Mike ‘Payola’ Allen writing in his morning email thingie from Axios:
Tomorrow night’s pivotal healthcare repeal vote in the House — on Day 63 of the Trump presidency — will be super-tight. One on-the-scene vote counter tells me that 4 more hard nays would kill it.
Leadership aides and top lobbyists tell us it’ll ultimately pass for a single reason: Given the country’s political geography (and House Republicans’ well-founded fear of primaries), in the end, the bubble members are going to have trouble saying “no” to Trump personally.
But on “Morning Joe,” Joe Scarborough says he talks to members who are no longer afraid of Trump — they’re frustrated by him.
…and then from his old perch at Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie:
SO IN SHORT, this bill as it is currently written is dead on arrival in the Senate. And if the Senate does overhaul the bill, it will be more moderate, likely making it unpalatable to House Republicans. If you’re just joining the program, this is often how Washington works! Things are slow, they’re frustrating and legislating takes time. That’s why President Donald Trump’s White House got eye rolls on Capitol Hill when they said they’d repeal the Affordable Care Act and complete tax reform by August. Look at how hard it is to pass a rewrite of Obamacare, something the GOP has planned to do since 2010.
…and (stringing this together from a separate TBOTP blurb):
THE HOUSE FREEDOM CAUCUS has a make-or-break moment tomorrow. If they stick together, they could feasibly kill this bill. If they don’t, Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan win, and the conservative caucus becomes weaker in future battles. Already some Capitol Hill Republicans and people close to Trump are talking about trying to work with Democrats to get other legislative initiatives passed in the future. As for health care, Democrats have vowed to force Republicans to pass their health care overhaul on their own. House Democrats have no plans to offer any amendments. Their thinking: There is nothing they could offer that would make the bill palatable for them to vote for it.
THE LAST WORD — FROM THE PRO-TRUMPCARE REPUBLICANS: They think the bill is going to pass. They believe that the numbers are moving in their direction, and say the opponents have isolated themselves. The president is clearly willing to horse-trade for votes — so the conservatives can get something to count as a win, if they want, aides say, but whether to vote yes to is another story. The White House and GOP leadership have been trying to make the message clear that the entire agenda is tied to passing this bill, which they believe should convince enough Republicans to vote yes.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 21, 2017
and one noted wag amplified:
Said it before: Trump is the Kobayashi Maru. https://t.co/Q12VarYOzG
— Tengrain (@Tengrain) March 22, 2017
The WSJ puts a cherry on top that I had not considered — this could be THE END for the Zombie-Eyed Granny-Starver:
The bill’s passage would vindicate Mr. Ryan’s more-collaborative style. Failure would undercut his power and expose an inability to unite rebelling conservative and centrist Republicans. The rest of the House GOP legislative agenda, including a long-sought overhaul of the tax code, could be imperiled.”
…and as long as we’re on the WSJ, when a Republican has lost their editorial board, well, this will leave a mark (emphasis mine):
If President Trump announces that North Korea launched a missile that landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would most Americans believe him? Would the rest of the world? We’re not sure, which speaks to the damage that Mr. Trump is doing to his Presidency with his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods. … [T]he President clings to his [wiretapping] assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle, rolling out his press spokesman to make more dubious claims. Sean Spicer—who doesn’t deserve this treatment—was dispatched last week to repeat an assertion by a Fox News commentator that perhaps the Obama Administration had subcontracted the wiretap to British intelligence. … Two months into his Presidency, Gallup has Mr. Trump’s approval rating at 39%. No doubt Mr. Trump considers that fake news, but if he doesn’t show more respect for the truth most Americans may conclude he’s a fake President.
So that’s the state of play this morning. What’s caught your eye?