Trump healthcare bill dangles by a thread

Media captionWill Trump seal the healthcare deal?

It's time for Donald Trump, the man who bills himself as the consummate dealmaker, to flex his negotiating muscle - or else.

The American Health Care Act, which rolls back portions of the Obamacare medical insurance reforms, is scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives on Friday. The bill was initially scheduled to go before the House on Thursday, but was delayed amid concerns it would not garner enough votes.

Even with the delay, it remains far from certain that there are the 215 votes necessary for passage. Vote counts are like party RSVPs. You never know how many people will show up until well after the food is set out and the wine has been uncorked.

What is certain, however, is that the stakes in this legislative showdown couldn't be higher as the White House has insisted the House press ahead with a vote. Republicans have spent the past seven years railing against Barack Obama's healthcare reforms, and if they fail to take the first legislative step toward repeal on Friday it will be a major setback for both the Republican congressional leadership and the president, who has put his reputation as a skilled negotiator on the line.

In Washington, power begets power. Successfully wielding it makes you stronger, while failure reveals weakness and engenders future failure.

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Could FBI investigation into Russia links ensnare Trump?

Media captionWhat FBI Director Comey said on Trump, Russia and wiretaps

House of Comey, that hit political intrigue show from last year, is back on the airwaves, and this season looks like it's going to be another edge-of-the-seat affair.

Some of the characters have changed, of course. Femme fatale Hillary Clinton and her team of Democratic Party heavies have been replaced by tough-guy Donald Trump and the alt-right gang. Fans will be thrilled to learn, however, that top law-man James Comey is back for another turn in the spotlight.

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Have Republicans forgotten how to govern?

U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) answers questions during his weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol March 16, 2017 in Washington, DC Image copyright Getty Images

On election day last year, American voters gave the Republicans a powerful gift - unified control of the presidency and Congress for the first time in a decade. But turning a governing majority into enacted policies is proving to be a challenge for a party that spent the past eight years throwing political bombs from the sidelines.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan took to the lectern for a press conference on Thursday morning facing a crisis. The healthcare reform legislation he has tried to shepherd through Congress is in serious peril.

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Where liberal fight goes in the age of Trump

Former Vice President Joe Biden outlines his plan for the Biden cancer initiative during a panel at SXSW at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, March 12, 2017 Image copyright AP
Image caption With FBI Director James Comey cancelling, former Vice-President Biden was a political highlight at the conference

In recent years, the annual South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, has been about more than just music, film and technology. Politics keeps seeping into the picture.

That's never been more apparent than now, with Donald Trump's presidency dominating the headlines and generating social media waves with every controversial tweet.

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Will Trump's new travel ban be halted again in court?

Rex Tilllerson and Jeff Sessions pause before a press briefing announcing the new travel ban. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left) and Attorney General Jeff Sessions announce the new travel ban to reporters

After its first travel ban was indefinitely bogged down by court challenges, the Trump administration has returned with a more detailed, narrowly focused order. That doesn't mean it won't meet the same fate, however.

The action, which suspends new visas to nationals from six majority Muslim nations for 90 days and halts the processing of new refugees for 120 days, is still a marked change of US policy. It will also, undoubtedly, be challenged quickly in US courts.

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Can Trump's attorney general Jeff Sessions survive?

Jeff Sessions Image copyright AFP
Image caption Sessions was one of Trump's closest advisers during the campaign

The era of good feelings following Donald Trump's well-received speech to Congress Tuesday night lasted, oh, about 23 hours. Now Russia, and the Trump campaign's connections to it, are back in the headlines.

At this point there are a few things that are known with certainty.

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Trump addresses Congress: A kinder, gentler president

Media captionPresident Trump: "What we are witnessing today is the renewal of the American spirit"

At least for one night, Donald Trump put aside the bombast and bellicosity of a campaign that seemed to bleed into his presidency. On a presidential stage, he acted and sounded not unlike presidents of the past. Presidential, even.

In his first address to a joint session of Congress, after a tumultuous first month in office, Mr Trump delivered a conventional speech in a conventional manner. That it was unexpected, and that the bar for success was knee-high at best, is life in the age of Trump.

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Trump's 'brain' Steve Bannon emerges from the shadows

Media captionSteve Bannon's three goals for the Trump presidency

Steve Bannon used to be a political outsider, relegated to the sidelines of the conservative movement. Now, he is the movement.

When he was head of the renegade right-wing website Breitbart, Bannon hosted a party for those not invited to speak at the high-profile annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC. On Thursday he had a highly anticipated appearance at the four-day event and an audience cheering his words.

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Trump goes to war with 'un-American' leakers

Trump at press conference Image copyright Getty Images

Washington is rife with political warfare, as 2016's presidential electoral combat spills over into Donald Trump's presidency and shows no signs of abating.

It's a battle of leaks and tweets, background innuendo and rhetorical broadsides.

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Donald Trump: Unchained and unapologetic

Donald Trump sticks his tongue out during his press conference. Image copyright Getty Images

Donald Trump reportedly started work in the Oval Office on Thursday morning and told his staff he wanted to hold a press conference that day.

And so he did. Boy, did he.

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