Paul Ryan

(AP Photo/Hans-Maximo Musielik, File)

On this edition of Political Rewind, the always contentious issues of illegal immigration is back in the spotlight.  A bi-partisan group of U.S. House members is pushing hard to bring a number of reform bills to the floor for a vote, but Speaker Paul Ryan isn’t ready to play ball.  Also, the White House is under fire for promoting a policy of separating children from parents when families are apprehended by border police.


(AP Photo/Jaime Henry-White)

On this edition of Political Rewind, as qualifying continues for the 2018 Georgia elections, the 6th District Congressional Race draws a surprise Democratic candidate.  The race may now become a referendum on gun control.  At the State Capitol, time is running out for Cobb County leaders to decide whether they want to join a highly-touted regional transit funding plan.  Plus, the ACLU accuses a Georgia sheriff’s office of hosting a conference featuring a known anti-Muslim, a poll that shows one GOP candidate for governor gaining support, and why House Speaker Paul Ryan is coming to Atlanta.

Updated at 6:17 p.m. ET

Congress has voted to avert a partial government shutdown that could have come Friday night.

Updated 10 a.m. ET

Escalating tension between Capitol Hill and the White House is threatening the GOP's legislative agenda and testing the bonds of party unity under the Trump administration.

"I also protect myself by being flexible. I never get too attached to one deal or one approach."

Those words from Donald Trump's The Art of The Deal may be giving congressional Republicans some hope this week.

That's because Congress is facing a midnight Friday deadline to pass legislation to keep the federal government fully open — or face a partial government shutdown precisely on President Trump's 100th day in office.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

House Republicans emerged from a members-only meeting Tuesday morning to bullishly declare the health care legislative battle is not over.

"We promised that we would repeal and replace Obamacare, and that's exactly what we're going to do," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters after the meeting.

Even as they lick their wounds from a failed Affordable Care Act repeal effort, Republican leaders in Washington are looking ahead to the next battle — over taxes.

"I would say that we will probably start going very, very strongly for the big tax cuts and tax reform," President Trump told reporters Friday. "That will be next."

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan agreed, though he conceded that the defeat on health care was a setback.

"This does make tax reform more difficult," Ryan said. "But it does not in any way make it impossible."

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

House Republicans scrapped a vote on their health care replacement plan on Friday after defections from both the right and center that made it clear the bill would not pass.

"Obamacare is the law of the land. It is going to remain the law of the land," House Speaker Paul Ryan admitted shortly after he pulled the bill. "We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future. I don't know how long it's going to take us to replace this law."

Republicans will be tested today on the strength of party unity in the Trump era and their party's ability to deliver on the promises they've made to the voters that sent them here.

"This is our chance and this is our moment. It's a big moment," House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters earlier this week. "And I think our members are beginning to appreciate just what kind of a 'rendezvous with destiny' we have right here."

"This is the chance. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said the speaker, roving the stage with a wireless mic, gesturing at both the audience in front of him and the PowerPoint presentation behind him.

TED Talk? Late-night infomercial? Nope — it was House Speaker Paul Ryan, making a hard pitch for his health care plan after a week of loud conservative criticism.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Tuesday that it was "highly likely" that the Senate Intelligence Committee would look into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with the Russian ambassador in December regarding sanctions imposed by the Obama administration.

McConnell would not directly answer whether he was confident that Donald Trump did not direct Flynn's conversation on sanctions.

"You ought to ask the White House those kinds of questions," McConnell said.

Through years of acrimony over the relative merits of Obamacare, one kind of health insurance has remained steady, widespread and relatively affordable: Employer-sponsored plans.

Job-based medical plans still cover more Americans than any other type, typically with greater benefits and lower out-of-pocket expense. Recent cost increases for this sort of coverage have been a tiny fraction of those for Obamacare plans for individuals.

President-elect Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan agree that repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with some other health insurance system is a top priority.

But they disagree on whether overhauling Medicare should be part of that plan. Medicare is the government-run health system for people age 65 and older and the disabled.

Trump said little about Medicare during his campaign, other than to promise that he wouldn't cut it.

Ryan, on the other hand, has Medicare in his sights.

Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are vowing to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the signature health care overhaul of President Obama.

Trump has offered a few ideas of where he'd like to see a health care overhaul go, such as a greater reliance on health savings accounts, but he hasn't provided a detailed proposal.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has been unanimously re-nominated by his party to continue to serve as speaker in the 115th Congress.

According to Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong, Ryan was nominated by Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., a founding member of the conservative Freedom Caucus that helped to push out former House Speaker John Boehner.

In the end, Paul Ryan voted for Donald Trump.

The Republican presidential nominee and the House speaker have had a tortured relationship with each other all year. After Trump became the GOP's presumptive candidate, Ryan held off on endorsing him for several weeks.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Rep. Paul Ryan is a powerful member of Congress — he's House speaker serving his ninth term, and up for re-election. But some persuasive forces — including GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and conservative pundit Ann Coulter — are expressing support for his Wisconsin primary opponent Paul Nehlen.

The state holds its Republican primary next Tuesday, Aug. 9.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will play a prominent role at this week's Republican convention. But he will not be shaping the convention's messages — and a talk with Ryan suggests how different the convention might be if he did.

Even though House Speaker Paul Ryan has endorsed Donald Trump, he has continued to have plenty of criticism for his party's presumptive nominee.

In an interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep on Thursday afternoon in his office in the Capitol, Ryan was optimistic that Trump would come around on free trade agreements and the controversial tone he's used on the campaign trail.