In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Members of the House's conservative Republican Study Committee emerged from a meeting with President Donald Trump on Friday more eager to support the embattled health care repeal bill that GOP leadership is aiming to bring to a House floor vote next week.

"One hundred percent of the noes were now yeses," Trump boasted.

Several lawmakers who were in the White House meeting confirmed to TPM that two promised changes to the bill were enough to flip them from no or undecided to yes: a provision to allow states to impose work requirements on able-bodied Medicaid recipients, and another giving states the option of getting their Medicaid funding in a block grant instead of the per capita capped funding system the current version of the legislation proposes.

RSC Chair Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) told reporters these changes will be introduced as an amendment to the American Health Care Act in the Rules Committee markup next week.

"We had eight members of our steering committee who were undecided or no. Based on these two requests, all moved to 'yes' today," he said.

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The major seniors group the AARP railed against the "harmful" Republican health care bill the House aims to vote on next week in a press release Friday that said the organization will "communicate the results of the House vote to our members and the public through The Bulletin, a print publication that goes to all of our members, as well as through emails, social media, and other communications channels."

The group also sent a letter to all 435 House members calling for a no vote on the legislation, the American Health Care Act, the release said.

"AARP recognizes the magnitude of the upcoming vote on this harmful legislation that creates an Age Tax, cuts the life of Medicare, and gives sweetheart deals to big drug and insurance companies while doing nothing to lower the cost of health care or prescriptions," AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond said in the statement. "We intend on letting all 38 million of our members know exactly how their Representative voted."

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Four Republican governors came out against the House GOP's health care bill, and specifically the way it handles Medicaid, in a letter Thursday to congressional GOP leaders that also outlined an alternative proposal for overhauling the program, Bloomberg reported. Pointing to promises made by President Donald Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, the governors said that "the current version of the House bill does not meet this test."

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The American Hospital Association on Friday aired concerns that Republicans in the House may not make enough sufficient changes to the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare to earn the group's support and called on GOP leaders to reset their approach.

Rick Pollack, the President and CEO of the AHA, said at a press conference that Republicans need to "press the reset button and reboot" their legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He outlined the three major issues that the hospitals group has with the House bill: a reduction in those insured, cuts to Medicaid funding and the repeal of taxes that helped fund the coverage provided by Obamacare.

"We cannot support the bill in its present form," Pollack said.

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Republican leaders gathered Friday morning with Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price to assure the press and the public that despite reports of defections, divisions, and disagreements in the party, the plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act is advancing smoothly.

"Republicans are united," Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rogers (R-WA) insisted even as more lawmakers and Republican governors come out against the legislation.

At the Friday press conference, the GOP leaders and Health Secretary continued to push an argument that emerged over the course of this week as the bill has become mired in criticism—particularly after the Congressional Budget Office reported that the bill would trigger massive insurance coverage losses. The legislation shouldn't be judged in isolation, they said, because it's part of a "three-phase process."

"This plan is in three phases," Price told reporters. "The reconciliation bill, the kinds of things we're able to do at the Department, and more legislation with an overall plan to move us in the direction of patient-centered health care."

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At this point, the leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, the U.S. attorney general, and the speaker of the House have all said they've seen no evidence to support President Donald Trump’s claim that his predecessor wiretapped Trump Tower during the presidential election. The FBI director even reportedly asked the Justice Department to refute that accusation earlier this month.

Trump himself now allows that former President Barack Obama may not have personally ordered a tap on the phones at Trump's Manhattan campaign headquarters, though he continues to allege that someone, somewhere was surveilling him.

Determining a culprit is an increasingly lonely effort. Initially, a number of Republican lawmakers went out on a limb to defend Trump, saying his wiretapping allegations may well have merit. But after congressional intelligence committees investigating the matter came up empty-handed, Trump's allies went silent or walked their remarks back, leaving senior White House staffers and diehard pro-Trump pundits hanging.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer spent much of his Thursday briefing filibustering reporters who tried to get him to reconcile Trump's wild allegations with congressional leaders' insistence that they'd seen no evidence to support them. For about seven minutes, Spicer read directly from media reports that he said supported the President’s claims, concluding that “putting the published accounts and common sense together, this leads to a lot.”

Both Spicer and Trump insist that the President will be “vindicated” in the next two weeks as presumably classified, previously unreleased information proving him right trickles out.

Below is a list of Trump allies, lawmakers and pundits who've defended the increasingly untenable wiretapping allegations, in descending order of intensity.

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The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities have long been ripe targets for conservatives looking to trim fat from the federal budget, but President Donald Trump's newly released blueprint proposes eliminating them entirely—and arts and humanities advocates are already gearing up for a fight.

Advocates feel they have a good chance of lobbying Congress to save funding for the endowments, which they say fund programs that offer crucial support to the public education system, help veterans readjust to civilian life and bring arts and culture to small communities.

“What we have here is an attack upon global citizenship and national civic culture," Jim Grossman, the executive director of the American Historical Association, told TPM of the potential elimination of the NEH.

Dianne Harris, the dean of the University of Utah's College of Humanities and a member of the National Humanities Alliance board of directors, concurred that nixing the NEH would be "devastating for our country."

Advocates were particularly concerned that because the small grants issued by the NEA and NEH attract additional fundraising from private sources, the federal government would be nixing a cost-effective investment in the arts and humanities by eliminating the endowments. They warned that rural and poor communities would be hit hardest because those areas have fewer sources of private funding to fill the endowments' void.

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