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Capitol Showdown: Dems, GOP Face Off over Future of Obamacare


Vice President-elect Mike Pence went to Capitol Hill to huddle with GOP leaders over Obamacare strategy.

"The first order of business is to repeal and replace Obamacare," Pence told reporters. 

Even the president made a rare visit to Capitol Hill to fire up his party to defend his signature health care law.

Democrats don't have the votes to block a repeal, so they're trying to rally public opinion.  Their main charge is a repeal would lead to health care chaos.

"They have no idea what to put in place of the ACA (Affordable Care Act).  For years they've talked about repeal, but for five years now they've had nothing to put in its place," charged Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. 

But House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., refuted such charges, saying the GOP does have a plan to replace Obamacare.

"We have a plan to replace it.  We have plenty of ideas to replace it and you'll see as the weeks and months unfold what we are talking about," Ryan told reporters. 

President-elect Donald Trump weighed in via Twitter.

"Republicans must be careful in that the Dems own the failed Obamacare disaster, with its poor coverage and massive premium increase, like the 116 percent hike in Arizona. Also, deductibles are so high that is it practically useless. Don't let the Schumer clowns out of this web," he tweeted. 

Trump has also turned to social media to take on U.S. intelligence agencies.

He's at odds with them over their investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee emails.  Trump supports WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who says Russia did not give him the stolen emails.  

But many top intelligence officials disagree. And Democrats are warning Trump could face big-time payback.

"Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.  So, even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he's being really dumb to do this," said Schumer. 

The Senate minority leader is also promising on MSNBC to fight Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court. 

"If they don't appoint someone who's really good, we're gonna oppose him tooth and nail," Schumer vowed. 

Schumer also talked about fighting to simply leave that Supreme Court vacancy unfilled.

Just last year, he attacked Republicans for blocking a vote on Obama's nominee to the high court, even though it was an election year, when Supreme Court votes usually don't happen.

What's clear is that Democrats are prepared to oppose Republicans on a variety of issues -- which could make Washington's already divisive politics even worse in the months ahead.










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