tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN March 23, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
her memory in spain where her relatives still live. aisha frade, 43 years old. cnn england. >> remember them and all of them in the hospital tonight. handing over to don lemon and "cnn tonight." >> boy, big breaking news. white house to the gop, negotiations are over. this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon. thanks for joining us. president trump with blunt message and warning to house republicans. he wants a vote tomorrow on the bill to repeal and replace obamacare, and if he doesn't get it, gop is stuck with obamacare. okay? that's what he says. is that what the president really wanted all along? and what are the odds that paul ryan can avoid a humiliating loss on the plan republicans have been promising for seven
years? listen to what speaker ryan has been saying. >> prolsing american people we will repeal and replace this broken law because it's collapsing and hurting families. tomorrow we're proceeding. >> good evening to you both. today republicans had self-imposed deadline to pass the gop plan on the anniversary that president obama signed affordable care act, and they failed. take us behind the scenes here, what is happening? >> about as high stakes chicken as you with play. over the course of the day, no movement. short of the votes and didn't seem like any chance to get there. canceled press conferences, the actual scheduled vote and meeting behind the scenes until president trump himself passed word to his top advisers, this has to end.
we're not making any more changes. negotiations are over. leadership sources tell me they talked about it and agreed that was the message to be delivered behind close doors. nick mulvaney, making it clear there was no more time or proposals to be traded back and forth. proposal from last night was it. this that they were trying to get conservative members of the freedom caucus on board with, repeal the benefits from obamacare, ten specific benefits required, cornerstone of obamacare but republicans wanted to get rid of in large part. particularly the conservatives. that's the concession, that's it. here's the reality. still don't have the votes even coming out of that meeting. relying on the moemt momentum of the president making a clear stand and throwing out
ultimatum. more than 30 members came to the microphone, 29 of them talking in support of the bill. emotional stories. talking about patriotism, this is what they ran on. hope is they can grab that, carry it over into tomorrow and get this passed but there's work to do. one problem, there's no more work to be had. negotiations are over don. >> but they answer to the constituents, not necessarily people in the room telling heart rendering stories. sara, the white house is trying to portray confidence but what are we hearing from the negotiator in chief? >> president has said before would be easy i to stand by and loet obamacare collapse in on itself and let democrats take the blame and shared that on the hill. you can take what we put on the table or let obamacare stand as
it is and live with the consequences. but one source told me he's done. president feels he's gone out of his way to give conservative members what they want. held multiple meetings with moderates and conservatives and now at point saying this is what we put on the table. take it or leave it, live with the consequences. this is not in president trump's view the sexiest item on his agenda. yes ran on it, talked about repealing and replacing obamacare every day on the campaign trail but what he really wants to do is tax reform and infrastructure program. house speaker made it clear to him health care had to come first. trying to clear this to get to the items he was more passionate about. >> interesting they started with haj health care.
bring in dana bash. jack kingston. steve israel, matt lewis. i mean seriously. this is huge. dmai dana. get to you. hearing this may fall into paul ryan's lap now. not happy with the way he's handling this. some wondering if this was the president's strategy all along to have someone else take the fall for it. >> well i think what you're referring to is reporting that i have tonight from senior administration official that there is concern from that end of pennsylvania avenue with the way that the speaker has handled the process, specifically i'm told by a source that the concern is the speaker didn't bring conservatives who were balking and have been balking and causing the problem that led them to not have the votes and unclear whether they'll have
them tomorrow, that the speaker didn't bring them in early enough before the president got involved. and that kind of came to a head tonight when the house freedom caucus, conservative group we've been talking about, house republican leadership and senior members of the white house team met in the speaker's office to try to go over this and figure out strategy to go ahead with this vote. now i should also tell you i just heard back from an aide to the house speaker who says that this is simply not true. they have been reaching out to conservatives, been wide open and inclusive process with conservatives and they've been part of every conversation since the beginning. why does this matter? what does it all mean? i think it's pretty clear that even if they do have the votes tomorrow, even if it does passion by the skin of the white house and house republican
leadership's teeth, they understand that conservatives are concerned, they're going to be abandoned as the process goes forward. particularly when it gets to the senate where you have a lot more moderates who will want it to be less conservative. signal to them and also a reminder this president and this speaker may have been working together because they have to get this promise fulfilled to repeal obamacare but they were not on the same page in the election and it's been a very difficult partnership to get to this point. >> negotiating as if they thought the deal would fall through. paul ryan saying the president helped me work on this. mark preston, you have new reporting with this. >> i just spoke to a senior white house official as we were walking out. high tech notes on this scrap of paper but on the question who is to be blamed.
think it's combination. in part paul ryan, coming from his members for putting this bill on the floor and making them take a vote. freedom caucus as well who will have stopped it. talk about will there be blame coming out of the white house, good chance won't see president trump say anything about it. maybe he will try to move on. in addition, regarding freedom caucus, there is a growing frustration in the white house with the freedom caucus because they feel that president trump has done everything he can for them and they keep moving the goal posts. basically never wanted a deal. there's that feeling as well. very last bit is what happens when this vote fails, if it does tomorrow? what is the relationship now between president trump and those who voted against it? and this official told me he's not going to want to work with them anymore. won't go after them necessarily but won't have appetite to work
with them. >> freedom caucus is not new. shouldn't they have expected this? thorn in the side of president obama. >> would think could resist the temptation to scapegoat at this point. >> do you think they're doing that? >> setting up fall. american public are not going to accept it. we have a new president, expected to lead. up to him go to congress and to the country. one of the things the white house has not delivered is public support for the bill. pole came out today, astonishing, only 17% of the americans told kwint pea yak pole they approve of the new plan. i'm surprised they're already pointing fingers. i guess it's not surprising but nonetheless. >> 56% disprove. >> where we are tonight is
president issued ultimatum, eight or ten votes short, i think get it tomorrow. as many as 30 or 40 short, which one congressman was saying on cnn tonight, i don't think get there. if his ultimate mateim is say we're going to leave obamacare in place, a lot of republicans are going to say, you're only two months into your presidency, why don't you fight for what you promised? >> think probably 95% of north america has no idea who is the freedom caucus is, probably 80% don't know who speaker of the house is. i think david is right, ultimately go to the white house if there is blame. however i'm opt mist, think he can get there. listening carefully to mark mattis -- >> you'll be surprised, i don't
think if it fails necessarily be a loss for the president. but for republicans in the house. president will say i'm new to this, just came in, you should have handled this before, known how to do this, i think throw in their lap and he might have a right to. >> conventional wisdom says if you're the president -- >> i don't think it is. >> first piece of legislation goes down, embarrassing loss and can never recover. donald trump will say who says? >> breaks all the rules. >> for the years we've had obamacare he's been sitting in trump tower tweeting about the things he thought were bad. he hasn't been working on plan to repeal and replace obamacare. paul ryan has, house republicans have. >> what mark meadow said today, over and over positive, we've made good progress. he doesn't have to say that. i actually wrote down all the signals. i want to talk to the tuesday
group. house moderates. i don't want to go home, i want to get to yes. sending signal to not the press or american people but white house. they were listening. make me a deal. i have constituency to answer to but help me get to your side. >> talk about the issue of blame. empirical evidence on your point. his point. and on the question of -- focus groups. sorry. i know. never get invited back again. but on the question of if repeal and replace doesn't pass, who do you blame? trump supporters don't blame democrats because know they're not in charge and not blame president, but house republicans. it's higher risk for house republicans than the administration. >> they blame the swamp. >> i think i said that, wasn't that guy but me but play this
again from ten days ago. >> i tell tom price and paul ryan, every one of them, best thing you can do politically is wait a year because it's going to blow itself off the map, that's the wrong thing to do for the country. it's the wrong thing to do for your citizens. >> and he has said that over and over and over again. i mean it's almost like that was his preferred approach to this. in speeches he's talked about it. i think one of the issues they're having with the bill is stuck on the talking points about obamacare being a disaster. not a real affirmative pitch from the white house, from paul ryan in terms of this bill and how it will positively affect people's lives. they lapse into free market -- all important and competition but get hard numbers out of the cbo about how many people be
uninsured and hikes in premiums. >> lack of support. >> seniors left out of the loop and facing higher premiums, it's hard to get people around this bill. >> there is a moment of truth to it. as we all know, any republican whether running for school board or county coroner, you ran on repeal and replace obamacare just as you did cut spending and make america strong. >> can you understand why people are scratching their head? doing that 7 years and no consensus or plan how to do it. >> i think should have been a plan -- >> hold that thought. got to get to the break. >> paul ryan will be blamed if it goes down. >> and everybody is asking, why the rush? only 60-some-odd days into the presidency. we'll be right back.
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welcome back. president trump putting foot down saying negotiations are over and it's time for vote for gop's plan to repeal and replace obamacare. dan f dana get to you. why rush it? why did paul ryan feel it was essential to start with health care, most complicated and controversial of issues? >> it is complicated as president found out quickly when
he took office and started to have to deal with it. political answer and process answer. political answer is more important than anything. what have been covering since the day obamacare passed seven years ago and political fallout and more importantly political promise amongst republicans we're going to repeal obamacare. congressman israel watching it over and over. more than 60 times house republicans voted to repeal obamacare knowing it didn't really matter because obama was in the white house and wasn't going to sign it, never mind the senate. now he's not in the white house and they have a republican senate and republican in the white house all of whom promised over and over again to do this. that's the political reason they felt they had to tackle this
immediately. the process reason is because they really want to do tax reform and the taxes that they feel that they would save from repealing obamacare will contribute to figure out a way to do tax reform which is probably going to be less controversial amongst republicans but you never know. >> it's interesting because i think it was supposed to save 3$300 and some billion and now $150 billion and 24 million people may end up not having health care coverage. ask jack. do they want to go home with this? your answer was that's a good question. not saving as much and people having potential of getting kicked off. heart wrnching stories told in meetings but they don't answer to those people but go home to constituents and if you look at polling, they don't want this bill. >> but mark meadows chairman of
the freedom caucus says we can't stand where we are. >> i think it's political because wanted to do it on the anniversary of obamacare. self-imposed deadline that came back to bite them in the butt. >> in the ways and means committee markup, 37 amendments already passed entire house, all republicans already done it. idea this is something new is not true. i think what happened is frankly some growth going on here -- >> not new to who? people voting on health care? seems like new concept to them. >> had voted on it before but now playing for keeps. republicans had the luxury for eight years voting no and having vote purity, in the majority party don't get it that way. hairy and warts on it.
51%, 49% choice. makes it difficult for the majority party. >> dana you're on capitol hill tonight. is there a different feeling and do you get the sense -- jack you said they have to do it or they don't. you're optimistic. >>. do you think they'll get the votes to do it sf. >> i stopped being in the prediction business 18 months ago or little bit more. having said that and been through a lot of these kinds of votes in many years covering capitol hill. my sense is, don't hold me to this, probably. i'll go that far at this point. and it's because of what the congressman was just talking about. what i mentioned at beginning about the political promise. at end of the day although you have many members who told me paint blank they feel they can explain why they promised to
repeal obamacare but voted no on this because felt it wasn't right way to do it, end of the day it's harder to explain than i'm the reason that obamacare was not repealed and i didn't vote yes to repeal and replace it. >> and it seems like a -- it's black and white the way we put it of course. but many constituents on obamacare and reaping benefits from obamacare. >> exactly. that's why you have for example ilian that from florida, only regret is she could only vote no once. to quote a founding father. because of that, because she's concerned. even though she also promised to repeal obamacare. showed concern about what this replacement mechanism would do to her particularly older
constituents on obamacare. >> i have to ask why the rush? >> dana laid it out well. politically it's what they've been defined by. >> 60 days, 80 days? 100 days? >> they wanted this sequencing. paul ryan's idea. i think it's a little silly, this day, symbolism of ending it on the day it was passed by obama seven years ago but also i think they want to avoid the inspe specter of the town halls. >> three words put us in the situation we are right now. repeal and replace. absolutism of following that phrase is why we're here. not fix and replace, it's repeal and replace.
>> panel will be back. back from the break, two congressmen at odds over the gop's health care bill. what are their next steps after tomorrow's vote? excuse me, are you aware of what's happening right now? we're facing 20 billion security events every day. ddos campaigns, ransomware, malware attacks... actually, we just handled all the priority threats. you did that? we did that. really. we analyzed millions of articles and reports. we can identify threats 50% faster. you can do that? we can do that. then do that.
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president warning republicans if they can't come together on this health care bill be stuck with obamacare. joining me francis rooney of florida, supporter of the bill. thanks for joining us. appreciate you staying late in the halls of congress to speak reque with us. you want this bill. speaker wouldn't say if he has the votes. do you think you have the votes? >> i'm in the construction business so optimistic by nature. i think we're going to pass the bill tomorrow. >> why is that? >> i think that people are realizing that the american people elected donald trump and elected a lot of us to change the course of the country and that repealing and replacing obamacare is agenda item number one to start that ship going down a different direction. >> what about the people at home concerned about this bill? it is not popular if you look at polling. i think it's 56% disapprove, 17%
approve of it, how does one explain that to his or her constituents when they go home? meaning you? >> i think we'll see the return of competition to the insurance marketplace to help drive down premium cost. 1/3 of the counties only have one insurer. in my state half only have one insurer. need to bring back competition and choice to the district. bring down prices and giving the states flexibility to tailor medicaid benefits to what the people of the state want for opportunity and best costs of what people want to pay for. >> are you comfortable with the changes the house freedom caucus wants? they want to get rid of
essential health benefits mandated by the obamacare. are you comfortable with that? it's not eliminating them but giving the decision to the states. governor and -- >> isn't that getting rid of some of them, if you don't have all of thisem? >> some states may keep them all, add some or reduce them. amendment also puts five more billion dollars into the stability fund to make sure the states have the money to make their own choices. >> i put up the money on how many approved or disapproved of the bill and this was before it changed. what about the new report that estimates the changes costlier and even fewer people might end up being insured? >> i think the "wall street
journal" said it other day, those estimates are nothing more than their opinion. created by peter orr sag, president obama's office -- director. biased towards the statism contained in obamacare. doesn't give any credit for what people may do with individual free will to -- >> run by republican. >> now but formula set up before. >> you don't think the republican would have some concerns about that formula? it comes down to basic math, that's how people judge it. >> but it's basic behavior. that's what we're all about. rather than top-down government telling everybody what to do, we're about providing choice and patient centric care for people. let them decide what they want and have tax credit that lets people not on company plans with the same after tax structure to
buy that insurance. >> congressman rooney, thank you very much. >> thanks for having me on. >> now turn to tim ryan of ohio who opposes the bill. thank you for staying late as well. your reaction to what you just heard from your colleague on the right? >> absolutely no evidence for what the congressman was saying. zero. defies what the cbo said, said premiums still go up dramatically, just maybe a little bit less and kicking off 24 million people and defies basic logic, taking healthy people out of the risk pool and common sense will tell you if the risk pool is full of older sicker people, premiums and deductibles will go through the roof like 800% between the ages of 50 and 64, so i don't know what they're talking about. i don't know what they're basing their facts and pick ifigures o.
this is a policy, legislative bill, in search of a political solution. used this for seven years to bash democrats and obamacare, the worst thing that ever happened in the world. now they're stuck with it and got to try to fix it and have to make it worse. >> i think most rational people agree it's no the worst thing that happened in the world and people tell you that but bill is not perfect. could be improvements. do you disagree? >> i agree with you 1,000%. it's not perfect. needs fixed. i would be happy to sit down andcy if there are people it's still too expensive for them to purchase insurance, how do we help them? if you to want to pick another doctor and you can't, how do we fix that? i'm ready to fix it. we expanded coverage for people, bending cost in the long-term but if there's problems with he need to fix, ready to fix them.
don't throw the baby out with the bath water. >> doing a lot of stories of people in red states that are beneficiaries of the affordable care act, original name of it. some people think positively of the affordable care act and negatively of obamacare when it's the same thing but folks from red states receiving benefits and now taking some of the essential things out, like drug prevention and mental health care, and if that is removed, how do you think some of the people who voted for president are going to react to this? what are they going to do? >> it's betrayal by donald trump to the constituents he talked to during the campaign. made promises to working-class people in places like ohio he was going to expand these programs, everybody have coverage, going to be affordable and have all these different benefits. >> but said going to repeal and
replace as well. trying to do now, keeping promise. >> fine but also promised coverage and affordability for everybody and would be berchts there. he's going to expand medicare when this bill reduces live of the medicare program by four years. it's complete betrayal of his constituents and let me tell you, essential benefits in the health care program are for a reason. gentleman before me said let the state pick? leave out what pregnancy? prenatal care? mental health coverage? substance abuse? 55 people in my largest county overdose in first week of march on heroin and fenten ol and this gets rid of the treatment for substance abuse. completely get rid of it. it's a national problem. >> i want to get your opinion. he said the cbo was biased
towards liberals because the person who set it up was a liberal even though the person who runs is it republican now. report says going to save less than initially expected and more people end up without health insurance. your response? >> there's no credibility for that statement. want to blame obama for everything. been gone, still blaming him. two or three years from now, still will be blaming president obama. cbo is sophisticated operation. always get the party in power a little bit upset because not always the answers you want. maybe if off a little bit, maybe it's no the 24 million people thrown off, 20 million, 15 million, is that okay? no access to health care? keep saying that people don't want to buy obamacare, the product. guess what, nobody wants to buy
insurance, health insurance, car insurance, fire insurance, homeowners insurance. nobody wants to buy insurance but you're going to get sick. best way to execute is everybody is in and everybody is buying. >> everybody in the studio said rather not pay that money for insuran insurance. you do have a point. >> i know jack kingston and steve israel don't want to buy insurance. >> jack said he will and steve will buy it. coming back, gop health care bill goes down to defeat, what does it do to the rest of trump's legislative agenda?
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atlanta, health care reform is now history. >> yeas are 219, nays 112. adopted. laid on the table. >> there you heard it. more than a year of high drama came to climactic end and for the man whose presidency was riding on this was win he needed. >> another stone firmly laid in the foundation of the american dream. tonight we answered the call of history as so many generations of americans have before. >> my god i was so young then. >> you look exactly the same. >> you look the same. >> seven years later house leadership is fighting for every last vote of their plan to repeal and replace obamacare. back with my panel as you're laughing, who is that kid, we
said his presidency depended on it. people saying that now about this president. his presidency doesn't depend on this. >> no. its tough way to come out of the gate, cause consternation amongst republicans. i don't think it's good for the country to be in turmoil with all of this going on now and this is done haphazardly. >> close to side eye as i've seen david gergen here. >> so angry and frustrated how the administration has acted over the past 55 days or whatever. >> i don't have to say anymore. >> are you that frustrated with the way they handled this? >> are you kidding? one of the worst handled major pieces of legislation we've had in years. because we have inexperienced white house, you have to give them some leeway on that. but didn't work together well
with the congress. president didn't take the lead the way president normally does. president's job, most powerful person in the world. he's certainly most powerful person in washington. his responsibility is to take the lead, help shape the legislation, work with the congress and go to the public to build public support. get hospitals and doctors and nurses on board. none of that happened. instead they talked about politics and not about why this is good for the country. for him now to say in the last clip you had with him saying maybe the best thing to do is just let obamacare continue, but that wouldn't be good for the country. that's what he said. if that's what he believes, needs to instead of walking away from this, say we've got to find a better way. when jack kennedy was president and had disaster on his hands in first 100 days in bay of pigs could have blamed joint chiefs,
military, eisenhower, lot of people. what he did, walked out, had the guts to say it's my fault. i take responsibility. footnote, his popularity went up 10 points. >> that's mark of a leader. e.f. hutton by the way, when he talks, everybody listens. >> yeah right. >> you make a good point. from kirsten powers, just sent a note. interesting point that loss is more the house than trump, though from the freedom caulk ouk guys' perspective, they think trump doesn't understand how politics works in washington. kept making promises to them he couldn't follow through on. unless he figures out how to do it quickly, it's going to be blamed on the ryan that he mismanaged the whole thing. >> blame it on everybody. circular firing squad. by the way, it ain't over. that saying, it ain't over until it's over. that's not just baseball but house of representatives.
don't pronounce is dead yet. republicans saying be out by 5:00, will get interesting about 4:45. >> how is it going to end up? >> i think that in a normal political environment, party discipline always prevails. did in every vote i went through in 16 years in house of representatives. only vote we saw of consequence go down on tart and revoted. >> when nancy pelosi was the speaker. first vote on t.a.r.p., killed it. >> you killed it. >> freedom caucus types. but stock market went down 400 points and she marched down the field in the next couple of days and passed the bill. but one thing to remember is 435 very independent contractors in
the house. each has his own power base, fiefdom if you will. and you can't intimidate them. you have to push, pull, really sell. >> republican party has been going through for many years now, an identity crisis and schism. it was possible to hash that out. ted cruz versus marco rubio wing and somebody emerged victorious and might have had a mandate. and when donald trump came in he transcended that fight and prevented that process from taking place. what we're seeing now is this fight never was resolved. republicans still don't know exactly who they are or what they believe in. it's not clue who is in charge. >> suddenly have a vehicle for legislation. >> and maybe premature.
>> they do know they're majority party in the house, senate and governships throughout the land. >> how is that working out for them tonight? >> i'm optimist, home team will get this done. >> i said this to you last night. >> donald trump has -- this health care bill is a paul ryan bill. it's not donald trump's brand. that's part of the problem. >> he knows that. i think he would love it to pass but perfectly willing to have it not pass. say it's paul ryan move on. >> if it does pass, will take full credit for it. >> as all presidents do. >> can you hold to the other side of the break? picture is worth 1,000 words. this may be worth more than that. we'll talk about it right after this. as the network it's on. and verizon has been ranked number one for the 7th time in a row by rootmetrics. (man) hey, uh, what's rootmetrics?
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it's you. everything in one place, so you can travel the world better. all right. back now with my panel. put this picture up. this is -- get reaction from you guys. democrats are seizing on this. vice president mike pence tweeted this out. appreciate meeting with the freedom caucus today. pass the bill but patty murray retweeted it. rare look inside the gop's womens caucus. >> no women. >> deciding on pediatrics, maternity care.
also have a friend who texted me. only brown thing in that picture is a table. >> yeah. that's the caucus. >> virginia fox, cathy mcmorris, they already know how to vote. they're ahead. >> for a party that struggled to get women and minorities in. i think it really is emblematic of the problem. >> table was brown. >> congratulations on the brown table. >> thanks for showing the picture. >> i think one of the problems with president trump's administration generally is lack of diversity. in cabinet picks, one of the least diverse we've had. >> also you see minorities come to the white house for the most part. some work there but often it's a photo op.
hold on. let me get my point in. photo ops of people sitting around him. many times it's not diverse. times it is, it's a photo op. and nothing is actually happening. perception of something. >> mary elizabeth taylor is -- picture is right behind -- >> placement of one of the black staffers in the white house. >> you can't look at that picture and say -- >> that's freedom caucus though. >> not agree we have a lott long way to go. just all white guys like us sitting around where the decisions are made. >> yesterday had a -- >> we don't believe in freedom? >> congressional black caucus, not one single vote there -- >> how many people in the picture? >> that's what we're talking about. >> zero. 25 people. >> are there any women?
>> i don't know who is in the freedom caucus. >> they're discussing to scrap essential health benefits including maternal care and pediatrics. >> virginia fox is chair of the education committee and very -- actually first woman of any party from north carolina where you went to school to hold a gavel. think about that. >> this is the problem -- lot of times it's window dressing. rattle off a few people. >> reason we're pointing this out, freedom caucus held this bill up, didn't want essential services in the bill and that's who is deciding it. >> and not defending this by any stretch of the imagination, clearly an issue here. as jack does say, those are members who represent a certain constituency. look at democrat party, their base is made up of african-americans and what have
you but this is a greater problem on capitol hill and perhaps you can agree or disagree with me on this in both parties where there is not enough diversity amongst staff members up on capitol hill in either party. can cherry pick so and so here and there but overall across the board always been that way. >> you know more than i but think we can always do better. >> that's fair. >> be right back. say goodbye to extra taxes and fees on your wireless bill... ...and hello to t-mobile one. right now, get two lines of unlimited data for a hundred bucks.
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president trump warns gop if they don't fall in line, they're stuck with obamacare. this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon. house republicans working into the night, desperate to save their health care bill but after all the bluster and deal making and arm twisting, all comes to the vote tomorrow afternoon. supposed to be tonight. is repeal and replace down for the count? we'll see. plus new