As the battle over what some are calling a “fake repeal” of Obamacare continues, the swamp is going all in to attempt to pass it — despite the fact that it keeps $290 billion more in Obamacare taxes than the House bill and does not repeal a single regulation fully.
On Tuesday it was announced that McConnell would be modifying the bill and delaying the vote until after their Fourth of July holiday recess. Earlier in the day, the White House had invited all Republican Senators to the White House in an attempt to get them on board.
Included in the invites was Senator Rand Paul, who has been a voice of unwavering opposition of anything less than a full repeal. The meeting, according to sources, went very well — and Trump appeared to be very open to some of Paul’s ideas.
On Monday afternoon, Mitch McConnell showed up at the Senate staff legislative director lunch and began demanding that they get their bosses on board. A GOP staffer tells Big League Politics that he believes this is the first time that the Majority Leader has done this to pass a bill.
“He came in telling everyone that this is ‘the best you can get’ and to get their bosses on board,” the staffer explained. “He said that ‘if you wanted to fully repeal Obamacare you are years too late.’”
McConnell also privately met with Senator Ted Cruz for an hour, who is opposed to the bill as it currently stands. Following the meeting, Cruz continued to refer to the bill as a “work in progress” and would not tell reporters if his vote was still a “no.”
For those who feel they were elected to repeal Obama’s legacy legislation, the bill does not even come close.
First, the bill will retain Obamacare’s insurance subsidies, as well as the Medicaid expansion that applies to able-bodied adults. These portions of the bill will continue the expanding welfare state instead of attempting to reign it in.
Additionally, the bill will retain all of Obamacare’s insurance regulations that have caused the massive spike in premiums.
As the bill will not be removing Obamacare’s federal mandates, it will continue to infringe upon the rights of states to determine what is best for their own region. The Texas Public Policy Foundation explained that “because this bill keeps in place the federal mandates associated with Obamacare, states must ask permission to opt-out of just some parts of Obamacare, which remains the default standard. This turning of federalism on its head will allow Democratic Governors — and/or a future Democratic Administration — to reinstitute Obamacare mandates quickly and easily.”
Perhaps one of the worst parts of this Senate bill is that it expands Obamacare’s corporate welfare bailouts. The current form of the bill includes two “stability funds” which will make slush fund payments to insurance companies, the Texas Public Policy Foundation explains. At least $65 billion in taxpayer money would be paid out through these funds.
To pass the bill, McConnell can only lose two Republicans to a no vote — which would lead to a tie and Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote. So far, it appears that there are a handful still unwilling to settle for the swamp’s bill.
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House Republicans Hoping to Get Americans Back to Work By End of April
It’s a aspiration, not a plan.
House Republicans are considering plans that would help Americans get back to work by the end of the month. Kevin Brady of Texas told reporters on a conference call that the caucus is preparing preliminary plans that phase the workforce back in at the end of April.
“Our focus is on locking down the virus while we’re taking the steps now to prepare to reopen the economy by the end of the month if the virus permits.”
Brady was careful to qualify that there’s no guarantee the public health situation in the United States would allow such a development.
“I think we should all expect the jobs, the unemployment in the GDP numbers to feel brutal over the short term. It’s because they are. This economy is taking hits like we’ve not seen in most of our lifetimes. But it is just a short-term hit.”
Initial social distancing guidelines set forth by the White House in conjunction with the CDC were extended from two weeks to April 30th earlier in the week, suggesting the executive branch may be cautiously looking towards the end of April to begin phasing out the unprecedented disruptions to everyday American life.
It is worth noting that an early cease to social distancing and commonsense measures to deter the spread of the Chinese coronavirus could prove to be even more harmful than the negative impacts to the economy since the beginning of the virus-related recession. This can’t be rushed. But the consequences of the economic damage are real, and all Americans should look to get everyday economic life up and running against as soon as possible.
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