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Senate puts off Trumpcare vote without pulling the plug

President Donald Trump meets with Senate Republicans on

President Donald Trump meets with Senate Republicans on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, to discuss the health care bill. Credit: Getty Images / Alex Wong

It’s dying up there

Support for the Senate health care bill promoted by President Donald Trump fizzled by Tuesday to the point where a procedural vote to advance the measure had to be put off.

Newsday’s Tom Brune reports the story here.

On Monday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated the Senate bill as cutting Medicaid by $772 billion nationwide and causing a 16% drop in Medicaid enrollment.

In all, 22 million people would lack the insurance they’d have under Obamacare, the CBO found — making the bill more toxic for some members.

Mission implausible

Trump’s tactics have failed in the Senate, where he has now put Vice President Mike Pence on the case.

“The White House has been very involved in these discussions,” said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “They’re very anxious to help.”

Later Tuesday, Senate Republicans met with Trump as he gave a rambling message.

“This will be great, if we get it done,” Trump said. “And if we don’t get it done, it’s just going to be something that we’re not going to like, and that’s OK and I understand that very well.”

Dems: It’s not dead yet

Even with its consideration put off for now, out-of-power Democrats are still warning that the so-called Trumpcare measure stands to make a comeback.

“It’s far from over. McConnell said he’s going to come back to it soon,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). “We’re not taking anything for granted.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said GOP plans to kill Obamacare come back “more often than the lead zombie in a horror movie.”

Saber-rattling on Syria

The Pentagon said Bashar Assad’s forces look like they are getting ready for another chemical attack. Russian and Syrian officials call this an empty provocation.

Tensions are clear.

For most of Tuesday, Trump’s public statements on Twitter, which usually reflect what he’s on about, concerned other subjects.

But a White House statement warned Syria will pay a “heavy price” if it carries out another attack like the one on April 4 that prompted a U.S. missile strike.

Credibility question

The White House statement released by Trump’s man Sean Spicer Monday night might have left some relevant defense officials in the dark as to wording and timing. By late Tuesday, it was reported that a tight circle did meet beforehand.

There is also a question of credibility — whether Trump is to be believed when he announces a threat, given his clear track record of unfounded claims. To this day, the pre-Trump “weapons of mass destruction” fiasco in Iraq doesn’t help.

But Defense Secretary Jim Mattis gave assurances the U.S. won’t be drawn into the Syrian civil war.

What else is happening

  • The Department of Homeland Security says it will begin testing prototypes for a Mexican border wall this summer.
  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as spokeswoman in a Trump press briefing, railed against “fake news,” but lauded a videographer slammed for deceptive practices.
  • Only days after Russian cyberattacks re-emerged as the focus of a blame-fest, a massive assault spread ransomware around the U.S. and Europe.
  • Frustrated with China over inaction in North Korea, Trump is mulling possible trade actions in response, Reuters reports.
  • Trump fixated on the departure, after a controversial web-only Russia story, of three CNN journalists.
  • Framed copies of a fake Time magazine cover featuring Trump were hung up in at least five of the president’s golf clubs, The Washington Post reported.

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