AP SPIN METER: Was Trump joking on health care?

A Republican plan backed by Trump to overhaul the US healthcare system was pulled on Friday after it failed to garner enough support to pass the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Neither of these facts seemed to exercise the White House, at least not enough to try to do anything to fix them. So, it's fair to assume many fiscally conservative Republicans would demand budget cuts to make up for any decrease in revenue.

Kellyanne Conway, Trump's White House counselor, said that's a function of a president who can make decisions in those meetings that the chief of staff needs to hear.

It was a staple of every Tea Party rally through that election cycle, so it is unlikely the GOP base shrugs its collective shoulders and moves on the way Trump promised to do Thursday and Friday - and wait for Obamacare to "explode". If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is forced by Democratic opposition to invoke the nuclear option - changing Senate rules to get around a Senate filibuster for Supreme Court nominees - poisoned feelings could linger in the chamber for years.

Trump's failure to win the votes to pass his bill has prompted the new president to rethink how he intends to promote his agenda in Congress. Maybe someone who knows how the mega-wealthy game the system is just the guy to push through the tax reform that has eluded presidents since Reagan. Spicer acknowledged this week that the timetable could be slipping.

In interviews with 10 of the roughly three dozen House Freedom Caucus members, the lawmakers said they were eager to put aside tensions over the healthcare debacle and seek common ground on tax reform. The official, not authorized to speak publicly, spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Two possible answers: If the Democrats don't cooperate with Trump on a couple of issues, they will take heat for being obstructionist (a label they threw at Mitch McConnell when they ran Congress). "The process under Reagan was much more developed, elaborate and long, and there was a strong bench of top-rate technicians putting things together", said Steven Rosenthal, senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, a think tank.

James Comey Just Fact-Checked Trump in Real Time
The Senate Intelligence Committee, also run by Republicans, is also looking into the matter of Russian interference in the election.

Pascrell said Trump's returns would shed light on any potential conflicts.

Pascrell said the tax returns could enable the American public to learn about any investments that could cause conflicts of interests, such as possible financial ties to Russian Federation. Ryan didn't particularly want the speaker's gavel and had to be drafted.

"Reince has been on a learning curve in the executive branch, he's never been there", said Chris Ruddy, a friend of Trump's and among those who have been publicly critical of Priebus. "I think we are going to have some very good relationships". Mnuchin last week talked about a middle-class tax cut.

The president is also expected to be briefed on details of a 2014 tax plan championed by former Representative Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican. That provision would replace the 35 percent corporate income tax with a 20 percent levy on companies' domestic sales and imported goods. The Trump team is heavy on Wall Street experience, but short on tax expertise.

Astonishingly, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes of California, secretly went to the White House and showed Trump supposed evidence of such spying without sharing it other members of his committee. Trump refused to confirm his support for the One China policy for months, before doing just that with President Xi Jinping and then inviting him to a summit in Florida.

Kasich criticized the GOP health care effort for not reaching out to Democrats, and noted that he predicted earlier that if they didn't get some support from the other party, the bill would fail.

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