The Republican ‘tax plan’ is getting bad reviews from the public—and from Republican allies

The public is not buying the Republican spin on their new would-be “tax plan.” They’re not buying the spin at all.

But nearly 60 percent of people believe corporations won’t “use that money to create jobs,” according to the CBS poll. […]
The plurality of respondents — 39 percent — say they don’t have an opinion about whether the tax plan is good or bad, according to NBC/WSJ. Just over one-third said it’s a bad idea, and 25 percent said it’s a good idea. […]

CBS found that 58 percent of Americans believe taxes on the wealthy should be higher.

This is polling that took place before the details of the bill were even revealed. Now that Republicans have presented it, however, it’s not just voter opinion that Republicans will need to reckon with; the virulently anti-tax Club for Growth is furious it didn’t go far enough

Continue reading “The Republican ‘tax plan’ is getting bad reviews from the public—and from Republican allies”

The Republican ‘tax plan’ is getting bad reviews from the public—and from Republican allies

The public is not buying the Republican spin on their new would-be “tax plan.” They’re not buying the spin at all.

But nearly 60 percent of people believe corporations won’t “use that money to create jobs,” according to the CBS poll. […]
The plurality of respondents — 39 percent — say they don’t have an opinion about whether the tax plan is good or bad, according to NBC/WSJ. Just over one-third said it’s a bad idea, and 25 percent said it’s a good idea. […]

CBS found that 58 percent of Americans believe taxes on the wealthy should be higher.

This is polling that took place before the details of the bill were even revealed. Now that Republicans have presented it, however, it’s not just voter opinion that Republicans will need to reckon with; the virulently anti-tax Club for Growth is furious it didn’t go far enough

Continue reading “The Republican ‘tax plan’ is getting bad reviews from the public—and from Republican allies”

Republicans refuse to believe polls showing most Americans don’t want corporate tax cuts

It’s not just Trump supporters who believe what they want to believe and everything else is “fake news,” it’s Republican lawmakers too. Three polls in the last couple months have come out showing most Americans and even many Republican aren’t all that jazzed about cutting the corporate tax rate—a central pillar of the GOP’s tax plan. Here’s the news from two separate September and October Politico/Morning Consult polls:

The GOP response? Vox writes:

“Who cares?” Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) said before I had a chance to say what the polls showed.

Others said they didn’t believe the numbers.

“I don’t believe that poll,” Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) said. “I don’t believe it. It’s in all of our best interest to have these tax

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Democrats eye government shutdown if Republicans fail to protect Dreamers

Democrats are weighing an option of last resort if Republicans fail to protect some 700,000 Dreamers from deportation by year’s end—forcing a government shutdown. Politico writes:

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a prospective 2020 presidential hopeful, raised the specter of a year-end showdown last week when she declared she wouldn’t vote for a spending bill that doesn’t help children of undocumented immigrants who came to the country as minors. Republicans will need Democratic votes — definitely in the Senate and almost certainly in the House, too — to pass legislation to keep the government funded. […]

But a number of other Democratic senators said they aren’t willing to go there — at least not yet.

“It is a topic which we are not raising at this point, because we hope we don’t even need to think about it,” said Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a party

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Republicans either don’t know yet or are covering up what’s in their big tax plan

Republicans are planning a big package of tax cuts, they keep telling us. But what’s going to be in it? Possibly changes to your 401(k) retirement plan, despite Donald Trump’s promise to leave those untouched. And, uh, well, beyond that, it’s kind of a mystery. Here’s the Washington Post on what House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady is saying—or what he isn’t saying:

For example, he said he hasn’t decided what income levels would merit certain tax rates.

He said he hasn’t decided how many tax deductions to eliminate to partially offset the lower rates.

He said he hasn’t decided whether to impose a top tax rate for the wealthiest Americans.

He said he hasn’t decided whether the tax cuts would be retroactive to income earned in 2017.

He wouldn’t say how the tax bill would impact the type of taxes paid by hedge fund managers, even though

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Republicans again face defections on a top priority. This time, tax cuts.

Republicans are once again struggling to get the votes they need to pass one of their own top priorities—in this case, tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. The House needs to pass the Senate’s budget resolution to allow Senate Republicans to use reconciliation to pass the tax cuts with 51 rather than 60 votes. But there’s a sticking point in the House: Republicans from higher-taxed states are worried about the elimination of a provision that currently allows people to deduct their state and local taxes from their federal taxes.

“I need to know what the endgame is going to look like if I’m going to vote on it,” said Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., a leader of the bloc of concerned Republicans. MacArthur attended a White House meeting on the issue Tuesday where he said he “didn’t make the progress I had hoped for.” […]

Three

Continue reading “Republicans again face defections on a top priority. This time, tax cuts.”

24 days after Congress let CHIP lapse, Pennsylvania Republican is targeting transgender kids

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Republicans in Congress let funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program expire, and now, 24 days later, a state lawmaker in Pennsylvania is targeting transgender kids as a condition of renewing the program in that state. State Sen. Donald White is attaching an amendment to CHIP reauthorization that would ban “reimbursement for gender or sex reassignment surgery or gender or sex transition services, including, but not limited to, physician’s services, inpatient and outpatient hospital services, prescribed drugs or counseling services related to such surgery or services.”

White seemed to indicate that his amendment was meant to address surgeries. “It is completely inappropriate to use state funds to pay for sex change operations for children,” he said in a statement. “This program provides vital health care services for Pennsylvania’s children. It is irresponsible to allow its limited resources to be used for sex change procedures.”

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Trump is setting the stage for a brutal government shutdown fight

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Are we headed for a Hanukkah government shutdown? If Congress doesn’t pass a spending bill—requiring eight Democratic votes in the Senate—by midnight on December 15, the federal government will shut down. Thanks to Donald Trump, though, the list of legislative priorities that must be resolved just keeps growing: 

Once Obamacare repeal failed, the only major item on Republicans’ agenda for the rest of the year was supposed to be tax reform. But then Trump announced his administration planned to sunset the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, putting upward of 600,000 unauthorized immigrants in limbo; and that it would end the Affordable Care Act’s subsidy payments, a move that will increase premiums for Americans and dig a deeper hole in the national deficit. Trump is forcing Congress’s hand to act, but he hasn’t given a clear or realistic policy directive on immigration or health care.

Congress also keeps putting

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23 days after CHIP expired, Virginia preparing to tell families their kids will lose health coverage

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Nearly 9 million children across the country are in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, with 65,000 of them (along with 1,100 pregnant women) in Virginia. Thanks to Republicans in Congress letting the CHIP program expire, Virginia now faces a December 1 deadline to let families know that their children’s coverage will end on January 31. That could mean disaster for children and their families:

The result would look would like this: a child with asthma who loses health insurance will have nothing to prevent future asthmatic episodes and will almost certainly end up in the emergency room, said Dr. Richard Bennett, a pediatrician at the Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital.

“The coverage that would have cost a few dollars to hundreds of dollars will now cost a family thousands to tens of thousands of dollars,” Bennett said.

The ripples would expand from there. The child would likely miss

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Democrats’ early fundraising eclipsing that of GOP incumbents

Republicans are stunned at both the sheer number of Democratic candidates throwing their hats in the ring for 2018 and the cash they are amassing in these early fundraising days. Politico writes:

Animated by opposition to President Donald Trump and the Republican congressional majorities, at least 162 Democratic candidates in 82 GOP-held districts have raised over $100,000 so far this year, according to a POLITICO analysis of the latest FEC data. That’s about four times as many candidates as House Democrats had at this point before the 2016 or 2014 elections, and it’s more than twice as many as Republicans had running at this point eight years ago, on the eve of capturing the House in the 2010 wave election.

Nearly three dozen Republican incumbents were outraised by Democratic challengers in the third quarter of this year – a stunning figure. Nine GOP incumbents already trail a Democratic opponent

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Jeff Sessions may want a new war against marijuana, but lawmakers have other ideas

Lawmakers knew exactly who Jeff Sessions was when they confirmed him to be the nation’s attorney general, so to say that they are now “heading for a confrontation” with Sessions over marijuana policy, as this Bloomberg piece suggests, seems an overstatement.

It’s doubtful that this Congress will be “confronting” anybody, but the House and Senate are likely going to keep pushing for moderation in the nation’s pointlessly regressive marijuana laws no matter what Sessions thinks, and if those efforts happen to tie Jeff Sessions’ hands, in his brief remaining time between now and when Trump decides to send him to a farm upstate to run and play with all the other ex-Trump officials, well, nobody will be crying about that.

Measures have been attached to must-pass bills in the Senate that would allow Veterans Affairs doctors to counsel patients on the use of medical marijuana, and to continue blocking the

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Trump emerging as one of weakest executives in history as Republicans, cabinet heads openly defy him

Donald Trump is fast becoming one of the weakest presidents the nation has ever seen after going to war with a federal government that is defying him at every turn. Despite the fact that he has lashed out repeatedly at congressional Republicans, for instance, they are brazenly ignoring him. The same goes for Trump’s cabinet heads, who are clearly going about their business as if Trump were nothing more than pesky a flea on their behind. Annoying? Sure. But essentially toothless.

First, let’s just appreciate how desperately Trump wants Republican lawmakers to take the wrap for his failure in leadership. He blamed them today for our souring relationship with Russia, adding, “the same people can’t even give us HCare!” He declared his superiority over them yesterday in a statement on the Russia sanctions bill, asserting that he could make “far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.” And last week after

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As time runs out, Republicans still have no debt ceiling plan in place

Another day, another missed opportunity on Capitol Hill. That was the story of Tuesday’s debt-ceiling meeting between White House officials and top Senate lawmakers of both the Republican and Democratic variety. The GOP-led Congress has only about a dozen joint working days left before the Sept. 29 deadline when the U.S. Treasury will no longer be able to afford the government’s bills unless lawmakers raise the debt ceiling.

Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin has been sounding the alarm bells for months to get Republican lawmakers to act, but they were too busy getting things done on health care. The Washington Post‘s Damian Paletta writes:

Mnuchin met Tuesday morning with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), searching for ways to raise the debt ceiling, but the gathering ended without any progress — or even a clear sense of what the lawmakers

Continue reading “As time runs out, Republicans still have no debt ceiling plan in place”

As time runs out, Republicans still have no debt ceiling plan in place

Another day, another missed opportunity on Capitol Hill. That was the story of Tuesday’s debt-ceiling meeting between White House officials and top Senate lawmakers of both the Republican and Democratic variety. The GOP-led Congress has only about a dozen joint working days left before the Sept. 29 deadline when the U.S. Treasury will no longer be able to afford the government’s bills unless lawmakers raise the debt ceiling.

Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin has been sounding the alarm bells for months to get Republican lawmakers to act, but they were too busy getting things done on health care. The Washington Post‘s Damian Paletta writes:

Mnuchin met Tuesday morning with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), searching for ways to raise the debt ceiling, but the gathering ended without any progress — or even a clear sense of what the lawmakers

Continue reading “As time runs out, Republicans still have no debt ceiling plan in place”

As time runs out, Republicans still have no debt ceiling plan in place

Another day, another missed opportunity on Capitol Hill. That was the story of Tuesday’s debt-ceiling meeting between White House officials and top Senate lawmakers of both the Republican and Democratic variety. The GOP-led Congress has only about a dozen joint working days left before the Sept. 29 deadline when the U.S. Treasury will no longer be able to afford the government’s bills unless lawmakers raise the debt ceiling.

Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin has been sounding the alarm bells for months to get Republican lawmakers to act, but they were too busy getting things done on health care. The Washington Post‘s Damian Paletta writes:

Mnuchin met Tuesday morning with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), searching for ways to raise the debt ceiling, but the gathering ended without any progress — or even a clear sense of what the lawmakers

Continue reading “As time runs out, Republicans still have no debt ceiling plan in place”

House Republican Chris Collins: ‘This has been a great week’ for Trump!

Let’s check in with House Republicans to see if Donald Trump’s Bud Light Lime Hold My Beer And Watch This Worst Week Ever, Poochie Plus One Edition is making any of them rethink their unwavering support for a barely functioning idiot manchild with a moon-sized ego and the management skills of a rabid squirrel duct-taped to a Roomba and set loose in the Roosevelt Room.

How do you rate Trump’s week, stalwart Trump supporter Rep. Chris Collins?

“This has been a great week for the President,” Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), a staunch Trump ally, said on CNN Monday morning.
“I was at the jamboree, you know, 40,000 Boy Scouts shouting ‘We love Trump, we love Trump.’ Banning transgenders, which is probably supported by the vast majority of Americans,” he said. […]

“On Friday we were in New York City talking about ms-13 (gangs), something that is the scourge

Continue reading “House Republican Chris Collins: ‘This has been a great week’ for Trump!”

Latest House Republican effort to derail Trump-Russia investigation cribbed from conspiracy group

Gone almost unnoticed during last week’s healthcare battles, House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee last Wednesday pulled the latest in their ongoing effort to block investigation of Russian election hacking and its potential connections to the Donald Trump campaign and administration. Specifically, they blocked a Democratic amendment asking for more information about the firing of FBI Director James Comey, replacing it instead with an amendment demanding more investigation of … Hillary Clinton.

By the next evening, Twitter sleuths had identified where the text of that House Republican amendment had been cribbed from: a pro-Trump Reddit conspiracy subgroup.

Thursday night, three Twitter users discovered that a staffer for one of the resolution’s sponsors attempted to crowdsource a number of the resolution’s salient points from r/The_Donald, a subreddit notorious for playing host to unfounded conspiracy theories and anti-Islam tendencies. In other words, not a conventional source of legislative inspiration.

The frequent r/The_Donald visitor

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Russian sanction bill isn’t just a punishment for Russia, it’s a rebuke of Donald Trump

Donald Trump is waking up on Friday to find he has a bill to sign. However, his usual joy in making his seismographic squiggle of a signature might be a bit hard to locate this time. Because what the Senate has sent him isn’t his much-desired opportunity to dance on President Obama’s legacy. It’s the Russian sanctions bill.

The Senate on Thursday delivered Donald Trump the first big bipartisan rebuke of his presidency, giving final approval to a package of sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea that constrains his bid to defrost relations with Moscow.

The sanctions specifically target the areas of Russia’s economy that it depends on to fund military activities: mining and oil. That includes the deal made by currently-in-hiding Secretary of State Rex Tillerson while he was helming Exxon. The legislation not only locks down the sanctions that President Obama put in place following Russia’s interference in the

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The GOP’s other legislative ‘train wreck’ in waiting: the defense budget

Now that they’re in full control, GOP defense hawks yearn to raise funding for the military by tens of billions of dollars but there’s one little snag: the spending caps their own members insisted on passing in 2011. Politico writes:

Bills moving in the House and Senate would go beyond even the defense buildup pledged by President Donald Trump, providing money for more soldiers, fighter jets, warships and missile defenses than the Pentagon had requested.

But those proposals exceed the limits imposed by a 2011 budget law, demanded by Republican budget hawks, that caps spending and requires annual across-the-board cuts to rein in deficits. And that makes the defense budget yet another example of the internal GOP policy divides that have stymied the party on other major issues like health care.

Some lawmakers fear Congress is heading toward a “disaster” or “train wreck” on defense spending — with no obvious

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House Republicans introduce amendments to defund the Congressional Budget Office

Faced with medical evidence that our nation’s epidemic of gun violence is, in fact, preventable, conservative lawmakers passed laws barring the nation’s government from investigating such things. Faced with mounting scientific evidence of global climate change, conservatives in various states have proposed or passed numerous restrictions on state governments developing plans to prepare for those changes.

So it stands to reason that when faced with the seemingly self-evident news that slashing Medicaid and undoing restrictions on which patients can be unceremoniously dumped by their insurers would, in fact, have the predictable effect of uninsuring millions, conservative House Republicans are introducing legislation to defund the Congressional Budget Office’s analysts and bar the agency from reporting such things in the future.

An amendment filed Monday by Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) would eliminate the agency’s Budget Analysis Division, cutting 89 jobs and $15 million of the CBO’s proposed $48.5 million budget.

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