Tag Archives: government shutdown

Trump backs off hostage demand because GOP fears blame for a government shutdown

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.

Continue reading

GOP to try again with a zombie ‘Trumpcare’ plan, and hurtle towards a government shutdown next week

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.

Continue reading

A looming government shutdown over a border wall and defunding Planned Parenthood

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.

Continue reading

Two weeks until the next Tea-Publican government shutdown

CalendarNow that you are recovering from your Thanksgiving dinner, it’s time to talk about the next important date on the calendar, and it’s not Christmas.

It is December 11, 2015, the day the government will again run out of money if the Congress and the president cannot agree on a budget, and the government will be forced to shut down.

As I have previously explained, Tea-Publicans in Congress are using the reconciliation process for this year’s budget because it does not allow for a “filibuster” in the Senate and can pass with a simple majority vote. In other words, it is an end-around the “regular order” of passing bills.

But the radical extremist Tea-Publicans in Congress are taking things a step farther and also loading up the budget appropriations bills with “poison pill” riders, i.e., their “Wingnut Wish List” of regressive measures that are not germane to the appropriations bills, and that may be outside the scope of the reconciliation process (that process can change existing laws to conform tax and spending levels to the levels set in a budget resolution, but not make substantive law changes).

The Hill reports:

Lawmakers will return from their Thanksgiving break with just two weeks to reach a deal before a Dec. 11 deadline.

Continue reading

For my friends who continue to believe that legal abortion is safe

On this very day in 2015 there are still liberals who cling to the belief that the anti-abortion stance is merely a ploy by wily “establishment” (whatever the hell that means) Republicans to keep the rank-and-files docile and the campaign coffers full. I, of all people, still hear this claim constantly from I know! “They’ll never overturn Roe! They need abortion as a wedge issue too much!” Continue reading

Mutiny on the Boehner: Iran, Planned Parenthood, then government shutdown

FreedomWorksPhase one of the Mutiny on the Boehner is now complete.

On Wednesday, the mutinous GOP House Freedom Caucus took Captain Queeg the TanMan hostage and forced him to pull the scheduled vote on the resolution of disapproval of the Iran agreement. They then forced the nominal Weeper of the House to accede to their hair-brained “Tortilla coast gambit” based on a debunked conspiracy theory about IAEA “secret side deals” with Iran. The GOP House Freedom Caucus ‘Tortilla Coast gambit’ to delay the Iran deal is a fraud.

On Thursday, the House voted on two resolutions claiming that the President had not given them all the information required to be reviewed by Congress under the Iran review law passed by Congress.  Not true: As Max Fischer wrote:

You can read, for yourself, the law that Congress passed articulating its authority to disapprove the Iran deal. Section 135 describes the congressional review period, and specifically articulates the documents that the Obama administration is required to give Congress. There is nothing in there about the text of IAEA safeguards agreements with Iran.

These two resolutions from the GOP’s Gimmicks-R-Us Shoppe were approved on a straight party-line vote without a single Democrat in support. Roll Call Vote 491 243-186 (straight party-line vote); Roll Call Vote 492 245-186 (straight party-line vote). This demonstrates that the TanMan is not in command of his mutinous ship.

Continue reading