The Hill reports today, Congress strikes deal on funding for 2017 to avoid shutdown:
Congressional negotiators have signed off on a deal to fund the government through September, avoiding a shutdown of federal agencies over a dispute on President Trump’s border wall and other issues, according to two senior congressional aides.
The legislation does not provide funding for construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border or eliminate money for so-called sanctuary cities that do not fully cooperate with federal immigration law, according to a summary provided by a senior congressional aide.
Nor does it cut funding for Planned Parenthood.
These are major victories for Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), who threatened to block the bill over such poison-pill riders.
[F]or Republicans, the measure provides $1.5 billion for border security and $15 billion in additional defense funding — though it’s short the $30 billion in supplemental military funding Trump requested in his budget blueprint.
The defense increase is matched by a boost to non-defense programs for a total of $30 billion in additional funding over the sequester level set by a previous budget deal. None of Trump’s $18 billion in non-defense cuts were included.
The National Institutes of Health, a priority of Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike, will see a $2 billion funding increase, to give it $34 billion total.
The deal protects 99 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget and increases clean energy and science funding in spite of Trump’s calls to cut all three priorities.
House Tea-Publicans introduced a stop-gap spending bill late Wednesday night to allow negotiations on a spending agreement to continue through May 5 without the threat of a government shutdown. House Republicans introduce stop-gap spending bill to continue budget talks:
The short-term spending measure, which would extend current funding levels beyond the end of this week, comes as negotiators are nearing an agreement on a budget to increase military spending and border security and keep the government open through the end of September. The decision to begin work on a very short extension comes as no surprise, the final steps of a spending deal could drag on beyond the current April 28 deadline and congressional leaders are eager to minimize the threat of a shutdown, according to aides familiar with the talks.
“I am optimistic that a final funding package will be completed soon,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.). “It is time that this essential work is completed so that critical programs and activities — including national defense — are properly and adequately funded for the year.”
White House officials notified lawmakers earlier in the day that President Trump abandoned a threat to end subsidy payments under the Affordable Care Act, a concession to Democrats that is expected to clear the way for a bipartisan budget agreement. Trump had threatened to cut off the subsidies in an attempt to force Democrats to pay for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, a fight that became less serious after Republicans withdrew their border wall request this week.
“It is good that once again the president seems to be backing off his threat to hold health care and government funding hostage,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. “Like the withdrawal of money for the wall, this decision brings us closer to a bipartisan agreement to fund the government and is good news for the American people.”
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Budgets, Congress, Courts, Economics, Ethics, GOP War On..., Healthcare, Legislation, Party Politics, President, Taxes
Tagged government shutdown, health insurance, Obamacare
With a federal government shutdown looming on Friday at midnight unless a continuing resolution (CR) spending bill is passed before then, last week Donald Trump resorted to hostage taking to try to get his way for funds for his border wall and undermining “Obamacare” for millions of Americans. Trump to Democrats: Pay for My Wall, or Obamacare Gets It! This was followed by this ridiculous hostage demand:
[B]udget chief Mick Mulvaney explained in an interview with Bloomberg Friday, the administration is offering $1 of funding for Obamacare’s crucial cost-sharing reduction subsidies for every $1 of money Democrats pony up for the wall. Here’s the full quote:
We’ve finally boiled this negotiation down to something that we want very badly, that the Democrats really don’t like, and that’s the border wall. At the same time there’s something they want very badly that we don’t like very much, which are these cost sharing reductions, the Obamacare payments. Ordinarily, in a properly functioning Washington, D.C., as in any business, this would be the basis upon which a negotiated resolution could be achieved. The question is how much of our stuff do we have to get, how much of their stuff are they willing to take, and that’s the way it should work. That’s the way that we hope that it works. We offer them $1 of CSR payments for $1 of wall payments. Right now, that’s the offer that we’ve given to our Democratic colleagues. That should form the fundamental understading that gets us to a bipartisan agreement.
The implicit threat here is that, if Democrats reject this deal, the White House will cease making the subsidy payments, and likely bring Obamacare crashing down. It is not especially credible. Democratic leaders are already responding with snark: Before, Mexico was supposed to pay for the border wall. Now, Trump’s threatening the health care of millions to get taxpayers to cover it.
Posted in Arizona Congressional Delegation, AZBlueMeanie, Budgets, Congress, Economics, GOP War On..., Healthcare, Immigration, Legislation, Mexico Border, Party Politics, President, Taxes
Tagged border security, government shutdown, health insurance, Obamacare, retirement
Congress returns from its recess next week with a government shutdown looming next Friday. “If Congress does not strike the first truly bipartisan deal of his presidency by then, Donald Trump will spend his 100th day explaining to the public why the government he’s charged with running has partially shut down.” How Trump’s First 100 Days Could End in a Government Shutdown.
But first, Tea-Publicans apparently believe they have enough time to try to raise a zombie “Trumpcare” plan from the dead. Sarah Kliff reports at Vox.com, House GOP members are floating a new health plan. Here’s what’s in it.
House Republicans are floating a new amendment to their health care bill — one that would likely cause even more Americans to lose coverage than the last version.
Leaders of the staunchly conservative Freedom Caucus and the more moderate Tuesday Group have reportedly hashed out a proposal that would let some states ditch key Obamacare policies, such as the requirement to charge sick people the same for coverage as healthy people. States would also have the choice to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s essential health benefit requirement.
The Huffington Post reported on the development late Wednesday night, and Politico posted a short white paper early Thursday describing the changes. We still don’t know how final this amendment is or which House Republicans support the changes.
What we do know is that this latest proposal doesn’t do much at all to assuage concerns about the older proposals. While it meets many of the demands of the party’s far-right wing — namely, the deregulation of the individual insurance market — it does nothing to address concerns about massive coverage loss. Instead, it likely makes those problems worse.
“It’s pretty frustrating to see they’ve worked so hard to come up with another Rube Goldberg–type solution,” says Craig Garthwaite, a health economist at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Budgets, Congress, Corruption, Courts, Economics, Ethics, GOP War On..., Healthcare, Legislation, Party Politics, Polling, President, Scandals, Taxes
Tagged government shutdown, incompetence, Obamacare
Mark your calendars for April 29. The current funding of the federal government expires on April 28, and Congress is set for a two-week recess just before that deadline.
The Tea-Publican “Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight,” fresh off their “Obamacare repeal” clusterfuck last week, now have a month to figure out how to avoid yet another GOP government shutdown.
Good luck with that.
Remember, the Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, vowed: No more government shutdowns while he runs the Senate. But the Turtle Man does not run the House, where the GOP’s alleged boy genius, “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin” and Ayn Rand fanboy Paul Ryan — the architect of the “Obamacare repeal” clusterfuck last week — is in charge. Boy genius just realized last week that “doing big things is hard.” No shit Sherlock. Ryan proved that he cannot herd cats in his own caucus, i.e., the GOP House Freedom Caucus. This is not likely to turn out well.
The New York Times reports, Congress Is Headed to Another Government Funding Showdown:
Ten legislative days before funding would run out, Congress is heading toward another government shutdown showdown. Democrats and many Republicans are likely to refuse to go along with President Trump’s request for money for a border wall financed in part by outsize cuts to medical research. And the specter of another fight over Planned Parenthood funding is also in the offing.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Budgets, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Economics, Ethics, GOP War On..., Healthcare, Immigration, Legislation, Party Politics, President, Scandals, Taxes
Tagged budget deficits, government shutdown, Planned Parenthood