How firing Comey could hamper the GOP health plan

President Donald Trump's decision to fire James Comey as director of the FBI could create significant challenges in his administration's plans to repeal the ACA, among other legislative priorities, according to the Miami Herald.

When asked whether Mr. Comey's firing would affect the healthcare debate, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said, "I think it already has," according to the report.

The controversy surrounding the firing — and the implications it has on the investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the election — is at least a distraction on the agendas of senators on both sides of the aisle. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., said, "It certainly is a distraction. There are some really important things going on both domestically and overseas that have to be dealt with and Congress has to deal with these things ... so it does divert attention."

Axios' David Nather reported the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions called off a May 11 "healthcare markup" of an FDA bill after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., convened Senate Democrats to protest Mr. Comey's firing.  

In a surprising blow to Republican lawmakers, the Senate voted Wednesday to uphold a climate change regulation implemented during the Obama administration that aims to control the release of methane from oil and gas wells on public land, according to PBS News Hour. Three Republican senators — including John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine — defected from their party to defeat the resolution.

The backlash now facing the White House could spillover into other issues and can make it more difficult for Republicans to maintain the unity they need to execute on ACA repeal and other legislative goals, including the confirmation of new federal judges and the administration's developing plan for major tax cuts, according to ABC News.  

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