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Roskam rejects bid to revive failed GOP Obamacare repeal bill


Rep. Peter Roskam’s move could throw a wrench into GOP leadership’s plans to salvage their Obamacare replacement. | Getty

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), a former member of House Republican leadership, is leading a charge to bury Speaker Paul Ryan’s Obamacare replacement once and for all and start over, multiple sources told POLITICO.

The move by the senior House Republican who sits on the Ways and Means committee could complicate any GOP leadership attempt to resurrect the bill that Ryan pulled from the floor Friday. Lawmakers and aides have suggested that Ryan and his top lieutenants might offer new changes to the American Health Care Act sought by conservatives and moderates in the hopes of garnering enough votes to pass it. Ryan would then try to pass the revised legislation through the chamber in the the coming weeks.

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But during a closed-door GOP conference meeting Tuesday, Roskam argued that that would be short-sighted, according to multiple sources in the room. The former chief deputy whip said Republican leaders tried their own approach and it failed, and it would be fruitless to “double-down” on the same bill. House Republicans should instead write a bill that epitomizes Republican ideals, Roskam continued — regardless of whether it can pass Senate rules, sources said.

Roskam’s move could throw a wrench into GOP leadership’s plans to salvage their Obamacare replacement. It gives credence to a position espoused by the House Freedom Caucus, which has argued that Ryan wasn’t open enough to input in crafting his bill and should go back to the drawing board.

Roskam pointed out that while members ran on Ryan’s “Better Way agenda” last year, that plan was broad and didn’t include policy details. The six-term lawmaker said leaders should have had a more open legislative process, including hearings and debate.

Senate leaders, meanwhile, were already suggesting Tuesday they would move on from the Obamacare replacement. And it’s not clear whether Republicans have time to re-craft an entirely new bill. Congress will have to fund the government by the end of April, and there are other fights ahead over funding President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall and launching tax reform.

An ambitious member who lost a bid for majority whip to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) after Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) resigned, Roskam is seen by many as a potential leadership contender some day. In 2015, he forced a House vote on President Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. While Roskam lost that vote, he won praise from critics of Iran, inside and outside of Congress.

On Tuesday, Roskam was seen huddling with numerous members of the Freedom Caucus. He is not a member of the hard-line conservative group but is well respected among its members.

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Roskam’s effort comes at a pivotal time for Republicans. Freedom Caucus members have been blamed


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Clinton urges women to 'resist' Trump agenda

Clinton urges women to 'resist' Trump agenda

Hillary Clinton gestures while speaking at the Moscone Center on March 28, 2017, in San Francisco. | AP Photo

SAN FRANCISCO — Emerging from the political shadows months after a devastating presidential campaign loss to Donald Trump, a fiesty Hillary Clinton — while never directly mentioning the occupant of the White House — urged women to “resist, insist, persist and enlist” in the continuing political struggle on key issues like women’s health care and budget priorities.

“I am thrilled to be out of the woods,’’ Clinton told a sold-out, mostly female audience of 6,000 at the Professional Women’s Business Conference in the Moscone Center on Tuesday, who greeted her arrival with cheers and a standing ovation. “And there’s no place I’d rather be,’’ she added wryly, “... other than the White House.”

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Her speech in San Francisco, one of the country’s most liberal bastions, comes amid talk of a “comeback” tour for the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, who has become increasingly active in expressing her views on Twitter.

The Washington Post reported this week that Clinton’s formal re-emergence into the political realm will include a speech at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security on Friday at a ceremony to mark an award that is named in her honor. In addition to getting back on the speaking circuit, Clinton has said she’s also taken on a major writing project — a book of essays and inspirational quotations due out this fall.

In San Francisco, the former secretary of state appeared relaxed, and often resorted to self-depreciating humor to address some of the more painful aspects of her failed campaign — even as she leveled veiled jabs at the Trump administration and its policies, particularly those that affect women. But Clinton, in making several references to her “long walks in the woods” in the past months, appeared to signal she’s rested — and ready to take on new issues and draw contrasts with Trump in the public arena.

“Sure, the last few months are not exactly what I’ve envisioned,’’ she told the audience, “but I do know what I’m fighting for — a fairer, inclusive, big-hearted America.”

Clinton was especially animated when she noted high-profile instances of women’s treatment in the months since Trump has taken office — an administration, she said, which has the lowest levels of women’s hiring in a generation.

“Just look at all that’s happened in the last few days — to women who are simply doing their jobs,’’ she said. Referring to an incident in which White House spokesman Sean Spicer reprimanded African-American journalist April Ryan, she noted that Ryan “was doing her job just this afternoon in the White House press room when she was patronized and cut off just trying to ask a question.”

Clinton also cited Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, who on air laughingly dismissed an impassioned House floor speech by Rep. Maxine Waters for wearing “a James Brown wig.” Waters, Clinton said, was “taunted with a

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