Here are some stories from last week’s news
(CNN) In major shift, WH privately backing earlier rollback of Medicaid expansion (3/10)
- The White House is supporting the conservative calls to eliminate Obamacare Medicaid expansion before the reform bill calls for, which could be detrimental to the efforts to repeal the ACA. There is potential for this to complicate the future of the bill in the Senate and to frustrate republican governors in states that have accepted federal funds for expansion.
|White House opens to earlier rollback of Medicaid expansion – CNNPolitics.com
The White House is privately lining up behind conservative calls to roll back Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion sooner than the health care reform bill currently calls for, two senior administration officials and a senior House conservative aide told CNN on Thursday.
(FOX) Rand Paul: House GOP’s Obamacare replacement is ‘dead on arrival’ (3/10)
- In an interview on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Rand Paul criticized the GOP healthcare bill and vowed that the bill would be ‘dead on arrival’ in the Senate. Senator Rand Paul discussed his own healthcare plan, one that was based on the ideas of Tom Price, the current Health and Human Services secretary.
|Rand Paul: House GOP’s Obamacare replacement is ‘dead on arrival’ | Fox News
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., slammed House Republicans’ healthcare bill in an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight Thursday, vowing the measure would be dead on arrival in the Senate.
(YAHOO NEWS) The blame game: Should Democrats worry about Trump letting Obamacare fail? (3/10)
- After a closed-door meeting earlier this week, President Trump declared that if the GOP cannot reach an agreement on the repeal-and-replace legislation for the ACA, Democrats will take the blame. Democratic Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi reported that the president doesn’t know what he is talking about and he would take full responsibility.
(FOX) VP Pence: Obamacare replacement will be ‘all done by this spring’ (3/9)
- Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence laid out a timetable for the Obamacare replacement plan. He claimed that President Trump is a man of his word and the replacement will be completed by spring. To accomplish this, Pence signaled a willingness to compromise with Republicans who consider the bill to be “Obamacare Lite.”
|VP Pence: ObamaCare replacement will be ‘all done by this spring’ | Fox News
Vice President Mike Pence laid out an ambitious timetable for the GOP’s ObamaCare replacement legislation Thursday, telling Special Report with Bret Baier that the measure would be done by this spring.
(FOX) Speaker Ryan: ‘I’m really excited’ about GOP’s ObamaCare replacement (3/9)
- House Speaker, Paul Ryan, had continuously defended the healthcare bill from criticisms. Ryan asserted that all House Republicans were included in the drafting of the legislation and that Republican leaders would be pushing the bill through the committees.
|Speaker Ryan: ‘I’m really excited’ about GOP’s ObamaCare replacement | Fox News
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., defended congressional Republicans’ health care bill from conservative criticism Wednesday night, telling Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight that all House Republicans participated in drafting the legislation.
(CNN) After 27-hour debate, second House committee Oks Obamacare repeal (3/9)
- After a hearing lasting 27 hours and 18 minutes, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to move the healthcare bill to the House floor. The House Ways and Means voted the bill out of committee after an 18-hour session. While some Republicans want the process to slow down, Trump and Paul Ryan continue to defend the bill.
|After 27-hour debate, second panel OKs Obamacare repeal – CNNPolitics.com
President Trump is wading into the fray Thursday and flexing his deal making skills to build momentum behind the Republican Party’s Obamacare repeal bill
(WASHINGTON POST) Republicans are rushing right into charges of Obamacare hypocrisy (3/9)
- Two republican senators are accusing the republican party of being hypocritical for rushing through the replacement of Obamacare. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah): “This is exactly the type of backroom dealing and rushed process that we criticized Democrats for.”
|Republicans are rushing right into charges of Obamacare hypocrisy – The Washington Post
But perhaps not for the reason you think.
(NY TIMES) GOP Health Bill Clears 2 House Panels After Marathon Sessions (3/9)
- Passed through House Energy and Commerce committee after 27 hours and on a party-line vote. Passed through House Ways and Means Committee. It is scheduled for approval in the House Budget Committee and to go before the House during the week of March 20th for a final House vote.
|After Halting Start, Trump Plunges Into Effort to Repeal Health Law – The New York Times
The president is marshaling the full power of his office to woo Republicans, disarm conservatives and win passage of a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
(WASHINGTON POST) Obamacare revision clears two House committees as Trump, others tried to tamp down backlash (3/9)
- The repeal and replace healthcare bill passed through the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees on party-line votes and now heads to the Budget Committee. Paul Ryan, at a news conference Thursday, said that this was the “only chance we’re going to get” and it is the closest republicans have been to repealing and replacing Obamacare. Some republicans are claiming the bill is moving to quickly through the house and will unlikely pass through the upper chamber.
|Obamacare revision clears two House committees as Trump, others tried to tamp down backlash – The Washington Post
Trump met with several conservative critics of the plan, signaling both a willingness to negotiate its details and that it does not yet have enough votes to emerge from the House.
(FOX)ObamaCare repeal bill hit by Medicaid official, exposing rift in Trump team (3/9)
- On Wednesday night, Andrey Ostrovsky, Chief Medical Officer for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, tweeted his concerns with the GOP’s healthcare bill. He is not alone, as the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, conservatives and even moderates are criticizing the new bill as well.
|ObamaCare repeal bill hit by Medicaid official, exposing rift in Trump team | Fox News
A top federal health official has come out against House Republicans’ ObamaCare repeal plan, exposing division inside the Trump administration even as the White House and Health Secretary Tom Price work to sell the legislation on Capitol Hill.
(CNN) Conservative Republican: Medicaid changes can win votes for health care bill (3/9)
- North Caroline Republican, Mark Walker, stated that he and other conservatives are attempting to make two changes to the Obamacare repeal and replace bill—freezing Medicaid enrollment at the end of 2017 and adding work requirements for some Medicaid recipients.
|Republican: Medicaid changes can win votes on health care – CNNPolitics.com
North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker, chair of a group of the Republican Study Committee, said Thursday that he and other conservatives are focused on getting two specific changes to the Obamacare repeal and replace bill — freezing Medicaid enrollment at the end of 2017 and adding work requirements for some Medicaid recipients.
(CNN) Nobody wants their name on the Republican health care bill (3/9)
- Calling new bill “Trumpcare” “Ryancare” “Obamacare lite”
- Nobody want name associated with it because makes new healthcare bill more vulnerable.
|Nobody wants their name on the GOP health care bill – CNNPolitics.com
Republicans were fine labeling Democratic health care legislation “Obamacare,” but don’t want their bill called “Trumpcare” or “Ryancare”
(FOX) HHS Secretary Price: GOP ObamaCare replacement bill ‘a work in progress’ (3/8)
- According to Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare is “not the entire plan,” but instead was one of a three-part process to implement “long promise GOP tonic for the Affordible Care Act’s ills.” Senator Majority Leader, Mitch McConnel, predicted the bill to achieve congressional passage by early April. House Speaker, Paul Ryan, considered the bill to “keeps a promise” to replace Obamacare. The bill is being referred to as Obamacare Lite, Obamacare 2.0, and Ryancare.
(YAHOO NEWS) Republicans rush Obamacare repeal-and-replace through House committees (3/8)
- Republican’s pushing bill through Committee on Ways and Means and House Energy and Commerce Committee.
(YAHOO NEWS) Rand Paul: GOP only ‘united’ on repealing Obamacare—not replacing it (3/7)
- The Freedom Caucus is not the only in criticizing the new healthcare bill. Senator Rand Paul objected to the “Obamacare-lite” bill and stated that the repeal and replacement should occur simultaneously.
(YAHOO NEWS) Trump embraces GOP Obamacare replacement: ‘Our wonderful new Healthcare Bill’ (3/7)
- Trump praising replacement for ACA
(FOX) Highlights of House GOP’s ObamaCare replacement bill (3/6)
- Would affect 20 million people purchasing private health plans directly from insurers.
- Affect 70 million covered by Medicaid, federal-state program for low-income people.
- Private Health Insurance: tax credits for those purchasing own health insurance. Financial assistance “phased out” for those making $75,000+ or married couples earning more than $150,000. Eliminates cost-sharing subsidies in ACA. Expands contributions to health savings accounts, protects those with pre-existing conditions. preserves provision allowing parental coverage of children until 26, can charge oldest customers to be charge 5x that of younger adults. (ACA limits to 3x), prohibits tax credits to be used to purchase any plan covering elective abortions.
- Medicaid: maintains ACA’s higher-federal financing for expanded Medicaid through 2019. For newly enrolled after, fed gov’t provide lower level of financing. States receive limited amount of federal financing based on its enrollment and costs. Denies fed funding for one year to Planned Parenthood.
- Penalties and Taxes: repeals ACA;s tax penalties on people who are uninsured and on larger employers not offering coverage. Repeals ACA’s taxes on upper-income earners, investors, health insurance plans and medical device manufacturers. Repeals 10% tax on indoor tanning.
(CNN) As Russia probe looms, Roger Stone touts relationship to WikiLeaks (3/10)
- Roger Stone, a friend of Trump who worked on Trump’s campaign in 2015, has been forced to “retrace the line” between himself and WikiLeaks after questions about connections to Trump’s campaign and Russia have arisen. Stone denies any direct connection to Wikileaks and any contact to Russia. Wikileaks leader, Julian Assange, has too denied any direct contact with Stone.
(FOX) WikiLeaks CIA disclosure fallout is worldwide as agency does damage control (3/9)
- This week WikiLeaks disclosed 8,000 documents of alleged CIA hacking secrets, which has caused tension with other countries around the world. Chinese officials are now accusing the United states of “stealing secrets,” and German prosecutors are looking into the claims of an American cyber spying base located in Frankfurt. One allegation claims that the CIA can hack Samsung smart televisions and use them as microphones. The CIA is investigating the source of the leaks.
Spicer says ‘massive difference’ between CIA WikiLeaks leak and Podesta email leak (3/8)
- DT praised WikiLeaks during campaign, doesn’t share same feelings after leaks of alleged CIA documents.
- Group claimed thousands of secret CIA files detailing agency’s arsenal of hacker tools and efforts to covertly gain access to smartphones and smart TVs
- Spicer said Tuesday not ready to comment on alleged leak.
- Spicer said president’s new concerns are due to risk to national security.
Travel Ban 2.0:
(CNN) Federal judge to hear first lawsuit against new travel ban (3/9)
- A federal judge in Hawaii is scheduled to hear the first challenge against the President’s travel ban on March 15. The Attorney General for the state filed a 40-page request on Tuesday requesting a block of implementation due to Section 2 and 6 being “contrary to the constitution and federal law.”
(CNN) Washington state asks judge to block new Trump travel ban (3/9)
- Washington state will ask a federal judge to block the new travel ban after Attorney general, Bob Ferguson, claims that the ban still suffers from legal flaws.
(NY TIMES) Trump’s New Travel Ban May Be Hard to Beat. But States are Trying (3/9)
- Washington Attorney General seeking to block order because still a Muslim ban.
- MA and NY dropping litigation. Oregon to join. Hawaii filed separately.
(FOX) Legal challenges to Trump’s travel ban mount form US states (3/9)
- A day after Hawaii launched a lawsuit against Trump’s revised travel ban due to the harm it will have on the Muslim population, tourism, and foreign students, Washington state said it would renew its request to block the President’s executive order. Washington Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, said that Oregon and New York has also asked to join the state in its legal action.
Hawaii files 1st challenge to President Trump’s revised travel ban (3/8)
- first court challenge being faced but won’t be last.
- Douglas Chin, AG for Hawaii filed an amended complaint in state’s lawsuit against first iteration of travel ban so it could challenge legality of version no. 2.
- “undermining bedrock constitutional and statutory guarantees.”
- New edition a month after federal judge in Seattle issues nationwide injunction prohibiting enforcement of original travel ban.
- Delayed rollout to 3/16
- New order remains “tainted” according to experts
- Hawaii argues it fails to offer satisfactory explanation for why certain countries included or excluded from order. And that new order infringes on due process and establishment clause protections of the constitution.
(CNN) US President Donald Trump signs new travel ban, exempts Iraq (3/7)
- Lists new changes to travel ban. Noted that no reporters or news cameras were allowed to be present during the signing.
(FOX) Trump set to sign revised travel ban order (3/6)
- Excludes legal permanent residents
- Leaves Iraq off the list of countries would residents are subjected to a temporary travel ban
- No longer indefinitely bans Syrian refugees or singles out Syrian refugees
o Now to be treated like other refugees and subjected to 120-day suspension of refugee program
- 90-day travel ban
- Honors all existing visas
- full order: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/06/text-trumps-revised-immigration-order.html
(YAHOO NEWS) Trump’s new travel ban drops ‘religious minority’ language (3/6)
- new ban significantly scales back travel ban from January.
- Drops language that privileges “religious minorities” in refugee admissions from Syria and other countries.
- New order in effect on March 16
- Green card holders clarified to be exempt
- Dropped Iraq from list of 7 countries
- Exempts immigrants who currently hold valid U.S. visas from ban and reinstates bans canceled by the original order.
- Syrian refugees not indefinitely barred from entering the United States, but entire refugee program suspended for four months.
(NY TIMES) Trump, Days After Accusations Against Obama, Keeps a Low Profile (3/10)
- Trump reported to be noticeably less accessible after posting a series of accusations last weekend. After a meeting on repealing the ACA, Trump spoke w/ reports but didn’t answer questions. He thanked members for their “devotion and leadership” and said it has “been amazing.”
(CNN) Pelosi: Comey needs to dispel ‘mythology’ of Trump wiretap allegation (3/10)
- Pelosi and other leaders of the House and Senate that are part of the “Gang of Eight” met with FBI Director, James Comey, at the Capitol on Thursday. Friday, Pelosi said that Comey “needs to dispel any mythology about wiretapping Trump tower if the allegation was false.” The meeting occurred after the House Intelligence Committee accused Comey of withholding information.
(ABC) FBI Director James Comey meets congressional leaders on wiretapping, leaks, Russia (3/9)
- According to an official, Comey was prepared to inform congressional leaders that Trump’s wiretapping claim was false. Stated that still has not seen evidence of allegations. The meeting took place after a request was made by the “Gang of Eight.”
(WASHINGTON POST) House Intelligence Committee chiefs ask Justice for proof of wiretaps on Trump (3/9)
- A request was sent to the acting Deputy Atorrney General, Dana Boente, by the heads of the House Intelligence Committee asking for copies of any applications that were submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The request orders the release of copies of warrants issued by federal judges or magistrates regarding Trump, his campaign surrogates, business associates, employees, family, and friends, if they exist. The heads of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism submitted a similar request.
(CNN) 6 days later, no more clarity from Trump on wiretapping claims (3/9)
- Press Secretary Sean Spicer declared that the White House does not have reason to believe that President Trump was wiretapped, and President Trump continues to avoid questions about the accusations against former President Obama.
(YAHOO NEWS) Obama said to be ‘livid’ over Trump wiretapping claim (3/8)
- After Trump’s accusations against former President Obama for wiretapping his phones in Trump Tower before the election, an aid to Obama reported that Obama believes Trump “was questioning the integrity of the office of the president” and Obama himself.
- Trump’s Tweet (3/4): “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
(ABC) Trump has not spoken to FBI director about wiretapping claims, Spicer said (3/7)
Trump has not spoken to FBI director about wiretapping claims, Spicer said (3/7)
- Sean Spicer said that Trump has not spoken to FBI Director James Comey after allegations of wiretapping of phone.
- Reiterated White House earlier announced plans to have House and Senate investigative committees look into matter.
(CNN) GOP Hill leaders back away from Trump on wiretap (3/7)
- House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes disregarded President Trump’s allegations of wiretapping. Other top republicans who are investigating the potential Russian interference in the presidential election are not backing the claim either due to lack of evidence.
(FOX) GOP lawmakers give measure response to Trump’s call for probe of Obama wiretap allegations (3/5)
- Trump accusation that President Obama tapped telephones during presidential race.
- Support from GOP leaders of Congress’ top intelligence panels.
(FOX) Illegal border crossings decrease by 40% in Trump’s first month, report says (3/9)
- Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, reported that the number of people who are crossing the U.S. southern border has decreased from 31, 578 people to 18,762 or 40%.
(YAHOO NEWS) ‘Uh, no’: McConnell says Mexico won’t pay for Trump’s border wall (3/9)
- Senator Mitch McConnel was asked this week whether Trump’s planned wall along the southern border would be paid for by Mexico this week. Despite being in favor of “border security,” McConnell responded with “Uh, no” and that Trump’s wall was not the best way to secure the border. According to Trump’s address to a join session of Congress, construction on the wall will begin soon, even if “illegal border crossings” are down by 40% from January to February compared to the same period last year.
(YAHOO NEWS)As immigration crackdown intensifies, churches embrace refugees (3/6)
- Churches, under the Obama administration, were considered to be safe places for undocumented immigrants due to official policy stating that immigration agents wouldn’t arrest immigrants in the churches. Currently, it is unclear whether this is still an active directive under the new administration.
(CNN) Washington prepares for budget cuts, culture change (3/10)
- Trump is keeping to the promises he made while campaign by preparing cuts to reduce the deficit. Some are considering the proposed cuts to the Coast Guard, foreign aid, the Center for Disease Control and prevention, the EPA and HUD to be debilitating. A full budget proposal is to be released in the upcoming weeks and a tax reform plan has yet to be announced.
(NY TIMES) Trump Weighs Cuts to Coast Guard, TSA and FEMA to Bolster Border Plan (3/9)
- Cuts for purpose of increasing security along southern border.
- Shift of $5 billion to hire agents for customs and border protection and immigration and customs enforcement and towards infrastructure to crackdown illegal immigration at border.
(ABC) Trump admin weighing cuts to Coast Guard, TSA to fund border wall (3/8)
- Trump administration considering cuts to Coast Guard, TSA, Secret Service, and FEMA in order to fund Trump’s border wall and deportation efforts.
- $1.3 billion to Coast Guard budget (14% of funding)
- $500 million to TSA
- FEMA faces $370 million cut
- DHS see $2.7 billion increase to budget (making $43.8 billion)
ANALYSIS: How to interpret Trump’s first jobs report (3/10)
- Bureau of Labor released February job report this morning
- after lull in late 2016, hiring is picking up again along with wages.
- Unemployment fell from 4.8% in January to 4.7 in February
- Added 235,000 jobs in February, stronger than the 190,000 economists had expected.
- Many of the jobs in construction, private education services, manufacturing, health care and mining.
- Federal government added 8,000 jobs despite federal gov’t hiring freeze.