There was a ton of political news to sort through yesterday:
Trumpcare is Dead, for Now
After Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) confirmed on Monday that she was a “No” on the most recent version of Trumpcare, the Senate Republican Caucus met yesterday to decide what to do next. With Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and John McCain (R-AZ) having earlier come out against the bill, Collins’s vote meant there was no plausible path to 50. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell emerged from the meeting to announce that there would be no vote on the bill, and that the chamber would now turn its attention to tax reform.
This does not mean Obamacare is safe. There are tons of things Trump and his enablers can do (and are already doing) to undercut the law, and some senators are already plotting their next attempt at repeal, although it will probably not be until next year sometime.
Ex-Judge Roy Moore Wins Runoff in Alabama
When Trump chose Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to be his Attorney General, Alabama’s then-Governor Robert Bentley appointed State Attorney General Luther Strange to fill the seat until a special election could take place.
Last night, Strange lost the Republican primary runoff for that election to former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore. The race was a bizarre one, with Trump backing Strange, while his former aides Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka touted Moore. Both candidates insisted that they were the one to best push forward the Trump agenda.
Moore will still have to defeat Democrat Doug Jones in December, but it’s Alabama, so he is favored to do just that.
Mainstream news sites often refer to Moore as “colorful,” but I don’t have to be so delicate: he’s a nut who has no business having any sort of power whatsoever. He was twice removed from the bench for defying federal court orders (hence the “ex” in ex-judge), has obscenely offensive views on just about everything, and actually pulled out a gun and waved it around at a campaign rally this week.
He is not expected to play well with the other Republicans in the Senate.
So, overall, Mitch McConnell had one of those terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad days yesterday. (I weep.)
House to Vote on 20-Week Ban
Somewhat lost in the bigger news, but of immediate relevance to us, was the announcement that the House will hold a vote on a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It has exceptions for rape, incest or where the life of the mother is at risk, but no exception for cases of fetal abnormality. The same bill passed the House in 2015, but was blocked by Democrats in the Senate. It’s certainly going to pass the House again this time, and since it will require 60 votes in the Senate, it should halt there once again.
There’s every indication that Senator Roy Moore would be a giant pain in the rear for Mitch McConnell.
It got a little lost in all of that drama