Senate Republicans catching a clue that saving themselves politically could mean saving Obamacare

The healthcare industry is in full-on panic mode over the Trump regime’s continuing sabotage of Obamacare, which means they’re in full-on pressure mode with Congress—specifically with the Senate, where they apparently believe their only hope for sanity lies.

Senate Republicans face increasing pressure to rescue health insurance markets and protect coverage for millions of Americans amid growing fears the Trump administration is going to let the markets collapse.
In recent days, leading hospitals, physician groups, health insurers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have pleaded with the Senate to step in, effectively going around the White House.

“Congress must take action now,” the groups warned in a letter to Republican and Democratic Senate leaders. “At this point, only congressional action can help consumers.” […]

In addition to the healthcare groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, state insurance regulators — Republicans and Democrats — also are pleading

Continue reading “Senate Republicans catching a clue that saving themselves politically could mean saving Obamacare”

Republicans say Montana special election is ‘closer than it should be’

Well, yeah:

Republican Greg Gianforte’s closing motivational speech to voters ahead of Thursday’s special House election in Montana is the same thing GOP strategists are whispering in private: “This race is closer than it should be.”

We should not be talking about this race at all, because Greg Gianforte should have put it away long ago. So even if Republicans are playing the expectations game—laying the groundwork to claim any Gianforte win bigger than a point as great news for Republicans—this race is already closer than it should be.

Sure, Montana occasionally elects statewide Democrats like Gov. Steve Bullock and Sen. Jon Tester, but it’s also a state that gave Donald Trump a 20-point margin. And it pits a polished multimillionaire against a musician who has not, to put it mildly, spent his life preparing to run for office. But this is the age of Trump, and here we

Continue reading “Republicans say Montana special election is ‘closer than it should be’”

Mitch McConnell wants to talk Trumpcare in quiet rooms

You might think that the example of the process of getting Trumpcare and Zombie Trumpcare through the House—and the massive opposition to it among the general populace—would have made Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell approach the whole thing with a bit more transparency, and a tad more democracy (at least within the regular Senate procedures).

And you would think wrong. He’s not doing any of that. He’s trying to keep it all a big secret.

At a meeting of his health care working group last Tuesday, the Kentucky Republican excused all nonleadership staffers after expressing annoyance over the number of leaks about the private discussions, GOP senators and aides told Roll Call.
He was particularly frustrated with a report that cited a verbatim conversation that took place during a prior meeting, according to one lawmaker who spoke on the condition of anonymity. […]

Republican leadership has faced criticism for the manner in which

Continue reading “Mitch McConnell wants to talk Trumpcare in quiet rooms”

Even some Republicans balk at Trump’s ‘draconian,’ ‘make-believe debate’ of a budget

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s attempts to act happy about Donald Trump’s budget aren’t being imitated by the members of his caucus. In fact, Republicans sound unhappy about a lot of things in the budget:

Longtime GOP Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky declared proposed cuts to safety net and environmental proposals “draconian.” […]

GOP Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina questioned the rosy economic projections that allow the budget to balance over a decade even without touching Social Security or Medicare.

“Part of what’s going on here is supposedly you can put these different pieces of the puzzle together in a way that you don’t touch entitlements, but the reality is you can’t,” Sanford said. “So it creates a lie that we all then either address or don’t address, but it makes for a make-believe debate that I find frustrating.”

There you’ve got one Republican saying Trump goes

Continue reading “Even some Republicans balk at Trump’s ‘draconian,’ ‘make-believe debate’ of a budget”

The fight to keep public lands in public hands is at the heart of Montana special election

Rob Quist has made public lands a major focus of his campaign for Montana’s House seat, citing his own love of the land he grew up camping and hiking and kayaking on as well as the economic importance of public land to the state’s tourism and recreation industries. Public lands are also an issue that has special resonance against Quist’s Republican opponent, Greg Gianforte, who lost last year’s gubernatorial race in part because of his history fighting the public part of public lands:

Gianforte’s property abutted the East Gallatin River outside Bozeman and included an easement long used by locals for fishing. (The easement was granted through an agreement with the property’s previous owner.) Gianforte argued that the easement was ruining his property and sued the state of Montana to have to have the area closed off. He eventually reached a compromise with the state, but the dispute fed

Continue reading “The fight to keep public lands in public hands is at the heart of Montana special election”

Ryan pretends passing a bill affecting one-sixth of the economy without CBO score is totally normal

Nothing to see here, Speaker Paul Ryan insists. It’s not a big deal at all that the House passed a bill to repeal Obamacare and gut Medicaid and kick at least 24 million people off of health insurance without finding out what it might do to the budget or the economy. It’s just a sixth of the economy and the House has never passed such a massive bill under budget reconciliation without getting a CBO score, but the fact that he did that and that because of it the House might have to vote again? Who cares?

Ryan has delayed formally sending the American Health Care Act to the Senate after his chamber’s May 4 vote, Bloomberg reported last week, in order to receive a confirmation from the CBO that the bill cuts the deficit enough to qualify for reconciliation in the Senate — that is, the Senate’s ability to

Continue reading “Ryan pretends passing a bill affecting one-sixth of the economy without CBO score is totally normal”

Voting rights court win means thousands of new voters registered ahead of Georgia special election

The fight to elect Jon Ossoff in next month’s special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District is also a fight that could help the state’s Democrats build for the future. More than 5,500 voters have been registered since a federal judge ordered the state to allow new registrations until May 21, 30 days before the June 20 runoff election and two months after the deadline the state had tried to impose. Though the deadline has passed, the final tally will grow:

The total includes two types of voter: the newly registered, plus so-called “transfer” applications — already registered Georgia voters who moved into the district after March 20, when the registration period originally closed.

Several thousand additional applications are still pending, although all three counties that have areas that fall within the 6th District — Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton — have been working overtime to process them ahead

Continue reading “Voting rights court win means thousands of new voters registered ahead of Georgia special election”