President Trump spent Tuesday selling the Republican health-care overhaul to skeptical House members, warning his party that failure would endanger his legislative agenda and their own political careers.
But more than two dozen GOP lawmakers remained firmly opposed to the legislation amid the high-stakes persuasion campaign led by Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) — more than enough to block the bill ahead of a planned Thursday vote.
House failure would send leaders back to the drawing board on a key issue that Trump and congressional Republicans promised voters they would address. Even if the House approves the package, the legislation faces an uphill battle in the Senate.
The holdouts are mainly hard-line conservatives who believe that the bill, known as the American Health Care Act, does not do nearly enough to undo the Affordable Care Act passed by Democrats in 2010. But they also include moderates who fear that the bill will imperil their constituents and their party’s prospects at the ballot box.
In a morning address to a closed-door meeting of House Republicans, Trump used both charm and admonishment as he made his case, reassuring skittish members that they would gain seats in Congress if the bill passed.
President Trump “had some fun” at the “expense” of Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a critic of the House Republicans’ health-care bill. Trump told Meadows earlier in the day that he would “come after” him. (Reuters)
He singled out Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, which has led the right-wing opposition to the bill.
“I’m gonna come after you, but I know I won’t have to, because I know you’ll vote ‘yes,’ ” Trump said, according to several lawmakers who attended the meeting. “Honestly, a loss is not acceptable, folks.”
Trump’s remarks — which Meadows said he took as good-natured ribbing — reflected his mounting urgency to secure a major legislative victory in the early months of his presidency and fulfill a central campaign promise by repealing the signature domestic achievement of President Barack Obama. Passing a health-care measure is key to unlocking momentum for the president’s other legislative priorities, such as tax reform and infrastructure spending.
“He wants to get this bill done,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), a Trump ally. “I don’t hear that as a threat. It’s a statement of reality.”
“You know Trumps not joking” TE
Here’s how dissent is dealt with in Russia
A Moscow lawyer who represents the family of a now-deceased Russian whistleblower was severely injured Tuesday after falling several stories, just one day before he was scheduled to appear in court.
The lawyer, Nikolai Gorokhov, represents the family of Sergei Magnitsky, another Russian attorney who mysteriously died in custody in Moscow in 2009 after accusing law enforcement and tax officials of a massive fraud worth $230 million. Magnitsky’s death sparked international outrage and led to U.S. legislation in 2012 imposing sanctions on several Russian officials.
Investor Bill Browder, a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the man Magnitsky was working for when he was arrested, wrote that Gorokhov was “thrown from the top floor of his apartment building” and is currently hospitalized with severe head injuries in the intensive care unit at Moscow’s Botkin Hospital.
On Wednesday, Gorokhov was supposed to appear in a Moscow appeals court. He was set to challenge a lower court’s refusal to hear a complaint filed by Magnitsky’s mother in relation to the fraud exposed by her son.
Gorokhov was also expected to be a witness in a U.S. federal case in Manhattan tied to the alleged fraud. That case was being handled by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, until he was ousted by President Donald Trump earlier this month.
In recent years, several notable Kremlin critics have died or been injured under mysterious circumstances.
In February, journalist Vladimir Kara-Murza was hospitalized for organ failure after experiencing symptoms similar to those when he was poisoned in 2015.
In 2015, opposition politician Boris Nemstov was shot dead in Moscow. His widow has blamed the Russian government for his death. Later that year, former Russian press minister Mikhail Lesin was found dead in Washington, D.C., after suffering blunt force trauma to the head. Lesin’s death was eventually ruled an accident related to alcohol consumption.
Boris Berezovsky, a Russian oligarch who became a Putin critic, was found dead in his home in the U.K. in 2013.
And according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 56 members of the press, including investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, have been killed in Russia since 1992.
Magnitsky’s death prompted the U.S. to take measures in 2012 to punish the Russian officials believed to be responsible for his death. Russia retaliated by imposing sanctions on some U.S. officials and banning adoption of Russian children by Americans. In December last year, Congress voted to expand the law to cover human rights abusers in any country, not just Russia.
info from washington post and huffington post