: Republicans Monday approved the nomination of a federal district judge for Illinois, despite taking to the Senate floor to hammer the recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick to head Medicare. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell "noted that Berwick did not sit for a confirmation hearing before he was cleared, and he promised the recess appointment 'has only reignited the debate over the Democrat health care plan.'" Republicans said they will likely begin new messaging on the health overhaul in light of Berwick's appointment. "A handful of other Republicans filed to the floor to expand on McConnell's outrage" (Brady, 7/12). The Hill
: Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., continued his push to repeal the health law Monday. "'What we'll do is continue to say, "We've got to repeal the stuff in this bill,"' the minority whip said on CNBC's Squawk Box. 'We've got to repeal the bill and replace it, though, because no one's accepting the status quo. OK? So repeal this bill.' The comments are the latest indication that, despite polls indicating a rising popularity for the reforms, Republican leaders intend to pound away at the law on the campaign trail this year in hopes that the GOP's unified opposition will win them seats in the midterms" (Lillis, 7/12).