ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-day
67°
Sunny
H 75° L 51°
  • clear-day
    67°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 75° L 51°
  • clear-day
    70°
    Evening
    Sunny. H 75° L 51°
  • clear-night
    52°
    Morning
    Clear. H 76° L 49°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National Govt & Politics
No Senate vote on GOP health care plan until at least next week
Close

No Senate vote on GOP health care plan until at least next week

No Senate vote on GOP health care plan until at least next week
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

No Senate vote on GOP health care plan until at least next week

With GOP efforts in Congress on hold to overhaul the Obama health law, Republican leaders threatened to force wayward GOP Senators to go on the record and publicly record their vote in opposition to plans to repeal chunks of the Obama health law, but such a health care showdown on the Senate floor was put off until at least early next week.

"As of today, we just simply do not have 50 senators that can agree on what ought to replace the existing law," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been unable to solve what he called the 'Rubik's Cube' inside the GOP on health care.

“I was hopeful that we would be moving to a vote this week,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA). “But obviously, that’s not going to happen.”

Here's the latest on where health care overhaul stands on Capitol Hill:

1. The inaction on health care is all on Republicans. There was no Senate filibuster involved as Republicans watched their effort to overhaul the Obama health law implode on Tuesday. The GOP has the majority in the House - they could barely pass their health care bill there. The GOP has the majority in the Senate - and hasn't been able to pass anything. 60 votes were not needed in the Senate on this, as Democrats watched from the sidelines, while the GOP couldn't get 50 votes, plus the tie breaking tally of the Vice President. The failure leaves the GOP unable to follow through on their biggest campaign pledge of the past seven years. The White House and the President tried to blame it on Democrats - but Republicans are the ones in charge at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

2. Republicans still haven't united behind one plan. Back in early January, I wrote this: "The Obama health law was approved almost seven years ago, and while Republicans are overflowing with ideas on what they would change, there isn’t one plan out there which could get a majority in either the House or Senate if a vote were held this week." That's still true today in the Senate - and frankly, the House might have a hard time repeating its vote of early May in favor of a GOP health care bill. For whatever variety of reasons, Republicans never hammered out the details of a 'repeal and replace' plan - except for their snappy bumper sticker saying.

3. GOP strategy on health care has been a see-saw. After President Trump won in November, many in the GOP wanted to start off 2017 by having Congress vote to repeal large chunks of the Obama health law - and then move later on to fill in the blanks on what should replace the system. But that did not get the seal of approval from the President-Elect, so Republicans opted for 'repeal and replace.' As we have seen, that hasn't gone too well, and this week the GOP ricocheted back to repeal, and then move later on to fill in the blanks on what should replace. Here is a tweet from January, when Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was joining the President in calling for 'repeal and replace.' Not anymore.

4. No Senate health care vote until at least next week. There was talk in the halls of a vote as early as Wednesday on the Senate floor, on whether to start debate on the GOP health care bill. By the end of the day, Senate Majority Leader McConnell backed off a quick showdown. “At the request of the President and Vice President, and after consulting with our members, we will have the vote on the motion to proceed to the Obamacare repeal bill early next week,” McConnell said. It's not clear that the GOP will have 50 votes next week to begin debate, and start entertaining amendments on the Senate floor, raising the question of why top Republicans would want to move ahead with a vote that they might lose. Some wondered if it was a signal that it is time to move on to other issues.

5. There is the option of doing nothing. President Trump again said today that maybe the best choice for Republicans is to do nothing legislatively about the Obama health law, just let the situation fester and worsen, and then bring both parties together later to fix things in Congress. "I think we're probably in that position where we will just let Obamacare fail," the President told reporters on Tuesday. "We're not going to own it - I'm not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it," as the President tried to isolate himself, and the GOP from any political fallout related to failed efforts to repeal and replace the Obama health law.

6. No love from House Republicans for the Senate. After going through their own near-death experience on health care in March, April and May, GOP lawmakers in the House have little sympathy for Republicans in the Senate, and made that clear on Tuesday, as the Senate health care bill was derailed by GOP infighting. "Repeal. Replace. Congress, keep your promise," said Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ). "It’s time for the Senate to act and repeal Obamacare," said Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL). "We cannot be the party of 'no.' We must be the party of solutions, and there is no bigger problem right now than the ongoing collapse of Obamacare," said Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH). But for now, that magic solution has not appeared for the GOP in the Senate.

7. 'Repeal and Delay' seems to be going nowhere. The idea of bringing back a plan that was vetoed by President Obama last year does not have legs in the Senate right now, as at least four Republicans have made clear they will not support the idea - even though some of them voted for it back in 2015. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) were the three who deep-sixed the GOP backup plan - then others, like Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said they also want to see the GOP forge a replacement plan. I don’t think it’s appropriate just to repeal, we’ve also got to put a replacement in place," Portman told home state reporters by telephone in Ohio. It wouldn't surprise me if a few more GOP Senators agreed with that sentiment.

8. Will there be bipartisan negotiations on health care? For months, Democrats have jabbed at the GOP by demanding bipartisanship, while Republicans have said Democrats ran away on health care, refusing to offer up any ideas on how best to fix the Obama health law. Now, with Republicans short on votes, comes a real moment of truth for the GOP. What if - what if Republicans can't muster a majority in the Senate? Should they start looking at talks with Democrats on a health care bill? That opens a big can of worms, because for some the answer would be, 'absolutely not.' But there were some surprising and influential voices who endorsed that idea - like conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham:

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A pair of Boeing 737 Max 8 jets that crashed shortly after takeoff in recent months from Indonesia and Ethiopia lacked two key safety features because they were considered optional extras, The New York Times reported Thursday. >> Read more trending news Authorities continue to investigate the causes of the Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashes, but similarities between the disasters pointed to possible issues with the planes’ stall-prevention systems, called MCAS, according to The Wall Street Journal. The software system can, in some circumstances, point the nose of the plane down to avoid an aerodynamic stall, The Associated Press reported. >> Boeing 737 Max 8: Transportation secretary asks for review of FAA certification A pair of optional Boeing safety features might have helped pilots determine if the system was giving erroneous readings and pushing the nose of the plane down without cause, the Times reported. One of the optional upgrades would have displayed readings from the plane’s sensors while the other, called a disagree light, would have been activated if the sensors were pulling conflicting information, according to the Times. Boeing officials plan to make the disagree light a standard feature on all new 737 Max planes, the Times reported, citing an unidentified source. The sensor reading display will remain optional. >> Ethiopian Airlines crash: Captain reported issues shortly after takeoff Neither feature has been mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration, according to the Times. Boeing officials are expected to complete a software update to 737 Max anti-stall systems by Monday, according to the AP. Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration are expected to certify the company’s changes and its plans to train pilots on the system within the next two months, the AP reported. >> Photos: Ethiopian Airlines crash kills 157, including 8 Americans  The Journal previously reported the update had been planned in the wake of October’s Lion Air crash, but work was stalled by disagreements over technical and engineering issues between Boeing and FAA officials. The update was also set back by the five-week government shutdown sparked in December by President Donald Trump’s demand for funding to build his border wall, according to the Journal. Lion Air Flight 610 crashed in October shortly after takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia, killing 189 people. Less than five months later, on March 10, Ethiopian Air Flight 302 crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, killing 157 people. >> Lion Air jet with 189 on board crashes in sea off Indonesia; no survivors expected As investigations into the crashes continue, authorities worldwide have grounded Boeing 737 Max aircraft.
  • Florida Man makes headlines across the globe almost every day of the week. Now viral social media posts have people finding the Florida Man that matches their personality by Googling “Florida Man” along with their birthday (year not included). >>> Check the 'What the Florida!' section of the WFTV mobile app to stay up to date on the latest Florida Man news <<< TRENDING NOW: Jennifer Kesse: Missing woman's family settles lawsuit against Orlando police All lanes of I-95 southbound shut down after tanker truck tips over, spills fuel across highway Video captures SUV just before crash that injured 4 children in Ormond-by-the-Sea VIDEO: Report: Virginia woman fatally shot herself while handcuffed Maybe on that day Florida Man stole cigarettes and booze while wearing Spider-Man mask (March 15). Or he scared the public by walking around with a rattlesnake he found on the road wrapped around his neck (February 18). The viral craze started based off of a Tumblr post last week and a tweet on Tuesday. As of Thursday afternoon the tweet had 21,743 retweets and 92,213 likes. EVERYBODY google “florida man” followed by your birthday (florida man august 22) and tell me what you get. mine is Florida Man tries to attack neighbor with tractor— swervin merv (@g_pratimaaa) March 19, 2019 If you aren’t satisfied with the Florida Man story that comes up for your birthday, here are a few of our favorite Florida Man stories from the past year: Police: Man shot after refusing shot at Ocoee bar Semi-nude man rides bicycle backward -- again -- on Florida interstate WATCH: Man caught on camera licking doorbell of Florida home No dough: Florida men steal empty safe at Domino's Only in Florida: Man seen hanging onto car's hood on interstate ‘Florida Man’ had quite a year: A look back at 2018 DOWNLOAD: Free WFTV News & Weather Apps Not near a TV? Click here to watch WFTV newscasts live Watch Live: Doppler 9 HD 
  • The Florida man accused of sending pipe bombs last year to several high-profile critics of President Donald Trump is expected to plead guilty Thursday in a Manhattan federal court. >> Read more trending news Cesar Sayoc is scheduled to appear at 4 p.m. for a change of plea hearing before U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff.  Sayoc pleaded not guilty in November to a slew of charges after he was identified as the man suspected of mailing pipe bombs to targets including CNN, former President Barack Obama and actor Robert De Niro. >> Cesar Sayoc Jr.: What we know about the man arrested for sending package bombs Sayoc has been held without bail since his late-October arrest outside a South Florida auto parts store. He had been living in a van covered with stickers of Trump and showing images of some Trump opponents with crosshairs over their faces. Authorities launched an investigation in October after pipe bombs were mailed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and philanthropist George Soros. In the subsequent days, similar devices were mailed to several other prominent Trump critics, including U.S. Rep Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Democratic donor Tom Steyer. >> 2nd mail bomb to Tom Steyer recovered; suspect agrees to remain jailed, face charges in New York Authorities said Sayoc was linked to the packages after investigators found his fingerprints and DNA on some of them. Without a plea deal, Sayoc faced charges carrying a potential penalty of mandatory life in prison. A court filing last Friday didn't indicate which charge or charges the plea would involve. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A Florida woman faced a judge Wednesday in connection with the death of a 4-year-old boy. >> Watch the news report here On Tuesday night, the Orange County Sheriff's Office arrested Mariah Butler of Orlando on charges of aggravated manslaughter of a child and neglect of a child. >> On WFTV.com: Boy, 4, dies after being found in SUV parked outside school Investigators said Logan Starling, the son of Butler's boyfriend, was left inside a hot SUV in the parking lot of the Elite Preparatory Academy in October 2018. Detectives said four other children got out of the SUV and went into the school at about 8:20 a.m., but Starling didn’t exit the car.  Court documents show Butler, who worked at the school, was asked during the day where her stepson, Logan, was. The documents also stated that it wasn't until she was asked again at the end of the day that she realized the child was still in the car. >> On WFTV.com: Stepmother of boy who died in hot SUV quits job after receiving death threats Authorities said Butler found Starling in the third row of the SUV, leaning against the window with his eyes closed.  The school's director carried Starling to a nearby fire station, authorities said. Starling was then taken to a hospital, where his body temperature was recorded at 108 degrees. For perspective, doctors say a fever above 104 degrees can cause brain damage. The investigation also showed the inside temperature of the car was 121 degrees when the boy was removed. Investigators believe he was in the car for six hours.  Butler claimed she remembered Starling getting out of the SUV and that she locked the doors when they were walking into the school. >> Read more trending news  Documents said Butler believed Starling got into the SUV later, but she wasn’t sure how. She said during an interview that Starling suffered from autism and was known for wandering around. But arrest documents show Starling’s teacher disputed that claim, and video showed the child never left the SUV. 'You were arrested pursuant to a probable cause capias, where probable cause was previously found for the offense of aggravated manslaughter of a child and neglect of a child,” the judge said in court. Butler was ordered to remain in the Orange County Jail on $15,000 bail. Logan's family believes the bond was set too low. Butler was later able to bond out of jail Wednesday evening. 'Six months of no punishment for Mariah seemed like six years,' said Logan's great grandfather Roy Werner. 'But six months of Logan being gone seems like six days.
  • Orlando city leaders are preparing two new hubs in downtown Orlando for Uber and Lyft drivers waiting for people who need a ride home.  The hubs could not only keep area roads safer by helping people find a ride after drinking, they could also help relieve some of the congestion that takes place downtown around 2 a.m., when bars close.   The two hubs will be in places easy to access by those enjoying the downtown nightlife.   The first is on Magnolia Avenue near the Orange County Regional History Center and Heritage Square Park, close to a cluster of bars.   The second will be located further west, closer to I-4. That hub is planned for Gertrude Street, near Washington and Jefferson.   The hubs will only operate late at night on Fridays and Saturdays, from midnight to 3 a.m. This is a trial run for the ride-sharing plan, which will run for 6 months.

Washington Insider

  • Apart from a few GOP voices in the U.S. House and Senate, most Republican lawmakers in Congress had little to say in recent days about President Donald Trump's continuing attacks on the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), as the President used a speech in Ohio on Wednesday to launch an extended series of jabs as the former POW. 'I have to be honest - I've never liked him much,' Mr. Trump said at a speech at a tank production plant in Lima, Ohio. With Congress on break this week, many Republicans stayed away from the tide of remarks by the President, as only a handful of GOP officials stood up to tell Mr. Trump to back off, and leave the dead U.S. Senator alone. 'It’s deplorable what he said,” Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) said of President Trump in a Wednesday radio interview with Georgia Public Broadcasting.  “That’s what I called it from the floor of the Senate seven months ago. It will be deplorable seven months from now if he says it again, and I will continue to speak out,' said Isakson, who has been one of McCain's few public defenders in the GOP to push back directly at Mr. Trump. 'John McCain is an American hero and I am thankful for his life of service and legacy to our country and Arizona,' said Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), who now holds his seat in Congress - though McSally did not directly mention the President in her statement. But Rep. Peter King R-NY, and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) were outliers, as some supporters said the President was needlessly picking a fight - with a dead man - which he will never win. 'President 0. Dead Man 1,' wrote conservative talk radio host Erick Erickson. 'Let's be a little less coo-coo,' said Anthony Scaramucci on CNN Thursday morning, who served in the White House for a very short period of time in 2017, but remains a strong supporter of the President. Here's the President's full remarks about McCain from the Wednesday event: In a late night email sent to reporters on Wednesday, the McCain Institute pushed back - without mentioning the President by name - as the group defended the late GOP Senator, and one time Republican nominee for President in 2008. 'John McCain was held for 5 years in a Vietnamese prison and brutally tortured,' the group wrote, offering a laundry list of supportive items from his resume in the military and in Congress. 'John McCain always called on America to stand up for its values of freedom and democracy,' the group added, as even in death, McCain was still embroiled in battles with President Trump.