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Posts tagged ‘Senate’

Mitch McConnell Gets Bad News… Asked To Step Down


Reported 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournalism.com/conservatives-demand-mcconnel-step-down-as-senate-leader/?

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has been hit with a heavy vote of no confidence from conservative groups around the country. On Wednesday, leaders from several conservative organizations called on McConnell to abdicate his position, citing a list of broken promises he made to Republican voters.

They are calling on not only McConnell, but also members of his leadership team, to step down.

“You and the rest of your leadership team were given the majority because you pledged to stop the steady flow of illegal immigration,” states their letter to McConnell, according to Fox News. “You have done nothing. You pledged to reduce the size of this oppressive federal government. You have done nothing. You pledged to reduce, and ultimately eliminate the out-of-control deficit spending that is bankrupting America. You have done nothing. You promised to repeal Obamacare, ‘root and branch.’ You have done nothing. You promised tax reform. You have done nothing.”

Disgruntled conservatives held a news conference in Washington, D.C. to address their concerns and desire to see the leadership team dissolved.

“We call on all five members of the GOP Senate leadership to step down, or for their caucus to remove them as soon as possible,” Ken Cuccinelli, the president of the Senate Conservatives Fund, said at the conference.

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The Senate Conservatives Fund, founded in 2008 by former Senator Jim DeMint, has worked for years to elect more conservative GOP candidates to the upper chamber in Congress. The group has regularly clashed with the more moderate wing of GOP leadership. The SCF wasn’t the only group calling for McConnell to vacate his position.

Members from FreedomWorks, For America and the Tea Party Patriots also joined the chorus in demanding GOP Senate leaders step aside after failing to enact conservative legislation, despite voters giving the Republican Party full control of Washington, D.C. on Election Day.

This is not the first time conservatives have called on McConnell to step down as majority leader, but the ferocity of Wednesday’s press conference certainly puts an added weight on Republican lawmakers to get things done this legislative session.

The letter and press conference come as congressional Republicans are currently working to enact tax reform. GOP leaders so far have not succeeded in repealing Obamacare, failing several times to push through their own GOP health care bills. Republicans are hoping tax reform will be an issue the entire party can rally behind.

“If this was a football team, and you’d lost this many times, you’d start seriously considering firing the coaches,” said For America President David Bozell.

Despite all agreeing that they’d wish to see McConnell go, many conservative leaders are not certain who they would like to see as a replacement.

“If I had to pick someone, I’d love to draft like Pat Toomey maybe,” FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon said, referring to the GOP Pennsylvania senator. “There’s a lot of different people out there who I think could unite this caucus and actually lead on some issues.”

Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots group, said she could see herself supporting Georgia GOP Senator David Perdue. “I’m from Georgia, so I’m not opposed to him,” Martin explained, touting the junior senator’s extensive business background as a former CEO.

Conservative candidates are taking notice as well. As the 2018 election cycle begins to heat up, many pro-Trump candidates are hoping to gain traction by displaying stronger support for the president.

“With rare exception, GOP senators blocking Trump’s agenda are impediments we can not afford. Double that for Senate leaders,” Ron Wallace, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Virginia, said in a statement to Western Journalism.

Wallace is an insurgent candidate hoping to win the GOP primary and take on incumbent Democrat Senator Tim Kaine. Wallace is running on a pro-Trump platform and believes it’s imperative the GOP majority pass what they promised to do.

“The American People voted for Tax Cuts, Border Walls, Rapid Growth, Excellent Law Enforcement, and Better Education. I expect strong proactive policies to make those outcomes possible and deliver cost-effective solutions, by whatever means may be necessary,” he said.

Rush Limbaugh Says 1 Person Is Taking Over The GOP


Reported 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournalism.com/rush-limbaugh-says-1-person-is-taking-over-the-gop/?

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Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh made a bold statement on his program about Steve Bannon and the current state of the Republican Part y.

Limbaugh believes Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, is taking over the roles and responsibilities meant for GOP leadership by enforcing conservatism onto Republican candidates up for re-election.

“I think what Bannon is doing is slowly but surely taking over the role of the Republican Party,” Limbaugh said Wednesday. “The Republican Party is obviously not with Trump on balance — you have some in the House who are — but the Republican Party on balance is not with Trump.”

Steve Bannon played a major role in then-candidate Donald Trump’s presidential victory upset last year and led the formulation of White House policy in the months that followed. He was Trump’s campaign chairman during the 2016 election and later served as a White House chief strategist — leading the nationalist wing of the administration.

After abruptly leaving the administration in mid-August, Bannon returned to his prior position as executive chairman of Breitbart News. Since leaving the White House, he made it clear he would use his position as a media executive to support insurgent conservative candidates running primaries against establishment GOP lawmakers.

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Bannon already appears good for his word.

In the special election in Alabama to fill the Senate seat once held by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Bannon went against the Trump administration with his endorsement of Roy Moore. Bannon supported the successful candidacy of Moore, a controversial former judge, in a move that was at odds with Trump, who campaigned vehemently for Moore’s opponent, Sen. Luther Strange. By election day, it wasn’t even close. Moore bested Strange in the GOP primary by almost double digits. Moore now heads into the Alabama general election, where he will likely win in a state that leans red.

The primary results demonstrated the power of Bannon’s support.

The leader of Breitbart is not stopping with the Alabama special election. Bannon has recently announced he is expanding his GOP targets, adding Republican Sens. Deb Fischer of Nebraska, John Barrasso of Wyoming and Orrin Hatch of Utah to his hit list.

> In Wyoming, Bannon is pushing Erik Prince, the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and founder of major security contractor Blackwater, to challenge Barrasso, CNN reported. 

> In Utah, Hatch may very well retire on his own. If he does, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is reportedly eyeing a run in the Mormon-majority state. If that happens, Bannon is ready to run a candidate against him.

According to a source close to Bannon, this is just a “partial” list of elections he is looking to influence.

Bannon is already working to knock off Republican Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and his beleaguered campaign for re-election. Nevada Sen. Dean Heller and Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker are also on Bannon’s radar.

“Some people make an argument that there really isn’t a Republican Party left. I mean, there are people who call themselves that and they go out and raise money and they raise a lot. But whereas the party used to be known for one, two, or three very serious things, they’re not anymore,” Limbaugh added on his radio show.

The conservative talk radio host believes Bannon and others are trying to keep the identity of the Republican Party alive by enforcing such standards onto them by way of primary challenges.

Insurance Industry Opposes Republican Health Bill


By Chip Bok of http://bokbluster.com/2017/09/23/insurance-industry/ | September 23, 2017   

Fortune seemed surprised that insurers oppose last ditch Republican efforts to replace and repeal ObamaCare. As usual, the industry’s concern is for consumers.

Insurance Industry Explains Why

Industry spokesmen displayed their concern in an article titled “Even the Insurance Industry is Against the Latest GOP Health Care Plan”:

Despite the general view that health insurance companies would benefit from a free and open market, two of the biggest trade groups for insurers — Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and America’s Health Insurance Plans — announced their first opposition to the Republicans’ latest plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Both the Blue Cross and the AHIP came out against the so-called Graham-Cassidy bill Wednesday, arguing that the legislation would lead to an unstable market that would harm both insurers and patients. 

“The bill contains provisions that would allow states to waive key consumer protections, as well as undermine safeguards for those with pre-existing medical conditions,’’ the Blue Cross association said in a statement. “The legislation reduces funding for many states significantly and would increase uncertainty in the marketplace, making coverage more expensive and jeopardizing Americans’ choice of health plans.”

The AHIP doubled down on those sentiments, writing that the bill “would have real consequences on consumers and patients by further destabilizing the individual market” and could “potentially allowing government-controlled, single payer health care to grow,” in a letter to Senate majority and minority leaders Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

The insurance trade associations’ resistance joins a number of health care groups already speaking out against the proposed bill, including the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and the American Association of Retired Persons.

The Graham-Cassidy bill, named after two of its drafters, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), has a voting deadline of Sept. 30. The Senate is expected to vote on the legislation next week after several previously unsuccessful attempts earlier this year.

President Donald Trump talked up the bill Wednesday, saying that it has “a very good chance” of passing in the Senate.

McCain Health Care Bill Kills


By Chip Bok of http://bokbluster.com/2017/09/23/mccain-health-care-bill-kills/ | September 23, 2017

McCain

Senator McCain sided with Jimmy Kimmel in shooting down best bud Lindsey Graham on Friday. He announced he would vote “no” on the Graham Cassidy health care reform.

Two McCain Bill Kills

Those in the know think that pretty much kills the bill. And that would make two health bill kills for McCain.

Damn, should have drawn that on the fuselage.

Pence To Limbaugh: ‘Disaster Of Obamacare’ Cannot Continue


Reported

Vice President Mike Pence appeared on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program Monday to address the status of the Republican health care bill in Congress, declaring that, “We simply cannot allow the disaster of Obamacare to continue.”

Limbaugh asked Pence about the challenge of passing legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“How in the world can it be this hard when it seemed easy when Obama was in the White House?” Limbaugh asked.

Pence contended that “it has to get done,” adding that Obamacare is “putting a tremendous burden on working families, on small businesses, on the American economy.”

“Every single promise that President Obama made to get Obamacare passed has been broken,” Pence said, later adding, “We’ve seen the cost of health insurance rise in every state across the country, in some cases 200 percent and more.”

Limbaugh challenged Pence to detail the obstacles preventing the passage of healthcare reform, noting that, “We’ve got 52 votes plus yours if necessary, if it comes down to that.”

Pence said that the challenges have to do with “the complexity of this disastrous policy launch,” referring to Obamacare. He claimed that the Republicans’ current heath care legislation “doesn’t do everything that we ultimately want to do. … The president’s committed to ultimately allowing Americans to buy health insurance across state lines, the way they buy life insurance, the way they buy car insurance.”

“Nobody’s talking about that. That’s a great point because nobody is talking about it,” Limbaugh said in response.

Still, the budget rules that the Republicans need follow to pass their legislation with just 51 votes do not allow them to make such a “substantive change in the law,” Pence said.

Despite that shortcoming, Pence said that “in this legislation … we accomplished enormous things,” citing the removal of the individual mandate to purchase health insurance or pay a tax penalty to the government.

“The mandate goes away,” Pence said. “The tax increases go away. Medicaid goes back to the states for the purposes of reform. Health savings accounts are greatly expanded so that people can become consumers in their own health care choices.”

According to Pence, another obstacle impeding the passage of the legislation is the varied opinions of lawmakers.

“Every member of Congress has their own opinion, and this administration — as we did with the House of Representatives — is determined to work with each member to address their needs. But we are very close. If I had one message for your tens of millions of listeners around America, it is: ‘This is the moment; now is the time.’”

Limbaugh and Pence also discussed the possibility of a single-payer health care system.

“Obamacare was designed to implode, in part, so as to further the public’s acclimation for single payer.”

The vice president then referred to former congressman Barney Frank’s answer to a reporter’s question about single-payer health care in 2009.

“They said, ‘How come you’re not supporting single payer?’ He said, Obamacare is the quickest way to get to single payer.’”

Pence also referenced to the “heartbreaking story of 11-month-old Charlie Guard in England — whose single-payer system will not allow his parents to choose potentially life-saving treatment for him — as an example of what could occur in the United States.

When asked by Limbaugh if he would support a clean repeal of Obamacare with nothing to replace it, Pence replied, “We can’t … We simply cannot allow the disaster of Obamacare to continue. It is hurting families.”

“I believe that — with the strong support of the American people — with this president in the Oval Office, we’re going to get it done. We’re going repeal and replace Obamacare. But the time is now,” Pence said.

Pelosi: ‘Hundreds Of Thousands’ Will Die If GOP Health Care Bill Passes


Reported 

URL of the original posting site: http://www.westernjournalism.com/pelosi-hundreds-of-thousands-will-die-if-gop-health-care-bill-passes/

The California congresswoman went on to contend that Republicans should join with Democrats to fix Obamacare, not scrap it, and she argued that Republicans are currently sabotaging the law. According to Pelosi, the GOP House and Senate bills are “systemically, structurally, they are very, very harmful to the American people. They will raise costs, with fewer benefits. …They will undermine Medicare.” The minority leader likely meant to refer to “Medicaid,” because neither GOP bill seeks to change Medicare.

As reported by Western Journalism, Obamacare has failed to live up to many of the promises made by former President Barack Obama and the Democrats.

Perhaps the most infamous promise broken was Obama’s claim, both before and after the bill’s passage, that “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”

Politifact named this promise the “Lie of the Year” in 2013, as over four million cancellation letters went out to policy holders that year, and such letters continued in the years thereafter.

Despite the insurance mandates contained in Obamacare, the former president promised that premiums would go down an average of $2,500 a year per family of four, thereby living up to the name “Affordable Care Act.” However, the opposite proved to be true, and Politifact listed Obama’s assurance as a “Promise Broken.”

The average nationwide premium cost has increased by 99 percent for individuals and 140 percent for families from 2013 through February 2017, according to an eHealth report.

Moreover, the Heritage Foundation determined that 70 percent of U.S. counties have only one or two insurers offering coverage through the Obamacare exchange. Some areas of the country could face having no insurers on the exchange at all in 2018, according to Bloomberg.

Despite the law’s major failings, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., joined with Pelosi in arguing that the only solution is to fix Obamacare.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Durbin pointed to the Republican plan to provide Medicaid funds to the states in block grants as something he could not support. He added that the Republican plan would result in 23 million less people obtaining health insurance, which is what the Congressional Budget Office projected would be the result over 10 years.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., responded, “The amount of dollars going into Medicaid continues to go up year after year. So if Senator Durbin refers to a cut, only in Washington is giving more each year, something you can conceive as a cut, if it doesn’t go up as fast as he would like it to go up.”

Under Obamacare, the Medicaid rolls grew by approximately 12 million people, thanks to new eligibility guidelines. Over 70 million are now enrolled in the program, or about one in every five Americans.

Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies with the Cato Institute, told Western Journalism that even the so-called cuts designed to slow the growth of Medicaid should be viewed with skepticism.

Cannon explained that proposed legislation does not call for true block grants, but rather matching grants based on the number of Medicaid enrollees in each state. States can increase the grant cap simply by increasing the number of enrollees.

Further, Cannon noted, in both the Senate and the House plans, the restraints in the increase in Medicaid spending are not due to take effect until the 2020s, after multiple intervening federal elections. Therefore, he believes the chances of them being repealed is high, particularly since many Republican governors support Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.

“This is a Medicaid expansion repeal that was designed never to take effect,” he said.

Today’s TOWNHALL.COM Politically INCORRECT Cartoons


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