FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
July 17, 2017
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Republicans decided last fall that they would use their unexpected control of the White House and Congress to quickly repeal the Affordable Care Act and move on, but as their replacement legislation faces yet another delay and continued uncertainty in the Senate, it is clearer than ever that President Trump and "many in Congress dramatically underestimated the challenge of rolling back former President Barack Obama's signature achievement," Politico reports.

Congressional GOP aides now point to the lack of experience, vision, and expertise in the slow-starting Trump White House, while White House aides note that congressional Republicans have been promising to repeal and replace ObamaCare since 2010, long before Trump ran for office. But the fissures in the Republican caucus were clear as early as late January, at a closed-door GOP policy retreat in Philadelphia, Politico says:

House Speaker Paul Ryan laid out a three-pronged approach to scrapping ObamaCare. He wanted to repeal as much of the legislation as possible, eliminate more through deregulation, and then work with Democrats on a replacement, said one former Republican aide. Many Republican lawmakers doubted Democrats would work with them on redoing the health-care law.

The president and one of his former campaign rivals also unexpectedly helped undermine the GOP's repeal plans. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said on television the GOP needed a replacement plan if it was going to repeal the law. Then Trump endorsed that requirement. Their comments caused GOP leaders to start from scratch. Now that the Senate's attempt to revamp the health-care law has run into roadblocks — with moderates insisting on protecting coverage for their constituents, while conservatives focus on undoing as much of ObamaCare as possible — both Paul and Trump have suggested going back to a repeal-only bill. [Politico]

One White House aide told Politico that if Trump signs a health-care law by August, all this drama will be forgotten. You can read more about the Republican health-care missteps and inflated expectations at Politico. Peter Weber

5:41 a.m. ET

Early Friday morning, the GOP's seven-year mission to kill ObamaCare ended with a dramatic thumbs-down, when Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) strode into the Senate chamber and cast a surprising no vote on his party's third attempt this week to roll back the Affordable Care Act:

McCain's vote prompted gasps from his assembled colleagues — and proved decisive in killing the bill. He joined Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) in dissent, along with all Democratcs, and the proposal was defeated 49-51. A disappointed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, "It's time to move on."

Read more about how McCain ended up casting the deciding vote at Politico. Kimberly Alters

3:20 a.m. ET

It's time to say hello again to the Tanners, Winslows, Balki, and Mr. Cooper — every single season of TGIF favorites Full House, Family Matters, Step by Step, Perfect Strangers, and Hangin' With Mr. Cooper are coming to Hulu.

The company announced Thursday it will exclusively stream all of the series in their entireties — more than 800 shows — beginning Sept. 29. ABC's iconic Friday night line-up went through a few iterations, and some popular TGIF programs aren't part of the deal — where's Boy Meets World? Sabrina the Teenage Witch? — but for '90s kids, this is still fantastic news. "These shows are more than just beloved hits, they were part of a cultural tradition to tune in every Friday night," Hulu's Craig Erwich said. "Now, it can be Friday any day of the week on Hulu." Catherine Garcia

2:57 a.m. ET

What a difference a few hours makes.

Before the final vote on an ObamaCare repeal, President Trump tweeted words of encouragement for GOP members of the Senate:

After the bill was defeated 51-49, thanks to Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voting with Democrats, Trump was back on Twitter with this message:

He might be regretting this post from Tuesday:

But probably not as much as saying this in 2015:

McCain hasn't hinted he voted against the bill as a way of getting back at Trump — in a statement, he said he was a no because the repeal "offered no replacement to actually reform our health-care system and deliver affordable quality health care to our citizens" — but it does make you wonder. Catherine Garcia

2:24 a.m. ET

After spending seven years promising a repeal of ObamaCare, Senate Republicans on Friday morning were unable to pass their latest version of a health-care proposal, the Health Care Freedom Act, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared "it's time to move on."

With three Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — joining Democrats in voting against the plan, it failed by one vote in what was "clearly a disappointing moment," McConnell said. He claimed that due to "skyrocketing costs," "plummeting choices," and "collapsing markets, our constituents have suffered through an awful lot under ObamaCare. We thought they deserved better."

McConnell also praised Republicans for "working hard" on the bill, which wasn't finalized until Thursday, and accused Senate Democrats of "not wanting to engage in a serious way to help those suffering under ObamaCare." Catherine Garcia

1:52 a.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) joined Democrats in voting no early Friday morning for the Republicans' last-ditch effort to repeal ObamaCare, with the bill failing on a vote of 49 to 51.

The bill, dubbed the Health Care Freedom Act, would have repealed ObamaCare's individual and employer mandates, defunded Planned Parenthood for a year, and allowed states to request waivers from benefits mandated by ObamaCare. It was the third defeat for the GOP this week, with two earlier proposals to repeal ObamaCare failing, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said it's now "time to move on."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he is "relieved millions and millions of people who would have been so drastically hurt by the three proposals put forward will at least retain their health care, be able to deal with preexisting conditions ... We are relieved, not for ourselves, but for the American people." Catherine Garcia

12:34 a.m. ET
iStock

Honolulu on Thursday became the first major city in the United States to make it illegal for people to look at their phones and other electronic devices while walking across the street.

The bill will take effect on October 25, and also bans people from peering down at digital cameras, pagers, and laptops. The first time a person is cited, they'll be fined up to $35, and it goes up from there to $75 for a second offense in the same year. "Sometimes I wish there were laws that we didn't have to pass — that perhaps common sense would prevail," Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said, "but sometimes we lack common sense."

The bill was introduced by a council member who told BuzzFeed News high schoolers in his district were concerned about their peers paying more attention to their phones than their whereabouts while walking along busy streets. Catherine Garcia

July 27, 2017
AFP/Getty Images

A man on an Alaskan cruise killed his wife and tried to throw her body over the balcony, FBI documents released Thursday state.

The man, 39-year-old Kenneth Manzanares of Santa Clara, Utah, was found Tuesday night with blood all over him and his cabin on the Emerald Princess ship, and has been charged with murder. The FBI, which is handling the investigation because it took place in U.S. waters, said in its documents an unidentified man entered the cabin and saw Manzanares' wife, Kristy Manzanares, also 39, on the floor, with a major head wound. The man asked Kenneth Manzanares what happened, and Manzanares replied, "She would not stop laughing at me." The man also said Manzanares tried to drag his wife's body out of the room onto the balcony, but the man stopped him, the documents state.

Manzanares was detained by a ship security officer, and held in a cabin while the boat was rerouted to Juneau. Kristy Manzanares' company, Summit Sotheby's International Realty in St. George, Utah, told The Associated Press Manzanares was "a dedicated and loving mother who juggled her business schedule to make her children a top priority." Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads