McConnell: Doing legislation the way the Senate is supposed to is a ‘waste of time’

Sen. Mitch McConnell has a not-very professional approach to doing his job of leading the whole Senate—not just the Republican one.

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Can we just revisit for a moment the months and months during which former Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, then-chairman of the Finance Committee, chased after Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Mike Enzi and Olympia Snowe and any other Republican who might allow him to call the bill “bipartisan?” Because that’s how the Senate was supposed to work. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut has a good answer to McConnell.

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Senate Republicans catching a clue that saving themselves politically could mean saving Obamacare

The healthcare industry is in full-on panic mode over the Trump regime’s continuing sabotage of Obamacare, which means they’re in full-on pressure mode with Congress—specifically with the Senate, where they apparently believe their only hope for sanity lies.

Senate Republicans face increasing pressure to rescue health insurance markets and protect coverage for millions of Americans amid growing fears the Trump administration is going to let the markets collapse.
In recent days, leading hospitals, physician groups, health insurers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have pleaded with the Senate to step in, effectively going around the White House.

“Congress must take action now,” the groups warned in a letter to Republican and Democratic Senate leaders. “At this point, only congressional action can help consumers.” […]

In addition to the healthcare groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, state insurance regulators — Republicans and Democrats — also are pleading

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Mitch McConnell wants to talk Trumpcare in quiet rooms

You might think that the example of the process of getting Trumpcare and Zombie Trumpcare through the House—and the massive opposition to it among the general populace—would have made Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell approach the whole thing with a bit more transparency, and a tad more democracy (at least within the regular Senate procedures).

And you would think wrong. He’s not doing any of that. He’s trying to keep it all a big secret.

At a meeting of his health care working group last Tuesday, the Kentucky Republican excused all nonleadership staffers after expressing annoyance over the number of leaks about the private discussions, GOP senators and aides told Roll Call.
He was particularly frustrated with a report that cited a verbatim conversation that took place during a prior meeting, according to one lawmaker who spoke on the condition of anonymity. […]

Republican leadership has faced criticism for the manner in which

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White House ‘drama’ might save some Republicans from votes they don’t want to take

All the Republicans now have #TrumpRegrets, but for some there’s a silver lining in the big black cloud hanging over popular vote loser Donald Trump. As long as he’s enmeshed in the Russia mess, the House Republican leadership’s extreme legislative agenda is imperiled, and that’s saving some folks from having to take very difficult votes.

With nearly daily revelations in the investigations into Russia’s interference into last year’s presidential election and potential ties to the Trump campaign, the president is beginning to lose clout on Capitol Hill. […]
House Speaker Paul Ryan read off a to-do list for the House last week, which includes work on “closing the skill gap, on streamlining I.T. to get waste out of government, make the Pentagon more efficient, get tax reform moving.”

“These are things that really affect people in their daily lives. We’re working on this,” he told reporters. “So I

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Paul Ryan tries to deflect on leak that implicates him in a Russia cover-up

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Speaker Paul Ryan is trying out the Trump regime’s favorite defense against damning news—focus on the leaker rather than on the content. In this case, it’s the release of a transcript with a slip of the tongue from Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy about Donald Trump being on Vladimir Putin’s payroll, a “joke” that Ryan immediately threatened all of those present to forget ever happened. Ryan is in full deflection mode trying to cover up what he and others in Republican leadership—we’re looking at you, Mitch McConnell—knew about Russia’s interference in the election on behalf of Trump and when they knew it.

Friday morning, Ryan told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that the recording was “a cause of concern” for him and other Republicans.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” the speaker said. “There was somebody who taped a meeting a year ago where our majority leader cracked a

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Paul Ryan pooh-poohs his incompetent handling of Trumpcare, possibility of needing a revote

In Speaker Paul Ryan’s frenzied rush to shove Zombie Trumpcare through the House, he decided to forego getting a Congressional Budget Office score of the legislation, because the more information members had about the bill the harder it would be for them to vote for it. But because he didn’t do that, the bill has not yet been sent on to the Senate, and there’s a chance that the House will have to tweak the bill again and revote on it after the new CBO score is released early next week.

That’s because the provisions they added to sweeten the deal for “moderates” could have changed the overall costs and savings in the bill—it has to save at least $2 billion to comply with the Senate’s rules for considering it under budget reconciliation, the tool that allows it to pass with a simple majority of 51 votes. It’s possible that

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Senate Democrats, Shut. Down. Lieberman.

He’s the bad penny. The skunk at the picnic. The disgusting skin on your pudding. And he will never, ever, ever go away as long as he’s alive. But it appears that former Sen. Joe Lieberman (Connecticut for Lieberman) is Trump’s top pick among the people who are still craven and self-serving enough to think associating themselves with this president is a good idea. OF COURSE it’s Lieberman. Who else is that much of a troll, asks Vox’s Matt Yglesias?

Lieberman lacks the conventional qualifications for an FBI director, never having served as a law enforcement agent or federal prosecutor. He lacks the kind of administrative experience that one normally looks for in an agency chief. At the age of 75, he’s also very much on the old side for a 10-year appointment. But “Trump bonded with Lieberman” at their meeting on Wednesday, according to Politico, and

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