There’s a couple of big things going on this morning that may not seem that related, but may end up proving to be politically linked in the end. First off, as most of you know, a vote on Trumpcare is due today. It’s not looking good for the Republicans, who remain divided over how much more awful the Obamacare repeal should be.
Barring a dramatic turnaround, AHCA is going down — and perhaps by a wider margin than anyone could've predicted— Tim Alberta (@TimAlberta) March 24, 2017
Barring some last minute changes, the ACHCA looks like it might go down in flames, although one should never underestimate the Republican desire to pass a bill at odds with President Obama.
Meanwhile, Stephen Bannon is already laying the groundwork to lay the blame for the bill’s failure on Paul Ryan. Brietbart is coming out hard against the bill, and quoting Bannon as suggesting that the bill was too favorable to insurance companies. Bannon, meanwhile, is even suggesting that Ryan’s speakership depends upon the passage of the bill, which Bannon nor Jared Kushner supports. The rest of the White House, too, is subtly starting to shift responsibility for the bill’s failure toward Paul Ryan, who was at odds with Donald Trump during his election campaign.
Meanwhile, in the other corner, Devin Nunes just cancelled an open House Intelligence Committee meeting.
Nunes: "We're gonna get to the bottom of this!"— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) March 24, 2017
Trump: "No you're not."
Nunes: "No we're not! Hearing canceled!" https://t.co/JwimHea7FB
BREAKING: Chairman just cancelled open Intelligence Committee hearing with Clapper, Brennan and Yates in attempt to choke off public info.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 24, 2017
Nunes, of course, has been shitting the bed on this investigation all week, and there is a growing chorus of people asking for Nunes to step down from the intelligence investigation because he is clearly politically compromised (and in fact may be compromised by information coming out of the investigation itself). Among those asking for Nunes’ resignation is the ranking member of the Democrats on the House Intelligence committee, Adam Schiff.
SCHIFF says Ryan must decide if NUNES should be removed as committee chair; says it's time for a 9/11-style independent commission on Russia pic.twitter.com/ZCqW67pOyz— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) March 24, 2017
Here’s what’s interesting about Schiff’s comments above: He says that ultimately the decision about whether to boot Nunes from the House Intelligence committee is up to … Paul Ryan, who the White House plans to throw under the bus if the healthcare bill fails.
If the White House throws Ryan under the bus, then maybe Ryan takes Nunes — and Trump’s political cover — off the Intelligence committee and lets the investigation play out, an investigation — by way — that has apparently uncovered evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. I’m not sure how this plays into it, either, but apparently Paul Ryan was the one who told Nunes to take the “incidental” surveillance info to the President earlier this week.
Nunes essentially blew up the investigation because he realized the scope of what he negotiated with Schiff could actually threaten Trump.— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) March 24, 2017
In other words, today could be a big day not just for healthcare and the future of Trump’s agenda, but for the investigation into Russian ties. If you’re a Democrat, this is you right now: