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The Note: GOP whiffs again on health care


  • No bill: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell conceded Monday night that the GOP’s effort to repeal and replace Obamacare “will not be successful” after two more conservative Republicans came out against the bill. ABC News’ Jonathan Karl reports that the White House was blindsided by Sens. Mike Lee and Jerry Moran announcing their opposition.
  • McConnell‘s backup plan: “repeal and delay” is the new “repeal and replace.” President Trump is on board but a majority will still be hard to muster for even an incomplete repeal.
  • Despite the tough talk, President Trump and his administration certified that Iran has been complying with the nuclear deal, but warned they’ll be enforcing new sanctions for Iran’s “misbehavior” in the country’s region.
  • A new battle on the horizon: House Republicans have unveiled their 2018 budget blueprint, which includes $621.5 billion for defense spending and hopes to tackle tax overhaul.
  • “I think, quite frankly, it’s probably against the law in addition to being inappropriate” if anyone accepted opposition research from Russia, said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
  • THE TAKE with ABC News’ Rick Klein

    “Repeal and delay” lacks the powerful messaging punch that Republicans honed over seven years where they won more races than they lost. But as a practical matter, it’s just as dangerous politically and could be more problematic in terms of policy. (You thought insurance companies disliked the replacement proposals? How do you run a business not knowing what the rules will be at all?) President Trump is casting this as a way to force Democrats to the table; if the starting point is Obamacare’s winding down, the argument goes, everyone has a stake in crafting a new system. Democrats, fresh off (another) win keeping Obamacare in place, are in no mood to negotiate. But as health-care ovehaul enters another not-dead-yet phase, they would be well advised to remember what did in “repeal and replace” again and again in…

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