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Trump takes aim at Freedom Caucus over defeat of GOP health care plan

CLOSE Trump takes aim at Freedom Caucus over defeat of GOP health care plan
Trump takes aim at Freedom Caucus over defeat of GOP health care plan

House Speaker Paul Ryan cancelled the vote on the GOP's health care bill that would've replaced Obamacare, saying he could not get enough votes to support it. USA TODAY

EPA USA HEALTHCARE CONGRESS POL GOVERNMENT USA DC

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. (Photo: MICHAEL REYNOLDS, EPA)

WASHINGTON — Despite calling Freedom Caucus members friends last week, President Trump seemed to take aim Sunday at the Republican hard-line conservatives and blame them in part for the collapse of the party’s health care repeal plan.

“Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!’’ Trump tweeted early Sunday.

The tweet came on the heels of a major blow for Republicans when leaders pulled Friday their plan to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act, because they didn't have enough GOP support to pass the measure. Several moderate Republicans and members of the Freedom Caucus vowed not to support it. All the Democrats were expected to vote against it.

Freedom Caucus members defended their positions, saying the plan pushed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., cost too much and didn't do enough to repeal the law. Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the caucus, didn't directly challenge's Trump charge, but said it's "incumbent upon'' moderates and conservatives to come together.

"I can tell you as I've looked at all of this, I said, could I have spent a little bit more time, should I have spent more time with the Tuesday Group, more time with Democrats to find some consensus,'' Meadows, R-N.C., said on ABC’s This Week.  "As we look at this today, this is not the end of the debate."

The Tuesday Group consists of more moderate House Republicans.

Trump said Friday he was surprised there wasn’t more support from the Freedom Caucus, but he didn’t blame them for deciding not to vote on the bill.

“I’m disappointed, but they’re friends of mine,’’ he said then. ‘’It’s a very hard time for them and very hard vote. But they’re very good people."

Democrats were quick to jump on the defeat. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called it "a victory for all Americans."

Meadows said Democrats shouldn't consider the fight over.

“If they're applauding, they shouldn't, because I can tell you that conversations over the last 48 hours are really about how we come together in the Republican conference and try to get this over the finish line," he said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Democrats are willing to work with Republicans on an effort to improve the ACA.

“We have ideas. They have ideas, to try to improve Obamacare,” Schumer said on This Week . “We never said it was perfect. We always said we'd work with them to improve it. We just said repeal was off the table.”

Read more :

Trump's anti-Freedom Caucus tweet followed another Twitter burst on Saturday morning, in which he urged his Twitter followers to watch the Saturday night show of Jeanine Pirro, a Fox television show host and former prosecutor.

Pirro opened the show by calling on Ryan to step down as speaker, because he

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Trump takes aim at Freedom Caucus over defeat of GOP health care plan

CLOSE Trump takes aim at Freedom Caucus over defeat of GOP health care plan
Trump takes aim at Freedom Caucus over defeat of GOP health care plan

House Speaker Paul Ryan cancelled the vote on the GOP's health care bill that would've replaced Obamacare, saying he could not get enough votes to support it. USA TODAY

EPA USA HEALTHCARE CONGRESS POL GOVERNMENT USA DC

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. (Photo: MICHAEL REYNOLDS, EPA)

WASHINGTON — Despite calling Freedom Caucus members friends last week, President Trump seemed to take aim Sunday at the Republican hard-line conservatives and blame them in part for the collapse of the party’s health care repeal plan.

“Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!’’ Trump tweeted early Sunday.

The tweet came on the heels of a major blow for Republicans when leaders pulled Friday their plan to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act, because they didn't have enough GOP support to pass the measure. Several moderate Republicans and members of the Freedom Caucus vowed not to support it. All the Democrats were expected to vote against it.

Freedom Caucus members defended their positions, saying the plan pushed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., cost too much and didn't do enough to repeal the law. Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the caucus, didn't directly challenge's Trump charge, but said it's "incumbent upon'' moderates and conservatives to come together.

"I can tell you as I've looked at all of this, I said, could I have spent a little bit more time, should I have spent more time with the Tuesday Group, more time with Democrats to find some consensus,'' Meadows, R-N.C., said on ABC’s This Week.  "As we look at this today, this is not the end of the debate."

The Tuesday Group consists of more moderate House Republicans.

Trump said Friday he was surprised there wasn’t more support from the Freedom Caucus, but he didn’t blame them for deciding not to vote on the bill.

“I’m disappointed, but they’re friends of mine,’’ he said then. ‘’It’s a very hard time for them and very hard vote. But they’re very good people."

Democrats were quick to jump on the defeat. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called it "a victory for all Americans."

Meadows said Democrats shouldn't consider the fight over.

“If they're applauding, they shouldn't, because I can tell you that conversations over the last 48 hours are really about how we come together in the Republican conference and try to get this over the finish line," he said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Democrats are willing to work with Republicans on an effort to improve the ACA.

“We have ideas. They have ideas, to try to improve Obamacare,” Schumer said on This Week . “We never said it was perfect. We always said we'd work with them to improve it. We just said repeal was off the table.”

Read more :

Trump's anti-Freedom Caucus tweet followed another Twitter burst on Saturday morning, in which he urged his Twitter followers to watch the Saturday night show of Jeanine Pirro, a Fox television show host and former prosecutor.

Pirro opened the show by calling on Ryan to step down as speaker, because he

...

Corruption protests sweep Russia; Putin opponent arrested

Associated Press

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No surprise: Beijing’s pick Lam chosen as Hong Kong’s leader

The Associated Press 10:09 a.m. ET March 26, 2017

AP HONG KONG NEW LEADER I ELN HKG

Former Hong Kong chief secretary Carrie Lam, right, waves after she declared her victory in the chief executive election of Hong Kong while her rival candidate, former financial secretary John Tsang stands by her on March 26, 2017. (Photo: Kin Cheung, AP)

HONG KONG —  The candidate favored by China’s Communist leadership was chosen as Hong Kong’s new leader on Sunday, in the first such vote since huge pro-democracy protests erupted over the semiautonomous Chinese city’s election system in 2014.

A committee dominated by pro-Beijing elites selected Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s former No. 2 official, as the financial hub’s chief executive even though she was far less popular than her main rival. Lam received 67% of the votes cast by the 1,194-member committee.

Her victory was hardly a surprise. China’s leaders had lobbied heavily behind the scenes for Lam, 59, who will become Hong Kong’s first female leader and its fourth since British colonial control ended in 1997. After the votes were counted, she bowed to the crowd and shook hands with the second-place finisher, former finance secretary John Tsang.

Some pro-democracy supporters in the official seating area yelled slogans and held up a yellow umbrella, the symbol of the 2014 protests, as the results were announced. The elite election committee was at the root of the protests, with activists decrying the lack of a direct choice by Hong Kong’s 3.8 million registered voters.

Democracy supporters called Sunday’s vote a “fake election” and blasted Beijing for meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs.

Political party Demosisto, founded by the young pro-democracy protest leader Joshua Wong, said in a Facebook post that “this result is a nightmare to Hong Kongers.” It said it would organize “a large civil disobedience protest” when Lam is sworn in July 1.

Lam, a lifelong civil servant, has a reputation as an efficient and pragmatic administrator, but is unpopular with Hong Kongers because she’s seen as a proxy for Beijing and out of touch with ordinary people. Tsang, in contrast, is highly popular because of his easygoing persona and deft use of social media. He was nicknamed “Pringles” or “Uncle Chips” in Cantonese for his signature mustache that drew comparisons to the snack food mascot.

Lam received 777 of the 1,163 validly cast votes. Tsang got 365 votes, or 31%, while the third candidate, retired judge Woo Kwok-hing, had 21 votes.

As the next leader of the Asian financial center, Lam will inherit a city roiled by political divisions, including a burgeoning independence movement, and saddled with sluggish economic growth. Many fear that Beijing is tightening control and undermining the “one country, two systems” framework that guarantees Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy. Those fears have been amplified by several cases in recent years, including the secret detention on the mainland of five Hong Kong booksellers and a Chinese tycoon’s suspected abduction in Hong Kong by mainland security agents.

Lam’s ability to soothe tensions relies on how much public

...

No surprise: Beijing’s pick Lam chosen as Hong Kong’s leader

The Associated Press 10:09 a.m. ET March 26, 2017

AP HONG KONG NEW LEADER I ELN HKG

Former Hong Kong chief secretary Carrie Lam, right, waves after she declared her victory in the chief executive election of Hong Kong while her rival candidate, former financial secretary John Tsang stands by her on March 26, 2017. (Photo: Kin Cheung, AP)

HONG KONG —  The candidate favored by China’s Communist leadership was chosen as Hong Kong’s new leader on Sunday, in the first such vote since huge pro-democracy protests erupted over the semiautonomous Chinese city’s election system in 2014.

A committee dominated by pro-Beijing elites selected Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s former No. 2 official, as the financial hub’s chief executive even though she was far less popular than her main rival. Lam received 67% of the votes cast by the 1,194-member committee.

Her victory was hardly a surprise. China’s leaders had lobbied heavily behind the scenes for Lam, 59, who will become Hong Kong’s first female leader and its fourth since British colonial control ended in 1997. After the votes were counted, she bowed to the crowd and shook hands with the second-place finisher, former finance secretary John Tsang.

Some pro-democracy supporters in the official seating area yelled slogans and held up a yellow umbrella, the symbol of the 2014 protests, as the results were announced. The elite election committee was at the root of the protests, with activists decrying the lack of a direct choice by Hong Kong’s 3.8 million registered voters.

Democracy supporters called Sunday’s vote a “fake election” and blasted Beijing for meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs.

Political party Demosisto, founded by the young pro-democracy protest leader Joshua Wong, said in a Facebook post that “this result is a nightmare to Hong Kongers.” It said it would organize “a large civil disobedience protest” when Lam is sworn in July 1.

Lam, a lifelong civil servant, has a reputation as an efficient and pragmatic administrator, but is unpopular with Hong Kongers because she’s seen as a proxy for Beijing and out of touch with ordinary people. Tsang, in contrast, is highly popular because of his easygoing persona and deft use of social media. He was nicknamed “Pringles” or “Uncle Chips” in Cantonese for his signature mustache that drew comparisons to the snack food mascot.

Lam received 777 of the 1,163 validly cast votes. Tsang got 365 votes, or 31%, while the third candidate, retired judge Woo Kwok-hing, had 21 votes.

As the next leader of the Asian financial center, Lam will inherit a city roiled by political divisions, including a burgeoning independence movement, and saddled with sluggish economic growth. Many fear that Beijing is tightening control and undermining the “one country, two systems” framework that guarantees Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy. Those fears have been amplified by several cases in recent years, including the secret detention on the mainland of five Hong Kong booksellers and a Chinese tycoon’s suspected abduction in Hong Kong by mainland security agents.

Lam’s ability to soothe tensions relies on how much public

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