberman with the unheard of distinction of losing on the presidential tickets of both parties (hard to remember now but Lieberman was Al Gore's running mate in the fateful 2000 election). Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who met with the President in recent days about his idea to include a different formula on block grants to the states that would cover health care money. But there are few Republicans in this group.

Under current law, for most individuals, HSA distributions are allowed only for payment of certain long-term care and continuation-of-benefit (COBRA) premiums, and health insurance premiums while receiving unemployment benefits. But King acknowledges that Congress' inability to come up with a broadly supported health care plan can't be ignored.

The third seat is Ted Cruz's in Texas. But some are airing concerns that Democratic leaders, in an effort to attract the populist camp embodied by Sens. Majority Leader McConnell delayed a vote on the bill until after the July 4 recess to make changes to the bill addressing the concerns of conservative and moderate members, ultimately abandoning a vote after key Senators announced that they were not prepared to support it.

By the Senate's August recess in 2009, former President Barack Obama's first term, lawmakers had advanced 310 of the 1,110 positions requiring confirmation, according to data tracked by The Washington Post and the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service's Center for Presidential Transition. In the aftermath of the health care bill falling apart, Republican senators have blamed the White House for its lack of a plan. Sen. And this is where things get interesting.

Second, note that even with his job approval in the low 40s nationally, OH and in look poised for competitive races.

Senate Republicans had hoped that using the budget reconciliation process would guarantee passage of the legislation.

Several permutations of "replace and repeal" of Obamacare were voted down by comfortable margins.

More than 1,200 of the 4,100 presidential appointees in the federal government are what constitutional law refers to as "principal officers": senior administration officials that the president nominates but who can not wield the powers of their office until they have been confirmed by the Senate.

First, this illustrates once again the challenges that Democrats face this cycle. Most of Wednesday's work occurred behind the scenes, though the chamber voted along party lines to confirm a Trump nominee to the National Labor Relations Board, Marvin Kaplan.

This is where the vote on the repeal of the mandate becomes interesting. However, the issue is becoming a litmus test in the Democratic Party. In particular, I've never really bought concerns that Manchin is particularly vulnerable, but I am gradually reconsidering. This time, however, they are on record as voting to keep the mandate.

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