Senate Republicans release ‘skinny’ healthcare repeal bill, schedule vote for dead of night

What a joke:

Mere hours before the Senate prepared to vote on a “skinny repeal” health care bill that would get rid of Obamacare’s individual mandate, among other provisions, Senate Republicans finally released the bill they plan to vote on.

The Health Care Freedom Act would repeal the individual mandate, which requires people to buy insurance or pay a fine; the law’s employer mandate, which requires employers to provide coverage to their employees; and its medical device tax (temporarily). States would also have the ability to waive some Obamacare requirements for health plans.

True to its name, the “skinny repeal” bill is a mere eight pages long.

Several Senate Republicans, like Lindsey Graham and John McCain, say they don’t want this bill to become law, but of course they’re probably going to vote for it anyway. These phonies claim they’re satisfied by assurances that House Speaker Paul Ryan

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Senate Republicans continue to pretend like McConnell isn’t totally screwing them on Trumpcare

The wheels are falling off this thing we call Congress over Trumpcare, and it’s all going to come down to whether anyone can trust Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Which means we, as a nation, are fucked. At the lunch today in which Senate Republicans were supposed to be writing the next iteration of the bill—the one that leadership said would pass tonight—the discussion instead was “focused on whether they can be assured House won’t pass skinny, will conference. Senate doesn’t want it to become law.”

Just let that sink in: they don’t want the bill they are about to pass—the bill that they promised was coming for the last fucking seven years—to become law. From what it looks like, McConnell made that promise to them.

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A helluva way to run a government: House, Senate, Republicans in utter chaos over Trumpcare

We’ve seen an awful lot of chaos on repealing Obamacare, that thing that was going to happen on day one of the Trump administration. Seven years after Republicans vowed to repeal it and seven months into 2017 and Senate Republicans might have cobbled together a bill over lunch that might just be a shell to go to conference with the House, or might be the bill the House passes, and it might get enough votes or it might not depending on if anyone knows what they’re doing. Maybe?

This is a story that can only be told in tweets.

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House Republicans move one step closer to criminalizing dissent in the United States

Donald Trump hasn’t been able to tweet-harangue Jeff Sessions into resigning as attorney general (yet), but his constant stream of attacks on Sessions for not targeting Hillary Clinton is having an effect in the House of Representatives, where Republicans on the Judiciary Committee took the next step toward Trump’s goal of criminalizing dissent. When Democrats on the committee pushed for an investigation of Trump’s firing of James Comey—you know, the possible obstruction of justice a special counsel is investigating—committee Republicans decided they’d rather investigate Clinton’s emails again, targeting Comey’s investigation of the emails specifically.

“If it’s in the public interest to investigate the Trump administration, it is most certainly in the public interest to investigate the real crimes by the real criminals,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a committee member.

Sure, we could investigate the sitting president’s campaign’s ties to a foreign country’s interference in our democratic elections, and the

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Republicans admit it: ‘Skinny repeal’ is a Trojan horse to turn Trumpcare over to the House

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Texas Sen. John Cornyn freely admits it: the whole strategy guiding the Senate this week is passing any damned thing they can so that they can take it to the House in conference, then cook up whatever they feel like—with a minimum of input from anyone outside of that room.

The No. 2 Senate Republican told reporters Wednesday that a scaled-down, “skinny” bill “seems to have a lot of benefits, getting us to conference.” […]
Cornyn noted that new Senate ideas — such as Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) amendment to let insurers sell plans outside of ObamaCare’s regulations and Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) amendment to add $100 billion to help people losing Medicaid afford private coverage — could be included and could help pave the way for a deal in the conference committee.

“We use the template of the House bill that addresses all of these issues

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House Democrats band together to hand Republicans embarrassing defeats on two bills

House Democrats are tired of the fact that nothing in the GOP-controlled Congress is being done through regular order—no open debate, no amendment process, and often times, their votes are inconsequential after Republicans rig the system on controversial bills like health care.

But on Monday Democrats had the opportunity to make a statement on two bills—one related to intelligence funding and the other to veterans’ affairs—that Republicans were trying to rush through once again without debate or amendments by suspending House rules for an expedited vote. The catch is, the bills had to be approved by two-thirds of the House, which made Democrats relevant. It’s a process typically used for measures that are deemed non-controversial, but Democrats opposed one on procedure grounds and the other on substance, handing GOP leaders an embarrassing defeat. Politico writes:

First, the House voted down the 2018 intelligence authorization bill, which sets policy for intelligence

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Daily Kos Elections 2Q 2017 House fundraising reports roundup

Quarterly fundraising reports for federal candidates, covering the period from April 1 to June 30, were due at the Federal Elections Commission on July 15 at midnight. Below is our chart of fundraising numbers for House candidates in all key races this cycle. (Click here for our companion chart for the Senate.) That includes, among others:

  • Races we expect to be competitive in this year’s general elections
  • Open seats in otherwise safe districts with contested primaries
  • Under-the-radar contests where a candidate raised an unexpectedly high sum
  • Incumbents who might face a credible primary challenge
As always, all numbers are in thousands. The chart, and an explanation of each column, can be found below.