Few things have become as strange as the daily White House press briefing. It’s time to Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► Republicans are scrambling to figure out their next steps after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell abruptly announced on Tuesday that the Senate healthcare bill (“The Better Care Reconciliation Act”) would not be rushed to a vote before Congress takes its July 4th holiday recess at the end of the week.
As the Washington Post explains, Republicans are having trouble finding a reason to push forward with a terrible healthcare bill:
Amid a revolt against the Senate health-care bill, supporters have seized upon something of a last-ditch argument: Whatever you think of this bill, they say, you owe it to your voters. Republicans have been promising for years to repeal and replace Obamacare, the argument goes, and not passing this bill will mean they will have broken their promise.
There is one big problem with that strategy: The GOP base doesn’t seem to see it that way.
Not only aren’t Republican voters particularly keen on this bill, but polls suggest they wouldn’t even blame their Republican members of Congress for failing to close the deal.
► Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has been in Washington D.C. alongside a bipartisan group of Governors in opposition to the Senate healthcare bill. Hickenlooper and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, held a news conference on Tuesday that was highly critical of GOP healthcare efforts that would include devastating cuts to Medicaid. Hickenlooper specifically called out Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) in his remarks.
Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) is pushing back against Republican claims that Democrats are refusing to work with the GOP on healthcare legislation. Bennet took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to hammer this point home.
► A group of protestors with disabilities have been camping out at the Denver office of Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) since late Tuesday in an effort to persuade Gardner to oppose the Republican Senate healthcare bill. Gardner has been bullish on the Senate bill despite Monday’s awful score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which estimated the legislation would cut health coverage for at least 22 million Americans.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► The crowd of Democrats seeking to take on Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) in 2018 continues to grow. As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:
After weeks of publicly considering whether to run in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District next year, Democrat Levi Tillemann told Colorado Politics on Tuesday that he plans to announce on July 9 that he’s campaigning for the seat held by Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman.
The former Obama administration official and expert in clean energy will join three other Democrats who have announced they’re running in the suburban battleground district.
Tillemann, 35, said in early May he was forming an exploratory committee and planned to conduct a listening tour in the district to determine whether to challenge Coffman, one of 23 Republicans nationwide who represent House districts won last year by Democrat Hillary Clinton.
► What do Colorado’s many gubernatorial candidates think about the current state of healthcare “reform” efforts in Congress? You can get some answers from Democratic candidates, but Republicans aren’t saying much of anything.
► Here is your PILT funding update.
► Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) is cheering President Trump’s decision to override several water regulations from the Obama administration.
► More bad news for President Trump relating to connections between his 2016 campaign and the Russian government. From the New York Times:
Paul Manafort, who was forced out as President Trump’s campaign chairman last summer after five months of infighting and criticism about his business dealings with pro-Russian interests, disclosed Tuesday that his consulting firm had received more than $17 million over two years from a Ukrainian political party with links to the Kremlin.
The filing serves as a retroactive admission that Mr. Manafort performed work in the United States on behalf of a foreign power — Ukraine’s Party of Regions — without disclosing it at the time, as required by law. The Party of Regions is the political base of former President Viktor F. Yanukovych, who fled to Russia during a popular uprising in 2014.
► Supporters of an embattled voucher program in Douglas County are trying to find positive signs from a Supreme Court ruling earlier this week.
► Colorado Springs Democrat Pete Lee is earning accolades for his approach to criminal justice reform.
There’s a widespread sense of exasperation with the president, interviews with nearly two dozen senior Republicans reveal, and deep frustration with an administration they believe doesn’t fully grasp what it will take to preserve the narrow majority or add to it.
► Trumpism is dead…if it was ever really alive in the first place.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► White House reporters have had enough of this shit.
► Nevada Sen. Dean Heller isn’t going to have a fun time during the Senate’s weeklong July 4th recess.
► One Broomfield city council member is incensed at the dirty tactics being employed by outside groups being paid to promote fracking in Colorado.