First Big Vote on "Repeal and Replace" Goes Horribly Wrong

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 19: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), center, speaks to the press with U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-SD), left, and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) after the weekly Senate Republicans policy luncheon on March 19, 2013 in Washington, DC. The Senate is expected to pass a revised continuing resolution and send their edits back to the House in order to prevent a government shutdown next week, but any action in the Senate may be delayed until later in the week. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)

The Senate voted narrowly yesterday to open debate on repealing Obamacare, a huge political win for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republicans who've promised for years to repeal it. But Republicans suffered a setback when the Senate decisively rejected a Republican proposal to repeal-and-replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law. Last night's tally needed to reach 60 votes to overcome a parliamentary objection. Instead, the measure failed on a 43 to 57 vote. Democrats successfully killed the proposal because it lacked an official score from the Congressional Budget Office and did not meet Senate reconciliation rules.

President Donald Trump seemed undeterred by the news. “I believe now we will over the next week or two we will come up with a plan that is going to be really, really wonderful for the American people.”


Although the Senate is now moving ahead with debate, amendments and ultimately a final vote on the controversial legislation, it's possible that they will fail to pass anything before the end of the week. Senators are expected to cast a vote on a "repeal-only" proposal later today, but that, too, is likely to fail because many Republicans, as well as all Democrats, reject repealing the health care law without a viable replacement at hand.

Republicans acknowledged that the process is far from over.

"I don't know. Y'all were watching. It was fine," said Senator Bob Corker (R-TN). He added, "Well, I think everybody understands this is just a first step," when reporters pointed out that the mood on Capitol Hill among his colleagues is far from celebratory.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), did not mince words when asked about the bill's prospects, saying it would end health care coverage for millions of Americans.

"Anyone who thinks this is over is sadly mistaken," he said. "There are many, many Republicans who don't like this bill, who don't want to vote for it. They are under enormous pressure to vote for it. ... Anyone who voted to move to proceed and certainly anyone who votes to send this bill to conference is virtually, certainly, voting to kick millions off health care, to make it much harder to get coverage if you have a pre-existing condition, to slash Medicaid and give a huge amount of tax cuts to the rich."

A Republican aide said party leaders will do whatever they can to appease other holdouts. "The only goal is to get onto the bill. Nothing happens until we do, so that's the only goal," the aide said. "These are the moments legislatively when you get creative. We're getting creative."

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Despite the strong possibility of spreading the virus that's caused a national health crisis in the United States, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. came under fire last week for ordering university faculty back to campus and for giving students the option to return as well.

Falwell is a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, and has previously echoed Trump's initial dismissals of the threat posed by the highly contagious virus. He even previously claimed that the virus was a biological weapon engineered by enemies of the United States.

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C-SPAN

If you think Fox News is the most loyal network to President Donald Trump, you likely haven't heard of One America News Network, or OAN.

The unabashedly pro-Trump network—largely considered a far-Right fringe outlet—has enjoyed expanded viewership over recent years thanks to glowing reviews from the President.

It's even been added to the prestigious White House press pool.

People were reminded of the network's bizarre Trump-era ascension during Monday's White House press briefing regarding the pandemic that—at the time of this writing—has resulted in over 3,000 deaths across the United States.

OAN's White House correspondent Chanel Rion compared the growing number of deaths from the pandemic to abortion procedures, asking Trump if abortions should be suspended all together.

The question flummoxed Trump himself.

Watch below.

Rion said:

"2,405 Americans have died from [the virus] in the last 60 days. Meanwhile, you have 2,369 children who are killed by their mothers through elective abortions each day. That's 16 and a half thousand children killed every week. Two states have suspended elective abortion to make more resources available...Should more states be doing the same?"

Even Trump seemed confused by the question, and notably didn't wade into the abortion aspect of the question:

"I think what we're doing, we're trying to, as a group ,governors—and that's Republicans and Democrats—we're just working together to solve this problem. What you're mentioning has been going on for a long time and it's a sad event, a lot of sad events in this country. But what we're doing now is working on the virus...and I think we're doing a great job—as good a job as you can possibly do."

People noticed that even Trump—either purposely or otherwise—didn't take the bait from one of his favorite networks.




Rion, who is Asian-American, previously made headlines when she asked Trump—who'd been criticized for describing the virus as "Chinese Virus"—if the phrase "Chinese food" was racist.

Her questions, while satiating viewers who prioritize "owning the libs" over potentially lifesaving information, have only confirmed the degradation of the press corps under the Trump era.




OAN's only redeemable quality? It doesn't claim to be "fair and balanced."


Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images // Duffy-Marie Arnoult/WireImage

Even in the face of a global pandemic, President Donald Trump hasn't dispensed with his typical pettiness.

The President made that perfectly clear on Sunday afternoon, as deaths caused by the national health crisis continued to increase.

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JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images // Hernando County Sheriff

After weeks of dismissing the current pandemic as little more than a flu overblown by the media to undermine his presidency, President Donald Trump and his administration are finally beginning to acknowledge the severity of the threat posed by the virus that's upended daily life in the United States.

Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne apparently hadn't gotten that memo.

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Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Donald Trump held his pandemic press briefing in the Rose Garden on Sunday—but his mood was far from rosy.

One particularly heated exchange came when he took a question from PBS NewsHour's White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor.

Alcindor asked Trump about the the skepticism he expressed that New York—the epicenter of the health crisis facing the United States—was exaggerating the number of lifesaving ventilators it needs to help curb the virus.

Trump interrupted Alcindor, claiming he "didn't say" that, then proceeded to berate her for her so-called "threatening" question.

Watch below.

Alcindor asked:

"You've said repeatedly that you think that some of the equipment governors are requesting, they don't actually need. You said New York might not need 30 thousand—"

Trump interrupted:

"I didn't say that. I didn't say that. Why don't you people...why don't you act in a little more positive? It's always trying to get me. Getcha, getcha. You know what, that's why nobody trusts the media anymore."

Though the President didn't reciprocate, Alcindor remained professional and repeated her question despite the President's attacks on her journalistic integrity in front of her colleagues.

What's more, Alcindor was right—and video proves it.

Alcindor referred to statements Trump made on far-right Fox News host Sean Hannity's show.

Watch below.

Trump said:

"I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they're going to be. I don't believe you need 40 thousand or 30 thousand ventilators. You go into major hospitals sometimes, they'll have two ventilators and now all of a sudden they're saying, 'can we have 30 thousand ventilators?'"

Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has made clear that New York has yet to reach the height of the pandemic. The current number of ventilators is not enough to treat all of the infections to come, which could force doctors into rationing them and choosing not to treat patients with less optimistic prognoses.

Alcindor later pointed out that Trump did, in fact, express skepticism that New York was asking for ventilators they didn't need.

People called Trump out for responding to his own words with petty attacks.



They praised Alcindor for holding him accountable when so many others won't.




This was far from the first time Trump personally attacked Alcindor for doing her job.

Astonishingly, Trump denied his own words again in the same press conference when CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond asked Trump to elaborate on his Friday statements that governors aren't being "appreciative" enough of him and his administration.

If a President isn't beholden to congressional oversight, basic transparency, and even his own words, how can he be beholden to the American people?

For more stories of Trump's ineptitude from people who were there, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.

Fox News

As the apex of the current pandemic looms in the United States, more and more Americans have begun working from home in an effort to slow the virus.

Television hosts aren't an exception to this—including far-Right Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro, whose performance on air this past Saturday night seemed a bit...off.

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