Last Minute Amendments Could Bring In Enough Votes To Pass
Hours after vehemently opposing the bill, saying it “torpedoes” protections for people with pre-existing conditions, one key Republican now says he might be able to support it. What’s changed? Money. Politico suggests today the White House is OK with pouring billions of additional cash into the bill in order to win over Republican holdouts. And that strategy may be working.
According to the AP, Michigan Rep. Fred Upton says he is working on an amendment, with support of party leadership, that would put 8-billion dollars into a fund to protect people with pre-existing conditions for the next 5 years. He told the AP: “It’s not quite a done deed yet, but it addresses many of my concerns.” (Upton previously said putting more cash into high risk pools wouldn’t necessarily get his vote.)
Vice-President Mike Pence has been shuttling around meeting individually with “congresspeople with issues” in an effort to get the bill passed. And today President Trump will host recalcitrant Republican lawmakers including Upton and fellow hold-out Missouri Rep. Billy Long, a long-time Trump supporter who says he’s opposed to the bill.
As we’ve previously reported, coverage of pre-existing conditions is central to this dispute. President Trump insists “pre-existing conditions are in.” But hold-outs say in reality, the current bill does not fit with that narrative.
The key concern now is if the bill adds too much new cash, it could lose the support of the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus.
And others are pushing back against the White House pressing to have a bill passed before congress begins an 11-day recess Friday, saying they could breathe easier and pass a better bill a little later on.
Despite the last-minute jockeying, it’s still unclear if Republicans have the votes. The Washington Post this morning is skeptical. The only clear signal on that will be the announcement of a vote. Stay tuned…
Kimmel Plea Worth Watching
If you haven’t seen it yet, Late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel told a very emotional story about his baby’s heart condition, in support of pre-existing condition coverage.
We Don’t Need “A Good Shutdown” Even Republicans Agree!
After Democrats started boasting the bi-partisan spending agreement reached over the weekend was a defeat for President Trump, the Twitter-In-Chief took to his favorite platform to suggest:
The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2017
either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good "shutdown" in September to fix mess!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2017
Never mind the insanity of a President recommending there could be such a thing as a good shutdown. Even Republican Senators quickly knocked down the idea of getting rid of the legislative filibuster.
Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah: “Without the filibuster this country would’ve been gone a long time ago.”
Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas: “I don’t think the American people elected President Trump and Republican majorities in both houses to shut down the government.”
Unlike Trump, many Senators understand US history. According to Politico, the legislative filibuster has historically been a more useful tool for conservatives than liberals.
Mini-Editorial: Trump’s Twitter Tantrum
The Tweets displayed above result from the President’s growing agitation that his word isn’t instantly being turned into law. So statements about making the legislative branch more tractable should be viewed with some alarm. Know who just made made his legislature completely subservient? President Erdogan of Turkey, that’s who. Trump’s a big fan. Same goes for Philippine President Duterte, and yes, Putin. All of whom were initially elected democratically. Could it be that Trump is buddying up to these despots because he’s inspired by them; because he is learning from them? Let’s hope not, but let’s also keep a sharp watch.
Putin Puts Himself Center Stage
After laying low for a little while, Vladimir Putin made a well-calculated power move, holding a meeting on home turf with German Chancellor Merkel, as well as a well-publicized phone call with President Trump, both on the same day. Trump and Putin talked about a possible cease-fire in Syria and a face-to-face meeting in July. In their meeting, Merkel raised the issue of persecution of gay men in Chechnya, and reiterated she is not in favor of lifting EU sanctions on Russia. Putin, at least, shook Merkel’s hand:
Be Careful When You See News Stories Like This:
According to a headline at CNN.com, Hillary Clinton says “if the election had been on October 27, I would be your president.” She made the comments Tuesday in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in N.Y.
First, we will never know what would have happened if the election was on October 27. Even if we did, it doesn’t matter because the election was on November 7th. This kind of talk and speculation doesn’t do anything to move us forward.
Clinton, while claiming “absolute personal responsibility”, went on to blame FBI Director James Comey’s letter and WikiLeaks for scaring off her voters. Sure, that could have played a decisive role, but it’s a question we’ll never know the answer to.
On her future, Clinton says she is “now back to being an activist citizen and part of the resistance.” Later in the day she spoke at Planned Parenthood’s 100th Anniversary gala.
And there’s somebody else out there who absolutely relishes re-living election night. Right on cue, late night Tweets from President Trump, responding to Clinton’s comments by suggesting (among other things): “Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?”
To both, we say: Enough Already!