Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Mitch McConnell Says He’s Coming For Your Health Care

October 22, 2018

Mitch McConnell Says He's Coming For Your Health Care

“Republicans could try again to repeal Obamacare if they win enough seats in U.S. elections next month, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday, calling a failed 2017 push to repeal the healthcare law a ‘disappointment.’

In a forecast of 2019 policy goals tempered by uncertainty about who would win the congressional elections, McConnell blamed social programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, for the fast-rising national debt.”

— “McConnell says Senate Republicans might revisit Obamacare repeal,” David Morgan, Reuters

More:

“Mitch McConnell blames the soaring deficit on Medicare and Social Security, not the GOP tax cuts,” Peter Weber, The Week

“Republican Doublespeak on Health Care Starts at the Top,” Max Nisen, Bloomberg

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Trump Endorsed a Literal Attack on the Press

October 19, 2018

Trump Endorsed a Literal Attack on the Press

“Donald Trump has praised Greg Gianforte, the Congress member from Montana, for violently attacking a Guardian reporter, saying that someone who performs a body slam is ‘my guy.’

Trump described in glowing terms the physical assault that occurred on 24 May 2017 when Ben Jacobs, the Guardian’s political correspondent, was asking Gianforte a question about health care policy in the course of a special congressional election in Bozeman, Montana. The US president incited cheers and chants from a crowd of about 8,000 supporters on Thursday night when he said: ‘Greg is smart. And by the way, never wrestle him. You understand. Never.’

As the cheers rang out across an aircraft hangar in Missoula, Trump went on to say: ‘Any guy that can do a body slam … he’s my guy.’

Trump’s comments mark the first time the president has openly and directly praised a violent act against a journalist on American soil.”

— “Trump praises Gianforte for assault on Guardian reporter: ‘He’s my guy,'” Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

In related news, PEN America is suing Mr.Trump in New York district court, claiming he “violated the First Amendment and his oath to uphold the Constitution,” a document which doesn’t consider the press to be the Enemy of the People.

More:

“Trump’s Attacks on the Press Are Illegal. We’re Suing.” Suzanne Nossel, Politico

“Suing Trump for endangering the First Amendment,” Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

“Yale Law clinic helps writers group file First Amendment suit against Trump,” Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal

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Paul Ryan Caves, House Chaplain Reinstated

May 7, 2018

Paul Ryan Caves, House Chaplain Reinstated
If you missed it, last week Jesus trumped Ayn Rand at the U.S. House of Representatives. House Chaplain Fr. Patrick Conroy was forced to resign for his prayer suggesting that Congress remember the least among us when crafting a tax bill. Not only didn’t Congress take his advice, but House Speaker Paul Ryan was personally affronted and forced Father Conroy, a former lawyer turned Jesuit priest, to resign or be fired. While Mr.Ryan is an ostensibly-devout Catholic, his devotion to Ayn Rand overwhelmed Christian compassion in his screw-the-poor Tax Bill, now law.  The tax law is the only real accomplishment of Mr. Ryan’s tenure as Speaker, other than the huge federal deficit resulting from it.

Paul Ryan’s only problem: Congress really likes Father Pat, even most of the extreme-right Freedom Caucus members, except for the casually anti-Catholic ones. There’s also a question as to whether a House Chaplain, approved by a vote of the full chamber, can be peremptorily fired by the Speaker. Buoyed by overwhelming support, Father Conroy rescinded his forced resignation letter.

What’s a good Irish-American boy to do? Paul Ryan is leaving Congress anyway, so why should he care? He’s letting Father Pat continue serving as House Chaplain.

More:

“Paul Ryan vs. the House Chaplain Is Really Ayn Rand vs. Pope Francis,” Jay Michaelson, Daily Beast

“In a reversal, Speaker Ryan says the House chaplain will remain in his post,” Paul Kane, Washington Post

“Read: House Chaplain’s letter rescinding resignation,” The Hill

“Firing Fr. Conroy fits Paul Ryan’s pattern when it comes to the poor,” Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter

“3 Ways In Which the House Chaplain Controversy May Continue,” Lindsey McPherson, Roll Call

Updates:

“Ryan swears chaplain back in after controversy over resignation,” Juliegrace Brufke, The Hill

“Paul Ryan Had A ‘Good Cup Of Coffee’ With Reinstated House Chaplain,” Kate Riga, TPM Livewire

Related:

“7 Ways Paul Ryan Revealed His Love for Ayn Rand,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

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Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Congress Puts Millions of Children at Risk for Christmas

December 21, 2017

Congress Puts Millions of Children at Risk for Christmas

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health coverage to poor children, through both Medicaid and separate CHIP programs. CHIP is administered by states, according to federal requirements. The federal government provides matching funds to help almost 9 million poor children get medical care.

Congress let CHIP funding lapse in September, and state governments are running out of money for poor children’s medical needs. Congress was too busy giving corporations and the rich big tax breaks for Christmas, so it won’t won’t renew the CHIP program until 2018.

More:

“Congress Will Not Renew The Children’s Health Insurance Program This Year,” Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

“Kids’ health insurance hangs in balance, and parents wonder what’s wrong with Congress,” Robert Samuels, Washington Post

“This Congress’s clear priorities: corporations, not children,” Dylan Scott, Vox

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Body-Slamming Congressman Made False Statements to Police

November 29, 2017

Body-Slamming Congressman Made False Statements to Police

Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte of Montana, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault for slamming a reporter to the ground and punching him during his election campaign, made false statements to police during the investigation of the attack, newly-released documents show. The reporter, Ben Jacobs of the Guardian, questioned the candidate about the CBO analysis of a House healthcare bill, and got screaming and assault as an answer and, although the attack was witnessed by an astonished Fox News crew, Mr. Gianforte blamed the reporter, an account he gave to police but later contradicted in court.

The day after the attack, Greg Gianforte was elected to the House. After all, Montana voters had already elected a dangerously impulsive rich guy who hates the media and press freedom to the White House, so adding another one to Congress was a reflex.

More:

“Rep. Gianforte’s account to police on assault of reporter appears to contradict his later apology,” Ellie Silverman, Washington Post

“Greg Gianforte misled police after assault of Guardian journalist, incident report shows,” Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian

“Montana Congressman Who Assaulted Reporter Lied to Police About It,” Benjamin Hart, New York Magazine

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Congress Puts Millions of Children at Risk

November 2, 2017

Congress Puts Millions of Children at Risk

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health coverage to poor children, through both Medicaid and separate CHIP programs. CHIP is administered by states, according to federal requirements. The federal government provides matching funds to help almost 9 million poor children get medical care.

Until now. Congress let CHIP funding lapse over a month ago, and state governments are running out of money. Apparently the GOP is holding the health of millions of poor children hostage in an attempt to weasel out of more ACA requirements.

More:

“States prepare to shut down children’s health programs if Congress doesn’t act,” Colby Itkowitz and Sandhya Somashekhar, Washington Post

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U.S. Senate Will Extend Its Hours

October 20, 2017

U.S. Senate Will Extend Its Hours

For a paltry $174,000 per annum, U.S. senators slave through a grueling 3-day work week, sometimes for almost 140 days a year. Now cruel Kentucky Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants senators to work Fridays and weekends, and even during the first 2 weeks of August, the optimal time for inspecting those critical NATO bases on the French Riviera. Is no one concerned about our nation’s defense?

This country is going straight to hell.

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Sessions Stonewalls Senate. Again.

October 19, 2017

Sessions Stonewalls Senate

In an encore to his empty Intelligence Committee testimony back in June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused to answer questions put to him by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Clearly, Mr. Sessions believes he is Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, not the U.S. Attorney General.

More:

“What Jeff Sessions wouldn’t say was more revealing than what he did,” James Hohmann, Washington Post

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Exhausted By Epic Inaction, Congress Takes a Vacation

August 8, 2017

Exhausted By Epic Inaction, Congress Takes a Vacation
The U.S. Congress is on vacation until after Labor Day, but given its lack of accomplishments, it could have been in recess for the preceding year. Of course, Congress typically spends three days a week in DC even when it’s in session, spending the other four back home collecting campaign funds for the next election, a practice euphemistically called “meeting with constituents.”

But summer recess isn’t all stump speeches and visits to examine vital NATO defenses on the Riviera. Congress will still be hard at work tweeting about the highlights of rubber chicken luncheons at the Rotary Club. We hope our legislators don’t over-exert their Twitter fingers this month. They’ll have just a few days in September to decide on the nation budget, the debt limit, and tax reform, and to keep the White House from crashing the health care system or stumbling into trade war or a military crisis.

(more…)

Which Health Care Bill Will the Senate Vote On, Anyway?

July 24, 2017

Which Health Care Bill Will the Senate Vote On, Anyway?
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called for a Senate vote on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare), but it’s not clear just which GOP bill will be considered. Will it be:

One thing is clear: whether it’s Door #1, #2, or #3, the deal will cut taxes for the rich and increase premiums for anyone who still has health insurance.

More:

“Everyone is confused about the health care vote — including Republican senators,” Tara Golshan, Vox

“The Republicans Have Three Health Care Bills And No Clear Paths Forward,” Anna Maria Barry-Jester, FiveThirtyEight

“Senate GOP: Knowing Health Care Plan Is ‘Luxury We Don’t Have,’  Joe Williams and Lauren Clason, Roll Call

“Ahead of key vote, details of GOP health bill still unknown,” Hope Yen, Associated Press

“Senate Republicans don’t know what’s in their health bill or what it would do. They’re voting anyway.” Dylan Scott, Vox

“Trump makes veiled threat to GOP on Obamacare,” Rebecca Morin, Politico

Related:

“Parts of Senate GOP Health Care Bill Break Rules, Parliamentarian Says,” Mary Ellen McIntire, Roll Call

“Mixed signals from Trump White House on health care strategy,” Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Ken Thomas, Associated Press

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