Morning Report: July 25, 2017

President Donald Trump made a last-ditch plea to U.S. Senate Republicans Monday to fulfill seven years of campaign promises to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

The Senate will vote today on whether to open debate on an overhaul of the law, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promising an open amendment process and a “robust” debate.

President Trump said, “To every member of the Senate I say this: The American people have waited long enough. There’s been enough talk, and no action. Now is the time for action. So far, Senate Republicans have not done their job in ending the Obamacare nightmare.”

Even as it remained unclear on Monday whether McConnell had enough votes in the Senate to open debate, he said the vote would take place regardless.

“I know many of us have waited years for this moment to finally arrive. And, at long last, it finally has. I would urge every colleague to join me,” McConnell said.

Senator John McCain will return to the Senate today after being home in Arizona following a brain tumor diagnosis.

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks released his second Senate campaign ad Monday. It included the dramatic shooing at the congressional baseball practice last month in Virginia.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was one of five people who were wounded by gunfire in the June 14 shooting by James Hodgkinson, a former volunteer for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign who was shot to death by Capitol Police.

Two members of Scalise’s staff, however, took offense to the ad. One of Brooks’ opponents in the GOP primary, State Sen. Trip Pittman, also released a statement criticizing Brooks.

Brett Horton, Scalise’s chief of staff, tweeted that Brooks’ ad “makes my stomach turn.”

Scalise spokesman Chris Bond told The Washington Post in an email, “I guess some people have their own ideas about what’s appropriate, don’t they?”

Scalise has been in and out of the hospital since the shooting, dealing with an infection in his hip related to the gunshot.

In a story posted in IVN.us, consultant Ron Nielson said Johnson “would be a fantastic senator” if he chose to run in 2018.

Nielson was pressed further on the potential of a Gary Johnson senatorial run:

“Well you’d have to ask Gary. I have no idea. No doubt that Gary would be a fantastic senator. He would do an amazing job and be great at that task. I have no idea if that would be of interest to him.”

“Ron Nielson, a public opinion research consultant from Salt Lake City, Utah, was Gary Johnson’s campaign manager, and the chief architect of his two successful bids for governor in New Mexico in 1994 and 1998. He also helped Johnson garner a historic, record-high voter turnout for a Libertarian Party presidential candidate in the party’s 45-year history,” writes IVN author W.E. Messamore.