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Congress

Speaker Ryan: Trump’s stopping Obamacare subsidies ‘monumental’

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Speaker Paul D. Ryan Jr. (R.-Wis.) voiced his support late Thursday of President Donald J. Trump’s decision same day to suspend direct payments to private insurance companies begun under the previous administration to buttress their participation the federalized health care system.

“Today’s decision by the Trump administration to end the appeal of that ruling preserves a monumental affirmation of Congress’s authority and the separation of powers,” the speaker said.

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The payments were part of President Barack Obama’s program to support the insurance programs created by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.

The Cost Sharing Reduction payments were expected to reach $10 billion in fthe fiscal year2018 and add nearly $200 billion to the federal government debt by fiscal year 2026, according a Congressional Budget Office report published in August.

Ryan has long criticized the payments that were never appropriated by Congress.

“Under our Constitution, the power of the purse belongs to Congress, not the executive branch,” the speaker said.

“It was in defense of this foundational principle that the House, under the leadership of former speaker John Boehner, voted in 2014 to challenge the constitutionality of spending by the Obama administration that was never approved by Congress,” he said. “The House was validated last year when a federal court ruled that the Obama administration had indeed been making unauthorized and therefore illegal payments through Obamacare.

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Congress

House Republicans Hoping to Get Americans Back to Work By End of April

It’s a aspiration, not a plan.

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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.

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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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