Transition Tracker: Trump weighs in on repeal/replace debate

Senate questions Trump's attorney general pick
Senate questions Trump's attorney general pick

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Washington (CNN)President-elect Donald Trump told the New York Times he wants the Obamacare replacement to come simultaneously or soon after the repeal. But there are a few problems with that. To come up with a comprehensive replacement will take time. A long delay is not what Trump has in mind. The other alternative is to put some replacement elements in the repeal bill. It's a compromise, but there are only so many replacement items that can go into a repeal bill. In other words, the can gets kicked down the road.

WHAT'S NEW TODAY ON...

OBAMACARE

  • Speaker Paul Ryan is now saying that Republicans will repeal and replace Obamacare at the same time, but also basically admits that cannot be done. Agreeing on a repeal won't happen quickly.
  • President-elect Donald Trump told the New York Times he wants it all - immediate repeal and replace "very quickly or simultaneously." He rejects waiting years for a replacement. "Long to me would be weeks," he said. These comments from Trump could put Republican leaders in a bind.
  • GOP Senators, at their luncheon today, seemed to be warming up to the idea of making the reconciliation repeal bill a "replace plan." They may try to coalesce around a set of principles next week, either before the party retreat or during it, reports CNN's Manu Raju.
  • Tensions continue to rise within the GOP over the unraveling plans. Republicans are increasingly worried.
  • Mark Meadows, Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said the next 24-48 hours are crucial in that leadership needs to provide more information on what the plan is on replacement — the "unanswered questions," per CNN's MJ Lee.
  • On Monday evening, five moderate Senate Republicans introduced an amendment to push back the deadline for the budget resolution to March 3. Some Republican leaders are looking to include replacement elements in the repeal.
  • Here are 3 potential Obamacare scenarios and who supports them.
  • According to new data released Tuesday, 11.5 million Americans signed up for coverage thru Dec. 24. The IRS also released new data showing that in 2015 6.5 million taxpayers had to pay the Obamacare penalty tax, one of the law's most hated provisions.
  • About 6.3 million, or 55%, of Obamacare enrollees live in districts with a Republican representative, according to a new report.
  • Ron Johnson said on CNN's New Day this morning that he would vote for the budget resolution, but said he doesn't think that replacement elements can be done this month.
  • According to the Washington Post, Chuck Schumer told progressives on a call Monday night, "not a single Democrat is negotiating" with Republicans on an Obamacare replacement.
  • The New York Times has a good piece about the relatively muted response from the health care lobby on the Republican repeal efforts.

IMMIGRATION

  • Jeff Sessions faced questions on his immigration record from a number of Senators. Sessions also said that he does not support a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. During a break in the action, Durbin told CNN's Manu Raju that he was still troubled by Sessions, and that Sessions had not alleviated his concerns on immigration.
  • Two different hot button immigration cases move forward today:
  • There is a pretrial hearing in the case of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who's accused of killing Kate Steinle in 2015, which Trump often cited on the campaign trail. On Friday, a magistrate judge ruled that the Steinle family cannot sue the city of San Francisco over its sanctuary city policy. The Lopez-Sanchez criminal trial begins next month.
  • Tuesday is a status hearing in the case of Tomas Martinez-Maldonado, the Mexican man who allegedly raped a 13 year old girl on a bus in Kansas last year, after being deported 10 times and voluntarily removing himself from the U.S. another nine times.
  • Trump transition officials met with Hispanic leaders in Washington on Tuesday morning. Buzzfeed reported that they pushed Trump to add a Latino cabinet pick .Javier Palomarez, president & CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said that the Trump team message was, "the war is over."

ECONOMIC

  • There is a growing drumbeat for Trump to fire CFPB Director Richard Cordray. Sens. Ben Sasse and Mike Lee wrote a letter urging the incoming administration to remove him from his position. The Wall Street Journal editorial board also called on Trump to fire Cordray.

INFRASTRUCTURE

  • The UVA Miller Center's "First Year 2017" has a new infrastructure section called "Rebuilding a crumbling nation." They just posted five infrastructure essays, including ones from former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

TAXES

  • Team Trump and Team Ryan held a met Monday night. Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck tells CNN it was "almost exclusively about tax reform." There are many ways in which the President-elect and House Speaker differ on the tax issue.

LOOKING AHEAD

Wednesday -- Infrastructure and everything -- Donald Trump is supposed to hold his first formal press conference since the election at 11a. Also on Wednesday, among the nomination hearings is Transportation nominee Elaine Chao at 10:15am -- where we expect some infrastructure discussion.
Thursday -- Infrastructure and trade -- Commerce pick Wilbur Ross's confirmation hearing starts at 10 am.