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Appropriators offer one-week stopgap spending bill

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Both spending committee chairmen — Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, pictured, and Sen. Thad Cochran — said lawmakers have made “substantial progress” toward an agreement. | AP Photo

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Ryan moves to ax lawmaker exemption in Obamacare repeal bill

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Speaker Paul Ryan discusses the efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act during a press conference on April 26. | John Shinkle/POLITICO

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GOP senators not so keen on House's Obamacare repeal

The House may finally be on its way to scrapping Obamacare, but don’t expect the Senate to go along: Any plan sent over will undergo major surgery — and survival is far from assured.

The hurdles in the upper chamber were on vivid display Wednesday as House Republicans celebrated their breakthrough on the stalled repeal effort. The compromise cut with House Freedom Caucus members won over the right flank, but the changes will almost surely make it harder to pick up votes in the more moderate-minded Senate.

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Not to mention that some Senate conservatives still seem opposed to the emerging House deal.

“The Freedom Caucus has done a good job of trying to make the bill less bad,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), one of the lead Senate agitators against the House health care push, said Wednesday. “For me, it’s a big stumbling block still that there’s taxpayer money that’s being given to insurance companies, and I am just not in favor of taxpayer money going to insurance companies.”

Phil Novack, a spokesman for Sen. Ted Cruz , also indicated that the conservative Texas firebrand isn't sold, saying “significant work remains” in the Senate, “specifically to address Obamacare’s insurance mandates and enact major patient-centered reforms that will further reduce the cost of health care.”

Sources say it may take more than a month for any House health care bill to run through the traps in the Senate, including internal party discussions and an analysis of how the measure would affect the deficit and insurance rolls. No committee hearings are planned because Republicans don’t want to give Democrats a public forum to bash an effort they are not involved in. And similar to the Senate's dim view of the House's proposal, the lower chamber may not ultimately be able to pass whatever the Senate is able to produce on Obamacare.

Plus, a procedural rift is beginning to emerge within the GOP, with several Republicans questioning whether reconciliation — the fast-track legislative process that circumvents a filibuster, and thus the need for Democratic support — is even the best avenue for health care overhaul efforts.

Few Senate Republicans are currently engaged in the health care efforts. Several GOP senators declined Wednesday to wade in to the specifics of the revised plan drafted by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) and Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), taking pains to note that senators will probably have to rewrite it anyway.

“It isn’t discussed a lot over here,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). “Except for the hard work of [Susan] Collins and [Bill] Cassidy, there’s hardly anything being done.”

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), the party’s chief vote counter, also downplayed any notion that the new House version of an Obamacare replacement will sail through the Senate intact.

“Once they pass a bill, my assumption is, the Senate’s going to take a look at it but not necessarily be rubber-stamping what they’re proposing,” Cornyn said. “So I would anticipate that we’ll do what

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‘The resistance will be electoralized’

‘The resistance will be electoralized’In the middle of mass protests against Donald Trump’s travel ban in January, the crowds outside the White House chanted at the president: “We will not go away! Welcome to your ninth day!”

The Trump resistance hasn’t gone away, but it has taken on a vastly different form since those frothy first days of his presidency. The millions-strong nationwide protests have given way to an array of smaller but still effective forms of opposition: Packed town halls to warn Republican members of Congress against repealing Obamacare, a full-court pressure campaign that convinced Senate Democrats to filibuster Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, and higher-than-expected turnout in a pair of special House elections that put solid red districts in play.

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The first three months of the Trump administration have demonstrated that the energy and anger of the electorate has shifted unmistakably to the left as Democrats assume the role of opposition party after eight years of controlling the White House.

But the movement is decentralized and diffuse, lacking a singular leader and splintering into multiple fronts. Ask more than a dozen progressive activists to define the goals of the Trump resistance, as POLITICO did for this story, and receive almost as many different answers. The liberal revolt is being channeled through a variety of projects — from health care to climate change — and each tribe is “showing up for each other’s stuff,” as one activist put it. Trump isn’t necessarily their sole reason for being, but instead serves as a powerful motivator and a symbol of what they oppose.

These organizers and strategists, from groups like Indivisible, MoveOn.org , and the American Civil Liberties Union, do agree on at least one thing: To fight on as much turf as possible. They may lose major battles under a Republican-controlled government — Gorsuch was ultimately confirmed and Democrats failed to win either House special election this month — but they say eventually their efforts will pay off.

“That all just comes out in the wash at the end if you keep people energized, win enough victories to make people feel like it’s worth their efforts,” said Adam Jentleson, who helps lead Trump pushback for the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Jentleson, a former senior aide to ex-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), added that it might be too early for the party establishment to seek to convert grassroots Trump critics into Democratic voters.

“You could make a pretty good argument that, if you try too hard right now to start trying to turn those people into big-D Democrats, it might be counterproductive,” he added. “Folks in D.C. should be in listening mode.”

Yet listening to the anti-Trump base, and harnessing its power, is becoming an ever-more complex task.

The resistance has planned no fewer than half a dozen public demonstrations in Washington since the record-setting turnout for the post-inauguration Women’s March, including the April 15 Tax March and Saturday’s scheduled march for action on climate change.

All that

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Trump resistance tries to channel its anger

Trump resistance tries to channel its angerIn the middle of mass protests against Donald Trump’s travel ban in January, the crowds outside the White House chanted at the president: “We will not go away! Welcome to your ninth day!”

The Trump resistance hasn’t gone away, but it has taken on a vastly different form since those frothy first days of his presidency. The millions-strong nationwide protests have given way to an array of smaller but still effective forms of opposition: Packed town halls to warn Republican members of Congress against repealing Obamacare, a full-court pressure campaign that convinced Senate Democrats to filibuster Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, and higher-than-expected turnout in a pair of special House elections that put solid red districts in play.

Story Continued Below

The first three months of the Trump administration have demonstrated that the energy and anger of the electorate has shifted unmistakably to the left as Democrats assume the role of opposition party after eight years of controlling the White House.

But the movement is decentralized and diffuse, lacking a singular leader and splintering into multiple fronts. Ask more than a dozen progressive activists to define the goals of the Trump resistance, as POLITICO did for this story, and receive almost as many different answers. The liberal revolt is being channeled through a variety of projects — from health care to climate change — and each tribe is “showing up for each other’s stuff,” as one activist put it. Trump isn’t necessarily their sole reason for being, but instead serves as a powerful motivator and a symbol of what they oppose.

These organizers and strategists, from groups like Indivisible, MoveOn.org , and the American Civil Liberties Union, do agree on at least one thing: To fight on as much turf as possible. They may lose major battles under a Republican-controlled government — Gorsuch was ultimately confirmed and Democrats failed to win either House special election this month — but they say eventually their efforts will pay off.

“That all just comes out in the wash at the end if you keep people energized, win enough victories to make people feel like it’s worth their efforts,” said Adam Jentleson, who helps lead Trump pushback for the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Jentleson, a former senior aide to ex-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), added that it might be too early for the party establishment to seek to convert grassroots Trump critics into Democratic voters.

“You could make a pretty good argument that, if you try too hard right now to start trying to turn those people into big-D Democrats, it might be counterproductive,” he added. “Folks in D.C. should be in listening mode.”

Yet listening to the anti-Trump base, and harnessing its power, is becoming an ever-more complex task.

The resistance has planned no fewer than half a dozen public demonstrations in Washington since the record-setting turnout for the post-inauguration Women’s March, including the April 15 Tax March and Saturday’s scheduled march for action on climate change.

All that

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