Tag Archives: Congress

CBO warms of healthcare chaos if Trump stops insurance payment subsidies…

Donald Trump is trying to handle this in his typical manner by  waiting until things get to the edge….

With Congress NOT doing what he wants with a Healthcare Repeal he’s quiet on this….

Look for Congress to step in and take the decision from him in passing funding legislation….

That would ANOTHER move by Congress to take more decisions AWAY from Trump as President….It would also further force Republicans into taking ownership of the Obama era healthcare program that villainized for so long…

The Congressional Budget Office says the individual health insurance market will become less stable in the short term if the administration stops paying the Affordable Care Act insurer subsidies, which are passed along by law to low-income enrollees to help with out-of-pocket costs.

What it said:

  • Premiums will rise by 20 percent in 2018 and by 25 percent in 2020.
  • Cost: $194 billion from 2017-2026. (Because tax credits would increase, shielding many people from the rate hikes).
  • Change in the number of uninsured: Slightly higher in 2018, but slightly lower starting in 2020.
  • 5 percent of the country will have no insurers in 2018, but almost all people would have access to insurance by 2020 as markets adjusted.

Context: President Trump has threatened repeatedly to stop making the payments, but for now the issue remains unresolved. Lawmakers from both parties have actively discussed funding the subsidies in some kind of stabilization package over the last few weeks and will attempt to do so next month…..

AXIOS…..

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Trump White House turns to Democrats for tax reform….

They get it finally….

Donald Trump CANNOT get legislation done solely with his adopted party….

This IS how things are designed to work….

The Trump White House is quietly courting a few dozen House Democrats on tax reform — eager to avoid the fate of the GOP’s straight party-line attempt to jam through a repeal of Obamacare.

Even as congressional GOP leaders largely embrace a partisan path on taxes, White House officials have been wooing 15 to 20 centrist House Democrats since early summer. The Trump administration is all too aware of congressional Republicans’ struggles to come together on a range of hot-button issues — from health care to government spending — and tax reform is littered with political minefields for the party.

So the president and his staff are opening a line of communication with moderate Democrats in case a Plan B is needed. At a mid-June dinner at the White House with four centrist House Democrats, President Donald Trump expressed interest in a bipartisan package combining tax reform with infrastructure spending, multiple sources said.

Since then, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and top White House staff have huddled with conservative Democrats in the Blue Dog Coalition and the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.

“We’d prefer bipartisan support for the tax plan,”….

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Federal employees including Obama holdovers voice their displeasure with their boss…

it’s been seven months since Donald Trump became President….

Since getting in office he has hasn’t had one kind word about federal employees…As a matter of fact?….Trump and  GOP lawmakers have been talking about taking benefits away from government workers…

So it should be little surprise that some of those workers are grumbling out loud….

A handful of current and former career staffers in the Interior Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have openly shredded their superiors within the last several weeks, continuing a trend that has developed throughout the government over the course of Trump’s tenure in the Oval Office.

The growing opposition in the executive branch comes as the White House’s legislative agenda has stalled in Congress and Trump turns to his Cabinet agencies to change course in several policy areas. It also is emanating from career staffers or political holdovers whose resistance to Trump has, at times, been rooted in deep opposition to the president’s agenda…..

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Should the Media slow with the Trump is done stuff?…

If you haven’t noticed?

Every media outfit has it’s ‘Trump is done’ piece out in the last two days…

Wait….

Didn’t this guy do this before?

Image result for trump

Sure Congress is going its own way on some stuff…

Sure General Kelly is trying to put a harness on his boss…

But he’s going away on a few weeks vacation…

And that means he’ll have a good amount of time to reflect and stew in his juices …

We’ll see….

Oh, and Mueller hasn’t weighted in yet?

Could we be this lucky so soon?

image..slate.com

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Donald Trump is beginning to look like Jimmy Carter…

More than six months in?

Donald Trump and Congress have done less than a lot of US President’s…..

One term peanut farmer Jimmy Carter has come to mind…..

Image result for trump/ jimmy carter

We’re now about 25 percent of the way through the 115th Congress, which could very well be the only two years in which Donald Trump has a Republican majority in Congress. And Trump has no major legislative achievements to show for himself.

Congress hasn’t done nothing. The Senate has approved a Trump appointee for the Supreme Court and is poised to wave through his nominees for lower courts. The House and Senate have worked with Trump to roll back Obama-era regulations using the Congressional Review Act.

But its first major legislative initiative, health care reform, has stalled, potentially for good. Barely any progress has been made on tax reform. An infrastructure plan is nowhere to be seen. Even funding for Trump’s beloved border wall hasn’t passed yet.

This kind of legislative fecklessness is not unprecedented. The presidency that the failures of Trump, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell recalls most closely is that of Jimmy Carter.

Carter is, by all accounts, an admirable, moral, decent man; he’s devoted much of his life to philanthropic pursuits, including the eradication of an entire parasitic illness. And he managed a significant number of foreign policy achievements, including the Camp David Accords making peace between Israel and Egypt, and the Panama Canal treaties.

But legislatively, his presidency was a mess….

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image…newsmax.com

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Republican ‘s in Congress find they can’t do it alone….

Stung by Donald Trump’s continual throwing punches at them and unable to get anything because of inside waring factions and battered by a failed healthcare repeal legacy?

Republicans got a wake up from three of the their own Senators….

While John McCain got the spotlight ….

He was joined by Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins…..

The three showed balls to openly defy pressure from their parties adopted leader and vote ‘No’ on bad healthcare bill….(And assert Congress NOT a rubber stamp for Trump’s foolish tweets)

The Republicans in the House got one, but the Senate would NOT join in move that would surely hurt millions of American’s , let Trump crow and probably cost GOPer’s dearly in next years midterm elections….

The Republicans have started by coming together with Democrats to pass a sanctions bill that stops President Trump from giving away the store to Russian President Putin…..

Yesterday the parties came together again and moved top lock Trump out of appointing recess cabinet people….A clear warning to Trump to leave Atty. Gen. Sessions in office and stay away from thinking about firing Robert Mueller and trying to stop him from his probing of Trump’s campaign, and personal financials….

Senate Majority Leader McConnell has sent his house home and admitted out loud that the Senate will move on from Healthcare and Trump’s threat to hold money from insures has failed on deaf ear’s….

Congress WILL continue to prop up the Obamacare Healthcare program, while working to vote for ‘fixes’ NOT a Repeal…..

When lawmakers come back to work in late August they will focuses tax reform, a continuing resolution to keep the government paying it’s bills and raising the debt ceiling…..

All of this thing will require Republicans and Democrats to work together…..

Donald Trump has no idea what that is…..

It IS and always has been about HIM……

After years of partisan fighting over the health care law that was President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement, Democrats and Republicans now admit that they will probably have to work together to make many of its much-needed fixes. “We’ve realized our limitations,” said Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona. “I think we will work together to get more bipartisan legislation. We’ve just got to.”

Republicans are deeply motivated to get a major tax bill passed and signed by the president and have returned to committee chambers — rather than the private back rooms of leaders’ offices — to get the process rolling.

Perhaps most important, Senate Republicans have begun to stiffen their spines against Mr. Trump, who has spent the better part of his presidency alternatively ignoring, undermining or outright denouncing the efforts of Congress to legislate. On Thursday, before leaving on a monthlong recess, the Senate set up a system to prevent the president from appointing senior administration officials to posts that require confirmation in the senators’ absence.

Among its more notable successes this year, and against Mr. Trump’s objections, Congress passed a tough Russia sanctions bill with a veto-proof majority, which the president begrudgingly signed this week. Congress also approved a law to help veterans get health care — a bipartisan, bicameral, messy but ultimately successful effort that came together with zero involvement from the administration….

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Bill coming to protect Mueller’s back….

Back in the day the Special Prosecutor was  given free reign to go wherever they wanted with criminal probes since there was no formal law written…President’s where NOT the only target of the probes…

After Watergate ?

Formal rules where  drafted….

Robert Mueller’s job  has been threaten by Trump mumblings ……

So a Democratic AND Republicans Senator are gonna file a bill that will make it more difficult for Trump to get rid of Mueller who has support from BOTH sides of the congressional aisle…

Two bipartisan senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee — Republican Sen. Thom Tillis and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons — plan to introduce a bill today designed to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from interference as his Russia probe continues, per CBS News.

What the bill would do: It would take the decision to fire a special counsel out of the hands of the president, granting the authority only to the most senior Department of Justice official heading the investigation. Additionally, it would allow a fired special counsel to challenge their removal in front of a panel of federal judges — with a guarantee that the case would be heard within two weeks.

Why it matters: The move shows that protecting the integrity of the government’s Russia investigation is a rare issue that manages to bridge partisan divides in Washington. Additionally, it indicates the respect for Mueller on both sides of the aisle….

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Educ Head DeVos cancel’s Trump Admin Student Loan moves….

The Embattled Federal Education head wanted to give the handling of ALL student loans to one company.

Grumbling from states and members of Congress has forced her to back away from the action….

The Trump administration on Tuesday canceled a contract solicitation that would have handed the management of the federal government’s $1.2 trillion portfolio of education loans to a single company amid growing complaints from industry stakeholders and lawmakers.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said the Office of Federal Student Aid will create a single online platform for use by one or more loan servicers, a move that is largely aligned with the terms of the contract solicitation issued by the Obama administration. DeVos amended that solicitation in May to have one company build the portal and collect all federal student loans on the department’s behalf.

Now, DeVos says the department will devise a new approach to servicing that will require separate acquisitions for database housing, system processing and customer account servicing that will provide the opportunity for many companies to submit proposals for contracts…..

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Trump and Republican’s front an Immigration Bill to lower the overall numbers coming to America…

T he Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act. would require 60 votes for passage so it’s a non starter….

The bill IS a version of the Canadian immigration policy….

The timeliness of the rollout seems to be suspect, eh?

The legislation would mark a major shift in U.S. immigration laws, which over the past half century have permitted a growing number of immigrants to come to the country to work or join relatives already living here legally.

To achieve the reductions and create what they call a “merit-based system,” Cotton and Perdue are taking aim at green cards for extended family members of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, limiting such avenues for grown children and siblings. Minor children and spouses would still be eligible to apply for green cards.

The senators also propose to end a visa diversity lottery that has awarded 50,000 green cards a year, mostly to areas in the world that traditionally do not have as many immigrants to the United States, including Africa. And the bill caps refugee levels at 50,000 per year.

Under the bill, the new immigration system would award points to green card applicants based on such factors as English ability, education levels and job skills. The senators said the proposal is modeled after immigration programs in Canada and Australia…..

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House Freedom Caucus leader will work with Democrats on Budget…

With Healthcare moving to rear…..House members MUST come together to prevent a Government shutdown with no budget to fund paying the governments bills…

So it is NO surprise that the bull shit will have to stop and lawmakers of BOTH parties will have to sit down and  get back doing their jobs…..

Even if the House passes all its appropriations bills, it will have trouble working out differences with the Senate, which is working off a completely different set of spending figures.
Increasingly, Republicans are coming around to the view that they will have to stomach a short-term continuing resolution (CR), which maintains current funding levels, to avert a government shutdown when funding runs out at the end of September.
While a CR can postpone a shutdown, a looming deadline on the debt ceiling will give Congress less flexibility. Absent legislative action, the U.S. Treasury will run out of ways to pay its bills around mid-October. Conservatives, who hoped to attach a debt-lift to some sort of spending reforms or policy riders, are coming around to the view that they may be unsuccessful.
“We’re almost anticipating a bigger bill with a whole bunch of things put together that would maybe bring a whole lot of Democrats on board and pass with less than a majority of the majority,” Meadows said, noting ruefully that his Caucus had pushed for dealing with the issue before the August recess.
House members are fond of blaming the Senate for Congress’s inability to pass major legislation, but many in the House are also beginning to long for a return to normal order, where budgets precede spending bills and parties cooperate somewhat more frequently.
“The best way to make this place work is to always get back to regular order, passing a budget, passing appropriations bills,” said Renacci.
Even Meadows, whose group often creates stumbling blocks for easy passage of legislation, acknowledged this week that past tactics have failed to produce the desired results, and called for a new direction…..
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Russian President Putin orders 755 US Diplomats out off Russia…

In response to the American Congress voting OVERWHELMINGLY  to continue sanctions against Russia for its actions in the Ukraine and the 2016 election?

And the US closing off two Russian enclaves in America on Long Island NY and Maryland….

Russia has struck back…

One wonders if this will push Trump to think about vetoing the sanctions bill , which was OVERWHELMINGLY approved in both houses of the US Congress….

Oh, and vetoing the bill?

That could be worrying Trump and his lawyers about Robert Mueller ‘s looking into Trump’s financials?

President Vladimir V. Putin announced on Sunday that 755 American diplomats would be expelled from Russia by Sept. 1, escalating the tensions between Washington and Moscow.

Although the expulsions had been announced on Friday, in response to the new law passed in Congress last week expanding sanctions against Russia, the president’s statement was the first to confirm the large number of American diplomats involved.

Speaking in a television interview on the Rossiya 1 network, Mr. Putin said that Russia’s patience in waiting for improved relations with the United States had worn out….

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Congress CAN nullify Trump’s wish for a Transgender ban?…

A counter opinion has surfaced that reasons that Congress CAN block Trump’s actions for a transgender ban in the armed services under it’s authority  to make LAWS for the US Military…..

Hmmmm?

Why do I think Trump’s wishes on this are NOT gonna happen ?

Congress and the military leadership have not been excited by the unexpected move….

“President Trump’s tweets indicate that the accession policy changes that would have allowed transgender individuals to join the military are no longer under consideration,” according to the new Congressional Research Service paper, first obtained by the Federation of American Scientists. “The tweets also imply that there will be a change to the 2016 policy allowing transgender members currently in the military to continue to serve. Given this announcement, Congress may wish to consider the potential effects of the policy shift and whether to take legislative action in response.”

It adds: “Congress may draft legislation to affect such Administration policy, under its authority to make laws governing the armed forces.”….

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Some GOP voters continue drinking the Trump Kool-Aid…Poll

They may be wavering a bit on Trump….

But he is more popular then the Republicans in Congress…

(Notice that Trump’s numbers are still below 50% in most categories in the Morning Consult Poll)

House Republican leaders want you to know that they are doing their job.

“Through all the noise and all the distractions, we are addressing the problems people face in their everyday lives,” said Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) during a Tuesday news conference at the Capitol as House leaders pointed to more than 270 bills passed by the chamber in 2017.

Ryan may be bullish on the House GOP’s accomplishments thus far, but President Donald Trump has yet to sign any major policy legislation — a major health care overhaul effort remains on life support in the Senate — and a new Morning Consult/POLITICO survey finds that many voters, including Republicans, feel the congressional GOP is underachieving….

Three in 10 voters said Trump had accomplished less than they expected, compared with 22 percent who said he’d accomplished more and a plurality (37 percent) who said he’d met their expectations.

Republican voters especially seemed more pleased with the president’s performance. Thirty-eight percent said Trump had exceeded expectations in 2017, while 20 percent said he’d accomplished less and 35 percent said he’d accomplished about what they expected.

The relationship between members of Congress and the president has had its ups and downs since he began to emerge as the front-runner in the 2016 GOP presidential primary — and a plurality of registered voters also have doubts about congressional Republicans’ appetite for working with Trump.

Pluralities of registered voters said GOP members of Congress don’t want to work with Trump (45 percent) and don’t listen to him (46 percent), while 56 percent said they don’t respect him. The skepticism was not limited to Democrats: Forty-three percent of Republicans said congressional Republicans don’t respect the president, while 38 percent said they don’t listen to him and 37 percent said they don’t want to work with him….

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Ryan….We’ll try Tax Reform Next….

A try to Repeal the Healthcare Law appear’s gone for now….

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Friday signaled a pivot to tax reform, one day after the Republican effort to repeal ObamaCare collapsed in the Senate.

Ryan urged Republicans not to give up on repealing and replacing the healthcare law, but his statement — coupled with comments from President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — suggest a shift for the GOP.

“I am disappointed and frustrated, but we should not give up. I encourage the Senate to continue working toward a real solution that keeps our promise,” Ryan said in a statement….

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Maybe the Republicans will finally stop trying to carry Trump on their backs?

Maybe they will reach across the aisle to Democrats instead of carrying the water for a Real Estate guy from New York who has no political skills and never could make good deals…And never should have been elected President…And operates in a Alternate Universe of his OWN…

Oh, and the guy who campaigned AGAINST the people IN HIS OWN adopted party who run the Congress…

Again and again over the past year, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan have had to decide what kind of behavior they are willing to tolerate from Donald Trump. Again and again, McConnell and Ryan have bowed down to Trump.

They have mumbled occasional words of protest, sometimes even harsh ones, like Ryan’s use of “racist” last year. Then they have gone back to supporting Trump.

The capitulation of McConnell and Ryan has created an impression — especially among many liberals — that congressional Republicans stand behind the president. McConnell and Ryan, after all, are the leaders of Congress, and they continue to push for the legislation Trump wants and to permit his kleptocratic governing.

But don’t be fooled: Republican support for the president has started to crack.

Below the leadership level, Republicans are defying Trump more often, and McConnell and Ryan aren’t always standing in their way. You can see this defiance in the bipartisan Senate investigation of the Russia scandal. You can see it in the deal on Russian sanctions. And you can see it in the Senate’s failure, so far at least, to pass a health care bill.

It’s true that we still don’t know how these stories will end. If the Senate passes a damaging health care bill or lets Trump halt the Russia investigation, I will revisit my assessment. For now, though, I think many political observers are missing the ways that parts of Trump’s own party have subtly begun to revolt.

Just listen to Trump himself. “It’s very sad that Republicans,” he wrote in a weekend Twitter rant, “do very little to protect their President.” In a historical sense, he is right. Members of Congress usually support a new president of their own party much more strongly than Republicans are now…..

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House getting ready to forward a massive spending bill they know won’t fly….

The object is to let their members get a chance to include amendments that are their dream requests….

Trouble is?

Doing THAT means the entire bill package will never pass the Senate ….And THAT means ANOTHER piece of legislation that goes nowhere from a Congress that is specializing in such….

Oh, and there STILL is a sequester against a budge over spending ceiling t in effect….

House GOP leaders will decide next week whether to brave an ugly floor fight over a massive GOP spending bill — a proposal applauded by some rank-and-file Republicans but that risks embarrassment if it fails.

In a closed-door GOP conference meeting Friday morning, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said all 12 appropriations bills will be finished in committee by the end of next week. Starting Monday, leadership will begin a tentative whip count on whether lawmakers would vote for a package before the August recess that combines all of those bills into one $1 trillion government funding bill.

The idea, first proposed by Rep. Tom Graves, a senior appropriator, is to give House Republicans a chance to pass a red-meat spending bill that will lay out GOP priorities. Though the bill would never pass the Senate in the face of Democratic opposition, the process would allow House Republicans to offer potentially hundreds of amendments, an exercise that excites members who are frustrated that they’ve had no input on how to fund the government.

“It’s actually been the consensus of the conference to get all this done before August,” Graves (R-Ga.) said upon emerging from conference Friday, optimistic that his idea will take. “We’re here to get our job done, and I’ll tell you, members are excited about the opportunity to put our priorities forward and advance it to the floor.

The strategy could open something of a Pandora’s box, however. Lawmakers would be required to vote on controversial amendments that could be used against them in their districts, from provisions on the Confederate flag to gay rights proposals that put them in bind. Democratic amendments chiding the administration for the Russia controversy are almost assured.

Perhaps more worrisome: The bill might fail on the floor, which would provoke another flood of damaging headlines about the GOP’s deep divisions and inability govern…..

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