Today’s “skinny repeal” plan for Obamacare was a big win for Senator Rand Paul, who had come up with this fallback strategy during discussions with President Donald Trump.
Senate Republicans will now move ahead with their Obamacare repeal debate, after a tie breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska went against their party and voted “no” along with the Democrats. Not a single Democrat voted yes.
The aim now will be to repeal three key parts of Obamacare, the individual and employer mandates and the medical device tax.
Senator Paul had opposed previous versions of replacement plans which he referred to as “Obamacare-lite,” and became a crucial voice in coming to an agreement that would work.
“Renaming and keeping parts of Obamacare, new entitlements and extending medicaid expansion are not the #FullRepeal we promised,” he tweeted in March.
In several conversations, in person and on the phone, sources tell Big League Politics that Senator Paul and President Trump discussed how the senator could get to a “yes” vote. On the one hand, there were many policy issues that could be fixed. But on the other hand, Senator Paul was willing to vote for a “skinny” or smaller version of a clean repeal, as long as it did not have the massive spending and insurance bailouts of the Senate leadership bill.
As discussions continued with the president, Paul brought this “skinny repeal” plan to Senate leadership multiple times. Today, he was given what he asked for.
In order for Paul to vote “yes,” Senate had to agree to a clean vote on the 2015 repeal (which they previously passed) along with the Senate leader bill (BCRA), which needed a 60-vote threshold to pass, which meant that it was surely unable to pass — as they did not have Democrat votes. If those failed, they would move to passing a repeal of as many mandates and taxes as they could agree on.
If we cannot pass full, clean 2015 repeal, I've also been told we will vote on whatever version of CLEAN repeal we can pass.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 25, 2017
While this isn’t the full repeal that Paul was after, it is clean and avoids the additional spending and bailouts.
Prior to the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Obamacare a “failed left-wing experiment.” He added that he was in agreement with President Trump, that “any senator who votes against starting a debate is telling America that you are fine with the Obamacare nightmare, and that it’s a “position even Democrats have found hard to defend.”
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Petition to Expel Maxine Waters from Congress Reaches 100,000 Signatures
A petition on the official White House government website to expel Congresswoman Maxine Waters from the House of Representatives reached 100,000 signatures on Thursday. The petition, hosted through the ‘We the People’ function of the White House’s website established in 2011, reached the necessary amount of signatures required to receive an official response from the Executive Branch under the loosely-followed rules of the platform.
The petition made it clear that those who signed were appropriately calling upon Congress to act, as expulsion from the House of Representatives would require a 2/3rds majority of U.S Representatives to vote for it. The White House potentially could call upon Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to allow a vote on the expulsion.
The petition made its case for expulsion on the basis of Waters’ “calling for attacks and violence against all Trump officials,” in reference to Waters’ remarks at an open borders rally, when she told progressive agitators that “if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.” Ironically enough, Waters’ demand that her followers badger and harass Trump administration personnel backfired badly, finding herself in turn overwhelmed with armies of conservative patriots demanding her impeachment during town halls held in her Los Angeles congressional district. Waters had also been confronted by Big League Politics’ Laura Loomer, and refused to retract her demands for the harassment of Trump supporters.
The President himself could be interested in calling for expulsion proceedings for Waters, based upon his own statements in regards to her history of aggressive, belligerent calls for personal attacks against her political opponents. In his most recent Montana rally, the President described Waters as being a “low IQ individual,” speculating that her IQ was probably somewhere around the mid-60’s. It’s even possible that some Congressional Democrats would find themselves relieved to be rid of one of the most deranged, insane, and hateful Members of Congress ever to serve in the House, allowing a vote on Water’s expulsion to reach a wide bipartisan majority.
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