Senator Rand Paul confirmed Big League Politics’ previous report of his asks for a “yes” vote on the Graham/Cassidy healthcare bill in a press conference on Monday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, the Kentucky senator confirmed that the latest revisions to the bill are not enough to gain his approval. The additions to the bill, added late Sunday evening, would add billions of dollars for states and fewer coverage requirements.
The primary demand that Senator Paul has is reducing the $1 trillion spending.
As we previously confirmed, multiple conversations took place over the weekend between Senator paul, President Tump, and Vice President Mike Pence. Additionally, we can report that everyone involved in those talks is open to a deal and changes to the bill. The question that remains is if the authors of the bill and senate leaders will be open to the changes.
“Senator Paul has said Graham/Cassidy spends too much, doesn’t fix enough regulations, and does not allow the market to help bring inexpensive insurance to millions more Americans. Through the changes in the bill he is proposing, as well as executive actions that could be taken today by the Trump administration, he believes these issues can be resolved,” Senator Paul’s Chief Strategist Doug Stafford told Big League Politics. “He is working with the White House currently to see if they can be addressed, speaking directly with President Trump and Vice President Pence multiple times in the past few days.”
Senator Paul has repeatedly referred to the bill as “Amnesty for Obamacare” or “Grahamnesty,” claiming that it is not an actual repeal.
“Graham/Cassidy keeps and redistributes/spends over a trillion dollars. My promise to the voters was to repeal Obamacare — not block grant and keep Obamacare,” Senator Paul said in his list of asks which was provided to BLP. “If Obamacare were truly repealed, this entire trillion dollars would not be spent. This is the primary obstacle to my support, and only a significant reassessment of this trillion-dollar spending regime would get my support.”
The senator’s asks also include the default on Obamacare regulations being that they are waived so states have to opt into ACA regulations and an executive expansion of the groups that are eligible to become a health association.
When asked about Senator Ted Cruz opposing the bill, after he campaigned as a Liberty Republican in 2016, a source close to the negotiations told Big League Politics that he isn’t actually opposing the bill. The source explained that he has been saying that they do not yet have his vote, but there is a big difference between that and outright opposition. The source added that Cruz has not done anything other than offer support of the ill privately until yesterday, when it looked as though Senator Paul may succeed in killing it.
Cruz has been absent on this issue publicly and privately until the 11th hour.
Congress Uses Fake Russia-Taliban Report as Excuse to Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan
Another victory for the war party.
Democrats are seizing upon a fake news report alleging that Russia has funded Taliban mercenaries to kill U.S. soldiers in order to make it more difficult for troops to be pulled from Afghanistan, thus undermining President Trump’s foreign policy agenda.
The House Armed Services Committee voted on Wednesday to make it more difficult for Trump to pull troops out of Afghanistan. It would force several certifications to be met before Trump could bring troops home. Republicans in the committee joined the Democrats to undermine Trump with the approval of this National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the neoconservative who supports Bush-era globalism, said the measure “lays out, in a very responsible level of specificity, what is going to be required if we are going to in fact make decisions about troop levels based on conditions on the ground and based on what’s required for our own security, not based on political timelines.” It was approved by a 45-11 vote.
The amendment requires an assessment to determine whether or not “state actors have provided any incentives to the Taliban, their affiliates, or other foreign terrorist organizations for attacks against United States, coalition, or Afghan security forces or civilians in Afghanistan in the last two years, including the details of any attacks believed to have been connected with such incentives” before troops can be removed from the country.
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) bragged about how the measure will make sure the U.S. does not leave the region and more American lives are put in jeopardy for a war effort that is largely recognized to be a lost cause.
“There’s been bipartisan criticism of what a weak deal [Trump] got with the Taliban, a deal that is already falling apart,” Moulton said. “Now we learned that he was making this deal at the same time as there were bounties on the heads of American troops, American sons and daughters. We clearly need more oversight over what the president is doing in Afghanistan.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who is the most eloquent voice for an “America First” foreign policy in the House, opposed the measure because of its obvious implications against peace.
“A great nation does not force the next generation to fight their wars, and that’s what we’ve done in Afghanistan,” Gaetz said. “I think the best day to have not had the war in Afghanistan was when we started it, and the next best day is tomorrow.
“I don’t think there’s ever a bad day to end the war in Afghanistan,” he added. “Our generation is weary of this and tired of this.”
The defense industry is pushing the Russia bogeyman yet again, in order to create xenophobic outrage and a pretense to keep troops occupying in the region. The Pentagon has reported that Russia is trying to expedite the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, but they are painting this news as if it is a bad thing.
“As of February, the Russian government was working with the central government, regional countries, and the Taliban to gain increased influence in Afghanistan, expedite a U.S. military withdrawal, and address security challenges that might arise from a withdrawal,” a report from the Pentagon said.
“Russia has politically supported the Taliban to cultivate influence with the group, limit the Western military presence, and encourage counter ISIS operations, although Russia publicly denies their involvement,” they added.
The political establishment, including the military-industrial complex, is pulling out all the stops to sabotage President Trump and deprive him of achieving his goals before November’s election.
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