Tags Posts tagged with "Mitch McConnell"

Mitch McConnell

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Paul Ryan
If they can't even deliver tax reform - what exactly are they here for?

With the GOP failing to score a solid win on healthcare, Republicans now seem to be under increasing pressure to deliver a win on taxes for their party and the White House before the midterm elections.

Being two of the GOP’s top priorities at the beginning of the year, there were high expectations for success on ObamaCare repeal and tax reform, considering the fact that the party is in control of the House, Senate, and the White House.

With the Senate failing to pass the GOP’s healthcare legislation, the stakes seem to be even higher for the party on tax reform.

Tax reform is “now increasingly important to the economy, and increasingly important to Republicans’ political prospects in the future,” said Grover Norquist, President of the Americans for Tax Reform.

According to Norquist, GOP lawmakers, especially those up for reelection, need to deliver “spectacular” tax reforms, given the setback they received on healthcare.

He further explained that the GOP had made promises about how an Obamacare repeal and replace would boost economic growth, showing the true value of a Republican government. Hence, the GOP tax reform needs to give an even better upsurge to the economy.

On Tuesday, prominent Republicans also emphasized on the importance of tax reform that would augment economic growth.

“Important for Senate GOP to stay at table. #obamacare is collapsing. Regardless we are moving forward on bold #taxreform this year,” Kevin Brady (R-Texas) House Ways and Means Committee Chairman and the man in charge of the tax reform bill in the House, posted on Twitter on Tuesday.

Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) Senate Finance Committee Chairman, expressed concerns that the healthcare debacle could take up a lot of time lawmakers have for a tax reform effort. However, he said that he’s going to press the matter and push ahead.

“It’s always going to be difficult to do both,” Hatch said. “There’s nothing easy around here, and especially with the close numbers that we have.”

On the other hand, some are of the belief that the latest setback on healthcare could actually motivate lawmakers to get a win on taxes.

“I think probably it will make people even more determined to get tax reform,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said.

Former Finance Committee aide, Dean Zerbe, said he’s expecting a “more fervent effort” from the Republicans on tax reforms, following their failure on healthcare.

“People are going to be focused because they need a win on the board,” he said.

According to experts, a comprehensive tax reform bill will be very tough to draft if healthcare legislation isn’t ready.

For Congressional Republicans, it was important to get done and over with healthcare before they moved on to tax reform because they wanted to repeal certain ObamaCare taxes. Hence, if lawmakers plan on repealing any of the ObamaCare taxes as part of a tax reform, they’ll need to come up with something to pay for those tax cuts.

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Blame Game
"The buck stops over there!" "No it doesn't, it stops over there!"

Mitch McConnell faced embarrassment and failure once again as two more Republicans announced their disapproval of the Affordable Health Care Act. In his two and a half years as the Senate majority leader, this Monday was perhaps the most humiliating defeat for McConnell.

The GOP healthcare bill collapses with seven years of hard work going down the drain, as the Republicans fall short of votes and lost, with only 47 of the 50 votes they needed. The effort to “repeal and immediately replace” Obamacare “will not be successful,” stated McConnell.

“In the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up the House bill with the first amendment in order being what a majority of the Senate has already supported in 2015 and that was vetoed by then-President Obama: a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period,” McConnell said.

The blame game started immediately as Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) expresses how surprised he was to read in the Washington Post that McConnell was debating that “major reforms to Medicaid were so far in the distance that they would never take effect. Johnson said Monday that he’d confirmed through conversations with other senators that McConnell had made the remarks,” as noted by Politico.

“The reported comments from Leader McConnell before last Thursday about ‘don’t worry about these Medicaid changes, they won’t take effect,’ that’s troubling to me. I have talked to senators that basically confirmed that. I’ll see what Leader McConnell says tomorrow,” Johnson stated. “From my standpoint, it’s a pretty serious breach of trust, those comments. I’m just troubled by those comments,” he added.

McConnell didn’t stand back from replying and fired back that, “I prefer to speak for myself, and my view is that the Medicaid per capita cap with a responsible growth rate that is sustainable for taxpayers is the most important long-term reform in the bill. That is why it has been in each draft we have released.”

While, their “Failure to pass an Obamacare repeal could upend the entire Republican agenda. The party has spent nearly seven months on a health care overhaul, with hopes it would ease the path to tax reform. Now Trump and the GOP-led Congress are staring at an impending August recess with no major legislative achievements in hand.” noted Politico.

However, the President Trump administration doesn’t seem to be very least shook by the failure. It was noted that President Trump held a dinner with GOP senators on Monday evening where he mentioned that entire party were like “dopes” in event that they fail to pass the bill after a repeal bill was successfully passed under the Obama administration. “If the Republicans have the House, Senate and the presidency and they can’t pass this health care bill they are going to look weak,” Trump had stated. And that,“How can we not do this after promising it for years?”

However, as Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas announced that they would not be supporting the bill, the Trump administration took it as a good sign with President Trump  tweeting, “Republicans should just ‘REPEAL’ failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!”

“President Trump, intent on delivering a win no matter the terms, insists on pushing on now with flat-out Obamacare repeal, content to set the clock back to 2009 while waiting for the mythic unicorn of a workable replacement bill to arrive,” notes the NY Post, just as Gov. Cuomo, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Mayor de Blasio announced that they are willing to sue the federal government if President Trump decides on signing the failed bill into a law.

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No Vacation
I'd say "get back to work you lazy guys!" but every time Congress is in session, it seems they just produce more bad laws...

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blames the Democratic Party, as he delays the August recess. McConnell announced the canceled of just about half of the Senate summer break, this Tuesday whilst stating that he will be needing lawmakers to continue to work, as they provide the Congress more time to thoroughly consider President Trump’s agenda, such as that on the issue of affordable healthcare.

McConnell argued that the Democratic Party’s opposition to just about everything that Trump and his administration proposes has made it very difficult for the congress to make to progress. He further argued that there is a lot to be within just a limited number of days, “There are other things that we have to do, and we only have a limited number of days left,” Mr. McConnell said. “We intend to fully utilize the first two weeks in August.”

“I think it’s just a realization: We have a lot of work to do and very little time, and the Democrats aren’t cooperating in the slightest,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican.

It is to be noted that the Democrats are trying their level best to produce hurdles for the Trump administration, every step of the way. While, former President Obama had 183 nominees confirmed at this point in his term, President Trump only has 46 confirmed out of some 178 nominations that he had submitted.

“We’re getting zero cooperation on the personnel part of the Senate’s portfolio, which is confirming nominations,” McConnell stated.

McConnell’s decision came as many Republican’s expressed that would not feel content during their time off, given that there are important things that need to be addressed.

“I don’t believe the Senate should go home if we haven’t do ne our job,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican.

The Democrats, on the other hand, strongly argued that the Republicans are pinning the blame for the delay and their failure to produce policies that take under account the best interests of the people of the United States.

“They’re struggling with health care. They don’t want to go home and face their constituents,” stated Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer. “So what Mitch McConnell’s trying to do is sort of say to them, ‘Well, if you don’t do it in two weeks, we may have to stay here,’” he added. And that, “the problem is not the timing; it’s the substance.”

The House Freedom Caucus further stressed upon the immediate need to resolve any issues hindering the Congress from making progress. “There are too many unresolved issues before Congress, including tax reform, health care, the debt ceiling, government funding and more, to leave Washington before the people’s work is done,” they stated. “It is imperative that the additional weeks are coupled with decisive action.”

Rick Manning, president of the group Americans for Limited Government stated that it time for the Democrats to end their “collective temper tantrum.”

“It’s time for the Democrats’ collective temper tantrum to end, and Sen. McConnell must continue to ratchet up the pressure so that President Trump’s nominees and agenda have a chance of being considered,” he stated.

With the healthcare bill on the very top of their list of things to do, the Congress has a lot of work to take care of before the fiscal year ends.

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Healthcare Stalled
Since we have to rely on the GOP to fix this nation's Obama era policies, I guess that just means we are doomed...

Senate Republicans have asked for a delay in the vote on the Senate’s health care bill, till the lawmakers come back from their July 4 break.

Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the Senate Majority Leader, said that he has high hopes of “getting at least 50 people in a comfortable place,” regarding the bill.

“We’re going to continue the discussions within our conference on the differences that we have, that we’ll continue to try to litigate,” he told reporters after quite a lengthy discussion with Senate GOP conference.

When asked by a reporter if the delay simply meant the bill was dead, McConnell replied, “No, no.”

“This is a very complicated subject,” he said. “Legislation of this complexity almost always takes longer than anybody else would hope. But we’re going to press on. … We’re optimistic we’re going to get to a result that’s better than the status quo.”

McConnell also told reporters that Republicans have been invited to the White House to discuss their strategies moving on.

On the other hand, Democrats say that efforts to defeat Republicans’ moves to replace and repeal Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) are nowhere near over.

“The Republicans cannot excise the rotten core at the center of their health care bill, no matter what tweaks they may add in the next week and a half,” Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters. “If our Republican colleagues stick to this base bill … we’re going to fight the bill tooth and nail, and we have a darn good chance of defeating it – a week from now, a month from now, a year from now.”

The delay in voting came after Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah.) indicated that he would not approve to move ahead with the debate of the new bill. However, a spokesman for Lee has suggested that the lawmaker has not ruled out voting for the final version of the bill if certain changes are made.

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Elaine Chao selected for secretary of transportation

When Trump ran for president, he said he wanted to “drain the swamp”, but his latest hire looks to be more establishment politics.

Elaine Chao was the labor secretary for president George W. Bush and is now going to be the transportation secretary for Trump.

She is qualified and is also the first Asian-American woman to serve in a Cabinet position.

Elaine Chao isn’t really the problem, but the optics are what looks bad.

Chao has been married to Mitch McConnell since 1993 and he is the Senate Majority leader. McConnell is the epitome of establishment politics in Washington.

When Trump said he was going to “drain the swamp”, we didn’t expect him to hire the same people that Bush used back into his administration.

What is Trump doing?

Maybe Trump is smarter than we think. Chao is a very talented and skilled person that can do the job, and it gives him some possible credibility with McConnell.

Trump will need McConnell on his side if he hopes to push through the president elect’s agenda.

Maybe it was a good idea after all, but we won’t know until after January 20th when things officially get rolling for the Trump administration.

Until then, expect the left to complain about Trump’s picks. Even though Chao is a woman and a minority, she is still Mitch McConnell’s wife and that will make some very upset.

Do you think Elaine Chao is a good pick? Let us know in the comments below.

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illegal-spy-program

In March 2013, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper sat before the Senate Intelligence Committee when Sen. Ron Wyden asked him if the NSA collected “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Clapper’s unequivocal response: “No, sir.” It was a lie; but it was not until months later that Clapper finally offered a tepid apology for what he claimed was a “mistake.” His excuse — delivered with all the sincerity he could muster and still keep a straight face — was that he “simply didn’t think about Section 215 of the Patriot Act” when he delivered his earlier, unqualified denial.

Clapper moved on to other endeavors, as did the Senate; and his bald-faced lie largely faded away. Thankfully, just last week, a federal Appeals Court panel in New York showed it was not so willing to “let bygones be bygones.” In an opinion that was unusually blistering in its tone and wording, the Court stated that the manner in which the National Security Agency (NSA) has been using Section 215 to scoop up so-called “metadata” on virtually all cell phone and other electronic communications, is simply illegal.

The Second Circuit opinion comports clearly with both the language and the intent of this section of the Patriot Act. I should know; I was a member of the House Judiciary Committee that debated the legislation in committee and on the floor of the House back in the immediate aftermath of the 911 attacks. More broadly, of course, the Court recognized that the government’s absurdly expansive reading of the section would, if allowed to continue, make a mockery of any reasonable expectation of privacy enshrined in and protected by the Fourth Amendment.

Sadly, but true to form, many Republican Senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, remain steadfast in support of the surveillance program now clearly found to be unlawful. They vow to bring legislation to the floor that would continue the program without any limitation. This doubling-down strategy is accompanied by the usual cries that “the sky is falling,” and that “Lone Wolf” terrorists will run rampant in the streets of American cities, if NSA is reined in to the slightest degree in its zeal to gather metadata.

The manner in which some of these surveillance supporters convey their support has been misleading, to say the least. Sen. Rubio, for example, recently encouraged his Twitter followers to let him know if they agree that “now’s not the time to end NSA.” No one, of course, is moving to close down NSA; critics are simply asking that the Congress limit the Agency’s surveillance powers over law-abiding Americans to lawful means. But, in senatorial or presidential politics, accuracy often is the victim of hyperbole.

Last week’s ruling is a refreshing reminder that there still are judges in America who understand the Constitution, who can read and abide by the common sense meaning of legislation, and who are sufficiently courageous to stand up and say so. It is true that there are individuals in the Congress who hold similar views; but unfortunately at least on the Republican side, they appear to be in the minority.

One Republican who clearly “gets it,” is Sen. Rand Paul, who is threatening to filibuster the effort by his Party’s leadership to kick the NSA can down the road and thereby permit it to continue at least for the time being to operate outside the law. All Americans – inside the Congress or elsewhere – who believe in constitutionally-based governance, should energetically support Rand Paul’s effort.

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