Affordable Care Act Update: This week, House Republicans are expected to mark up three Affordable Care Act (ACA) bills discussed in hearings last week. The more conservative members of the House Republican Caucus, concerned about recent discussions of "repairing" the law instead of full repeal, are pushing to have as much of the ACA repealed as possible. At the same time, members of the House and Senate are receiving correspondence and telephone calls from constituents expressing concerns about repeal without replacement.
Immigration Update: President Donald Trump’s executive order limiting travel to the US by citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries was blocked last Friday by a federal judge in Seattle. U.S. District Court Judge James Robart subsequently ruled in favor of the attorneys general of Washington state and Minnesota on a lawsuit they brought seeking to overturn the order. Judge Robart’s decision put a nationwide halt to the implementation of President Trump’s executive order.
President Trump reacted to challenges to his ban over the weekend by attacking the federal judge in Seattle; his administration requested an immediate suspension of the judge’s order. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco denied the administration's request, but did say it would consider the request after receiving more information.
The government now has until 6:00 PM EST today to submit additional legal briefs to the appeals court in San Francisco in support of Trump's order. Whichever way the court votes, the case may reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
Supreme Court Nominee: Last Tuesday, President Trump announced that he had selected federal appellate court judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee to fill the late Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court vacancy. Gorsuch now faces a partisan battle to secure confirmation to this Supreme Court seat.
Cabinet Update: Last Wednesday, Rex W. Tillerson, the former chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil, was confirmed by the Senate in a 56-to-43 vote. Tomorrow, the Senate plans a vote on confirming billionaire Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary. Next week, the Senate plans to vote on confirming Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General and Representative Tom Price (R-GA) as Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary. Price's confirmation is an important step in Republicans’ efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, given that significant parts of their plan hinge on executive actions by the Trump administration.